Some people are cat people, some are dog people, and some are just plain animal people. I am the latter. I love most animals, excluding arachnids, bugs of any kind, snakes (as pets, but I am not afraid or weirded out by them), and other odd things – I mean fish don’t really give back a whole bunch, they are not snuggly, etc.
Growing up, and throughout my life I have almost always had cats, or a cat, and a dog, or dogs. Dogs are great pets. Their affection and loyalty are bar none. I have fond memories of my dogs: Daisy, Nicky, Nicky, Nicky, Rocky, Megan, Murray, Maddie, Jack, Penny, Scotty, Kaylee, (some of these are not mine, but family dogs) the dalmation whose name escapes me, and the current dogs, Max, Fritz, and Sandi. Oh, Bowser and Bruti, too! All of these dogs are loyal, protective, and loving. All have their good/bad qualities. (except Fritz, who is of course perfect, a genius, and without flaw).
Cats have also usually been involved in my life. Earliest memory is of a cat named Sydney, but I couldn’t tell you what he or she looked like. After that were the Siamese: Puss Puss – cat to beat all cats, weighing in at least 20 lbs., with gorgeous markings and blue eyes, and hogging the heat vent, and killing all tiny rodents within a 5 mile radius, Puss Puss was a champion. George, who my mom used to sing a special Georgie Porgie Puddin and Pie song to all the time, who was cross eyed, and had a taste for knitted items and bathroom rugs – he ate them. No lie. Weird cat.
Fast forward a few years and there was Ollie. He was a huge, gorgeous orange tabby, and all mine. It was during my “only child” years when my big sisters had moved out. He was thrown in the neighborhood pool as a prank, and died from chlorine poisoning. (ONE of the reasons I hate people).
I had a cat when I lived on Fort Ord, he was a twin of Ollie, but we moved, and somebody who doesn’t deserve to be named made me just leave without him.
The next cat I remember was Tigger, who I got right before I had Katie. He was a tabby, and Katie as a toddler loved him! He loyaly tolerated her toddler squeezes. She used to imitate his meows before she could talk, and when we would say, “What does the kitty say?” She would make a purring sound. Awesome.
Then came the million dollar cat: Whiskers. Named for Barney the dinosaur’s cat, he was a tuxedo. He was beautiful. It was when I was a single mom, in college, on food stamps, that he got hit by a car. The vet’s prognosis: not good. I said to go ahead and euthanize since I had no money. I went into the room where Katie, in kindergarten waited. i explained he was not going to live. Her wails were so loud and anguished (I can hear them to this day), the vet came in and said he would lower the price, and work out a payment plan to save him! Whiskers lived on and strong until a few years later.
Callie, the Calico, who was really named Calixta after the Kate Chopin heroine I love so much, she ran away.
Bitsy and Socks, who were gifted to me by a friend who gave up her cats for a man. DUMB! (the man didn’t last) Socks was shot in the lung with a BB gun, Bitsy, survived a car hit, but eventually died of old age.
Then I met Scott. He only had one cat. I could’nt predict he would be so cat crazy! He had Tabitha, an all black, very skiddish little girl, even though now she is an old lady. Bitsy and Socks passed, in the interim, and I don’t remember the timeline exactly, we got CiCi or XiXi as I like to spell it.
It went like this: I had to take Maddy to be put to sleep. Very. Sad. Day. As I was leaving, I walked through the ‘cats for adoption” area of the shelter. I saw this gorgeous Siamese cat, unkempt, sad, lonely and very distraught in a cage. I couldn’t leave her there. I adopted her and she quickly assimilated, but chose to favor Katie. I was supposed to get her fixed, but…… I didn’t. I have very little to explain this, but it was bad on my part, except for the fact that we take care of all of the outcomes of that lack of action on my/our part.
CiCi loves outdoors. In 2006, we noticed she was developing a baby bump and we were right! Katie and I stayed up all night to comfort her in labor, and we all three helped deliver a beautiful cat that is pure Tabby (?) and because we have no imagination is named Baby. It was a wonderful night and a happy night.
But….. we didn’t know we should get Cici fixed so soon! We went away for a family function ( my parents’ 50th) on a weekend, came home and there was a new kitten! We just were flabbergasted. We called her the little kitty while we debated names, and then one day Katie suggested Lilly, as it sounded like Lil, and we had a Lilly.
And then, senior year hit. Katie’s junior year almost killed me (literally) and so for senior, I pledged to be on top of things relating to Katie. And I missed alll things meaning CiCi, so on Katie’s graduation night party, cici gave birth to four adorable babies. And that, is almost the whole story on how I have ELEVEN cats.
but three more cats have a story to be told….next time.