Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Pets

I love cats. I love animals period, but cats have a special place in my heart.  My first cat was Isobel, a long haired black cat who just showed up one day on my balcony.  She and I had some rough times at first because Isobel thought I was a kitten, so she brought me lots of live animals for me to kill, and this was not good for an apartment.  After I found the dead dove under my coffee table I stopped leaving the balcony door open for her.  Isobel didn't live very long because she got feline leukemia and a brain tumor.  She died January 17th, 2001.  I still cry when I think about her death, but I wanted to be there and I don't regret one second, except that it happened in the first place.

Next came Morris.  Morris, so named because he looks like the 9Lives cat, showed up on October 17th, 1998, in the midst of the Great Flood.  Isobel and I heard a thumping on the front door--it was Morris, knocking.  I opened the door and there was the wettest kitty ever.  He's been mine ever since.  Morris is special needs; he was declawed by some idiot who damaged nerves.  He has trouble eating, he has trouble walking, and he's very likely to bite you if he's scared.  Imagine how you would function if all of your fingertips were cut off at the first knuckle.  I don't think you would have a good attitude either!  Morris was initially the most mean tempered cat ever, but he has mellowed quite a bit over the years, and now he even purrs occasionally when there isn't food involved.

After Morris I met my husband and moved in with him.  There we found Tiger, who started off as the property of a neighbor kid who wouldn't take care of him.  After a day in which the temperature soared to 110 degrees and we saw that he had no water, we started taking care of him.  After he got hit by a car right in front of the house and we paid his vet bill, we told the girl and her mother that Tiger was ours.  I don't think that the girl really cared, and when she did show up at our house to visit, Tiger would run from her. So I don't think that he cared, either.  Tiger always reminds me of Pickles, the Fire Cat   The Fire Cat if not in looks then in his behavior. 

We got Pip next.  Pip showed up and Larry thought she was Tiger and carried her inside.  Pip was a demur little serial killer who liked to use her claws to skewer unsuspecting scorpions and fling them into walls.  So of course we got along famously.  Pip was with us for ten years, but when my mother-in-law moved in with her annoying yappy dog Rascal("just for a couple of weeks" has turned into almost two years!), it was too much for her and she ran away.  I hope that she found a good family.

Once we moved into our house and got married, my husband brought home Pounce, who was the last kitten in a box.  Pounce was named because she likes to pounce on things.  She is a diluted calico, which means that we should have named her Crazy.  She is extremely skittish and generally stays upstairs. She loves me, but is afraid of everything else.  And for some reason she is extremely round.   

We also have Sandy The Wonder Dog, who is a yellow Lab that Larry brought to our relationship.  Sandy gets along great with all the cats, and they treat her as one of them--Pounce even give Sandy baths occasionally.  Sandy is 13yrs old and has trouble walking these days, but she is still a great dog. 

We also have a collection of feral cats who come through our yard, all in varying shades of yellow.  One has decided to live in our back yard.  We named him Lalo, because as the time that is how my niece said the word "yellow".  Lalo won't let anyone but me get closer than three feet to him.  I think that's because I am the one putting the food out for him.  He is also very round, but he seems very happy and hardly ever leaves his place under the purple sage.  Lalo has become very interested in looking in the window that is our back door, and has seemed like he has wanted to come into the house, but he runs away if you open the door.  He loves Morris, and if Morris goes outside, Lalo approaches him like they are littermates.  Considering they are both yellow, they might BE related. 

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