And Then There Were SIX

I have always loved animals and had them in my life.  When I was little I remember we had cats, dogs, guinea pigs, squirrels, deer and my grandparents had a farm and always had animals.  Then my first job  out of high school was working at an animal shelter so I was around animals all the time.  I was always trying to “rescue” them and find them homes so that they wouldn’t be euthanized.  I had always had dogs more often than cats.  In fact, when I moved there I lived with my sister and we had two miniature border collies, Jamaica and Tequila.  Yeah, yeah… we liked to party as you can tell by their names! 

Back at the shelter, someone had brought in a cat that had been caught in a trap out in the woods. I still think she was part wild cat… not only feral, literal wild cat.  Her back end sat up higher than her front end. She had tufted ears and was wild, wild, wild.  She would not let anyone near her.  We had to drop her food through the top of the cage and trick her to clean her cage and NEVER without gloves.  We had her in the shelter for less than a week when I was informed that she was on the list for euthanasia.  No one would take her since she was so wild so I took her home. 

I had to put her in a room by herself and slide the food and water through a crack in the door.  Finally after 3 weeks or so I cracked the door open one day  and there she sat and rubbed against the door and meowed. She didn’t HISS!  I opened the door and she jumped in my lap and purred and purred. From that point on she was my protector. A couple of days later the paperboy came to collect for our paper and the front door was open but the screen door was shut.  He knocked on the door and she ran over and reared up on her back paws and hissed the most ferocious hiss you have ever heard. He would NOT come in the door! 

My beautiful wild Smokey

I named her Smokey and she slept on my pillow every night usually with her nose IN my ear, purring to her little hearts content.   A couple of years after I got her I had moved to Raleigh, NC and lived by myself.  One of my older sisters and her husband and baby had moved in with me when they decided to leave Florida.  Somehow Smokey had gotten fleas and my brillliant BIL (NOW EX BIL) decided he would get rid of the fleas by dipping her in insecticide!!! He almost killed the poor kitty and I was FURIOUS.  He was an idiot.  He was lucky I didn’t kill HIM. When I asked him why he said “Well, the bottle said you could spray their bedding with it.”  Yes, once the CONCENTRATE had been diluted… but it did not say to use it as a flea BATH.  What an idiot he was!  She survived but was never quite the same after that. She’d get sick very easily and she developed skin conditions where she would lose almost all her hair. Bless her little heart. 

When Hubby and I got married he did NOT like cats.  He especially did not like Smokey because she was SO protective of me, even against HIM.  But she won him over and he ended up loving her just as much as I did.  When we had been married about a year, we moved into a duplex and the very night we moved in, she died.  Broke my heart.  BUT… so started my love affair with kitties and THAT is how I became the crazy cat lady. 

Don’t get me wrong, I like dogs and we had several of those too over the years but it just wasn’t the same as cats.  I think I like cats so much BECAUSE they are so independant.  And I have always seemed to have cats that have a lot of, shall we say, personality? (read wild and crazy)  We got a white cat, whose name I can’t even remember, because we only had her like two days. We got her right after I lost Smokey and I was pregnant at the time and she attacked me and if I remember correctly, I think she scratched me in my eye… on the cornea and Hubby said she had to go. At that time I also had Chloe.  She was also one of my favorites. I had her over 10 years.  She was a beautiful tortoise shell.  

Chloe with #1

 Yeah, Chloe was the one I thought I killed when #1 was a baby. I thought I squished her when I rocked over her rocking #1.  She died when we were living in Virginia. She had kidney failure and got really sick over the weekend and we took her to the emergency vets.  She died that night and we had to pick her up before 7:30 the next morning and I remember telling Hubby to make sure he either took a check or took enough money with him.  He asked me how much and I told him it was $247 (they tried everything to save her).  #2, ever the practical one,  looked up from her cereal and matter of factly announced “That’s an awful lot to pay for a dead cat.”  I guess she had a point. Wasn’t funny at the time, but I can laugh about it now! 

While we had Chole, I took my husband’s secretary to our animal shelter because she was looking for a dog. I made a mistake of going in the “cat room”.  Next thing I know I’m calling Hubby telling him there is a cat that looks “just like Chloe” in there and they are going to put her to sleep!!!  All Hubby said was “I knew it was a bad idea to let you go there!”  So, that was how we got Cleo.  Yeah, I know… original.  But she LOOKED almost identical to Chloe so I thought it appropriate to name her almost the same! Made sense to me at the time… 

We had Ike for a short time after that. He was a long haired orange tabby male.  Very sweet and good natured.  He got hit by a car on the road behind out house.  He was #3’s.  Then we had Bucky, who I loved dearly. He was also #3’s/  We got him for her the day she had her surgery on her tongue when we lived in Virginia stopped at the animal shelter on the way home fromthe hospital and he was literally hanging off the cage door like “TAKE ME HOME!!!”  So, we did.  He was my sweetie pie. He disappeared the Thanksgiving after we moved here, where we live now. I think he wandered too far onto the abandoned golf course and one of those pesky coyotes got him. 😦 

Bucky - He liked sleeping in weird areas.

 When Ike got hit by the car we had gotten KeeKee to replace him because #3 was heartbroken.  She is at the moment of all the cats we’ve had since we moved to this house, the ONLY one we have right now that we have ON PURPOSE… by that I mean, that we went to the shelter and got her.  Yes, again, she was one that was hanging on the door.  I tend to gravitate to the vocal ones! 

KeeKee with homeless kitty we had for a couple of weeks

So we HAD 10 at one time, but have pared down to 6.  No on purpose.  We had Louis (as in Vuitton so pronounce Louie)  for a while and Chanel.  Both were dropped.  Louis followed #3 home from the pool the summer after we moved here.  He was a long haired black male and very sweet too.  This is Louis: 


Then around the next Thanksgiving, we were in the house with the windows shut and doors shut and I kept hearing this little mewling.  We went outside and followed the sound to the bottom of our cul-de-sac and found this little kitty in the sewer.  It took three of us an hour to coax her out of the sewer grate.  She was pretty sickly and we nursed her back to health and she rewarded us by getting pregnant before we could get her spayed and having 3  kittens!  

Suki the Sewer Kitty

We gave away 2 of her kitties and by the time it came to giving away #3 kitty Hubby couldn’t do it. He said it was like giving away one of our kids.  So we ended up keeping Hellboy.  He LOVES #3.  He sleeps on #3 and his mommy, Suki, loves #3’s boyfriend and thinks that he belongs to her. Suki will actually smack #3 if she kisses her boyfriend because she thinks he belongs to her.  Here is a picture of Hellboy that I took one morning when he had been asleep on #3. 

Hellboy on #3

Then the next April,  #3 was on the computer next to the back door when she heard what she THOUGHT was KeeKee crying so she opened the door and in walked Milktruck like she owned the place!  I refused to name her forever.  I didn’t name her until she had her 5 kitties… YES…FIVE!!!  One day she came in when the kitties were about 3 weeks old and they jumped on her like she was a milk delivery truck so that was how her name was born.  I had figured as long as I didn’t NAME her, she really wasn’t ours and we didn’t have to claim her.  She wore me down! 


Of her 5 babies, we kept 2.  We have LsLa and Poe. They absolutely love each other.  They groom each other and they lay together and they play together.  They are sweeties but Poe is my baby now.  As Hubby says… he is never more than 2 feet from me unless I’m not home. If I go to the bathroom, he lays outside the door and waits if he can’t get in.  He is my alarm clock and wakes me up in the mornings.  If I’m on the sofa, he wants to lay beside me.  And LaLa is usually not too far away. 

LaLa (on the left) and Poe (on the right)

So, yes, we are the crazy cat people and I now say I think that it’s Karma from having worked at the Animal Shelter and having to do the things I did while I worked there.  Either that or we have a BIG invisible sign written in TUNA above our house that says “ALL kitties welcome!  NONE turned away!”


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
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34 Responses to And Then There Were SIX

  1. terrepruitt says:

    Cats are awesome. Well, in all fairness, I can say my cat is awesome, because I have only had on other one and she was NOT awesome. My mother was allergic to cats and I couldn’t have one until I moved into my own HOUSE. We were debating on a cat or a dog, when the cat LANDED in our yard (which is closed off). My hubby made me a deal that if the cat stayed in the yard for a week, we could keep her.

    Before we kept her he went around to the neighbors to see if anyone had lost her. She was about 6 months old according to the vet. That was 10 years ago. She is very sweet, affectionate, and forgiving.

    She greets us at the door and sometimes comes when she is called. She is an indoor kitty because I could not deal with a run over cat or a bloodied cat. She is my child.

    Cats are awesome. So are dogs. But cats really fascinate me.

    • pegbur7 says:

      They fascinate me too. I love their independance.

      • terrepruitt says:

        We must have a “dogish-cat”. She is more dependent than independent. But still cat like–in the sense the we are more like her subjects she likes to have around, ya know? She does not like to be alone. She likes her hugs and kisses. She is a very tolerant cat.

        I love the way they sleep and bath (except when it is loud and slobbery—ewww!). I love their confidence. They are amazing. I am amazed that you have had so many. Wow.

      • pegbur7 says:

        Poe, one of our younger ones is more dependant. He just likes being around me. He loves his mommy! 😉

  2. angelcel says:

    It’s funny, I have a theory that you are either a cat or a dog person. We had dogs when I was growing up but I always pleaded for a cat. When I had a home of my own I pretty much immediately got two kittens and have never looked back. Like you, it’s cats’ independence that I love. We’ve slowly graduated up to five cats in this house and that is probably my comfortable limit. I certainly wouldn’t turn a stray away but education about neutering and spaying has worked *so* well here that I don’t think strays even exist and it’s probably easier to score a fix than it is to find kittens as pets – you tend to have to hear about them through the grapevine and get in quick to stake your claim!

    BTW, my cats are members of our family so, like the human members, I’ll defend them like a tigress against all-comers. The bozo with the insecticide makes my blood boil just reading about it. What a complete plonker!

    • pegbur7 says:

      Yes, he WAS a plonker. I don’r really know what that means but I think the sound describes it well! LOL I really wanted to hurt him very badly. I thought we had reached our comfortable limit a few cats ago, but… I can’t say no. They are all spayed or neutered now so unless another drops in our house I hope we’re done for a while!

      • angelcel says:

        Plonker is quite a gentle way of saying someone is a twit or fool around here. Actually your word for him was much more suitable.

        I realised earlier this afternoon that it’s a feline birthday here today. Mollie and Daisy (our two ‘cream puffs’) are 10 today. Tuna all round then! 🙂

      • pegbur7 says:

        Happy B-day to Mollie and Daisy. Just make sure it’s not the INVISIBLE tuna that hangs above my house! LOL

    • terrepruitt says:

      Plonker. Thanks. I like that. I think I will start using that here. It will be my new word. 🙂

  3. suzicate says:

    You ARE the crazy cat lady!!!!!

  4. Oh, Peggy we are soul sisters! I have 5 cats right now (and one big sloppy dog), and I always say I’m gonna be that crazy old spinster cat lady down the block. They’re all so different and I love each of them. My oldest 2 will be 16 in May. Then, the “kittens,” (we still call them that) are 12 in April. And Little Nala will be 6 in July.

    • pegbur7 says:

      When I told my daughter, when we first got Milktruck that I refused to name her, because if I didn’t name her she really wasn’t “ours” and tha I didn’t want to be the crazy cat lady she said “too late”. LOL

  5. Hadassah says:

    What a great way to start my Monday. The photos rock. You rock. Suki has that look like Shaggy gets…reads *what is your problem?*

    I loved the story of Smokey. I just love cats…

    • pegbur7 says:

      Me, too… in case you couldn’t tell! Suki does have a bit of an attitude problem sometimes. She is very finicky about who she will have anything to do with. The fact that she “adopted” #3’s boyfriend as HER boyfriend and that she gets SO upset that she will sit between them and smack #3 is so funny.

      • Hadassah says:

        Shaggy is Daniel’s cat. He meows if he thinks I’m “hurting” him in any way. AKA rubbing his back or hair…too funny.

      • pegbur7 says:

        I find they are very fierce in their loyalty aka IF they love you they REALLY love you …unles they are pissed at you because the wind is blowing the wrong way, or whatever. LOL

  6. Uh Peg. You are. Yup. You are. Not crazy (maybe) but a cat lady! I like cats just fine, except for when they try to attack me. Still, cats are good. I think I prefer dogs though because dogs just LOVE YOU all the time. Cats only sometimes LOVE YOU. Loved this post, by the way!

    • pegbur7 says:

      BOTH… crazy AND a cat lady. Can’t help it. My little Poe loves to cuddle and lay ON me. Lala is a daddy’s girl. She loves my hubby and likes to snuggle UNDER the covers… as long as you don’t let the cover lay ON her. Very finicky. Maybe I like that they can get AWAY with being bitches? LOL

  7. Hadassah says:

    My kitties just received a nice treat of organic catnip.

  8. terrepruitt says:

    I love connecting with cat people/animal people! We are a special breed! Tee hee!

  9. Ron says:

    Ya see…I think the reason Smokey never hissed at you was because she could tell you were not only a “cat lover” but also a compassionate human being.

    Bless you, Peg!

    I’m like you. I really enjoy dogs to. In fact, I was raised having dogs in the house. However, it’s the independence and attitude of a cat I love. I much prefer them as a roomate.

    LOVE all the great photos of your kitties. Each one is so unique. Suki looks exactly like a cat I once had, Jerry.

    Great post, you wonderful cat lady you!


  10. Jimmy says:

    Cindy had a cat when we married that she found as a kitten behind the ice machine at a local store, she was very frail and sickly Cindy fed her out of a butter dish so her name became Buttercup, this cat gave me a new respect for cats that I never had, the love she showed when she felt you were worthy and the training she gave our kids and dogs was something everyone needs in their lives.

  11. GregoryJ says:

    My wife likes dogs, not cats. So, we have had a dog [two one time] almost continuously since we’ve been married.
    On my own, if I needed a pet, I think I’d get a cat.
    I started writing about our dogs. I posted it on my word press blog. You’ve been there.
    It’s a work in progress, but I haven’t add to it in a long time.

  12. Angelia Sims says:

    You remember that commercial with the Chuck Wagon all the dogs are chasing it? Well, you my dear, drive the CATNIP wagon! HA.

    I love it. I love cats. My first cat was named Smokey Joe! It was gray too. He ran away after I dressed him up in doll clothes and pushed him in a buggy. Or maybe he ran away after our bloodhound Rosie liked to carry him BY HIS HEAD all over the yard. It was very traumatic to see this cat body dangling from the huge jaws of giant bloodhound, but he always came out, wet head, but still breathing.

    Yeah, on second thought, I would have run away too!

    I would love to sit on the floor with all the babies of yours. And NO, I could NEVER work in a shelter!

    Give them a scratch and a pet from me. I MISS my kitty Gidjet. I think a hawk got her. 😦

    • pegbur7 says:

      Stupid hawk, stupid coyotes!

      You made me LOL with that visual of driiving the cat nip wagon. Thanks for that line. I will have to use it!

      Yes, I think if I had been carried around with my head INSIDE a bloodhounds mouth I might run away too! 🙂 I always so enjoy your comments.

  13. You’re my hero. Seriously. You’re SO awesome for taking in all those cats! I’ve loved cats since I was a tiny tot, and I love the cats that I have now. Poe, by the way, looks almost identical to Shraga, one of my cats!

    I loved reading this post – I felt like a found a kindred spirit in cat-love! I fully intend to become a cat-lady when I live alone. Too bad my boyfriend of almost three years now is allergic :(.

    • pegbur7 says:

      He should learn to get used to runny teary eyes! LOL or invest in allergy medication! I don’t know if you read a previous post I did called “Can Someone Fix My Broken Alarm?” I think I linked that right. It was back in January (25th). Anyway, it was about Poe and how he wakes me up almost every morning. Anyway it has a picture of him full face and it shows his cute little heart shaped nose. He is a lttle sweetie pie. As I type this he just jumped up on my lap like “Why aren’t you petting me?” LOL

      OH, I can’t help about taking in all those kitties. I can’t bear to see them hungry or suffering… 😦

  14. LisaF says:

    How lucky, lucky, lucky they all are to be/have been yours. Between my daughters and us we have 5 cats and 2 dogs under our roof right now. (See Send in the Clowns post). All of them enrich our lives in different ways.

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