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!
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.
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. 😦
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!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! 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.
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.
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!”