"How I Came to Have 3 Black Cats" or "Far More About My Cats Than You Ever Wanted to Know"
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I came down from Fairbanks with five hearty Alaskan cats, who have since died of old age. My current cats are now all shelter kitties. Kittibits ambushed me three months after my beloved Mr. Peaches (20 years or so) died. I woke up sad every morning until one day my former cat sitter whose car was always broken needed a lift to the shelter to get some papers for the cat SHE had adopted after caring for mine. I stayed in the car, like a good alcoholic staying out of the bar. I still had several other kitties at the time and I didn't want to adopt anyone new right then because I was going back to Ireland to work with Anne McCaffrey again for a few months and it wasn't fair to the kitty.
Didn't matter. The catsitter (brought out a kitten in her coat to show me--so I had to go into the bar. I looked in the kitten cages and there were a LOT of babies. I did real well going "you're too black, you're too white, you're too shy, you're too aggressive, you're too small. . ." when a little paw snagged the finger of the hand I had hanging by my side and a little tongue started washing it. I bent down to see who the uppity youngster was and there was a kitten exactly the color of my sweet Peaches except he was a Maine Coon! Anne had Maine Coons (hers were purebred but its a dominant gene so you got a coonie tom or queen, you got coonie kittens) and I just loved them and thought I might even look for a cat I had to buy to get one--and here was a practically free one who looked like Peachy! I just said, "Okay, kiddo, come on home." While Peachy was dying I held him and petted him and told him if he ever wanted to come back as a cat, just find me somehow and I'd bring him home. So I think he did. Like a successful Dalai Lama candidate, Kittibits went to all of Peachy's favorite haunts and things and took them over at once--including me. I could hardly stand to stay in Ireland because every time I called I heard him mewing plaintively. The catsitter was there but HE knew HIS person was missing.
When I was down several cats, I got two kitties, a little black fluffy kitten named Trixie and an adult black cat named Treat. Trixie went out one morning to hunt and got hunted instead and we all cried--both Treat and Kittibits loved her and searched and searched for her and they were not mad when I wouldn't let them out for a long time. My other older cat died so for a long time I only had Kittibits and Treat, two senior gentleman cats, and it was really nice becausre they were always well behaved and didn't get into things or cause any bother. But sometimes even Kittibits forgot that I needed kitties to love and went about his business. Also he is very shy of all other people and frankly a little weird sometimes and I felt like it was good he had a cat friend. So when Treat went missing for two or three days, with all the predators we have around and since he has a lifelong anti-immune virus and requires daily medication, I thought he was a goner.
So I went to the shelter to find Kittibits, who meowed piteously every night for his buddy, a new friend. I wanted a sleek black kitten so he'd look like Treat and maybe get accepted sooner by K'bits. I found, of course, TWO kittens--the first one was the sleek black one I was looking for, Cisco, who is really a wonderful kitten, p[ayful and active and also very very affectionate.
So that was the kitten I was looking for but two cages down there was also a fluffy black guy who purrsuaded me I couldn't leave without him too. He is Cisco's sidekick Pancho, a laid back fellow, a little tubby (his nickname is Cubby or Cupboard Love) and is only aggressive when it comes to being snoopy.
I should have named them Sherlock and Houdini because Pancho has to investigate everything and Cisco managed to figure out how to get his little butt out the cat door which only swings in to let Treat in. Treat, meanwhile, came back two weeks later, after Kittibits had FINALLY ADJUSTED to the kittens and the growling had died down. I kept the kittens on the back porch at night for awhile so K'bits didn't feel kicked out of the bed by the youngsters. Treat came home all covered with dirt and oil and some sores and very thin, but very very glad to be home. He got petted, fed, and then--gasp! a BATH of all indignities, then a trip to the VET--oh horrors! to get him up to speed on his meds he'd missed while gone--and then he met the kittens. He was really really pissed off. It took MONTHS. But now everybody plays and sleeps together.
The union steward ponders crowded sleeping arrangements
|Friends now. Three cats in a chair, although it looks like Kittibits and the Blacketts as backup singers. It's good being gold. Actually, K'bits is not a dominant sort of cat. He likes other cats and mostly wants to play and get along with them. He only gets bossy when it comes to me. He is the self-appointed cat union steward. If something is wrong with cat living conditions, inadequate cat box maintenance, poorly cleared path to cat enclosure, empty food bowl, dirty water, K'bits lets me know in no uncertain terms that so-called management had better get her tail moving and fix things or there will be consequences. Panchito knows his limits and chose to sleep in a chair of his own but he often joins one or more other cats in a shared-chair nap.|
I had a nice big cat enclosure put on the front of the house which is where the kittens (now big whompin' catz of course, but they'll always be kittens to me) go outside. Kittibits prefers it to the real outdoors--which is, like most things in his view--scary--and only Treat insists on being let out to the REAL outdoors. He makes such a pain of himself about it that I''m not afraid for him anymore--in fact, I feel like CALLING the coyotes to come snack on a tough old stubborn cat. They've treed him a time or two and then he stays in for awhile but still when it's pretty he insists on OUT.
More than you wanted to know about my cats, I know. I do love them. Can you tell?
All images and patterns © copyright 2004 Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. All rights reserved.