[Gleaned from the ever-popular post: Fatso]
Of Caramel (BOG) ghostsniper October 26, 2018, 2:09 PMP:
Caramel is our “Big Ol’ Gurl” (BOG). When she achieved adulthood she kept on growing till she got to 23 lbs. I tell her she’s so big she has to have 3 names, Caramel-caramel-caramel. Like her 4 adoptive sisters, she too was a throw-away. Seems there are always more cats than there are people who want them, so we pick up some of the slack but it’s never enough.
Caramel is a tortie, that is, a variety of dark colors, mostly dark brown, but with a little bit of light orange and white scattered about. And she’s a jumper like none other. We have a variety of gates around the house to keep the cats from places we don’t want them. The gates are like bamboo lattice that sort of folds up and we stretch them out like, across the foyer to the breakfast nook and kitchen beyond. We don’t like them on the counters. Most of the cats do not try to get past it cause it is about 3′ tall, but not Caramel. She jumps over it and lands on a kitchen counter. I’ve seen her do it. She’s a ninja and very delicate about it. And she brags about it. Can’t help it I suppose. I’ll be standing at the sink with my back to the fence and the next thing I know I hear a small “mrrrowww” and turn around and there she is on the counter. I never heard her jump or land. Then I’ll scoop her up and throw her back over. Well, actually, lower back over.
My wife frequently leaves our 5 cats snacks throughout the day and once Caramel did not come running, so she went looking for her. Our house has 10′ ceilings and above the kitchen wall cabinets are tall plants and such. In the corner where there is an abundance of plants touching the ceiling, and back inside them was Caramels hiding mug. Because she is dark it was kind of hard to see here. She just sat there in her amazon jungle chuckling to herself as we went through the house calling for her, wondering if she got out of an open door. I had to climb up on a barstool to precariously extract her from her lair.
As most people know, cats ain’t dogs and they pretty much do as they please. YOU are secondary to them and their whims. Caramel is the exception, sort of. When she was a baby I treated her like a dog, as I did with all of our cats, and with Caramel it sort of stuck. She comes when I call her. I don’t mean casually either. She knocks the other cats out of the way to get to me when she hears me come into the house. I feel guilty about this at times. When I need to go in the house to fill my drinking vessel in a hurry and don’t want to take the time to address Caramel, I’ll sneak into the house the back way through the laundry room and then into the kitchen, and then back out the same way, to avoid her. Many times when I have done this, on my way back out to my office/workshop, I’ll see Caramel giving me the evil eye as she is standing up at the window sill in the dining room as I walk by outside. Then I feel guilty for the next 10 minutes. I’ve even set my drink on the railing and went back in the front door and petted on her. I don’t do guilty very well.
Caramel is about 8 years old now and so is her adopted sister Tawny-Autumn who, from a distance looks almost the same, though Tawny is a little smaller. My wife found out about them somehow at a shelter in Rushville when they were 7 weeks old and we went and got them. Cause she wanted them. Each would barely fill a cupped hand. Now, each will fill both arms. Caramel has a big splotch of golden tan on her neck, like a gob of caramel oozing out the side of a melted Snicker bar. She’s my BOG.
Ol’ Buddy and Littlecat jwm October 27, 2018, 10:07 AM
A few days ago I pitched a little gall stone. Painful as hell, and scary while it lasts. As soon as I started feeling it Ol’ Buddy the Cat was right at my feet meowling for all he was worth. He wouldn’t leave me until the pain went away. He seems to sense my mood. When I’m stressed and angry, he’s in my lap, and in my face. When I’m on the computer he’s sitting in front of the monitor, or helping me type.
And my little tortoiseshell, Littlecat, former feral at the school, has become Buddy’s comic sidekick. Wherever he goes, she’s right behind. The Littlecat is practicing sitting in my lap and joining me for naps on the couch. She’s getting good at it.
Orange Cat and Max: Status
Haxo Angmark October 27, 2018, 3:42 PM
Right now, Orange Cat (a recent arrival who has yet to tell me his name) is sprawled on top of the printer, sleeping off this morning’s yard patrol. Max (short for “Prince Maximillian of Wuerttemberg”, an 18-year-old black-and-white Tom, another foundling) is in the kitchen, sleeping on the warm stove.
That is all.
ghostsniper October 27, 2018, 6:22 PM
A piece of the California Caravan pulled into the ville earlier this year and within a couple of weeks some of the neighbors’ cats were coming up missing. There are several neighbors around here that have no regard for their neighbors and even less for their pets – they let them run loose much of the time. Well, the husband in the Cali couple doesn’t like cats and told me so. He also told me he has grabbed up a couple of them and “found them new homes”. Say what?
Ever try to get rid of cats? When you are new to the neighborhood? It ain’t happening. Around here, a mostly woodsy-or-farming community, everybody already has ample cats and don’t want no more.
I asked the Cali dood where he found these new homes for the cats and he told me he took them to a farm somewhere. Right. He just pulled up to the first farm he came to and they took all these stray cats.
Well, one of the “lost” cats came home and there was something wrong with it so the wife took it to the vet. The vet said it had been poisoned and it was too advanced so they put little Hooper to sleep. She was a pretty gurl and I knew her well. It was sad.
So the Cali dood lied to me, that’s his first and last mistake, and I can see both sides of the story. I don’t like other cats around our house cause our cats are usually on the back porch and when a cat comes around they start fighting amongst themselves until someone goes out there and chases it off. Then if comes back 2 hours later. But I’m not going to harm them. They are doing what cats do when left to their own devices. I blame the owners and if I find out who they are we have words. I’ve had words several times with one neighbor in particular. Their cats haven’t been around here in years now.
In his first coupla months here Cali dood has managed to piss off a bunch of the naturals here and that’s not the best way to start off the rest of your life in a new community. He may need us one day, and we don’t forget who our friends are, or those that are not.
“Dogs Too Needy” waltj October 28, 2018, 7:19 PM
I’ve had cats since I was a little kid. I tried having dogs once, in my 30s, but with my travel schedule, it just didn’t work. I always found dogs too needy, too maintenance-intensive, and too dependent for me to really appreciate their good qualities.
Yes, dogs can be useful servants, but I don’t like being gushed over, and I’ve never met a dog that knew when to go away and leave me be. I know they’re pack animals, and always look to the pack leader for their cues, but I have no particular interest in being a pack leader, and I’m damned sure not going to let the dog lead.
With cats, though, that’s never a problem. Cats, as solitary predators, come and go as they see fit, and that independence has always been one of their attractions for me. The four I have now have totally different personalities from each other, all show their affection for me in different ways, and have their own likes and dislikes, but provide me with endless hours of entertainment and enjoyment. They sometimes fight with each other, but it never lasts for long, and they’re all back to being good roommates in short order. I guess I just appreciate cats more than I do dogs, and always will.
robert orians June 26, 2021, 7:43 PM
We have many such famous cats out here on the homestead. They are, you see, the protection from rodents and the diseases they carry. Gilly, the Kitty of Gawd that was brought back from the dead, Princess Tabbiness, Morris the bird killer, etc. They protect our critter feed, our people feed, and our home from invasive rodents. And they also let us love them when they have time.
Of Big Kitty — James June 26, 2021, 10:07 PM
My cat absolutely loved me. Her name was simply Big Kitty. Someone dropped her off in my yard when she was a kitten and even though I didn’t want her then, my kids did. But for some reason, that cat stuck to me like glue. She’d play whenever I wanted. Follow me around all the time. At night, if I had a scratch on an exposed part of my body, she would find it and lick that damn wound til she woke me… then curl up next to me, purring me to sleep again – or lay between my legs as if they were her surround pillows. I absolutely loved that cat. Lots of memories because she turned out to be this divorced man’s companion. Our lives were intertwined.
At 16 years old, I finally had to take her to the vet to be put down for medical reasons. I was bawling so hard at the vet’s office it was absolutely ridiculous. But Big Kitty trusted me to the end so was calm in my arms, tightly forming her body to mine. This time, however, without the purrs. She was scared. When I handed her to the vet staff, she started meowing for me… and then she was gone. Man did I feel guilty. That’s been over 10 years ago and it still bothers me to this day.
PA Cat June 29, 2021, 5:53 PM
Here’s my Cat Tale, about Sylvester, a kitty I adopted from a friend whose husband was threatening to have their cats put to sleep. (Friend was pregnant at the time and the husband took it into his head that she was going to get toxoplasmosis from their kitties.)
Sylvester was a black-and-white tuxie that my friend rescued from the streets one cold rainy day and named after the Looney Tunes character because of the cat’s coloring. A friend took Sylvester to the vet a few days later for a checkup and any shots that might be needed, only to have the vet say that a) Sylvester was a female cat in spite of the name; and b) she was pregnant. The vet recommended immediate spaying on the grounds that Sylvester was so malnourished that she would likely die in giving birth to the kittens. So Silly-vester, as my friend nicknamed her, never got to have her litter.
Sylvester was a lively addition to my household when I adopted her, to put it mildly. She had been the alpha cat in my friend’s house, and didn’t take kindly to being third in line to the throne in mine. After a couple attempts to bully her new companions (mostly by tail-pulling and litter box harassment), however, she found out that they would go full Roman on her when she acted up, and she calmed down and made peace with them.
Then Sylvester discovered baseball and a human that she adopted. She started going downstairs on summer evenings to visit my landlady and watch Mets games with her. Sylvester liked to sit next to my landlady’s father, a Holocaust survivor who had not been allowed to have pets of any kind when he was a boy growing up in Poland. He was initially puzzled as to why “the little black-and-white cat,” as he called her, was so happy to be close to him. My landlady and I told him it was because cats know when a human is a good person, and that it was Sylvester’s way of honoring his goodness. When the dad was dying (mostly of old age) several years later, I sent Sylvester downstairs every night to keep him company, and she was a real comfort to him.
Fast forward a few more years, and Silly-vester started to lose weight suddenly. So I took her to the vet, thinking it was a minor digestive issue. The vet told me that Sylvester had a cancer in her throat that was pressing on her lungs, and that nothing could be done for her except . . . what the vets call “the blue solution.” The vet told me that Sylvester could be given a sedative first so that I would have some time with her before the second injection. The vet came back into the room with an orange-and-blue beach towel with the Mets logo on it for wrapping Sylvester while we both said good-bye to her. I was touched by the gesture, and the vet said, “Well, you told me she’s a Mets fan.” So . . . Sylvester made her last trip around the diamond to the tears as well as the applause of her fans, and she finally reached Home Base.
The vet gave me the towel to take home, and I still use it whenever I foster a cat for adoption. I tell the kitty that he or she has the honor of sleeping on the Magic Memorial Sylvester Mets Towel, and that all kitties who sleep on it find good new homes. And so far they all have.
And this diehard Phillies fan thinks Sylvester is the reason why the Mets are presently sitting on top of the NL East: Never underestimate the Power of the Paw.
Skinnycat jwm June 30, 2021, 6:42 AM
December of 2017, I was so damn sick with the flu that I was afraid it was going to kill me. Christmas had passed, and my last official day of employment as a night custodian at the elementary school was coming up on the 31st. It was around 6:00; the sun was down, and it was time to go over to the school to feed the skinny cat for the last time.
I’d been feeding the tiny feral for weeks, and she had come to expect me to show up just after my dinner break, and bring cat food, and clean water. This time, sick as I was, I bundled up like a mummy, took the Hav-a-hart trap and a can of tuna, and drove over there. Luckily, Jordan school is less than a block from my house.
Just like when I returned after dinner break, I banged through the front gate, and called out, “Where’s my skinny cat?” The tiny, scrawny, tortoiseshell kitten came bouncing out of the bushes as I got to the picnic table on the green near the main office. She cried out in her faintest highest trill of a cat voice. “FOOD! FOOD! I put the trap under the table where I usually put her food. She backed away, but I talked to her a little, and set the tuna inside the cage.
The skinny cat had come to love the dry food, but tuna was something new and wonderful. Step by cautious, step she entered the cage, and approached the tuna, but she wasn’t even heavy enough to trip the latch. I was barely fast enough to trip it myself.
We had food, water, a box of rags to nest in, and a box of dirt for litter, waiting in the garage. I set the trap down by the food & water, and opened it. The little beast was terrified, huddled in the corner of the cage, and hissing at me. I left the light on, locked the garage door, and crawled back into my own den to spend another night sitting on the futon, sweating out the fever.
The skinny cat found her food and water, and a small niche to hide in nearby under a shelf, and behind some boxes. She wouldn’t get near me, but I sat and talked to her in her hiding place a couple times a day when I brought food.
When the flu loosened its grip on me I once again put tuna in the Hav-a-hart trap and set it near Skinnycat’s nest.
Mary and I took the little beast to a vet, where they spayed her, and nicked her ear so animal control would not pick her up. We brought her back, and after she’d healed up, I propped the garage door open, so she could finally escape and return to her feral life.
But the little cat didn’t leave. She had claimed the garage for her home. I’d go in there, and she’d be sitting up on a box. I could get very close to her now, but she still wouldn’t let me touch her. She cautiously approached the other two cats.
I bought kitty treats. The little cat loved them. I put them out in a line, and she nibbled one, and another until she was very, very close. I put my hand out as slowly as I could, and for the first time I got to pet the beast.
Then things happened fast. Cat food was pretty wonderful stuff. But pets and scratches were even better. Soon enough, she climbed up into my lap. She decided that being a pet was pretty neat. She had peoples who were good to her. And she had a new best pal, Ol’ Buddy, my big loud tabby. He was tolerant, even amused by his new sidekick. We already had a cat named Skinamalink (Skinnies for short) so we called our new pet Littlecat.
Back then we used to leave a bathroom window open, so the cats could come and go as they please. The first thing I would do every morning is open the sliding door at the back, and click the handle a few times to call in the cats. It was two days before Christmas, 2018.
As always, I opened up, clicked the handle, and all three cats came bounding into the living room. They all got their morning pets and scratches, fresh water, and food. I went back into the den, turned on the computer. All too soon I got a weird feeling.
Something was wrong.
It was cold out, and the sliding door was closed. I opened up and stepped out into the yard. Ol’ Buddy, and Skinnies were both out there, but they were agitated, meowling, skittish. I called for Littlecat. Nothing. Then I saw it.
A big, muddy, very canine paw print on the back step. A little blood. Another paw print on the block wall. Goddamn coyote. My two other very beloved little pals were safe, but Littlecat was gone. Littlecat repaid us dearly for the kindness we showed her. Broke my damn heart to pieces doing it. Mary likes to think that she got away, ran off, and got lost. I want to believe that.
The bathroom window stays closed now. Buddy and Skinnies, have gotten used to curfew. But I don’t let them out in the morning until I’ve checked the yard, the street, and the local news for coyote sightings.
Comments on this entry are closed.
Here’s one for Old Possum:
The Skinamalink, the Skinamalink
He’s dark as a murmur, and mean as a skink.
He’s black as the cork in a bottle of ink.
He’s here in a sneeze, and he’s gone in a blink.
He’s quick as a whisper of, “What-do-ya’ think?”
The mystical, magical Skinamalink.
I forgot to add- The last black cat picture looks exactly like ‘ol Skinnies.
Very cool. Thanks Gerard.
I do hope Gerard will add a Cat Tale about Olive the Editor Cat– maybe about how he found her and allowed her to adopt him; or how she rode shotgun when the two of them fled Paradise during the Camp Fire; or some other tale of feline cunning or derring-do. She is a Cat, after all, and therefore worthy of Gerard’s writerly gifts.
“The Legend of Olive”
Throughout my life my cats have been my dear companions. As a child they helped me survive my crazy family, even when I was too young to understand all the conflicting feelings and pain my narcissistic family caused me. As a young adult, one cat was my emotional barometer. She always found me when I was sick or dealing with some major crisis, and never left my side until I was ok. It was like there was a psychic connection between us. She and other cats helped me raise my babies, running to find me the minute one of them started to wake up in their crib when I was buried downstairs in the laundry room with the never ending laundry pile. Another furry friend helped me survive the teeanage years with my two girls. Oh the talks we had together, and he would roll his eyes in commiseration! If cats could drink liquor, he would have lifted a glass with me. Now in my later years, my kitties and a bun, have shown me the dignity, grace, and beauty of aging, and how to say goodbye to dear friends. My cats have been dear friends, companions, and family to me. They are angels sent from Heaven to walk beside me for a little while until we meet again someday.
I’m not a cat person but there are usually a lynx or two around my property, we tend to go about our business carefully ignoring each other.
Gerard’s comment section can no longer contain the phenomenon that is you. You should start your own blog
I can’t remember the comedian’s name, but he said something hilariously profound
He said that all parents who are raising a young son should buy him a cat for a pet, because the way a cat will treat him will prepare the boy for how to deal with women later in life.