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Animal House - My Life With Cats

Updated on October 9, 2017
Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie shares her stories and knowledge of animals in her life. Is it their spirits that live on or simply all the memories of them?

I have had cats and dogs through my life and for the most part, they chose me. More cats than dogs chose me so I will write about those first.

Source

Pee Wee

Even though my brother had a dog since he was a baby and it was well older than me, the family had never had a cat. So Pee Wee was our first cat and she was mine! I loved her so much and since we always lived in the country I never had to worry about any messes and Pee Wee ate what we ate. We loved each other so much and we were always together when I was home from school. She was black with some white on her with beautiful blue eyes. She went to no one but me and so it was known she was mine. Pee Wee did not live to adulthood though and as short lived as our relationship was I have never forgotten my first little kitty. A visiting cousin carried her around squeezing her around the middle and although I finally got her away and hid upstairs in the attic, by the next morning she was dead.

I buried Pee Wee and Mom helped me make a cross with her name. I made my mind up that no matter who got mad about what I would never let something like this ever happen again. I was her mother and I let her down.

Source

Miss Kitty

This cat was first of the many white cats named Miss Kitty that I had. I had her about two years when we concluded she was not ever going to have kittens. Then one morning out of the blue I woke up to find her in a drawer by my bed with one white kitten. We kept waiting for more but there were no more. It was the only kitten she ever had.

She went hunting every day but one day she did not come home and then another came and went. We were sure something bad had happened to her. The next day we found out something bad had happened. Apparently she had stepped in a trap of hunters that lived near us, cutting off part of her foot. She had been hit in the head cracking her skull and showing her brain.

She was half dead and acting really wild too, hissing and not letting anyone touch her. My mother wanted to put her out of her misery as I had seen her do once in my life before to something suffering and dying. I did understand those things and I had never even heard of a veterinarian. If I had, it would not have mattered. There were seven children and barely enough for them. I screamed and cried and begged my mother to let me try to help her.

Though she worried the cat may hurt me she allowed me to try and if everyone else but me got out of her sight she would calm down. I wrapped her in a blanket and dabbed peroxide on her head and paw. She would hiss and screech at me if it hurt but she never threatened to bite me. I put water by her bed and finally she would drink a little. After many days her head and foot started to heal and she was eating again. She never became friends with my family again. She made my mother really mad hissing at her when she had always been kind to her too but that was the way it was.

After more than a year of this I came home one day to a tale that someone had stolen her. Of course I knew that was not true but what could I do? My mom had to spend the days with her while I was gone to school and she had apparently taken all she could. I am sure she did not hurt her and in all the years afterward I never asked what she really did with her. I am guessing and hoping she and my dad took her to my uncle's farm just a few miles away and let her go. Hopefully he knew and looked out for her.

White Cat Phase


I didn't have anymore cats until I had children and lived back in the country again so they could run free. I was never one for litter boxes or cats in the kitchen and it worked out pretty well for me. They were allowed a daily nap in the house, even on my bed sometimes. Was it because of Miss Kitty that the next three cats I had were white and called Miss Kitty?

I never really thought about it but before but it does seem it could have been. These cats were almost identical, solid white with just a wisp of a dark spot on their heads. Having read that white cats are weaker somehow I wonder if it explains my first four white cats.The first one that was caught in a trap only had one kitten and these three had not one.They also did not live long years.

Source

Millie

I somehow ended up with a blue-grey cat and she was so very sweet. We were moving to South Carolina on some missionary work you might call it, not to live there even a year but I had to have my kitty. She gave my husband and father-in-law a time and many scratches but they got her to me. She loved the new house, inside and out and made herself right at home. I usually had one chair I would allow cats in that had a spread not to get hairs on everyone but this cat had a love for my afghans. She somehow knew not to stick her claws in them so she would just kneed them with the balls of her feet. She would watch me every minute as if to say, I love this, is this OK? I would tell her yes, as long as she kept those claws in. She would finally find the perfect place on one and sleep for hours.

When we moved back home we found a farm with fourteen acres and a huge two-story house. It took us about two years to discover that the rocky field beside us was a haven for copperheads. Twice we found a dead dog in our long drive that separated us from that field. One was as big as a pony and neither had blood or signs of being hit by a car. The mystery was solved when at least two of my own animals came home barely breathing and died within minutes.

Sadly Millie was one of those.


Lily

Visiting my sister-in-law I was told her neighbor had a couple of kittens to give away. They were white and one had different colored eyes. I could not wait to see them and I dearly loved the one with two colored eyes and unlike the other it had long fur that was so beautiful. As it turned out though this was a male cat and I just always had female animals. (Long story shortened my mom always had tom cats that were so mean!)

The other was sweet too and I did want her but I was getting ready to move out of state to work. It would be so hard to take a kitten now. My sister-in-law had the idea that maybe my mom would keep her for me, but I knew that was no good. No one wants to get attached to an animal and give it up. I decided to let her melt my mom's heart and just enjoy her from there.

It worked but that cat was always mine. Although she live almost twenty years (minus a few months) and only about half of them with me, no one could ever win her over and above me. If I was around she was mine!

When I would show up at my mom's she would hear the car apparently and meet me at the gate! Even if as one time it was nearly a year! My baby brother tried his best to win her over but admitted defeat when he witnessed that.

When my mom got Alzheimer's, she and Lily came to live with me. Lily was right at home even in a new state. There were woods all around and she hunted and roamed as always. She came up missing for several days and I so feared she was dead until she came home one day almost unrecognizable. Her fur was black and greasy looking and she could barely crawl or even drink.

I gave her a few hours to feel calmed and start drinking and took her to the vet. He said she had some sort of allergy which I never bought. I think someone tried to kill her somehow or she got in poison in someone's barn. Whatever it was, she did always have some problem that eye drops helped her so much with. She let me use the eye drops on her with no fuss almost every day.

Many more years were to come to her and her roaming never stopped. She was a happy and fulfilled cat right up to the end. I could tell her time was short and I just allowed nature to take its course. One day she never came home again. I hope she went in her sleep. I would not have had her in a vets office being put to sleep. She lived with dignity and died with it. She was just weeks from being twenty years old.

Cat Lovers

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Not Sophie's Choice

I have had a few cats since Lily and some good and bad experiences. I had a beautiful cat named Sophie, that Theresa (Faithreaper@HubPages) named for me. It was the perfect name for her. I knew as soon as I heard it.

I had her sister too from just a tiny kitten I had to spoon feed for weeks. Her name was Sally Ann. She was so sweet and she and Sophie dearly loved each other and you would have thought she was Sophie's baby. She would groom and cuddle her every time they took a nap.

Sally Ann had problems though from being the runt I assume. I knew I just could not handle her with all that was going on with me at the time. She was the only cat I had ever owned that would have to be kept in the house her whole lifetime because she was not smart enough to not take a nap in the highway. So I gave her to an older lady who appreciated her having all her shots and being fixed. All her cats were house cats so Sally would be happy, and safe.

Sophie was stolen three times by a neighbor who wanted her and did not get back the third time although I had a chip put in her. It has been over a year now but I have not forgotten or given up. I know she could live to be twenty which would give us many good years together.

We never give up on the ones we love, do we? Not even our pets.

Sophie and Sally Ann

Sophie and Sally Ann as kittens, checking out the chickens.
Sophie and Sally Ann as kittens, checking out the chickens. | Source

© 2017 Jackie Lynnley

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  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

    That is very kind of you to say Dora. Thank you.

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    Dora Weithers 2 months ago from The Caribbean

    What heartfelt stories! Even non-animal lovers will find them appealing. They show your kindness and sweet attitude, in general and to the cats.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

    I love dogs too, Bill. I think they are more loving in a human sort of way. I have not been lucky enough to have a dog a long time but I have very much enjoyed the time I have had with them and the ones my mom had when I was a kid.

    I will probably write about those too! Some funny stories.

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    Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

    I hope so too, Rasma for your sake and with the better ways we can care for them today, he probably will. My Lily got lots of exercise I believe is what gave her long life. I don't think she ever had an ounce of fat on her.

    She has been gone about five years now and I still think of her so often!

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    William Kovacic 2 months ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

    We have four cats and one dog. I personally like the dog better, but my wife loves her cats. For sure, dogs are more work and need more care.

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    Gypsy Rose Lee 2 months ago from Riga, Latvia

    Such wonderful memories. I am definitely a cat person. My first kitten was a male I named Napoleon and as a general one day just after he became one year old he marched into battle I suppose and never returned. Determined to have another cat I found one in a garden of a friend. She was named Cha-Cha and she live with me and my husband for 12 lovely years. I wish it had been longer but she had a respiratory ailment. Then we adopted Sid who is now 12. I am hoping he will be with me for many more years now that I have lost my husband. Without him it would be even lonelier and I have someone to look out for.

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    Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Love your wit Paula!

    I am without one at this time too, waiting for the right time. Hopefully by spring. I think I will have two, they entertain each other and are so much fun to watch. Even cats deserve a friend...or a sister.

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    Paula 2 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Jackie....I too, am an avid cat lover. I have always managed to have at least one, often 2 at the same time, as well as 1 or 2 dogs. What I find most fascinating about cats is their uncanny individual personalities. Never are 2 cats the same in behavior. They each have their own unique ways about them.

    Right now I don't have a kitty-cat, but I actually feel that weird empty space within, that yearns to have one. I'm waiting for the precise time when I can give it my undivided attention. There's a kitty rescue not too far from me & soon I am making a visit. Problem with me is, I will take forever to make my choice of all that are available. If it wasn't a totally crazy idea, I'd take them ALL home!

    It sounds as though you really had quite a way with bonding with your cats. It's obvious they all felt your love and wanted to return it. This is an adorable article. Meow, Paula

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    Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Great to see you Martie and thanks! Yes, there is always sadness because we do outlive them and many times things do go wrong but I would not give up those memories of the good I had with them.

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    Martie Coetser 2 months ago from South Africa

    I love cats, but because they die on me, leaving me with sadness I can hardly bear, I have decided to never have one again. If the need to cuddle one overwhelms me, I cuddle my granddaughter's cat. Thanks for sharing your memories! Some of them reminded me of my own.

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    Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

    I understand that Lori. Everyone is not a cat person but it sounds like you could be with the right cat. I think it is important to get them as kittens too.

    I don't like a cat that is not a mouser either. They need to earn their keep! That purring to me is better than a nerve pill! hahaha

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    Lori Colbo 2 months ago from Pacific Northwest

    I loved hearing about all your kitties. I'm not a cat person. I'm a dog lover through and through. Cats can be quite cute, even beautiful but I don't like their aloofness and their tendency to be anti social. And I can't say I'm crazy about overly affectionate cats. The purring drives me batty. There have been exceptions, but I love to hear other's stories.

    My ex husband and I got a cat somewhere for our family. We called him Mealy Mouth. He was black and white and never stopped meowing. It drove us batty. We had a serious mouse problem, never once did he kill one, just batted them around as toys. One cute thing he did was dig down in the snow and make tunnels then pop up high out of the snow with ecstacy. Don't know what ever happened to him.

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    Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you Linda, they do melt my heart and so easy to love.

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    Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Kari, I hope they have all loved me as much as I loved them. Actually I think my last one may have preferred my husband who is only recently a cat lover himself!

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    Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you Terrie. All my cats have been inside outside but if I have my way in a few months I will probably have barn cats...and dogs! Great to have an outside place where they can get shelter and just enjoy life!

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    Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Thank you Bill, what a great compliment!

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    Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

    Yes, Louise, I agree two are better when we can. Everything deserves a playmate.

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    Linda Lum 2 months ago from Washington State, USA

    Jackie - Thank you for sharing your kitty-tales. Each and every furry pal who has crossed your path was indeed fortunate. It's obvious how much you love them.

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    Kari Poulsen 2 months ago from Ohio

    I enjoyed reading about your cats. It seems you really have a way with them. :)

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    Terrie Lynn 2 months ago from Canada

    I love all your cats. right now we have 3 they are barn cats, all of them are so different from each other. I love to see all their different quirks. Thank you for sharing yours.

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    Bill Holland 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

    I love animal people...let me change that...I love animal lovers. You can tell a great deal about a person by watching them with their pets. I have no doubt you are a quality human being. I don't even have to watch you in action to know that. :)

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    Louise Powles 2 months ago from Norfolk, England

    Cats are certainly beautiful creatures. I'd love a cat, but I have a dog at the moment and don't think he would appreciate it! I will definitely consider getting 1, or perhaps 2, in the future though.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image
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    Jackie Lynnley 2 months ago from The Beautiful South

    We could probably fill a book huh? I am without a cat now and I miss having one so much! They are so comforting.

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    shanmarie 2 months ago

    Sounds like you and I could trade cat stories for hours! I've had them my entire life and miss the sound of a cat's purr when they are not around. They have very distinctive, often quirky personalities.