Animal House - My Life With Cats
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Are you a cat lover?
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
© 2017 Jackie Lynnley