Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's Wednesday, and I want to talk about cats today!

I've mentioned several times, in several different places, how much I love cats. Veering from my normal "Mommy Blog" entries, I thought I'd take a few minutes to tell you about my three favorite cats that I've known over the years. Gypsy (a.k.a. "Little Man") Little Man was the cat I grew up with in West Hartford, CT. He was your standard, grey/black/brown striped Tom Cat with an "M" on his forehead, and absolutely the sweetest cat I knew. I remember my grandmother (Tennie) used to have this pinkish-salmon-colored velour bathrobe that zipped completely up the front. She called it her "house coat." Whenever she wore it, Little Man would get in her lap, kneed like crazy, and would sometimes put his little front feet up on her shoulders and kiss her chin. I think he liked the bathrobe more than he liked her, though. I was really young at this point, and don't remember too much about him, but I remember this: When he got old and arthritic, he couldn't jump from the floor to the counter in the kitchen where we kept his cat food and water dishes. (Up off the floor so the dog couldn't get them, and right next to the fish-tank!) When he needed to get up to the counter, he would jump from the kitchen floor to a chair, from the chair to the kitchen table, and then sit there and yowl until someone came to assist him in getting from table to the counter. Eventually, I figured out that if I bent over and made a bridge with my back from table to counter, he could and would walk right across my back! This became a daily thing. He also used the toilet sometimes, but we were never able to train him to flush! He was with us for 17+ years until he was, most unfortunately, hit by a car. He became asthmatic, arthritic and deaf, but he was always sweet and loving. Hector Murray Space-Shoe-Foot Rosenkranz Kitty (a.k.a. "Hector") Hector was a beautiful, big, white domestic short hair cat who was the love of my life when I lived in Mystic, CT. When I worked at the Seaport, one of the ladies there told me that her cat had just had kittens. At the time, I was feline-less, and of course asked her if she'd be willing to let me have one. She was. I remember riding in her beat up, old, once-burgundy Dodge Omni to her farmhouse somewhere in BFE CT. Once we arrived, we went into her kitchen and I was introduced to Momma Cat. I sat myself on the floor and was immediately surrounded by tiny white fuzz-balls. I waited, letting them come to me. The bravest and sweetest, but also the smallest, came over and climbed right into my lap and curled up. I'd found my furry friend. At nearly 8 weeks old, he rode with me back to my apartment, with his blue eyes wide; shaking like a leaf. If kittens could cry tears, his would have been crocodile-sized. Poor little dude. He immediately became my buddy. He did all kinds of funny things, up to and including kissing my eye lids if I blinked at him! Once, my best friend and roommate, CRJ, came home with a bag of catnip for Hector. She stored it in one of our kitchen drawers, thinking it was safe. The drawers in the kitchen had been painted so many times, they required quite a bit of effort to open and close them. This was when CRJ and I were working at Mystic Army Navy, I think. One day, we came home to find Hector had somehow managed to get the drawer open and was lying on his back, feet in the air, completely stoned - surrounded by catnip! He had chewed open the storage bag and eaten, rubbed and rolled himself into a catatonic stupor! He just looked at us lazily, upside down, and CRJ and I had a great laugh! When I moved to Virginia in early 1996 (um...try, January 1st, 1996) I had to leave him with SM and he then became her cat. I definitely regret having to leave him, but I couldn't bring him with me. He was funny and sweet and such a great, great friend. Tigger (a.k.a. Tiggy, Tiggs, Pig, Piglet...whatever comes to mind at the time) Tigger is not mine, and has never been - but he belongs to a very good friend of mine and I consider him a funny sort of way. He and I have always had a bond. He's a very lovely and large grey and white long-haired feline and I adore him, even if he is somewhat ( do I put this gently?) mentally challenged. (I know BG, Tigger's owner, will forgive me for calling her cat stupid, because I think she knows he's not quite all there!) He seems to know when I come over because after about 10 minutes or so, he'll come slinking around the corner (pushing his hockey stick paw that was injured years ago by a car) in front of him. He'll cry and then come right over to me so I can love on him for a while. Of course, I sneeze and wheeze and get itchy watery eyes, but I don't care. Tigger is my best bud (of the feline variety) and it always makes me feel good to get a fist full of his fur. His kind of Fuzz Therapy can last me weeks and weeks! And so it is, I suppose, that I am now destined to live out the remainder of my days cat-less. Unless, of course, you consider Harold (who's real name is Alex...don't ask) who is the neighborhood cat that comes to visit us occasionally. And he doesn't really count because, well, he's not ours. Tigger isn't ours either, but his family is my family so I guess he counts. TTFN JMS PS: Three other cats, Tiggy, Bob & Clyde (did I get the names right?) want to wish their Daddy a very happy birthday. They told me. They picked up the phone and had their mommy dial and then told me in their sweet little raspy kitty voices that they wanted to wish TennSwede a happy day and to remind him that they need extra treats when he gets home today.


Karrie said...

This was cute! I have had way too many animals in my lifetime that I don't think I could narrow it down to any 3,4 or 5. Its always a great thing when someone can remember at least one animal that made an impact on thier lives. These are 3 cats that you will never forget!!

Lisanne624 said...

I enjoyed the cats post! Clyde, Tiggy and Bob wanted to thank you for remembering to wish Tennswede a happy birthday. Ask him about Tomato Head's pizza! :)