Monday, April 18, 2011

Gray Cat Obsession?

Why do I have two gray cats? No, I didn’t set out to have a matched set. No, that’s not the only kind of cat I like. No, I’m not color blind. No, I’m not obsessed... mostly.

My first kitty was a tiger. I got her for improving my grades in the second grade. My parents said I should pick out a boy kitten from a litter their friends parents had. We visited and I got to play with the litter on the porch. When my parents were ready to leave they asked if the kitten in my lap was the one I chose. I was pretty sure someone had said that this one was a girl, but I said, yes, this was my kitty and I named ‘him’ Morris. After Morris’s first trip to the vet my mother said that I should rename him because he was a she. So I said how about Maurice. My mom said that was basically the same name so I decided to think about it. Before I came up with a new name, she became known forever more as "Momma Cat."

She presented us with three little bundles of joy every spring, and the occasional fall, for the next 10 years or so. Most of those babies were also tigers/tabbies. Black tigers. Grey tigers. Orange tigers, which were at least different! But tigers. Occasionally there would be something else. We had a few black and white tuxedo kitties. One dilute torbie, who was a terrible mother and always let her mother, my Momma cat, nurse and care for her babies for the most part. We had a couple white with tiger patches, and one solid black. I always liked the odd balls best because they were different.

One year, the set of three consisted of a dark tabby/tiger, a black and white tuxedo, and the prettiest, fluffiest solid gray kitty! Oh she was the sweetest thing! I wanted to keep her. We usually tried to find homes for the kitties, especially the girls so we didn’t become over run. The most we had at one time was 17. That’s when Maria, the dilute torbie, went for a ride with my parents, who handed her to a group of kids on a corner, asking if they wanted a kitty... I understand their desperation.. But I was freaked out.

Anyway, so we had this set of kitties, and I wanted to keep the grey, but as she grew and they started weaning and eating a problem arose. At that time my parents didn’t buy cat food, they bought puppy chow. I think it was cheaper and as I said, we had a lot of cats. The little gray kitty had issues with the puppy chow, it would get stuck on the roof of her mouth between her teeth and she would go nuts trying to get it unstuck. Her mouth was narrower than the other kittens and even though I would try to break some pieces up for her, she would still eat the larger pieces too.

My gramma wanted a kitty at this time as the previous kitty we’d given her, who was indoor and outdoor, had run away the year before. All of our kitties were indoor and outdoor, or mostly outdoor with garage privileges in the winter. We took this litter of three to my gramma’s and I kept telling her how wonderful the gray one was, how it was the nicest and sweetest and she wouldn’t cause her any problems! I knew gramma would get her real cat food and she wouldn’t have any more puppy chow issues there. It worked, because that’s the kitty she took. Not caring for Foggy, which was the name I gave her, she renamed her Misty, Miss Misty Fog. And she lived there happily, fixed, all indoors, for over 15 years.

I got to visit her of course, but she hated everyone except my gramma, and my grampa. My uncle called her Slash LaRue because she would rather smack you than look at you.

Her sister, the tiger, went to my great gramma, and was given the name Trixie because she loved to climb the curtains. The Tuxedo became my best buddy for many years and went by the name Sausage or Specks depending on if you asked me or my dad, who also loved him.

So a few years later, Momma Cat once again graced us with a gray kitten. I was keeping her! But my sister wanted her and she was about to move out with her boyfriend/fiancé. He had a siamese named Asti Spumante, (after the wine), and my sister wanted the gray kitten and called her Champaign Bubbles. So ok ok, I gave her up.. Unfortunately, she never made it away from our house.. She got a cold, and slept a lot, and one place she found to sleep was on top of a tire on my sisters car. I won’t go into the horror of what happened next.

When I moved out, in with a friend who had a grey tiger named Sadie, I took along Sheldon, a very fluffy white with the dark tiger patches, and Evenrude, a solid black kitty. Sadie was not fixed, neither were my boys yet, so the inevitable happened. My friend didn’t want to keep her kitty in that condition, so I took her rather than see her turned out. In the mean time, Greg and I got married. When the bid day (for Sadie) arrived, one of her kittens was a solid grey! Now this one would be mine, right!! I had a home for the other two, so it was going to be perfect.

Evenrude did not like being an all indoor kitty and did not care for all the other kitties, so we found him a home with a friend. Sadie would become my nephew’s kitty in a few years, so I would have Sheldon and the grey. That was the plan anyway.. Until some neighborhood kids knocked at the door and said that they’d been chasing a black kitten and it was under my truck now and could they open the hood and get it out. Finding out that it was not their kitten, I told them no. I got my brother in law to open the hood of the truck and I grabbed the tiny thing, and it flipped out! It bit my thumb so hard I had to let it go. We couldn’t catch it again so my brother in law left and I kept an eye out until my husband came home.

Greg enticed the kitty out from under our cars, (we had many), with a dish of food. It must have been starving! Greg was wearing welding gloves because by that time my thumb was swollen up twice it’s size. Little as it was this kitten was a fighter! We locked it in the bathroom for the time being. Long story short, it did not have any sickness, rabies, or distemper. For a week all we really saw of it was a little black butt racing behind the toilet. It was so frightened that it wanted nothing to do with us. I would sit on the floor and try to get it to come to me, so I could at least see if it was a boy or a girl! But nothing. So after we knew it was healthy, I sat on the floor and opened the door and let Sadie’s kittens come see what was in there.
The tiger kitten my mother in law named Hobbes walked straight in, no hesitation. And out from behind the toilet, tail straight up, came the little black baby! He was tinier than our kittens, and ours weren’t weaned! These two became fast friends, and happily, Sadie adopted him and he was able to nurse until they were all fully weaned together.

But this new buddy relationship caused me a problem.. Hobbes was due to go to his new home with the other tiger sister and the gray was the kitten staying.. Could I break up this duo? No... I didn’t have the heart to do that. So the woman who was taking the two tigers was thrilled that she was getting the extra fluffy gray and the pretty tiger. Another gray kitty slipped through my paws.. Er.. Hands.

Oh, and to top it off, Calvin, which we named the black kitten, and Hobbes wound up not being buddies before a year was out! Calvin became inseparable from Sheldon, one of the original 2. Hobbes, poor thing, could not stand anyone else getting attention. If someone was petting him, and another kitty was getting pet by someone else, he would run over and shove his way between. Then he’d see the person who had been petting him and oh! must have pets from them too! So he’d run back. He was making him self crazy trying to get all the pets! We decided that he would be calmer and happier as an only cat, so I found him a home with a family with two youngish kids. He thrived! As an only cat, all pets were his pets! And they adored him!
Fast forward several years and I had Calvin, Kikken (a very fat calico) and Nikita (a seal point Himalayan). But no gray kitty.. Perhaps I am not meant to have a gray kitty..

Then one day there I am, in my usual parking spot on the street, waiting to pick my nieces up from school, and I glance over at the house I’m sitting next to. There had been a free kitten sign in the front yard for a while, but it was gone now. Sitting on that front porch was a little gray kitty. It was sitting up properly, looking straight ahead, not to the right or left (where I was) and it was meowing. I could see it’s mouth moving every few seconds. Meow. .... Meow .... Meow .... over and over. And I thought, ooo that must be one of the kittens they were giving away! Ok, so it looks half grown now, but it’s still a gray kitten, right!
I started praying that if it was to be my kitty, that it would work out. Then I asked Greg what he thought. You see, he thought with our small house, that three cats was all we should have. But he also knew how much I wanted a gray kitty! So he said if they were giving it away, I could have it!

But they were never home... We checked every day for a while, no one was ever there and I never saw the kitty on the porch again. Sigh, no gray kitty for me... Weeks go by, and one day my nephew was in the car with me as I saw waiting for the twins. I asked him to, just for fun, to see if anyone was home. And they were!! Did they still have the gray kitty? They did! But she wasn’t one of the kittens, she was one of the momma’s! That little thing? Yup, petite little Star, named by their little girls, was a full grown, two year old mommy cat.

And she was mine! They were moving, divorcing, and all kitties needed new homes. So we walked out with a gray kitty! And she hid under the couch for three days.. Until I got my hands on her again and put her in the cat room where I made friends with her by visiting several times a day. Then she came out and told the rest of kitties, all much much older than her, that she was going to be the top cat now!

She was ‘my’ kitty for several years, but slowly, her allegiance transferred to Greg.. She is now fully his cat. I’m only a poor substitute when he’s not around. So, there I was, once again, gray-cat-less...

UNTIL NOW!!!! Leo’s my baby and I’m his adoring slave. We belong to each other, my heart kitty and me!

I finally got that video off my nieces phone!
So here's Leo being slightly klutzy, or just silly! (please ignore the remnants of dinner on the table..)

Here are a few pictures of Star.

One of Star's favorite sleeping places is a bean bag chair in my closet.

The Kong Kickaroo is one of the best toys around!

The ring with the ball in it... took her ages to actually touch the ball.
She still sits in it more than plays with it.
It's like a bottomless kitty bed?

Even upside down, she's beautiful!

Star loves the pillows around here too!
That fuzzy bit on her belly.. that's her tail.

Sorry the pictures are not the greatest quality, they are from my phone, not the camera and it doesn't have the best camera in it.

1 comment:

love-from-alaska said...

guess what my vidio made it up!! woot....

i love Mr.Leo and Mrs.Star...just wish they would love me...maybe ill bring home a puppy in october