Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Of Kittehz and More Kittehz

In July 2006, the last of our long time kitties left this world. His name was Elvis and he was fabulous. I got Elvis and his "sister" Gwenevere from a friend back in 1989. They were tiny balls of fur, each easily fitting into the palm of a hand. Elvis, the gray spaz and Gwenny, the orange and white needy dainty. Months later, the vet would inform me that Gwenevere was a boy. But "she" was dainty and girly and Gwenny stuck.

In Sept 1991, just days after being assaulted by some psycho just feet from my apartment, I found a tiny black kitten. I hung signs and they were torn down. I hung signs again and they were torn down again. Someone didn't want this kitten found. So I kept him. Or The Ex (my then boyfriend) took him. He became Taliesen or Tally or TallyMan. He was energetic, sphinxy, and played tag with me. He could leap from a sitting position to the top of a door. And he adored our friend Al...the one most allergic. Oh yes...he also loved to dig up house plants and art installations of The Ex's roommates.

In Nov 1991, a coworker told me about her friend who had 4 kittens that needed homes or her husband would take them and drown them. The next day I had a carrier with 4 kittens under my desk at work. I brought them home. Ilsa went to wonderful friends. Chiquita went to other wonderful friends. My roommate Darcy took Picard, the longest haired white kitty I've ever known. And The Ex took Wednesday, Chiquita's twin sister.

Eventually, The Ex and I ended up with my Elvis & Gwenny, his Tally & Wednesday, and Darcy's Picard (or Picky). BigBro joined our family in 2000. He came home just under 7 lbs...smaller than even Wednesday (or Winky), our smallest cat at 9lbs. We joked that he was the 6th cat.

Picky was completely intolerant of sudden or loud noises. When the Bruins scored, The Ex yelled, "YES!!" and Picky would bolt from the room. When BigBro had colic? Picky was the only kitty that stayed in his room while he cried.

We let a growing BigBro work out territory issues and whether pounding your fat toddler hand on their scratching post was ok with the kitties. It only took one good whack on the hand from a kitty paw to answer that 2nd issue. They all shared the space. And the kibble...

In Sept 2001, Picard died from a heart attack related to a thyroid problem. He went to sleep and never woke up.

Two months before Lil'Bro was born in 2003, Gwenny went in for surgery to unblock a liver bile duct. I got a call from the OR. She was riddled with cancer and putting her back together would not give her a comfortable life. We let her go on the table at the age of 14.

Lil'Bro was born into a three kitty household. He took the lead from BigBro and treated the kitties well from the get go. There may have been one tail pulling but the kitties let him know how they felt about that and it wasn't repeated.

In 2005, we were preparing for our move from Boston to Texas. Tally and Winky weren't doing well. The vet was pretty sure they had cancer and warned us they might not survive the trip. Three weeks before the move, Tally became lethargic and rarely ate. The vet confirmed he would not be long in this world. So I held him while they put him to sleep.

A week later, Winky became unresponsive. Her eyes were open and she could hear us but she just didn't have it in her to respond. I drove her in and held her as they put her to sleep.

In Sept 2005, The Ex and I took a 5 yr old, a 21 month old, Elvis in a carrier and our bags on a plane from Boston to Dallas. Kids and cat were awesome on the plane, by the way.

Elvis went from a tuna can two bedroom apartment to a four bedroom two story carpeted house. He spent his day moving from sunspot to sunspot. He was pretty sure it was heaven. He loved it and so did we.

In the summer of 2006, Elvis started looking rough. He threw up often and began peeing in odd spots. He lost weight rapidly. I would take him to the vet. They would give him fluids and a few other shots. He would rally for a week or two and go back to the sick. After doing this a couple of months, my vet said, "Look, I can keep reviving him and sending him home. But he will be back again. This isn't a good life for him." So once again, I held my best friend as they put him to sleep. I cried for every single kitty. But this...I sat in their parking lot sobbing for what felt like hours. Elvis was my special kitty.

After 17 years of owning kitties, I was done for a looooong while.

Until this past Halloween. I had been browsing our local shelter site for months. I kept eyeing this one gorgeous black kitten not being adopted. His name was Starbucks because he was found abandoned in a Starbucks parking lot. I drink, breathe and snort Starbucks coffee so I kept joking I should get him. Then he disappeared from their site and I thought, oh good! He got a home!

A few weeks later, he was back, a little bigger and his description said an eye infection had left him partially blind in one eye. By now the boys had seen his picture and we kept talking about whether we should get a cat soon. I told them if Starbucks wasn't adopted by Christmas, we'd get him. Just before Halloween, he was moved to a big chain pet store right across the street! Well, we HAD to go see him! I decided to go check out Starbucks and another black kitty named Twix.

We got there and Starbucks was even more gorgeous than his pictures showed. He wanted nothing to do with being held. Most of his little 8 months had been spent in a cage and being handled for medical procedures. We were warned he won't want to be held.

Twix had been adopted the previous day so we looked at all of the other kitties for a companion. I wanted another black kitty because they have trouble adopting black cats. People really are still very superstitious about them! But one kitten there caught our eye. A gray and white long haired kitty. He was nonplused with all the goings on. The other cats showed off and played. He just remained curled up in his open cage. He'd look at you Iike, "Oh...hey...sup?" This was the most chill kitten I had ever met.

A couple of days before Halloween, our family brought home Starbucks and Dunkin (as in Donuts).

As I type this on my iPad in bed, the skittish Starbucks is laying next to my left arm with his head and one paw on my shoulder. The only reason he isn't laying across my chest and neck is because I won't let him while I'm typing! He lets us hold him for long periods of time. He follows me around and loves The Ex and both boys. He often cuddles curled up with Lil'Bro.

Dunkin is around somewhere. That most mellow kitty ever? He's the instigator. He is usually the alpha cat. And he went from small adolescent kitten to big huge kitty over these past weeks. He is extremely demanding of our time and attention. He reminds me of Elvis because he has soft bunny fur like Elvis did. He reminds me of Picky because they both fuss at you verbally if they want attention. He often follows one of us around just yelling at us. "Why aren't you picking me UP?!"

Dunkin just turned one in February. Starbucks will be one in April.

I will try to find pictures to add. But I may just post this.

1 comment:

Sarakastic said...

What lucky cats to have you around!