Cats, Cats, Cats!
I never set out to be a Cat Lady, it just kind of... happened. We have had a few good dogs, but I realized that dogs are like having additional kids. Cats, on the other hand, are easy. I've always dreamed of getting a really cool cat, like a savannah or Bengal cat. But with my current bunch of kitties, I couldn't ask for anything cooler!
Kitty number 1 - Angel
In 2003 my oldest daughter, Emily, died at age 26. I had promised her if anything happened to her I would take care of her cat, Angel. Emily had got her from a rescue organization as a kitten. She had pure white fur with beautiful bright blue eyes. She was 3 years old when we brought her into our home.
Angel was just that - an angel. She had been a huge comfort and joy to Emily throughout her last years. But she was a great comfort to me as well. She always seemed to sense when I was thinking about Emily. She would come from out of nowhere and climb up on my lap or lay by my side and purrrrrrr.
My youngest child at the time was 5 years old and was so excited to have a cat. Angel, on the other hand, was not so excited to have a small human around. Lots of tears were shed because Angel would not let young children have anything to do with her. (Maybe move this to Shadow and Oreo)
On one occasion we were staying in a condo and remodeling it. We had pulled out the fireplace and discovered a huge hole in the floor that went down to a bottom units fireplace. We had blocked it off so no cats would fall down it, but a few hours later, we heard a faint meow coming from the whole and noticed her blue eyes staring desperately up at us. To this day I get teased for calling the fire department to help rescue that cat, but even the fire department couldn't get her out. They did, however, continuously reaffirm me that rescuing pets was indeed part of their job in real life. (Never one like this though!)
The next morning we went into the neighbors condo and opened up the wall around her fireplace and rescued Angel. Because of all the ash and dirt, she came out a pure gray cat instead of pure white!
Angel died in my arms at almost 16 years old from cancer. I will forever miss that sweet Angel Cat.
Cats # 2 & 3 - Shadoh and Oreo
My youngest child at the time was 5 years old when we got Angel and she was so excited to have a cat. Angel, on the other hand, was not so excited to have a small human around. Lots of tears were shed because Angel would not let young children have anything to do with her.
Because of all the tears, we decided to get McKenzi a kitten that would cuddle with her. After lots of searching, we found this really sweet black kitten at a rescue shelter. However, that kitten had bonded with a black and white tuxedo kitten while they were being fostered. I did not want to separate them, so we came home with two kittens - Shadoh and Oreo! (We wanted to be unique, so we chose the Hawaiian spelling of Shadoh).
Shadoh would let McKenzi dress her up in doll clothes and was a very sweet cat. She had become McKenzi's cat… until she got a really bad eye infection. She did not like us putting medicine in her eye at all and would hide from us. After that experience, she tended to stay away from people except when someone was sad. Then she would come out and snuggle with them. This was great for the foster kids who came into our home.
Oreo was just a super fun cat. She was the greeter. Anyone who came to our home was greeted by Oreo whether they liked it or not! If she couldn’t find her people, she would meow in a certain way until someone called out to her. Then she would come running. Oreo was everyones cat.
Kitty #4 - Molly
Only a few weeks after we first brought home the kittens, Shadoh got outside and disappeared for several days. We were sure the coyotes got her. So we found the sweetest little Siamese kitten to bring home to McKenzi, whom she named Molly. About one day after bringing Molly home, to our amazement, Shadoh returned home safe and sound! So now we had four cats.
Molly was McKenzi’s cat from the very beginning. She was a perfect cat with beautiful markings. As foster children came and went these cats were invaluable. They would pick a kid who needed them and stay with them. They, by their own choosing, made themselves therapy cats.
One time molly was playing with a grocery bag when a noise startled her. As she jumped, the bags handle went around her neck. As she ran it began to make noise, so she ran faster. But wherever she ran the noise was right behind her... so she ran faster, like a jaguar. Which, of course, made the noise louder. She flew through the house knocking her cat food over like it had been hit by a bowling ball. It flew all over the kitchen. The water was knocked over, Then she knocked a plant over and ran straight into the glass door and hit it like a brick wall. The force threw her backwards several feet and stunned her, it even knocked off her break away collar! She finally was still for long enough that someone could get the bag off her neck. Up to the very day she died, Molly would take off on the run whenever she heard a plastic grocery bag. The sound petrified her.
Cat#5 - Mia (yes, there's more)
When we adopted our 10 year old foster daughter Madison, she wanted a cat she could call her own. So we rescued Mia, a long haired black main coon kitten that grew into a gigantic cat, whom we call the rug. Mia is a very sweet friendly cat with the most obnoxious sounding meow in the world. She is very vocal and does not stop being vocal until you pet her as much as she desires.
She likes to lay on your chest when you lay down. Unfortunately, she is so heavy she can’t stay there for long because it feels like an elephant is sitting on you. She tolerates a lot when little kids are around though and makes a nice pillow. Although no one likes it when she lays on them, she's invaluable when it comes to our grandchildren.
Kitty #6 - Mango
A neighbor was rebuilding a deck when he found this tiny newborn kitten that had been abandoned. He knew we had the 5 cats so he brought her to us saying, Here, you will know what to do with this! She was a little orange and white ball of fur, probably only 7 or 8 days old.. We bottle fed her, potty trained her and taught her how to groom herself.
Our intention was to give her to my college aged son Kyle when she was old enough to be given a new home. It turned out his roommate was allergic so he could not take her. By then we had fallen in love with this little kitten and could not send her to a different home. So our family now had 3 daughters and 6 cats.
We named the cat Mango. She has two personalities - one is an angel the other is a devil. With her, we learned that you simply can't love the feral out of a kitten! She is also an alarm clock. Every morning she comes in and taps me on the nose until I wake up and pet her. She loves sitting in things. Hiding under the bed and attacking feet that go by and climbing onto your shoulder.
You can’t spontaneously pet Mango. It has to be her decision. When she wants to be petted she will not leave you alone until you comply. If she does not want to be petted she quickly runs away from you or attacks. When we first got her we had set up a habitat for her in the bathtub. To this day, every time you step your foot in a bathroom, no matter where she is in the house, she will come running to get all her loves out!
This last year was a hard year on our cat loving hearts. Oreo, Shadoh and Molly all died within a few weeks of each other. We had them between 14 and 15 years. I miss coming in to my bedroom and seeing 6 cats laying on my bed. I miss their individual personalities. Their purrs, soft fur, companionship. Mango took over Oreos roll as greeter, but she will only greet family.
We now have 4 cats. We still have Mia and Mango. McKenzi figured I was lonely going from six to two cats so fast, so she surprised me with two adorable white sister kittens. One has blue eyes, just like Angel, and the other has green eyes to make her unique. They are growing into their own sweet personalities. Neither of them has an ounce of gracefulness in them, though! They sound like a herd of elephants when running down the hall and they knock everything over in their path. But they are snuggly and sweet and growing quickly. We named them Gabi, for the Angel Gabriel, and Luci Furr, for obvious reasons!
Who needs Savannah's or Bangles when the really cool cats, the perfect cats, are rescues?!