The Making of a Crazy Cat Lady

Today’s guest blogger is Maybelline-

maybelline.jpg

I see things. It might look like I’m just standing around in the pasture, but I notice things – and I listen.  So, today, I’ve taken over the blog and I want to share with you the following account of just how “She” has evolved to the Crazy Cat Lady we know today.

“She” grew up with a fondness for all animals, and had never actually been without a pet, until she was married.  Early in their marriage “He” surprised her with a precious white kitten which she named Cottons.  Little did they know at the time just where that little adoptee from the local shelter would lead.

She and Cottons really had somewhat of a love/hate relationship.  Cottons was a neurotic little kitten in that sometimes she would be lovable and cuddly and at other times, she had the personality of a chainsaw.  One of her favorite tricks was to wait until deep in the night when sleep had completely taken over, then dive claws-first into an abdomen or chest from the dresser. Yeow! 

Some time later, on a visit to his paternal grandparent’s house, they fell in love with his grandfather’s cat, Silvertip.  Silvertip was a large cat with a very beautiful coat.  She looked much like a Russian Blue.  Somehow, after a few visits, and much conversation, Pa made a gift to them of Silvertip.  They took her home, introduced her to Cottons and the two kitties became good friends.  They had a happy little two-cat household, until it was discovered that “Tip” was the gift that would keep on giving.  One morning, in the bottom of a closet, she gave birth to three little kittens.  One of the babies was stillborn, but Tip was an excellent mother to the two remaining kittens.  One was pitch black and was named Boo, and the other was black and white and was named Wink, as one of her eyes opened well before the other. 

Finding homes for them was another adventure.  One happened easily enough, as his maternal grandmother took Wink, who lived to a ripe old age as an inside/outside cat.  Boo was eventually adopted by the son of a co-worker and his partner, and no kitty has ever had a better home. 

They were then back down to their little happy two-cat household.  However, the first of many future “show ups” (as in, “no clue where he came from, he just showed up”) came into thier lives.  Chebby, (so named for a Chevrolet truck “He” was restoring which a Hispanic friend called a “Chebby”), found his way to their food bowl.  As Tip and Cottons were indoor cats and “He” and “She” didn’t feel they could have another cat inside, they fed Chebby outside and visited with him as much as they could.  Tragically, Chebby was accidentally killed by a car.  This was the first step in her becoming a proponent of indoor-only cats.

A year or so later, Cottons made her escape.  Her disappearance was so sudden and so total that “She” took forever to come to grips with it.  They searched the neighborhood and even offered a reward, but Cottons was never seen again.  We hope she found a happy home and was well taken care of.

When their first house was built and was ready to be moved into, “She” decided she did not want Tip to be an indoor cat.  It was a new neighborhood, and she felt comfortable with Tip being outside.  If “She” could go back and change that decision, she would. It was a huge mistake.  They had been in their new home for several months when “She” went out to feed Silvertip and found her lifeless in the yard.  They never knew exactly what happened.

“She” later took a job at a local veterinary clinic where she was able to interact with animals all day, every day.  It was great. Then, into their lives came Garfield. 


Garfield was a “show up” at the home of one of the clients of the clinic.  He was an adult male gray tabby with personality to spare.  The clients brought him to the clinic and had anything you could have done to a cat, done to him.  They even declawed all four paws.  When he was sufficiently recovered, they took him home to meet their ancient Maltese dog, Pookie.   Pookie was terrified of Garfield and stayed under the bed for two days before the clients brought Garfield back to the clinic and asked that he be boarded until a home was found.


Garfield wasn’t going quietly.  “She” thought it was the funniest thing that when she walked by his cage, he would always reach out for her.  Eventually, “She” would take him out of his cage whenever possible and hold him, or visit with him during lunch.  “She” kept talking about him until finally “He” came by to meet Gar and saw what kind of personality he had, and they took him home.  That was one of the best things they ever did. 
Garfield remained a faithful and loving companion through good times and through the worst days of thier lives.  He of course was a strictly indoor cat, as he had no claws whatsoever.  Garfield was the first cat that really trained them to be good cat owners.

In the meantime, her niece got a fluffy little beige kitten that she named P.J.  “She” thought it was the cutest little thing, and as her sister wasn’t crazy about keeping the kitten, he came to live with “He” and “She”.  P.J. grew into the most beautiful, blue-eyed kitty with Seal-point Siamese markings.  He and Garfield became inseparable.  They were the babies of the family and were treated accordingly.

When P.J. was about 10 years old, he was diagnosed as diabetic.  They found out when he was too far along in the disease, and before he could be treated, he had a bad episode from which he did not recover.  It was hard for them to lose him as he had been such an integral part of their daily lives and was such a sweet and innocent little soul.

Within 6 months, they had moved into a new house, and one evening when “He” was returning from a visit to his mother’s house, he walked into the back door of the house and in with him came the tiniest orange tabby kitten “She” had ever seen.  Her immediate reaction was “did you bring this to me?” Of course, he hadn’t, but what could he do?  They didn’t want to take the baby to the shelter, so “He” told her she could keep him until she could find a home for him.  In the meantime, Garfield, who was quite an old man by then, became really attached to the baby they had named Jazz.  “She” did try diligently to find a home for him, but never could find a taker.  Even now, years later, “He” will sometimes ask her “have you found that cat a home, yet?”

The next kitty came to them under sad circumstances.  “He” has a  sister who had found a very frightened calico kitty on a very busy highway when she was on her way to visit his Mom.  Sister brought the kitty to his Mom’s house with the idea that everyone would try to find a home for her.  She became known as Miss Kitty, and was a sweet natured somewhat timid cat.  She was there for several months, and Mama C. was becoming attached to her when Sister returned one morning and having not found a home for the cat (so she thought), took her to a local vet’s office and asked them to find her a home.  When “He” and “She”  found out that Mama C. wasn’t particularly happy about it, they went to the vet’s office and got her back. 

Unfortunately, complications from Cancer made it impossible for Miss Kitty to stay with Mama C.  As “He” and “She” only had two cats at the time, they took her in.  Miss Kitty never really bonded with the other cats, but she tolerated them well enough and seemed happy in her new home.

The next “show up” was a little orange tabby that hung around the house and cried all the time.  “She” was hesitant to give her any attention, and hoped that she actually belonged to one of the neighbors. “She” tried to ignore her, and one day when his Dad was visiting, he took her home with him.  She was there for several weeks, but as he had dogs and lived on a busy corner, “She” didn’t feel the kitty was safe enough living outdoors, so they decided to take her in.  Dad had named her Delilah, which was shortened to Lilah (also known as Lilah Jojo Jones).  Lilah came into thier home and hearts and is a real little butterball sweetheart.

So, it was four cats they moved to their home in the country. 
Garfield, Jazz, Miss Kitty and Lilah.  Plenty of feline love for one household.  They began renovation of the house immediately and became preoccupied with all the work that entails.  Somehow, neither of them saw the signs that Miss Kitty was sick.  They finally noticed that she was very thin, and before they could get her to a veterinarian, Miss Kitty passed away.  It was so hard to lose her.  It was very emotional in a lot of ways.

They began seeing a small grey cat that resembled Silvertip hanging around outside.  She was very timid and would run when approached.  Finally, one afternoon, with the promise of food, she came up to the house and they realized she was going to have kittens.  They began feeding her regularly, and though she wasn’t crazy about it, she would eventually let herself be petted.  They named her Barny as she was a “barn cat”.  One morning when she came to eat, they saw she was skinny and followed her back to where she had given birth to a litter of six kittens.  Over the course of the next weeks, “She” had named all the kittens and began searching for homes.  Not an easy task.  When the kittens were weaned, the one “She” had named Stripe found a home with a friend of theirs.  The others were taken to an Animal Clinic with an adoption service, and all of them found good homes.  Barny was then spayed and brought inside.  An idea which she still is not completely on board with after at least five years.

 

Stripe was unable to remain at his new home due to the human’s allergies.  They, of course, took him back in and changed his name yet again to Boomerang, “Boomer” for short.  So, mother and kitten were reunited and now he is twice her size. It is hard to believe she gave birth to the big galoot.

 

Boomer also took a liking to Garfield. Garfield was always a good mentor to the younger cats that came into the household. He took Boomer in just like he had done with Jazz.

 

“He” and “She” had friends who had taken in a litter of cats for some friends of theirs to try to find homes for them.  They received e-mailed pictures and “He” couldn’t resist.  They took one of the little calico females and she became Blossom.  Blossom’s personality is a little different from any of the other cats.  She is a sweet cat, but a little neurotic in her way.  She is quite beautiful with medium length, tri-color coat.  The friends took her sister who is also calico and named her Alley.

Now their household consisted of 6 cats, Garfield, Jazz, Lilah, Barny, Boomer and Blossom.  Garfield’s health began to fail. He was 18 years old and had been overweight for most of that time.  His sweet spirit never changed though, and it was a hard decision when the time came to let him go.  There will never be another cat just like Gar.  Anyone who ever knew him would know that. 

Months later, their friend decided he could not keep Alley as she was “crazy”.  He threatened to take her to the pound, and they couldn’t let her go there, so they agreed she could come and live with them.  Alley has been no problem at all. She does not seem to be in the least bit “crazy”, and is a sweet natured kitty.

 

Our next “show up” was Flirt.  Flirt began visiting the house and was never shy.  She came to the window sills and acted as if she had lived there and had somehow gotten locked out and had been forgotten.  Outside, she was always rubbing and rolling on her back for belly pats.  Flirt would not be ignored, so of course, she was adopted.  When she was in the hospital for her spay, they got a call from the vet’s office to say there had been complications.  The staff came in to find her covered in blood.  They had to put her back under anesthesia and, after exploratory surgery, found that her spleen had ruptured during the night.  They removed her spleen and she was able to come home the next day.  Flirt has done fine.  She has grown, though she is still small, and has the most beautiful silky black/gray coat.  She is a real sweetheart and looks similar to a small Maine Coon and has a lot of their personality traits.

 

Shortly after Flirt came into our home, a gray tabby male cat began hanging around.  He was somewhat timid at first, but once they were able to pet him, he was quite affectionate.  Of course, “She” has a hang-up about cats being outside, so he was brought into the household and named Kosmo.  For the first few weeks, “She” really thought they had made a big mistake.  They had never had a male cat to spray in the house before, and boy, is that an awful thing to live with.  Kosmo did eventually stop that, but he still cries to go outside.  There hasn’t been a cat in this household that ever had such a hard time adjusting to becoming an inside cat.  Actually, most of them had no period of adjustment at all. They enjoy the good life.  But not Kosmo! He wants to roam!

 

After Kosmo came in, they began to sporadically see a yellow male cat with the biggest head you’ve ever seen.  He would only show up every now and then and would usually look as if he had been on the losing end of a fight.  Because of that, “She” started calling him Cassanova.  He was definitely a lover, not a fighter.  They tried to ignore him, as they knew they didn’t need another cat and hoped he might live nearby.  One evening, “He” went ahead and approached the kitty  and petted him and they started leaving food out for him.  Cassanova was very affectionate, but still did not show up that often.  Then, when “He” was out of town on business for two weeks, Nova showed up the first night and was there every morning and evening the whole time “He” was gone.  So, at that point, Nova adopted “He” and “She”.  They fed him regularly and on the few occasions he did not show up, they worried about him terribly.  They knew they had to take him to the vet to have him tested for feline leukemia and to have him neutered, so they finally got him in for that.  The intention was he would be an outside cat.  But, he was picked up from the vet’s office on a Saturday morning and was in the house by that afternoon.  The rest of the cats weren’t too sure about accepting him, particularly Boomer who cried and carried on like a Banshee whenever Nova was near, but Nova was unfazed. He acted like he had lived in that house all his life.  He wasn’t in the house for 20 minutes when “She” found him sprawled on the bed.  

Boomer has now adjusted to Nova and everyone gets along just fine. Occasionally there is a sibling spat between Blossom and Alley, but nothing serious.

So, that’s the story of how “She” has evolved into a certifiable Crazy Cat Lady.  Actually, though, there is one thing that separates her from a lot of other Crazy Cat Ladies of the world. She has a Crazy Cat Husband.

Mooooove Along, there’s nothing to see here –

Maybelline

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