Our (Rotten) Cats
Hobbies and Activities
Cats seem to take up a lot of our time, even if we only
have one at a time, so it is only |
fitting that they have their own page. I'll tell you about the cats we've had since we got
married, and some (perhaps) interesting things about each.
Yes, that was her name... I'm not sure how she ended up with that name. She showed up at a friends house one day (long, long ago) as a rather wild stray. It turns out that she had kittens that were just being weaned. We adopted her and she tamed down rather quickly. Titty was all black short hair; not hardly a bit of white, just a shiny black coat. She was probably about a year old when we got her and had a good life chasing bugs and small rodents around our houses (we went through 4 houses while we had her.) One day we just found her curled up under a bed, lifeless...
DC (short for Darned Cat) was a character. He was a "neighborhood stray" who was mostly tamed, but still very much a true "Tom Cat". After Titty left us, we pretty well adopted DC full time. He was good sized, probably 11 or 12 pounds and was white with large black spots. We had him neutered but apparently, based on later events, it was not entirely "sucessful" (the vet said this sometimes happens). Like a typical male Tom, he would disappear for a couple of days at a time and come home with ears torn and scratches. He was a friendly cat and was gentle with our boys, but not so friendly toward other male cats. He liked to frequent a horse barn a few hundred yards away where there were several other cats, male and female. One time he went away and we never saw him again. We suspect he was visiting at the barn and got into a little too much trouble.
(As in "Marco Polo": he liked to explore everywhere as a kitten.) A couple of months after DC did not return, we decided it was time for another cat, and we heard there was a litter of kittens at adoption age at the barn. Marco was the first one to come running out from under the building where the litter was, so he was chosen. Marco's mother was ginger colored and Marco was white with ginger spots, in a pattern very similar to DC's. We suspect that Marco was the result of DC's last fling. With a little food and lots of love, Marco grew into a good sized cat, about 12 pounds. He was truly the boss of our yard; if any other cat, or even a dog came into the yard, Marco would chase it off. He actually attacked several good sized dogs that got too close. One day a dog, a Lab, I believe, got curious about this cat that didn't run from it and came up too close. Marco jumped and landed upside down, hanging onto the dog's belly with his claws sunk in. The dog took off and as he got close to the edge of the yard, Marco dropped off and saundered back with a "guess I showed him" look on his face. Marco also made an excellent guard for our fruit trees and berries; the squirrels and chipmunks knew what would happen to them if they did not respect Marco's territory. At about 12 years of age, Marco suddendly developed a painful and paralyzing (rear legs) blood clot that could not be cleared, so we had to have him put to sleep...
A few months without a cat (and with me taveling a lot on business and both boys now out of the house) Susan decided it was time for another cat to keep her company. Susan went through our Vet and found a litter of kittens of which one still needed a home. We picked up this small dark grey, long haired (I've never seen such long whiskers!) kitten and brought her home, telling her the whole way that she was a "good girl". When it came time to name her, I said that, rather than just calling her "good girl", we should use the initials, GG, and that just expanded to GiGi. Somehow the name ended up fitting her exactly. GiGi is almost the opposite of Marco; a relatively small, shy, and loving female. And she is now totally spoiled, demanding to be played with and loved on a regular basis, including in the middle of the night. GiGi is the first of our cats that I have digital pictures of, so I'll treat you to a few...
(Mosby, as in Major John Mosby, also known as the "Gray Ghost".)
One day, after we had GiGi for over 4 years, this large all gray male (neutered) cat strolled into the neighborhood. He was in good condition and had obviously been someone's housecat. After he unsuccessfully tried to adopt several other neighbor families, Susan gave in and we brought him home, coaxed along with a little cat food. He quickly settled right in and correctly assumed that he now had it made. We tried to find where he had come from since someone was almost definitely looking for him, but he had no tags and ads in the newspaper had no result. We had us another cat. Mosby is over 13 pounds and pretty solidly built. The local squirrels and chipmunks now have someone to fear again. Although GiGi certainly didn't like the idea of another cat in 'her' house, she is now almost adjusted to having him around. (She only hisses at him occasionally.) Although Mosby has always been a perfect gentleman to her, he certainly was not intimidated by GiGi's occasional outbursts. They each like to eat out of the other's food dish, although they eat the same food. What is really strange, is that Mosby is about the calmest, friendliest, and gentlest cat we've ever had. You might think of him as the "Gentle Giant".
In January 2011 Mosby was diagnosed with Lymphoma (a form of cancer). Despite the recommended treatment, in a couple of weeks it was clear that the medication was not working and he was suffering so we made the difficult decision to say good-by to Mosby. True to his nature, he purred to, literally, the very end.
Anyway, here is Mosby, the Gray Ghost.
It's a bit of a long story, but in mid 2010 we ended up taking "possession" of our son Lee's cat Milla. At the time, this made three cats in the house. While Milla and Mosby got along fine, GiGi was not happy! Milla calmed down a bit, become relatively friendly/lovable and become rather cute (in our eyes at least). The main problem is that she appeared to have some kind of allergy and scratched herself to the point of causing bloody raw skin areas. She went through allergy testing (mostly inconclusive) and blood tests and then started taking shots to (hopefully) desensitize her. We think one of her alergies was to fish and/or fish oil (terrible allergy for a cat) and eliminating any trace of fish oil from her diet may have helped a little, but not enough. We frequently had to put a cone around her neck/head to keep her from scratching herself. For a while Milla wore "dresses" or shirts to keep her from scratching an area on her back.
Finally the medication that Milla was getting apparently destroyed her liver and she became very anemic. The vet said the only alternative was to give her a complete blood replacement transfusion (for $1200) but since her liver was ineffective, even that would probably be a short term fix. When her red blood cell count got to the critical point, we said goodby to Milla and she joined the other cats already under stones in the back yard.