Dear Humans…

SAM_0069

Dear Humans…

Hello WordPress peeps. Thank you for welcoming me into my Mommy’s life. 🙂 She has told me all about many of you, and she also told me I have many fans requesting photos of me as I continue to grow, and that I need to own up to my modeling contract. I don’t know what that means because I am still a baby and I just want to eat, play, sleep, bite people’s toes, and play some more.

I was surrendered to an animal shelter in the late summer months when I was born. I do not know why. Mommy says it makes her angry, but that she is glad “the idiots” at least had the foresight to bring me someplace safe where I could get proper medical care and the chance of a good home. Mommy has no patience for morons. I’ve heard her tell people off on the phone. I like to be underfoot when she’s on the phone, you just never know what you’ll hear! Mommy has one voice for me, all soft and sweet, and another voice for everyone else. Unless you’re a kitten or a baby, I recommend playing dumb, but you should also know that Mommy will see right through that.

I was put into foster care with my siblings almost as soon as I opened my eyes, which means I was taken away from my biological Mommy way too soon. Kittens need to be weaned, not thrown into shelters!

I shared a foster home with three “big cats”, a huge pitbull, and there were always lots of kittens younger, my age, or older to play with. I did very well with everyone, as I am very well socialized. I was there the longest of all my foster mother’s foster kittens because she loved me best. 🙂 She also wanted to make sure I got the very best home possible. She was strongly considering keeping me, I think, until she got a phone call inquiring about my availability.

One day “new Mommy” called “foster Mommy”, and in less than a few days, I had a new home. Imagine a tiny kittens’ shock and surprise!

On the day in question, “new Mommy” walked into the house. I was walking on the kitchen counter at the time and immediately greeted her. I like to be perched in places above ground, so that I can look down upon my subjects. She lowered herself slightly to my level so I could smell her. I thought “What kind of cat is THIS? Where is her tail?! Oooh, she has pretty hair. I bet she’ll let me bite it.” She spoke to me and gave me a little head scratch. Her nails are nice and sharp, and took away my kitty cat itches, so I let foster Mommy know that it was ok if I went home with her. I liked her coat and her purse, and even though she told me I couldn’t play with expensive things, she was kind and gentle, and I felt safe.

After a short period of time where the humans conversed and laughed, foster Mommy gave me kisses and told me I was going to have a great life. I was put into a kitty carrier that my new Mommy had thought to put warm blankets in, and away we went.

About an hour and forty-five minutes later (I had to ask Mommy about the timing. It was dark and the GPS got us lost. I know this because the heat was on and Mommy kept saying “Why is such an expensive part of this county SO FUCKING DARK AT NIGHT?! Can’t they afford lights?!”), I was brought into my new home.

Mommy showed me where everything was, from my litter box to my fancy food and water bowls, and my new “cat space”. I ate, I drank, and then Mommy put me into “my bed”. It’s a lot bigger than me, but I quickly learned I am meant to share this bed with Mommy. Who made this decision? Exactly who said this little kitten wants to share? I did not agree to this arrangement, so I bites toes for entertainment value. I can get away with this because I am “just a baby”. I heard Mommy say so.

After a few hours, I decided to settle in for a nap and where better to nap than my new Mommy’s lap while she tap-tap-taps on her computer? Occasionally, even now, I reach up and smack her hands to remind her that I’m here, and that the computer isn’t so exciting or interesting. And that my little ears need to be scratched. She will stop singing, writing, and doing whatever it is she’s doing that makes her laugh, and tell me how great I am, what a good kitty, such a sweet little soul, such a good little friend. She tells me that as I get older, we will be besties, whatever that means. For now, she is my warm cuddle buddy and my best playmate. I secretly believe she is a cat and that I cannot find her tail. I know, because I’ve looked.

I am happy in my new home, though I have already made it clear that I need little playmates, siblings if you will, or I will continue to attack Mommy’s feet, ankles, knees, socks, and anything else I can get my little baby paws on. Mommy is not amused when I climb on top of the vacuum cleaner and just sit there. She actually suggested I do some house work. I smacked my new Uncle’s feet recently, just to keep him in his place. Mommy encouraged me to do this, telling me it would make him feel “loved and important”. Yes, she’s silly, but she’s also very interesting to watch.

What can I tell you about my Mommy that you don’t already know? She loves me, hugs me, cuddles me, gives me kisses, feeds me, plays with me, talks to me, gives me yummy treatsies, tells me what a good girl I am, grooms me, cleans my ears, cleans my face, wipes my eyes so I don’t develop “tear stains”, and tells me NO when I climb things. She tells me “I am responsible for you. I have to make sure you’re safe and healthy.” She cuts my nails when I am asleep, so I don’t get agitated. Isn’t that sweet? Sometimes, but not always, she will spritz me with water to get the NO to stick, especially if I’ve been doing something I already know I shouldn’t be doing, like attacking Mommy’s books. I heard her talking about this the other day and she said it was a “cat behavior” trick.

Mommy has no idea how well trained she is. All I have to do is glance in her general direction and she’ll go and check my food and water bowls. If I want wet food, all I have to do is bump her legs when she’s in the kitchen and she will ask if I am hungry. She tells me I have to meow, but if I chirp at her or squeak, she accepts that. If I want my toys, I sit on the stairs and stare at her and give her “disapproving cat face”, and she immediately knows that I want my feather ball, or one of my other new toys. I bring them back to her and she’ll throw them back and forth for me while I run up and down the stairs. Secretly, I think Mommy really likes this game.

My favorite game, other than my feather ball, is the feather wand. Mommy will try to exhaust me with it, but often has to say “No more today baby girl, Mommy is too sick to play with you right now.” I don’t know what that means, so some days I cuddle into Mommy to let her know I am listening. I cuddle in and I purr, and I am rewarded with love, kisses, chin scratches, belly rubs, and praise.

A little over a month ago I was a kitten without a forever home. Today I am a four month old “little monkey” with a loving Mommy that is very attentive, with menfolk that show me affection (especially Uncle), a warm place to be, always, and full reign of the house. All I want for the new year is friends to play with. I do like being the sole kitty of the house, but I also miss Mommy when she goes away and she says it’s not nice to knock everything off her dresser. Apparently she is very attached to that perfume she wears and doesn’t like seeing “My expensive bottles on the floor, Verity!!” Sometimes I nap, sometimes I climb. Ok, so I climb more than I nap. I’m just a little baby.

Please encourage Mommy to find me two friends. They have to be my size or smaller, they have to like to play a lot, they have to like laying in Mommy’s lap with me watching movies or TV (Just because I am named after a Bond Girl that was only in one scene, that doesn’t mean I want to watch Skyfall. I don’t care how attractive Mommy finds Daniel Craig. What happened to her “No watching married men.” rule?” Of course, I realize this means she’d never be able to watch TV or movies ever again, but I am willing to overlook this if she gets me friends.), and they have to do silly things so that Mommy will laugh her musical laugh, and play with us, instead of saying “Does EVERY MORNING have to start with blood shed?” Even though Mommy clipped my nails, I really think someone ought to clip hers. I am pretty sure her fangs are bigger than mine too.

These are my tiny kitten observations. I hope you’ve enjoyed my story. And please, for the love of all that is holy, DON’T SHOP, ADOPT.

SAM_0070

Yes, I am REALLY this cute.

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Caturday Came A Day Early…

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Yesterday was my “day off” after a pretty tumultuous week. My pain levels are driving me up the wall, and a few people in my life are choosing now, of all times, to be idiotic, pathetic, childish morons. Do you all wait for me to have PMS and be raring to go after you with a hockey stick or are you really just that stupid?! For the record, I could be talking about a plethora of people, so please, don’t flatter yourself into thinking I’m talking about you unless you actually know you’re a moron and have been behaving in a childish, pathetic manner.

It has been my experience that morons are completely oblivious to the shit that comes out of their mouth, as well as how they act and behave. If you’ve said or done something stupid and I have kept my mouth shut thus far, trust me when I say that I’m being merciful.

Yesterday morning I discovered a black & white kitten in my back yard. I was on my way upstairs and out of the corner of my eye was a kitten in typical cat like predatorial position, seemingly staring at something near the storage shed. I opened the door and called out to her, but she refused to leave her post. After about an hour or so, she slowly started to move around the yard, still watching something that I couldn’t see or hear, and I decided to put some food out for her and see if she’d bite.

She had no collar or visible tags and she kept looking right at me, so I know she’s not afraid of me (and yes, I know she’s actually a she because male cats have a totally different look to them facially and physically.). I’ve seen her in passing for a few months roaming around 4-5 houses close to mine, darting across the street in the early evening hours, but I have no idea if she’s microchipped and belongs to someone, if she’s been abandoned, or if she’s a stray. It’s possible she belongs to someone and is an outdoor cat, but to not have a collar or tags is usually a good indicator that the owner doesn’t really give a shit about their animal, and it pisses me off big time when people do that.

I suspect she’s been sleeping in my yard at night for quite some time because I’ve been hearing some major purring underneath my window pretty much every night. If you’re not a cat owner or cat lover, you have no idea what it’s like to have a purring little being lull you to sleep. I miss that SO MUCH after losing my macaroon in January. I felt like I was cheating a bit calling out to this kitten, I actually looked around as if she might hear me, but it comes down to me simply not being able to allow a kitten to hang out in my yard without feeding it and making sure it’s safe and belongs to someone. I’ll see if we develop trust between us because right now, I don’t want to spook her. She was here for several hours and then walked around the yard and left. She’s beautiful, but young. Maybe a year old, if that. Still a baby. I would take her in, in a New York Minute, and I don’t usually say that about an animal older than 10 weeks. Kittens are my personal preference and are such a joy to raise. I am well aware that older cats need homes too, and plenty of people in my area are adopting them, so I am not about to change my preference unless a situation presents itself. I do not compromise who I am to make other people feel better about themselves.

As of right now, I am supposed to attend a kitten/cat adoption event the day of my birthday in a few weeks. Initially I was really looking forward to this, I was so excited at the possibility of coming home with “little people”. It’s in the Main Line (outside of Philly), so it’s still close enough that if I don’t find a kitten or two to take home I can always attend their November event, but I’m honestly just going to wing it. If I wake up that morning and I’m feeling good, then I’ll go. If I wake up and I don’t feel it, then I will wait until next Spring and give myself that much more time to heal because in all honesty, I have a feeling that’s what I really need.

This has been a year that has shown me who I am. It has brought out a deeper strength I did not know I possessed, a fighting spirit that is so much fiercer than she used to be, and a person who sees things and people in a much clearer fashion. I will no longer hold on to things, relationships/friendships, or anything that doesn’t give me a sense of peace and happiness. I will not change to make others feel better, but I will change if I see something within me that needs fixing, for me. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being yourself. I now fully realize that some people don’t know how to take that, and that some people simply want to run and hide from it because they’re really running and hiding from themselves. That’s not my issue. If you ask me to be a part of your life in any way, shape, or form, then I am going to be myself. If you ask me for advice, help, honesty, or to listen, then I will do exactly that. If I extend the hand of friendship, fully consider it before smacking it away as if you’re two years old.

I’m going to spend my weekend writing, reading, resting, and healing. I will squeeze some cleaning, laundry, and cooking into the fray, and I will try to catch the Pirates game tomorrow as well. Beyond that, I really just want to be left alone with my own thoughts. What next week holds is a whole other story, but I already know it’ll be challenging. I will make it through, and so will you.

What Does It Take?!

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I’m upset, very much so. Now I have a LOT to be upset about, I’m going through a really horrible time in my life right now. I keep a lot of things private for obvious reasons, as I am sure most of us do, but the thing I am upset about in the moment is that I lost out on kitten #2 a few nights ago. If you’ve been reading this blog for longer than two minutes, you know that I lost my baby girl in January (They say time heals all wounds. Whoever “they” are, I’m going to take a bat or a hockey stick to them the next time “they” come around.) and that I have slowly been trying to adopt again. A shelter adopted out a Bombay kitten I thought would be mine without even telling me, so I am pretty much sick of dealing with these places since they’ll take your money and then say “Whoops!” when they adopt out the kitten/cat you’ve applied for. At least let a person know that the animal is being adopted, that way they don’t get their hopes up, prepare for their arrival, etc. I called a place the other day and they assured me that once I pay, those kittens are MINE. However, I don’t look forward to this specific trek because I’ve never been there before and I don’t want to be told the kittens are available and after three hours, find out they’ve already been adopted, so I’m taking a pass after this most recent heartbreaking episode.

My sanity pretty much depends on kittens at this point. It might seem ridiculous, but if you’ve had animals your entire life, or for an immense chunk of your life, and suddenly the only person you have to talk to each day is yourself, you can understand why I feel borderline insane at the moment.

I’d finally found a kitten (pictured above. Have you seen anything this gorgeous?! I’m blown away by how beautiful she is.) that I 100% connected with on Craigslist. So gorgeous and unique, I had that sudden surge of “Woo hoo! I FOUND HER!!”, which I have not had once in my entire search. I’ve been lukewarm or “I’ll grow to love her.” in my choices thus far. No one is going to replace my baby, that’s like trying to replace your child, it doesn’t happen. I contacted the owner/foster parent to meet with her and a few hours later she e-mails me back to say she’s being adopted, but that if the people adopting her don’t want her, she’ll let me know. Later in the evening the ad was deleted, so clearly she was taken. I actually sat and cried, which I don’t usually do over much. Maybe it was frustration, maybe it was a feeling I simply had, I don’t know.

I’m sick of all this. I can’t tell you how many phone calls I made the other afternoon (and how many I’ve been making since March/April) inquiring about kittens within a 100 mile radius. I shouldn’t so much as look at them because each time I inquire about one, there is something wrong with the animal health wise (they don’t want you to know that until after you’ve paid them, but I demand the medical records for a reason. Naturally I expect normal vet bills with any animal, but I’d also like to be able to do that from the confines of a roof over my head, and I am sure many people can relate and/or agree with me on this. We want our animals to be happy and healthy.) or they’re halfway out the door. I get it, I really do, but if every shelter is “full to capacity with kittens”, shouldn’t there be more kittens, not less, for a person like me to adopt?

The places I refuse to do business with are the ones that literally want to move in with you for a day or two to find out what kind of “parent” you will be (I’m exaggerating, but you get the general idea). I get annoyed when anyone wants to invade my personal space. I do NOT play well with others, unless they’re small and fluffy. Get a reference from my vet, from close friends, but in a house with no other pets and only a visiting child under the age of three, I think we’re good here, ya know? I was told Craigslist was a great way to adopt an animal (or several) that has already been de-wormed, with all their shots, that would already be spayed, etc., but thus far I’ve mostly found shelters pushing animals I don’t want at me. If I wanted a dog, I would have one. I don’t, ’cause I’m basically a cat myself and want to be around my own kind.

The last time I went more than a few years without a cat, I just about lost my mind. So, if you’re any kind of animal person and understand where I’m coming from, wish me luck on my search.  My next adoption option is in the Main Line (Maybe I’ll run into the Pretty Little Liars…). It’s close enough that if I don’t find a special little someone to bring home, I can go back until I do. This place is helping out several shelters that are overcrowded and they’ve already adopted out close to 1500 cats and kittens. $25 to adopt a kitten that already has everything it needs (and has already been spayed/neutered), but a microchip is a steal and cats over 6 months old are $1. I will be posting an ad for this event because I think if anyone wants to check it out, it’s worthwhile. Lord knows I am not the only cat person in the state of Pennsylvania, but I still get the distinct impression I will have to go back to my roots and adopt at North Shore Animal League. Either way, I am looking forward to bringing home some light into the darkness that is my life.

Facing The Pain

Tomorrow I am going to lose my cat. Realization has sunk in, and I’ve been crying for days.

Last week was a bad one for her. She was throwing up, she had physically distanced herself from me. She sought no comfort, she ignored me, and many times she looked at me with no recognition as to who I was or why I was touching her. It’s like she’d developed Alzheimer’s, and it made me sick to the point of headaches and tears.

This week was worse. She fell down the stairs Monday evening and sometime between yesterday and today, she seems to have had a stroke. I don’t know if she’ll make it through the night, and I can honestly say I don’t know what in the world I am going to do without her.

This little cat has been with me through some of the darkest days of my life, she has seen me through things I never thought I’d get through. She is one of the only living beings that has known me longer than anyone else that has come into my life since. Losing her will kill an immense chunk of who I am, and yet I know that after she is buried and the crying stops (if it ever does), I will adopt again. Because I may not be “a crazy cat lady”, but I do thrive on the love and attention both given and received from these magical creatures. I raised her, and she knows me better than people who were in my life long before she came along. What does that say about people when animals see more substance than they do?!

I remember the first day I met my soon-to-be kittens. They were to be a birthday gift. Surrounded by so many animals in cages, all needing a forever home, I went straight for the kittens. I had talked about nothing, but kittens at that point for three years. Initially, a few showed interest in me, but it was mild. One kitten went right for me with his claws, as if I might harm him in some way and he needed to defend himself. That or no one had bothered to clip his nails, who knows? My best friend at the time was with me and said “Look how sweet these two are.”, and he proceeded to show me my babies.

The first was the larger of the two kittens. Grey, white, cream, and smoke colored with big golden eyes, huge ears, and paws. She was part Egyptian Mau. I said hello and gave her my hand. She sniffed at me and gave me her paw, no claws, just her paw in my hand, gentleness, and her sweet little face. I was in love. Resting behind her was her litter-mate, a tiny Tortoiseshell who would become my complete and total mini-me. She had the darkest of the Tortie colors all over, a smattering of color here and there, what some people would probably refer to as “Dilute”, but she had this amazing tail with a great big orange stripe running through the middle and bits of cinnamon shading. She had pretty grey eyes. She was unimpressed, and scared. Her sister was bigger and was the protector. She wouldn’t let anyone touch “the baby”, as we were calling her in that moment.

I had to have them, those were my exact words.

A couple had been following me from cage to cage in a very eerie way. I heard them say, in another language, “Is she taking them? If not, we only want the pretty one.” The cage was marked DOUBLE ADOPTION, everyone who had inquired about “the pretty one” was informed that you had to take them both, you couldn’t just have one. Many had walked away. I called someone over to me and said “Can I see these two please?” The couple then asks “Are you taking them?” to which everyone with me immediately responds “YES!”

Two little kittens are brought to me inside the meeting room. The sweet one immediately turns into hell on four paws. She doesn’t want to be held, she doesn’t want to be kissed, no, she doesn’t want to play, she wants to RUN. She allows me to hold her for a few seconds, and then proceeds to jump off of me around the room. I sported so many scratches from this cat throughout her life that I’m lucky my hands and feet bear not a single scar (I do have a few scars from longer, deeper scratches when I was holding her and someone scared her. It’s possible I am the only one that can still see them, but they’re definitely a part of me, a part of my life with cats.). God Bless the inventors of Neosporin.

Her tiny companion is very quiet, shy, reserved, very scared. My Mom picks her up so she can look in her eyes and says “Ok little girl, what’s wrong with you?” All of a sudden this little spitfire of a kitten looks right down at her, sticks both of her front paws into my mother’s mouth, and gives her the perfect expression that says “I don’t know lady, what’s wrong with you?!” That spark of fiery personality let us know that she was shy & healthy, and we would soon learn she had the biggest mind of her own.

I’d made my choice, and the second they were moved into a “holding cage” (#26, the same day as my birthday) I KNEW there was no way they weren’t going home with me. I knew they were mine. It took several hours for the adoption to be approved (North Shore Animal League is no joke, they call ALL of your references to make sure they’re not handing an animal over to someone that shouldn’t have a pet. I was lucky they didn’t ask for a DNA sample.), but once the approval came through, I was given two kittens in a traveling box, a huge supply of the Iams diet they’d been eating since arriving at NSAL, and I was also given the opportunity to bring them back to have them spayed free of charge as part of the adoption fee (They were both spayed several months later at my local vet.).

Their first night home was a bit much. After several hours in the car, they were ready to be let free to run, to play, & go to the bathroom. I decided to keep them confined to one room in my apartment since they were so small and gradually let them into the other rooms as they got a little older. Being kittens, they jumped over the gate I put up countless times in their efforts to explore. They didn’t like to be confined in any way, they both thrived on freedom. Once they were no longer tiny and in danger of serious trouble, they had free reign of their home.

I’d spend countless hours throwing bouncy rubber balls against my closet door which they would then chase all over the room since the hard wood floors allowed them to really get into this game. As they got older they took to bringing the balls to me whenever they wanted to play. I’d wake up sometimes and there would be three balls in bed with me. Once they tired out, they’d settle into their cat beds or my bed and sleep for what seemed like very short periods of time back in those days. They weren’t big meal eaters, they both grazed, so I always left food and fresh water out for them.

After a few months I tossed their cat beds (The oldest had decided they were better litter boxes than cat beds! I’m not sure why she disliked it so much, but I think it was the simple fact that as she got older, she got more territorial Gone were the days of two kittens sleeping together and showing each other so much affection.) and they slept with me. One at my head, one at the foot of the bed. These positions didn’t change much from kitten-hood into adult hood, but they did switch places at times for territorial reasons.

They were both extremely unique in personality. The oldest kitten had to meet everyone and be social and loving, but my mini-me decided that she only loved me. By “loved me”, I mean she was downright obsessed with my comings and goings, followed me everywhere, and had to be with me no matter what. I’m pretty sure that when she decided I was going to be her person when she was about 5 months old that she had someone install some kind of kitty Lojack on me when I was sleeping and unaware. This should be helpful for future cats that may find they need a tracking device on their new Mommy.

In May of 2008 I lost my part Mau little girl when she threw a clot and died in my arms. My mother died two weeks later. It was an awful year, truly. Now here I am in the beginning of another year, a year that was supposed to be better, and I am losing another baby.

Tomorrow I will put my beloved little girl to sleep. I didn’t want to have to make this choice, but I cannot allow her to suffer for a single moment longer than necessary. This week has torn me apart.

I was asked this morning if I wanted one of the other vets to handle this (Believe it or not, I’ve never met any of the other three vets that work there.), and I said no, that I cannot do this without my vet. That might seem silly, it might even seem selfish, but this woman has cared for my macaroon since I moved here in 2009. She has been kind, attentive, loving, compassionate, caring, real, and it was her diagnosis that saved my cat in May of 2009. That diagnosis and the subsequent treatment have kept her alive ever since. Many times she would say to her “You love your Mommy very much, I can see that.”, and she’d always hold her and kiss her like she was one of her own. How can you not love a vet that good? Believe me, they are rare.

I once got into a massive fight with a vet. He was a moron, and my reaction was to put him in his place. I’m a little over 5.3 ½”, and this guy was a good 6.8″ or so. The more I talked, the further he backed away from me, until he was hitting the rear door. I can see he wants to argue with me, but he wasn’t going to win, not that day. The way he kept moving away from me was hilarious. It got to the point where my brother said “If you’re going to hit him, I’ll be outside.” I apologized to this guy’s boss the following day and he said “Don’t apologize, how else is he going to learn?!” Finding a good vet is definitely a priceless thing.

Last night I was reminded that I have given this cat a life so full of love. My brother said to me “I have never seen anyone be a better cat mother than you. You are nurturing, committed, devoted, she has never gone without love and the things she needs. You’ve gone above and beyond, she adores you, that little cat just plain worships you. Don’t ever think you haven’t done enough.”

Sometimes we need to hear things like this from the casual observer, especially when we don’t think that person is really paying attention to anything.

In closing, I know I will get through this. I will cry, I will hurt, I will mourn, and I will rise up out of the ashes once again like the phoenix that I am.

My little girl will be in the backyard in a spot the sun always gets. She has always loved laying in the sun and whenever she did, our eyes would be the exact same shade of green.

Keep me in your prayers tomorrow. I will need it.

UPDATE: My little girl passed away tonight as I slept by her side. At about 7:40 PM or so I told her to stop holding on for me, because she was suffering. I told her to follow the light, that my Mom and her sister would be waiting for her. I fell asleep holding her paw, and sometime between then and waking up at 11:00-11:30 PM to check on her, she had passed away. I’m devastated, but I will eventually be ok.