My family has had a lot of cats. A whole lot of cats. Around 40, I think. We can figure out what year an event or change took place by which cat or cats we had at the time. The word ‘cat’ can function as a unit of time for us. A typical conversation at our house might go something like: “Hey, when did we buy this couch?” “I don’t know - maybe three or four cats ago...”
I don’t know if our home attracted weird cats, or if living in our home brought out the weirdness factor in our pets. (The kids are weird too, but that’s a whole other blog.) We had one cat who would chew my hair to wake me up, and another who would ring the doorbell when she wanted to come in. Our cats had odd parenting habits, and always found strange places to sleep, like this kitten who fell asleep on a branch of the Christmas tree.
Our first cat, Squirt loved to play with mice. We were living in a house trailer on an acreage in the country at the time, so she had lots of little mousy playmates. Squirt was a generous pet. She would bring her new friends into our bed at night so that we could play, too. We gave her to a family with an upholstery shop. I'm sure she found lots of playmates there.
Here is a picture of one of Squirt’s friends. Sorry the picture is a bit blurry; I think I was jumping up and down because my hubby was holding a MOUSE!!!
We kept one of Squirt’s kittens, a beautiful fluffy haired beauty named Muffin. Kalene was born during this cat’s reign. Kalene loved that cat, visa versa – not so much.
Muffin apparently had a standing appointment to do something outside somewhere at 5:30 am. She would wake me up by chewing on my hair. Whatever it was that she needed to do outside every morning at 5:30 didn't take very long to accomplish. Five or ten minutes later she would be howling to get back in.
Mittens had some very strange parenting tactics. When she was weaning a litter, she would get a wet dishcloth, bring it back to her kittens, drop it beside them, and leave. I have no idea what she expected the kittens to do with the dishcloth. After we gave away her kittens, she would run around the house with a dishcloth in her mouth, mewing pitifully. I felt so sad for her. We took her to the vet so she wouldn't have to go through that experience twice a year anymore. We still kept finding dishcloths under beds and couches for a while, though.
Sasha would ring the doorbell when she wanted back in. The first time she did this, I was sure that the neighbour children must have been playing a trick on me. I answered the door, and saw only our cat sitting on the step. After a few more times, the scratches on the door frame confirmed that our doorbell ringer was definitely feline. Hubby moved the doorbell higher up, and the scratches in the door frame got deeper.
You could always tell what TV show the kids were into when a litter of kittens was born. We kept one of Sasha’s kittens. The kids named her Arwen, but she was nothing like her elf-queen namesake. Neither ladylike nor genteel, she preferred rather to run like thunder around the house, leaving cat scratches on the furniture, railings and on whoever she chose to use as a feline launch pad. I called her Freaky Cat. One of Freaky Cat's favourite things to do was to jump up onto a shelf, look back at you, and then, while maintaining eye contact, she would reach out a paw and knock something breakable onto the floor. I was not overly fond of Freaky Cat.
In my next blog, I will tell you about what happened when Freaky Cat met a little white fluff ball named Brandi...