Kept By Cats

The adventures of a Feline Beck and Call Girl.

1
Mockingbird Mother’s Day
2
Traveling with Cat: Smells Like Punishment
3
Remembering a Hero: Nicholas Ridiculous
4
The Romancing of Noah
5
Happy Gotcha Day to Dori & Nikolas

Mockingbird Mother’s Day

 My fenced yard has been chosen by a new mother mockingbird to teach her babies how to survive. That she has chosen a yard where many cats live astounds me.

The other day the baby sat on the fence waiting for direction from his mom. It was near twilight. Clearly the baby bird knew it was supposed to do something but mom wasn’t nearby. The reason: Peaches was perched at the far end of the same fence and had noticed him.

We watched with astonishment as Peaches slowly walked the top of the fence toward the baby. He didn’t fly off to safety, rather sat obediently where his mom had left him. The closer Peaches got the more we feared for the baby mockingbird.

When it became apparent the baby was going to become a trophy kill, Peaches was plucked off the fence and hustled indoors. That’s when the mother mockingbird returned.

This morning the young mother has two babies learning to survive in our yard. They hop along the fence. They fly to the neighbors roof then back to land on a fragile bush not designed to hold the weight of a bird. When the bush limb bounces, the fledgling flaps it’s wings to keep from falling. Nearby, Mom watches with patience. She has a big job ahead of her.

Her Mother’s Day won’t be rewarded with flowers or candy or jewelry or a nice card. No. Her reward will be in the survival of her babies. Their rapid maturity to understand survival.

Her reward will be raising her babies to survive so that they too will live to raise their own babies.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Traveling with Cat: Smells Like Punishment

My husband is a fan of University of Michigan football.  Ray bleeds maize and blue.

In 2012 we drove to Crawfordsville, Indiana to watch Michigan v. Purdue. Sounds nice…driving to Indiana to enjoy a Michigan game during a fabulous fall day. Of course with us…it’s not that simple.

Here’s The Bigger Story:

Two days before we left for Indiana I was at the vet with our tuxedo, Cookie. It didn’t look good. In fact, it looked like The End.

Cookie had been sick for most of that year from mold poisoning in our home, plus a zillion other allergies I had no idea he had. Despite allergy shots, clearly he wasn’t  going to be around much longer. That day he had a 103 fever and was under 8 pounds. My vet looked exhausted, and I certainly was. If Cookie had to be euthanized, Ray was prepared to leave work to be there for him.  Ray was Cookie’s most favorite human in the whole world. However, after Cookie stopped the doctor from sucking the gook out of his nose, it was determined there was still some fight left in the old boy, and he got a reprieve.

Friday afternoon we loaded our diabetic tabby, Buddy, then age 21, and Cookie, age 15, into our van. Known as the POS Van in winter, and The Steaming Pig in summertime when the livin’ ain’t easy cuz the average temperature is 99 degrees, this van (still running five years later) represents Ray’s upbringing from his father. Why junk it if it still runs? It doesn’t have much heat (only in the back) or air conditioning. At all. The driver’s window does not roll down, and the back vent windows and sliding doors work only when the moon is in the Seventh House and Jupiter aligns with Mars. The backseat was junked years ago (long story). So naturally this is the vehicle of choice to drive to Indiana.

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Remembering a Hero: Nicholas Ridiculous

Alpha. Aggressive. Clown. Gentle Giant.

Nicholas was all of those and more.

Simmering between seventeen and twenty pounds for most of his life,  Nick never failed to cause a reaction when he met someone new, be it at home or at a new vet. Vet techs would brace to “deal” with the miniature panther, and then melt when they realized how utterly charming he was. That he knew they were there to help him feel better soon became evident.

When I first met Nick, he stunk to high heaven. It wasn’t outer body odor. It was inner. I can only imagine what he had been eating to survive. I used shampoos and powders and other means to make him less toxic to my nose, but the only remedy was good food and clean water. It took several months, but I remember the day we were at the vet and I mentioned his odor problem. The vet sniffed him and said, “Well, he smells pretty good to me.” Like he’d understood what she’d said, he’d jerked his face to me and looked into my eyes with what I can only describe as delight.

 Nick and Cookie, our Tuxedo kitty, shared an Odd Couple relationship. The same age, they were already living homeless on our property in Kentucky when we bought the house on five acres. Neurotic and nervous, Cookie soon befriended Moose and Logan, the outdoor tabbies we brought with us from Florida. Eager to please his new friends, Cookie took it upon himself to run Nick, who they did not like, out of town.

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The Romancing of Noah

I knew him only a short time. Nine months tops. But he made a huge impact on me, and now I mourn his death.

Noah arrived last spring, skittish yet curious. And hungry. I am a cat magnet. They find me no matter where I am. I’ve rescued over 70 cats in my adult lifetime. Some choose to make my home their Forever Home. Some move on. Others, like Noah, break my heart.

Every morning and evening Noah waited for me along the creek behind my house. I would bring him kibble and canned food. He wasn’t tame, yet he didn’t strike me as feral either. He was assessing me, determining whether I was worthy of his attention beyond food. Turns out I was. Read More

Happy Gotcha Day to Dori & Nikolas

Congratulations to Dori and her daddy, Nikolas, on another year with the Wonderpurr Gang! They arrived along with mom, Annie, Dori’s twin sister, Patsy, and panfur brothers Kepurr and Kopea. All found homes, but only Nik and Dori stayed with us. Below are a couple of Then and Now photos, as well as a look back on Dori and Nik’s family, 2013.

From the start I had a feeling Annie wasn’t motherly material. While Nikolas played with the kittens, Annie camped in her tall cat tree and watched, as though disinterested. She was friendly, and yet aloof. Read More

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