Tuesday, November 10, 2015

My Feline Housemates


Neville sleeping in a basket actually intended as cat bed. 
A miracle.
I was living in the Sewing House with a roommate who had a cat. The cat was very much hers and took joy in the "pet, pet, bite" method acting of pissy housecats. I was very much missing Having a cat that wanted to be with me, and then I had an opportunity.

My friend owns a glass company, and a stray cat had gotten in to his shop and had kittens in the wall. He and the giant teddy bear shop guys chopped through a wall to save the kittens, but mama took off. Well, she turned back up eventually. My friend was about to take her for a spay and realized that her belly was huge and wriggling. Crap. Very, very pregnant. He took the cat home because he's a giant softy and Mama Kitty had a litter of 8 in the bathroom. He and his wife worked to find good homes for all of the kittens, except for the one they kept, Stanley.

I visited the litter of tiny, staggering kittens and one crawled right into my lap. This teeny black kitten yawned like his jaw would unhinge and then passed out on my leg. Yep. I was done for. Mr. Neville got fixed and came home with me, where he has been my shadow ever since.

Named for the "N is for Neville who died of Ennui" sketch from the Gashlycrumb Tinies by Edward
Gorey, Neville started as a litter runt. He would roll onto his back or side and sling a paw across his eyes to block out the light when I got up for work in the morning. Pathetic.

Since then he has grown into a massive cat. He's tall and long and broad with a gigantic head. He now weighs just under 17 pounds and when he walks on your bladder in the middle of the night, you know it.

This time Mama Kitty got fixed and is now living the good life as the official shop cat at my friend's business. Many of the guys have cat treats in their desks and boxes with blankets for when Mama Kitty decides to visit them. It's not a hard life to be loved by a bunch of giant men-folk.


A few years ago, my friend Jennie, her boyfriend Brian and I decided to start working with a colony of feral cats at their condo complex. We started trapping the adults for TNVR (Trap, Neuter, Vaccinate, Return) and then found ourselves with a clutch of kittens that were young enough to be socialized. Most of the kittens turned out pretty normal, except for one.

Kitler is cottony soft on the underside 
but only I know that.

So, this fellow started off life under a dumpster and squelching in the mud. When he was trapped, we could not tell he was partially white until we bathed him. His paws were packed with mud to the point that he could not close his toes together, also he had Notoedric mange on his face and ears, leaving him patchy and pathetic..

This kitten had evaded notice and capture, and thus spent an entire week alone under the dumpster during the rainy season. Turns out, this is basically a recipe for a terror cat. Add to his fear of all humans the handsome Reichstache, and this fellow was the least adoptable of the dumpster kittens.

He ran from all potential adopters, and looked like a mass-murdering dictator. What do you do with that? Well, you give it some food, some space and some time, and eventually he comes and sits with you on the couch and creeps into bed late at night. Now, each morning her greets me when I rise, demanding petting along with Mr. Neville.

She prefers to hold paws while napping.

Scully is a marble tabby lady that I foster failed. Foster failing is when you are supposed to be fostering an animal and it is entirely adoptable, but you fall in love and just keep it instead.

Scully sleeps on my pillow, often with a paw on my head. She likes to hold paws when we sit on the couch to watch tv (she watches too when she isn't napping). When I paint, she perches on the back of my chair and watches me, with one paw delicately placed on my shoulder.

After Kitler, it's nice to have a cat that greets you by running straight at you, tail straight in the air with happy chirps that sound a great deal like a squeaky dog toy. Her names comes from the marble tabby swirl on her side that looks like a fingerprint... it called for a good investigative name. I always loved the X-Files and she seemed like a good Scully. And so she was named.

Fetch me the air pump, the cats have all deflated.

No comments:

Post a Comment