It’s true. I’m well on my way to becoming The Crazy Cat Lady. And that’s just fine. I seem to do better with the feline species. I’ve always loved kitties, and except for a few very short chunks of time, my household has always included my four-legged kitty friends. When we were kids, my brother and I would carefully consider the names with each new litter of kittens. We quickly grew tired of the common names like Kitty and Fluffy, and branched out into TV Land for some of our theme-related names. Example – one litter was Gilligan, Skipper, Professor, Ginger, etc., while another was Wally, Beaver, Eddie, Lumpy, (with no regard to gender) or another - Spanky, Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Darla. You get the idea. It’s hard to imagine life without purrs and meows… oh, and cat hair on the furniture. I saw a little plaque one time that said “No outfit is complete without a little cat hair.” I suppose it’s time to hang one of those in my house. Because soon the cat hair will overtake the dust bunnies, and even they will begin to scurry for cover. I have adopted two new kittens!! Cooper is the sweetest, affectionate, most lovable kitty. And while I do adore that sweetness, in order for us to eat and live indoors, I must sit at my desk and work. As you may have seen in my many Facebook pictures, Coop loves to sit on my desk (on my keyboard, on my printer, underneath the little shelf that holds my monitor….). He thinks he is helping, and he just wants to be near me. Then when I’m unable to sit and hold him all day, he wants to bat at my fingers as I type, or chew on the multitude of cords underneath my desk. I decided a while back that he needed a playmate. I suppose it would have been better if I had adopted his sister back when I got him, but at the time, I was being selfish – looking only for a new critter to love, who would love me back, never leave me, and be loyal to me. It was a tall order, but he met the challenge, and was a true comfort to me during a really rough patch. At any rate, I only adopted him, and since then, it has been just the two of us. Oh, except when the kids are here. They adore Cooper, and he is such a wonderful, big ol’ loveable fella that he will allow them to haul him around like a ragdoll. His foster mommy had children at home, so he became accustomed to having kids around from the beginning.
Most all of my kitties have been strays, or taken from the litters of friends. A few of them, though, were kittens with “papers”, (Himalayan or Persian), purchased from licensed breeders. They were beautiful kitties, and I loved them very much – but no more so than my other kitties. Years ago, Whitney and I adopted a flame-point kitty (like Cooper) from the Athens Humane Society, which was my first official rescue. It felt really good knowing I had given a kitty a home that might otherwise have met his Kitty Maker through the stab of a needle. That’s why they call it Rescue. Cooper was my second Rescue Kitty. I got him from Jackson County Humane Society. The people over there were wonderful! We communicated several times before the pickup date, and they were very helpful both before, and after the adoption. The day I picked him up, I was a train wreck. So very excited to get him, still so very shaken at the turn of events my life had just taken. As soon as I laid eyes on him as I was walking across the parking lot, my eyes welled up with tears, and when the kind foster mommy put him in my arms, I just started weeping. (They probably wanted to reconsider adopting him out to this crazy, crying woman…) But then I told her in 10 words or less, what I was going through, and she got tears in her eyes and hugged me tightly, and said… “Then, you need Cooper as much as he needs you.” It was truly a match made in heaven, and he has been the best companion!!
Fast-forward to now. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for a calico kitten. I’ve had a couple of calico kitties in the past, and there’s just something about that crazy color pattern that I find adorable. I love all kitties, and would bring them all home if I could. I’ve seen some cute ones these past couple of months since I’ve been looking, and considered one or two of them, but kept holding out in the hopes of finding a calico. I had found several beautiful adult calico girls, but I felt Cooper would do better with a kitten, than to bring another adult cat into his domain, of which he is the undisputed king. I had almost given up hope, and in fact, had scheduled a visit to the Madison-Oglethorpe Animal Shelter to check out two cuties at their facility.
Then, one afternoon as I was about the walk away from the computer, I saw where AHS had just that very moment posted pictures of two new litters of kittens they were getting ready to release. One litter was polydactyl kitties (extra toe – Hemingway kitties!). I clicked to get a better view, and there… buried underneath the tangle of paws and tails, I saw the tiny little head of a calico kitty!! Immediately I called the shelter, and they agreed to put a “hold” on her until I could come in the following afternoon to meet her. (Good thing, because they have had many calls about her since then!) When I went to meet her the following day, it was totally love at first sight. We bonded immediately – and then one of her siblings kept peeking at me, and once I held him, it was a done deal. They don’t release the kitties until after their spay/neuter, and they can’t do that until they weigh 2 lb. On that day, Scout weighed 1.88, but Boo Radley only weighed 1.38. Scout’s surgery was scheduled for Tuesday May 28th, and I picked her up the following day. By then, Boo Radley had gained up to 1.76, so we are anticipating his surgery and homecoming this next week.
Since her arrival at The 409, Scout has been hanging out in the master bath. She has done really well. I was afraid she would cry all night, missing her siblings. I put the shirt into the kitty bed that I had worn that day, to give her a familiar scent. Before I left her for the night, she was snuggled in the kitty bed, had her tail wrapped around to her face, and was suckling on the tip of her tail, ‘making biscuits’ on the fleecy inside wall of the kitty bed. Of course, I didn’t have my phone to video the insane cuteness, but trust me… it was adorable. She did very well during the night, no crying at all. Next morning, she had transitioned back into the carrier for snoozing. I guess that felt a little safer, with the walls and such. I had put a box with a towel inside it in the bathroom, in case she wanted to hide from the world. The carrier seemed a better choice, though, as it has mesh sides, so she could still see out, yet feel somewhat more protected from the unknown dangers of my bathroom. I will have to put the carrier away, though, because she’s using it as a playscape. It’s probably good to have her scent inside, and maybe it will be a comfort to Boo Radley during his separation from the rest of the litter, and the scary car ride to The 409. He should be very happy to be reunited with his sister!
For a few minutes last night, I brought Scout into the living room so Cooper could see her. He’s been sniffing my clothes and hands for the past few days, and he has heard her in the bathroom, so he knew something was about to go down. They were pretty funny. A couple of non-threatening hisses, but no growling or aggressive-type behavior, which was a great relief to me. I think Cooper was more nervous than Scout! He has been without kitty company for so long that seeing another feline was a bit new for him. They sniffed each other, and crouched carefully a foot or so away from each other and played the staring game. When one would move, the other would startle. Too funny. Then it was back to the bathroom for Scout, and bedtime for Cooper and I. Though I was afraid it would be a long night of howling at each other behind the closed door, Cooper wasn't interested. He was probably just glad to have his mommy back all to himself, and it seemed he snuggled a little extra close to me on the bed.
This morning, Cooper and I went into the bathroom together to spend some time with her. They were so cute! (Video below) They are still a bit wary of each other, but it seems that very soon they will be best of friends. I’m so happy! I’m not quite ready for Scout to have total run of the house, so I’m still keeping her confined, I left the door open into the bedroom to give her more room to roam, and time to acquaint herself with a little more of the house. She’s still a little skittish, and there are too many places for a tiny kitten to hide throughout the house, so we’ll take it slow in that regard.
I'd also like to do a commercial for the Athens Humane Society. These people are amazing!! Everyone is so kind and helpful. They do such wonderful work with the kitties. Their attention to detail is very impressive, and the facility is immaculately clean. They are very careful with the adoption process, and make every effort to make sure that their animals go to good homes. I would totally recommend anyone considering adoption to check them out. Scout and Boo Radley are coming from the Mars Hill shelter, which is in the same building with the medical clinic. There is also a cat shelter out near the Athens Airport that also houses cats and kittens available for adoption. I don't anticipate bringing any more kitties to The 409 in the near future, but if/when the time comes, I will definitely go the Rescue route again. No more spending money to buy a registered cat, when that same amount of money could save the lives of many kitties!!
So… The Crazy Cat Lady life begins anew. And a warning to anyone who would visit: Be sure to bring your lint-roller with you, because if you sit on my furniture, you’ll get up with cat hair. >^..^<
Here's a video of Cooper and Scout “playing” this morning. Sorry about the messy bathroom. The video was shot before chores.