Tuesday, April 12, 2005

At Last, A Post That Fits the Title!

Well, as I said before, my family and I are owned by five cats - and each of them came when we weren't looking for them. All of them strays who sought us out and found us - except the first one and still patriarch, Ziggy.

Ziggy's our first and the oldest. We got him after my mom and dad had brought him home to replace a cat of theirs who had died. (I get my ailurophileness genetically, it seems.) Problem was, the other cats in their house didn't take too kindly to Ziggy, who then and now has strong opinions he doesn't hesitate to share; chief among them being that he's the ruler. So mom and dad called me to check him out and we kept him.

We weren't planning on getting two cats, but then Casper came. I used to work night shift at a bed-and-breakfast that had its own mascot cat. One early morning - around 2 AM - I got a call from the night shift maid who said that there was an awful yowling and howling outside, and could I check on it? I walked out and found the mascot cat busy expressing her opinion to a tiny, wide-eyed kitten who just stared at her and didn't move. He didn't seem afraid, mind you, just calmly sitting there until the harangue was done. I picked up the kitten to move it, and it snuggled in my hands - it fit in the palm of my hands, was how tiny it was - and purred so hard I felt it all the way through my shoulder. Okay, how could I not keep him? Of course, this little kitten managed to have the escape capability of a feline Houdini, getting out of the boxes I placed him in. "Yes, will this be on MasterCard or Visa, and can you catch that kitten please?"

Robin came by on his own. We were living in apartments, and some bastard who was moving out across the way decided a cat was too much effort for their overworked brain cell to take care of, so they pitched him out just as winter was starting. Lovely man. I hope he gets reincarnated as a mouse. Anyway, Robin went door to door scratching, trying to get in somewhere. We missed him one night - I got to the door too late to find out what the heck was going on - but the next night he came earlier, and when I opened the door to see what the noise was, Robin strolled on in. He still believes in taking matters in his own hands/paws - if he wants under the covers, he'll scrape them up until he can get under, even if you're next to him and can help. Now, I was going to do the right thing and give Robin back, until the manager told me that the person who pitched him would just do it again, and when she asked about the cat, he informed her that it had been hit right in front of his eyes by a car in the parking lot and he felt he should get a discount on rent for his suffering. Chutzpah is one thing, effrontery is another.

Okay, three cats now, and we're thinking time to ease off. Except, well, we're moving to a house soon, and there's this jet-black cat I've been feeding and trying to catch before we leave. I can't, so I try to put it out of my mind. I still go back to the apartments - the manager likes me and especially loves my son, who IS adorable (takes after mommy), and one day there's a jet black cat wandering the complex just after a big storm blew in. Didn't have a choice there, had to catch him. Of course, poor Shadow then had to stay at the vet's for almost a month, as they found he was FIV (HIV for cats) positive. However, a vaccination would have resulted in the positive result, and so a retest was done and sent in Canada. By the way, DHL services makes Bush's initial post-war plans for Iraq seem like the Lend-Lease program. They screwed it up every which way they could - we finally had to call the people ourselves to find out Shadow was okay. (The fact Shadow was vaccinated does show he was taken care of, but other people at the apartments confirmed that he had been hanging around for at least a few weeks, if not from the time I had been feeding the original jet-black cat, and getting thinner and thinner, so the general consensus is that if he was a house cat, he had been pitched out.) So now there's four.

We really didn't intend on five, but again, Bast decided to seek us out. My wife works at a place right next to the airport, which has a fire department. The fire department adopted a cat (their second) to help with the mice. Smokey liked to wander and often hung around my wife's workplace, where she was very tame and liked to sleep on cars. This offended some people, who began to make threats. She also wasn't used to being outside - I had to move her from behind a car that was trying to back up while she was rolling away behind it. The people making threats then began to say they'd take matters into their own hands - which must truly be a sign of low-self esteem to threaten a cat (Hello
Wisconsin!) and so my wife and I decided to catch Smokey and bring her home before she got hurt by being too nice or by being a target.

So now we have five - and we truly intend to stay at five. Unless Bast decides different, of course.

No comments: