I watched My Cat From Hell last night.
Spoiler alert: The cat had cancer. Why don’t ya throw me for a loop there, Jackson? CRY CITY.
In honor of the lovely lady who had such a big heart that she took in this stray feral cat that for two years did nothing but eat and hide and strike at her, I am going to ignore the fact that Taco woke me up yesterday with a well-placed paw on a sore ab muscle and focus on how lucky I am to be in a position to have rescued the kitties that I have and that my boys give me love and affection (for the most part) in return.
I also don’t have much else to write about today, so this is a picture tribute.
Oh, and the kitty got surgery that removed all the cancer and with Jackson’s help, he even got domesticized enough to let the lady pet him. Hopefully that road continues to be a rewarding one for her. You go, girl. And props to the husband, who didn’t really understand her need to help this cat but went along with it all anyway. Ugh. I’m tearing up again just thinking about it all.
As a lifelong Florida resident, I am all-too-familiar with the dangers of hurricanes and the aftermath. Of course, Sandy was an anomaly in the world of hurricanes, a once in a 1000-year event, which on its own is super fascinating. However, she was also quite a bitch.
Although I am definitely a Florida girl and will likely never move, I have had torrid love affairs with New York City. I love it so that despite the fact that it actually has winters, I have actually considered moving there. I have a big place in my heart for that amazing city, and it breaks my heart to see all the damage there, not so much to the Financial District but the LES, St. Marks, the East Village…my favorite vegan bakery is without power (BabycakesNYC, heart them)! My best friend lives in Long Island and although she escaped damage, she’s expected to be without power for 7-10 days.
One of my facebook friends posted something the other day about how he hoped that an apparently famous colony of feral cats who reside under the Atlantic City boardwalk were collected by the group that looks after then before the storm. This, combined with all the fundraising efforts I’ve seen for the people affected, got me thinking about how the animal rescues there probably really need some help too. No one has benefit concerts for them, and we all know non-profit groups (especially no-kill shelters) have a hard enough time staying afloat. So I did some research.
For one, I learned that Alley Cat Allies, the group that traps, neuters and releases the feral cats under the aforementioned boardwalk, reported that “many cats have already returned to their colonies after the devastating weather.” Animals ARE smarter than humans, after all — the kitties got the eff outta Dodge. But I found this page: it lists a few of the shelters and rescues that were affected by the storm and need help. So please, if you can, remember the kitties (and doggies) and donate to a shelter up there in need. People tend to get caught up in the human element in disasters like this and forget about animals because hey, they’re just animals, right? Except they’re not, not to me. I would risk my life to save my cats. I would hope that if a hurricane hit here, which is really not that unlikely, that there would be help for my boys in the event something happened to me. Or if my roof blew off and they got out. Who knows? Nature is unpredictable.
So if you can, throw in 10 bucks. Or even give to your own local shelter in a show of moral support. They all could use the help.
I’m pretty logical about everything, even being illogical. There’s an explanation for everything, even if it’s not scientifically measurable yet. But I still cling to my belief in karma. I don’t necessarily think that bad things happen to bad people all the time, but I think that bad people do bad things because they’re not right in the head, and are probably unhappy, or too stupid to realize they’re unhappy. I think not being able to enjoy the good things in life is karma in itself.
I don’t consider myself a “lucky” person because there IS no luck, there are only seemingly random happenings that are taken as “good luck” or “bad luck” depending on the person’s viewpoint. An unhappy, negative person will see the bad in the things rather than the good, and vice versa. It’s kind of like when you’re having a bad day, where it seems like one unlucky thing happens after another…it’s probably not really more than any other day, but one of those things in the beginning of the day put you in a bad mood where you notice those little annoying things more and therefore think your day is cursed. I have those days. We all do. I’m a firm believer in wallowing to get over stuff, so when I have those days, I let myself be annoyed and shake my fist at the universe for allowing these horrible (but not really horrible, everything is usually pretty minor in comparison) things to happen to me ALL IN ONE DAY. Then I get over it.
That being said, I have a pretty decent life. I wish that I had the time or energy to give back. I’m not a huge fan of people but I would love to volunteer at a shelter. I’m gonna be honest and say that I’m not really sure that I could handle it even if I had the time, though. Animals affect me in a way that no social injustice ever could. I can see myself getting attached and hurt a lot. I can’t distance myself. I get sad about ratty looking stray cats in my neighborhood just LOOKING at them. And I’m pretty sure most of hem aren’t even strays, just cats that have owners that are too selfish to realize what a horrible idea it is to let their cats roam. It’s not exactly rural here.
It takes me DAYS to get over seeing a dead cat on the side of the road. Hell, I’ll cry about dead SQUIRRELS. How can I be trusted to see animals that have no home all in one place? Ones that may never find their forever home. I can’t bring them all home, even if I could it would be horribly irresponsible of me and unfair to the cats. I like dogs enough, not near the level that I like cats but they’ll bring a tear to my eye too. I just don’t really like being jumped on. And they’re a little smelly for me. But they’re just as innocent and loving.
Maybe one day I’ll have the time AND figure out how to balance my overly emotional self. Until then I’ll have to help my “karma” by donating when I can and spreading good kitty information. I fancy myself somewhat of an expert in that arena, anyway.
I’m 30, and I’m pretty sure if my biological clock was going to start ticking, it would have by now. Granted, my mom was 38 when she had me so I probably have time to change my mind if I so desire.
But I’m pretty sure I won’t.
I don’t get all goo-goo-ga-ga over kids. Sure, they’re cute, but I’ll take my cats any day. They depend on my for food and attention but for the most part, they’re pretty self sufficient. I don’t have to take them to school or make them do their homework. I don’t have to worry that they’re hanging out with a bad crowd. I don’t have to let them borrow my car. Not that kids are BAD, by any means, but I think they’re not for me. I’ve heard the whole “Oh, when you actually have one, you’ll understand.” Ok, but what if I DON’T? There’s no 30-day trial period where I can decide “Eh, this just isn’t a good fit” and stuff it back in there. There’s no going back. And on top of that, there’s 9 months of morning sickness, swollen feet, kicking baby to get through first. And if that wasn’t enough, let’s throw in labor pains and the actual process of shoving a watermelon through…well…you get the idea. I’m crossing my legs just thinking about it.
Cats? I’ll goo-goo-ga-ga over them every time. There’s something so innocent and loving about them that doesn’t turn into teenage angst someday. I love being a cat mom. But in some respects, I think it’s a hard choice because unlike kids, you’re almost guaranteed to outlive them. So theoretically I’m setting myself up for repeated heartbreak. I’ve been there. We put our beloved 1 1/2-year-old baby Jager to sleep after a month or so of tests, medicine x-rays and a surgery ruled out everything except Feline Infectious Perionitis. There’s no test for it, because cats can carry the virus that causes it without it ever turning into FIP, so a positive result doesn’t necessarily mean that’s what it is. There’s also no cure. It’s fatal. It was an extended heartbreak because every test carried a little bit of hope that just got smashed, and the dread slowly built until it was settled. There’s another thing you don’t have to do with human kids. Decide if euthanasia is the humane choice. Yeah, there’s the decision to take off life support but you’re not actually giving the orders to essentially cause the death. And worse, you have to decide WHEN. Too soon? Too late?
I know there are people who don’t feel the way I do about the furry babies. People who wouldn’t think twice about putting a cat to sleep. But this is me, and the older I get, the more I think I was meant to be a cat mom. I know the parents want grandkids, but frankly, I think I’m too selfish for that kind of commitment. There are days when even scooping out a litterbox is too much of a bother. How the hell would I deal with diaper changes and 3am feedings? And GODDAMN how do people afford children? The boyfriend and I both work two jobs, and while we don’t make crazy money, I’m pretty sure our incomes are above average. I couldn’t possibly see how we could add that expense in. Hell, I don’t know how my mom did it.
There are plenty of kids in this world. Ones that go hungry. Ones that are abused. Ones that are homeless. In some ways I feel that it would be pretty selfish of me to bring another one into this world just so I could pass on my (admittedly amazing) genes.
For now, I’m good with things the way they are. I haven’t even come to terms with the fact that I, myself, am an adult now. I just bought a pair of ballet shoes on a whim. Am I taking dance lessons? No. I just want to play dress-up, apparently. I’m obviously unfit for motherhood.
I love black cats. I don’t know why. I also love the color black. I’m not goth or anything, it just matches with things so well. And it’s slimming.
Fatty, he lives with my mom, he’s rotund (as the name implies). He’s got medium length hair so he’s extra fluffy, and he’s got big, wide greenish-gold eyes.
Jager, he was our little kitten that we lost to FIP (I always want to write about him but it’s too personal to a story for me to share just yet), he was wiry and had amber colored eyes.
Moosh, he’s a big boy (like a panther, not like Fatty) and his eyes change color, but they’re mostly midway between Fatty’s and Jager’s.
They all look completely different to me. When we lost Jager, the boyfriend didn’t want another black cat, because he felt like it would remind him of Jager too much. To me, this is like saying all girls with blonde hair look the same. That’s ridiculous. Moosh won him over anyway, so that was a moot point. When I talked him into a 2nd, I wanted another black one, but he thought it would be confusing. This is why we don’t have children. What if we had twins? Chaos would ensue. Also a moot point, because Taco came along, and although he has a black brother, I didn’t have much choice in the matter, because Taco was up for grabs, not his brother Zorro.
So because all cats have slightly different facial features, eye shape, eye color, etc., it greatly surprises me when I browse around other cat blogs to see pictures of kitties that look strikingly similar to my own. This is not to say I couldn’t pick mine out of a lineup. Moosh has one little fu manchu whisker on his chin and stray white hairs here and there that I know the exact placement of. Taco has a freckle on his head and a little one on his chin.
I can usually even tell which one of them is sleeping on my feet at night, just by moving. Moosh is more bulk. Taco is more snake. He just melts into wherever he is.
Last night I was out with some friends, including the one who gave us Taco. She still has Zorro, and the momma of the two. We often compare kitty stories, but her boyfriend hadn’t heard them before and was amazed to hear that they’re so similar even though they’ve grown up in two totally different environments. Granted, my friend is one of the awesomest people that I know and a fellow crazy cat lady, so I’m sure the parenting skills are on par with my own, but cats do form their own personalities so it is pretty interesting that their genetics have such an effect on them. They’re both loud, jump chest high and get into EVERYTHING. Zorro doesn’t pee on their couch though. I got the lemon. But lemon cats are my THING, apparently, so I roll with it.
Sigh. This makes me want another black cat.
Well, fancy that. Moosh Moosh was the Cat of the Day on Catster’s community page!
He did absolutely nothing to garner this honor but I am awash in motherly pride nonetheless.
My baby is famous.
Taco, on the other hand, loudly puked this morning about 30 minutes before I had to wake up. Apparently he managed to get some on the tile of the bathroom but did not miss the carpet.
I don’t remember signing up for puke pick-up duty.
Despite this, the news that a co-worker found baby kittens in his yard made me momentarily forget how expensive the cats are. One of them is all gray! And the silly boy did not bring pictures. In an office full of cat people? Ridiculous. I let myself get a little excited because I know that my best chance of convincing the boyfriend a 3rd cat is an OK idea is a solid gray kitten. One came up to our porch once and I had convinced him that we needed to take it in when a big fat neighborhood cat scared it away. Never saw the angelbaby again. I imagine it went back to its forever home. But I digress. Apparently one of kittens has funky legs. He googled and discovered its a common kitten thing, he just needs a little physical therapy, but soon. They’ve decided they want to keep that one. Which reminds me of the time I wanted to adopt a 3-legged cat (black, or course), but the boyfriend insisted he would have a hard time getting up and down the stairs. This is not true, of course, cats adapt very well.
I guess I love a good underdog. Undercat? Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.
Not that I’m allowed to get another cat. The boyfriend has made it clear that if another cat moves in, he’s moving out. He does really useful things, like taking out the trash and using a toilet instead of a litter box. He’s also there for me to annoy incessantly when I’m bored with doing that to the cats. I guess there’s the whole “love” thing, too.
But every time I see adoptable cats, I want them. They are calling to me. I was at PetSmart today (I only shop there because I can get Taco’s prescription food there, which they SO INCONVENIENTLY put next to the adoptable cats) and these kitties were CALLING to me. One literally was, I told him I couldn’t have another mouth in the house. Taco is deafening enough. But there is always one that really really gets me. This time, it was a 10-month-old tabby/white mix. I generally don’t even like partly white cats (I like them all, I just usually don’t find them attractive). This big guy was so cute. I am a sucker for big paws, and he stretched those big mitts out at me, just BREAKING my heart.
This is where my moral dilemma comes in, even though it is a hypothetical one, since I can’t get another cat.
The kitties at this PetSmart were from the Pinellas County Animal Shelter. The animal shelter is NOT a no-kill facility, meaning if these guys don’t don’t find homes, they’re euthanized for space. I know it’s logistically not possible for a state-funded operation to avoid this, but I don’t particularly want to support it, either. So how can you choose between saving an animal that might otherwise be “put down” or supporting a facility (through your adoption fee) that makes every effort to not euthanize?
All of my cats are strays. Except Taco, his mom was rescued while preggers, so he’s never really known the streets. As much as I dream about having full-blood Bengal or a Cheetoh or a Toyger, there are so many stray, unwanted and unloved babies out there without it being necessary to breed more. Besides, Taco is part Bengal and if I pretend he’s bigger, Moosh is almost Panther-like.
I guess the end result is what really matters. You save an animal, no matter how you do it.
And when I can, I assuage my guilt by donating when I can, and taking my old clothes over to the Friends of Strays thrift store. I wish I could volunteer but two jobs take up most of my time and I doubt I’d be much help crying over wanting to take them all home. It would be like putting a drug addict in an evidence room.
Just in case anyone feels like donating…these are really good no- kill shelters that can always use the help:
Happy Mother’s Day to the forgotten — the mothers of the furry ones. The mothers who will forever answer the question “When are you going to have kids?” with the answer “I have cats.” Those of us who are amazing at raising furballs, who read the labels on cat food, who don’t just think of their animals as pets.
We’re just as mother-y as if we’d given birth, but with some extra perks. My babies will never borrow my car, go on dates with strange boys, never stay out all night or get arrested. I can lock them in my house without DCF coming after me.
I worry about them as much as I would if I had a human baby, obsessing over odd behavior and whether it’s vet-worthy. And I can do this, because I know them so well that I know when one is even the slightest bit off.
I’m not saying we’re better than human mothers, we’re just a different breed. It takes all kinds in this world and someone’s gotta do it. Kittehs need love too. And they give it back ten-fold.
So to all the mommies out there, the kitty mommies, the dog mommies, the ferret mommies — whatever kind of animal mommy you are — HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY. Even if your cats forgot to get you a card (*cough cough* thanks a lot, boyfriend), I salute you.
And Happy Mother’s Day to the Evil Stepmother (who is not really evil at all), who is also a great kitty mommy and who was the only person on the planet who could have ever convinced my dad to get a cat.
And last but by FAR not the least, Happy Mother’s Day to my own awesome mommy, who not only raised a good kitty mommy but who is a fabulous kitty mommy and grandmommy herself. I LOVE YOU!
Moosh is turning 4 this month. Sadly, he started life being thrown from a car along with his litter as kittens and rescued immediately after. When I found him, he was with a shelter called Second Chance for Strays (amazing people, please support them). I was in desperate need of a kitten, having been without one since having to put our baby Jager to sleep. After you lose an animal, there’s a period of time when you can’t imagine having another. Once that stage of grieving is over, you feel like you have to have a new one immediately to survive.
I wanted a kitten-kitten, Jason wanted anything but a black cat (Jager was black, he thought it would be too hard to have that reminder, which sucked, because all I wanted was a black cat — or a bazillion of them), and what I found was a black 7-month-old teenager cat, the last to be adopted from his litter.
Jason is not a guy who does a lot of grand gestures, but he surprises me sometimes. And so begins the story of Moosh. I couldn’t find any kittens, so I was looking in between jobs and online. I saw Moosh (except his name was Oz). I thought, “K. This is a black cat and not as kitteny as I want. Buuuuut I’ll just try him out anyway. What’s the harm?”
As if he’d been training for this moment all his life, he nuzzled his face into my neck and I was in love.
I called Jason and said something like “iknowyoudontwantablackcatbutireallyreallyreallyreallyreallylikethisoneandwillyoupleaseatleastlookathimilovehim.” He managed to decipher this. I guess he’s used to it. I get excited a lot. Mostly about cats. He’s usually prepared with a NO before I get out the first two words.
I got home from work that night to find Moosh. My darling boyfriend went to see him, unbeknownst to me. Moosh laid the charm on thick with the ol’ man. Put a paw on each side of his neck and nuzzled in. Jason thinks he’s a tough guy but he’s really a pushover for kitty snuggles. He’s going to kill me for making this public. But his friends won’t read this, and in the event they do, they’d have to freely admit they looked at a blog about cats. Catch-22, suckaz.
Anyway. That’s when he took him home. Moosh is mostly a momma’s boy, so every once in awhile Jason reminds him who took him home (he still loves me more).
Seriously, black cats are the best.