How did my cats come into my life?
I’ve had pink collar, a beautiful black cat with a little white on her chest the longest. I adopted her from Westbrook’s Animal Refuge League while looking for a cat to replace one my mom had lost. She’d lost Sam, her calico, and it had been awhile. Living alone, I knew a cat’s company would do her good. The problem was the Pink Collar got along famously with my Russian Blue, Smokey Blue, now deceased. She was absolutely adorable – only six months old. It was a few weeks before Christmas, but I grew so attached to her that I couldn’t give her up. The quest started for another cat for my mom. We went to the Farmington Animal Shelter and she fell for Clyde, a very skittish tuxedo kitty.
The three were our cats until I lost my job at a nonprofit organization in the Portland area, and
moved back the town I grew up in to help my mom. Our neighbor moved, leaving a black kitty behind. Thinking maybe we should adopt him, we trapped him and took him to the Farmington Animal Shelter. It turned out he had leukemia, and their suggestions was to not have him come into a home with other cats. He would be put down. I was very distraught, but in looking around the shelter cats, I came across a beautiful point Siamese. I had always wanted a Siamese, and I knew Linus had to join my feline family. The only kicker, he came as a pair. His brother, Tubby, with coarse black hair and a few whisks of white on his chest, came with him at no cost. Ouch – that made four cats. Those two cats would wrestle and frolic, and it made me start to think, maybe I should start to write about cats. They, indeed were fascinating.
Smokey Blue was up their in years, and the other cats tended to pick on her, no matter how much I tried to stop it. She was loosing a lot of weight. About a year later, she was so thin, there was no choice but to have her put to sleep. The following January, over Martin Luther King weekend, I could not find Tubby. That was very unusual because he slept on the foot of my bed every night. I panicked, thinking maybe he had gotten outside. There was a cat outside that looked very much like him. On Monday, I spotted Tubby barely able to walk across the bedroom floor. He had lost a lot of weight. I thought maybe he’d eaten a bad mouse. I waited a few days, and then called the vet. They got him in quickly. It appeared his liver and gallbladder were malfunctioning. The vet assistants strongly urged that I take him to a specialist – in Portland. The appointment was made for that afternoon. After a number of tests, they made a terminal diagnosis of FIP. We drove back to Phillips in one of the worst snowstorms of the winter. It took over four hours. There was no other option. No one would put up a sick cat with a disease they didn’t understand.
Despite efforts to restore some quality of heath with steroids, there was no choice but to put him o sleep a month later. There still is no cure for this horrendous disease.
About a year and a half later, my boss at the time, wanted to help three kittens that her daughter had re-located from their trailer out to the barn. She was going to take one, and was hopeful to find homes for the others. She brought them into the office. They looked just like Maine Coons, and were so cute, being only three months old. I took the long-haired yellow coon home, and he and my Siamese, Linus, became fast friends, playing, wrestling and snuggling together. they even game one another baths. Little Yellow became Tubby’s replacement. It was so humorous to see them play. It was a joy to watch them.
This past spring, a neighbor had contacted friends of Feral Felines in Portland ( one of the few organizations in Maine that will help with trapping, neutering, and returning feral cats to their original location). There was a pair of ferals that she wanted to help. One was pregnant. I was trying to help relocate my mom from assisted living to a nursing home. The cat had her kittens in a brush pile behind a neighbor’s home. She rescued this one kitty and bottle fed him. He was only one week old, and we thought mistakenly that it was a she. I started taking photos of her every week, thinking perhaps she’d make a picture book. It turns out the little kitty turned out to be a boy. Lilly became a Lenny. He looks just like an Egyptian Mau, only he has a more pointed face. I couldn’t turn down this opportunity to retain my photographic subject, and I adopted him. He melded into the group unbelievably well, and it seemed all the cats got along better than before.
Do you have a story behind each of your cats? How did they come to live with you? Was there something special about them that made you bring them into your home. Please share your stories.