Feline Friday

I am the reluctant Mamma to two cats and two dogs. The dogs have been with me for the past 11 years for Dallas, the part chow, and 10 years for Gizmo, my 3 pound Yorkie. But the cats joined our family in the past few years, and have made themselves quite at home. Kiki is the one that has been here the longest, and she is the youngest. She arrived as a very sick, very small, 3 week or so kitten. Someone decided that they didn't need to care for this small precious thing, so she was dumped and found her way to our car port after almost being run over by cars. The shelter refused to take her, being full as usual, so they said that we could be a "foster" family and they would pay for a Vet visit. Well, that Vet didn't think that she'd live at all, but he gave her medicine and gave me instructions, and back home we went. Since she was found up by my Mother's, I made her a warm shelter in the carport and away from my 3 dogs (I still had custody of my college student Son's dog at the time, as well as my own) and my Mother's 3 Yorkies. All of the dogs just loved to chase cats and other animals, and frequently caught them, so I was very concerned, but she stayed on her side of the fence and out of the reach of the dogs as she grew and healed. As Fall began, she had gained weigh, grown, her and her matted eyes were open but she still had a cough so I took her back to the Vet. He was amazed that she had made it, but not very surprised when I told him that there was still no room at the shelter for her. As Fall progressed and her cough dissipated, she  began venturing over the fence and into the yard whenever we were outside. The smaller dogs chased her a bit, but she was pretty good at evading them. Amazingly enough, the largest dog, Dallas, never chased her. And Lucky, my Son's Corgie, a hunting breed, didn't pay much attention to her either. So, after Mom corrected her dogs, they eventually quit chasing the cat and she began spending more and more time in our company. Then one day my Mother called me and asked me to come up to her house. When I arrived she told me to look in the bedroom. When I did, I saw all of Mom's dogs asleep on her bed, and in the middle was the cat, curled up and sound asleep. Mom had left the door ajar for the dogs to come and go as they pleased but never saw the cat come in. From that day on the cat stayed in the house at Moms'.......until she didn't that is. 

But first, let me tell you how Kalley came to join our family. My Son took winter semester off of school to come home and finish building my addition on my house (there is a long story about a thieving contractor here for another time!). Since my Mother was out of town caring for an injured friend, we were staying up at her house with all the animals. During this time an older cat came to the yard and seemed to always be around. She was loud and very demanding of attention, but I instructed my Son to not feed it, we didn't need another mouth to feed and I thought it would go away. But "IT" decided to stay and every day it would follow my Son from Mom's to my house, winding in and  out of his feet, meowing loudly as they went, then would sit and wait for him to make the return trip to do it all over again. After about a week of "it" showing great tenacity, my Son told me that he thought that "it" was pregnant. Well I certainly couldn't continue to not feed a Mom to be, so we began feeding her, and I made another bed in the car port. I didn't think I could bring a stray into my Mom's house, since it was not my home, and I wasn't sure what all the other animals would think either. I sure did feel bad about the car port bed though, especially since it was getting pretty cold. But I made her a nice shelter, complete with warming blankets and whenever I felt her, she was always warm to touch. So she began to show that she was pregnant and she ate me out of house and home. My Son finished my place, I moved back home and Mom came back to her house. I was happy to be back in my cabin with my 3 dogs and Mom seemed content to accept the Mamma cat along with Kiki. She was even speaking of letting her in the house too. 

Then, one day I went to the grocery store and when I opened the door to go into my house, there was Kalley, Ms Mamma kitty on my porch, and Kiki was meowing inside my home. Upon further inspection, the litter box was in my house along with cat food!  WHY? Mother just laughed when I asked and refused to even consider taking them back. She insists that they "bonded" with me while she was gone, and that that was proven when Kiki jumped on my lap when I came to visit, yet would not come to her at all. Since she didnt even answer her phone or her door for hours that day, I got the idea pretty fast that this was a done deal, as they say. Kalley eventually came in the house too, and hasn't been back out since. She has had some major health issues, lost all of her babies, and still thinks that she may starve if no food is in her dish, but all in all, she settled into the family quite nicely. She even looks like she could be Kiki's Mamma, although Kiki likes to think she is queen of the roost. In fact, as I write this, Kiki is laying on Dallas' bed, ever so quietly exerting her superiority, and Kalley is laying at the end of my bed licking her paw and quite happy to just have a place to "belong". 

While I absolutely love my dogs, these cats are quite interesting and amazing creatures. They have attitude for days and quite the personalities. They are very different from each other and from the dogs. Kalley "speaks" a lot, while Kiki rarely makes a sound. Kiki has the energy of a kid, and since she is, I guess that makes sense, yet Kalley will occasionally take off running after Kiki for no apparent reason. In fact, every now and again she will just reach out and smack Kiki in the face. Being a Mom, I rather understand that desire, so I give her props for acting on it I guess, and I am grateful that she is not human and won't have to deal with child welfare laws! Lol  But in fairness, most often it is Kiki who starts the smacking and running, she just doesnt understand why Dallas and Gizmo don't want to play with her. She is cautious of Dallas, after all he is about 20 times her weight, but poor Gizmo.....she loves to play billy goat gruff with him. That is to say, she hides under the steps that he has to take to get up into my bed, and as he is walking up them, she jumps out and pounces on him. She has a blast with this game, but Gizmo isn't too keen on it!    

While I may have been a reluctant Mom to these two cats, I have to say that they have given, and continue to give me a great deal of pleasure. And as I look into their pretty faces, pet their warm, soft, fur, and listen to their low purring, I still wonder how anyone could just dump one on the side of the road.   

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