For some reason, Oscar the cat (the one I suspected of hiding my fancy moving list) has taken to sleeping by the front door and I don’t know why. There are no shoes over there. This cat has a shoe fetish. If there is a pair of shoes, you can bet Oscar has laid on them. He’s like a mother chicken, waiting for her little shoe-lings to hatch.
Seriously, he is a darling cat (even if he has destroyed the carpet). I got Oscar when he was six weeks old. I knew he was the one for me when he stood up on his little toes, stuck all his baby fur out and hissed at me with as much ferocity as an animal that could fit in a Starbucks cup could muster. Then he ran up into the wheel well of a friend’s car – thinking we couldn’t reach him there. He was going to be a perfect friend for my 9-month old diva cat, Kali.
Kali is a petite calico. She is the runt of the only litter her mother, also named Kali, had before she died. Momma Kali was a lanky, grey striped shelter cat I picked up when we had to put our dachshund, Trixie, down after she hurt her back. Momma Kali got out of the house one night when the kittens were about 3 weeks old and was hit by a car. She made it back up into the driveway before she died and that’s where I found her. I resolved, then and there, to never let another whiskered child (cat) of mine be an outside cat – it’s too dangerous for them and they are no match for a car.
I managed to keep 3 of the 6 kittens alive and kept the littlest, a calico with her mother’s eyes. I named her Kali. She’s been with me 13 years and she is still my diva cat. She will not accept she is not my eldest child and has never quite gotten over the indignity of being “replaced” by a human child. Wonder what she’ll do with the Stowaway… (I won’t tell her about the great Dane puppy we are planning to adopt this fall – that might just send her over the edge.)
By the time she was about 9 months old, I was a senior in college and she was by herself all day – she needed a friend. In comes Oscar. It was loathing at first sight. She was practically an adult, MOTHER, and how could you bring a baby in here who has to be taught everything all over again? (if cat’s could suck their teeth, she would have done it)
Within a few months, though, Kali & Oscar were dear friends. Even had two litters of kittens together before I decided we’d had enough romance in our house, thank you very much.
Fast forward 12 years. Oscar and Kali are an old married couple. They have their favorite food bowls and don’t spoon anymore when they nap. They are fiercely competitive for my attention (Kali is SUCH a hater) and completely indifferent to Munchkin (thus the impending addition of the dog). Kali will kiss (groom) Oscar and then, in a heartbeat, hiss and smack him as she runs off – leaving a very baffled (and somewhat henpecked) Oscar. Oscar is a wonderful singer but is terribly shy so you’ll probably never get to experience it. Kali will steal food from your hand/plate/countertop if you are foolish enough to get it within her reach while Oscar smugly sits on the floor, looking up at you with an oh-so-innocent “Mommy Dearest, may I please have a bite of the delectable little morsel in your lovely hand?”
In the musical Cats, Bustopher Jones is a fat cat and I imagine the song very much takes after my darling Oscar (except that the show predates him). He has never been thin. Until now. Well, thin isn’t a good word. Thin enough that, for the first time in his life, I can feel the bones in his shoulders and back. I don’t know if it’s just that he’s getting old (hey, aren’t we all) or if there is something wrong with him that I don’t really want to know about.
I don’t really know what I’ll do without the kitties when they go to Heaven. (yes, I think they will be there) They have been with me most of my adult life. They are my constant companions. They know all my secrets. Kali knows when I don’t feel well and will cling to me as if to say, “I know my being near makes you feel better.” (and it does!)
I’m so glad God created kitties. They are funny, outrageous, darling, exasperating and infuriating. Dogs are great and I do enjoy them and am looking forward to the Dane puppy. But I am, and always will be, a cat person.