Here Kitty Kitty

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I have two cats, Tigger and Charlie.  They are sweet and funny and loving, which is my biased opinion because I’m a cat person.  Admittedly, my cats are spoiled rotten, pampered and played with, and get along with each other …  most of the time.

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attachmentCharlie is a gentle giant.  He’s an orange tabby with big green eyes and weighs a whopping 16 pounds.  Despite his size, he’s extremely agile.  He’s been known to vault his big kitty butt over couches, countertops and even the occasional refrigerator.  Remember John Belushi’s pudgy but agile Blues Brothers character Joliet Jake Blues?  That’s Charlie.  This cat loves his food and has a reputation for dumpster diving. His favorites include pizza and chinese pea pods.  He has a tiny baby-sound meow that somehow doesn’t match his physique but comes in handy when people pet him because he likes to meow.  He’s a lady’s man.  He’s also extremely laid back and unflappable.

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Tigger, on the other hand, is a spazmo.  He’s a brown tabby with green eyes and sports an unusually summer 2008065long tail.  A couple years ago I adopted Tig from a shelter when he was 8 weeks old.  A kitten would be good company for Charlie, right?  And I  just, well,  wanted a kitten.  Besides, Charlie could use a little more exercise and a kitten would be a great workout partner.  Tig did not disappoint.  He loves to chase anything that moves, especially Charlie.   Tigger is both shy and curious.  Nothing motivates him to come when you call his name unless  you have something shiny to dangle, or a treat, catnip, or anything that might resemble a snake …. string, ribbon, a fake snake … whatever.  He’s also seduced by french fries and crackers.

butterfly5Mind you, pets are no substitute for family, friends, children or significant others.  However, Charlie and Tigger are good company.  When I broke my leg a couple years ago (actually I broke my left leg and foot, and sprained my right ankle), Charlie spent every day of the 6 weeks I was stuck in bed right by my side.  And they protect my house … sort of.   Every spring they manage to hunt down several mice and bring them to me when I get home from work.  On a cold winter night last year I came home to a crazy mess of broken plates in the kitchen and crooked lamp shades in the living room.  Tigger stood sentry next to the home wrecker … a bird that somehow, some way, managed to get INSIDE.  The bird was bigger than Tig, and he tried to corral that crazy thing until I threw a towel over Mr.  Bird and ushered it outside.

Okay, so they really don’t protect the house.  But don’t tell them that.

For those of you who have pets, you know that when they get sick, the cure always involves an unexpected layout of money way beyond what seems reasonable.  Charlie is prone to urinary tract infections.  My technique for getting sick or injured cats inside their carrier is a masterpiece of bribery and foolery.   Last week we made the trip to the clinic … and waited over 2.5  hours.  Charlie had to pee, but couldn’t.  He managed a few sorry little puddles on the floor.  He was hot and shedding fur was floating around the room like milkweed.  I was hot (and crabby) and was sweating enough to melt magazine ink all over my hands in a frantic attempt to fan myself.  My stupid lupus rash glowed purple under the lovely harsh lights of the exam room.  So pretty.  At least the cold tile floor helped the cat.  I couldn’t justify stripping down and laying next to him, so I suffered in silence.  Outside our room, dogs were howling, cats were hissing, and we both stared at the door, praying for redemption, which finally came with some antibiotics after I handed over my VISA card.  Oh yeah, and a reminder to make a follow up appointment for a urine specimen in 2 weeks, just to be sure the infection is cleared.  We get home and are greeted by Tigger, who is now convinced that Charlie returned with  a bad case of the cooties.  He hissed at Charlie for two days.  Charlie could have cared less.

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I know some folks might think I’m well on my way to being one of those old lady cat people, walking around with clothes covered in cat fur, and a kitchen pantry filled with cans of cat food.  I have a bunch of kitty Christmas ornaments.  I own earrings and pins with cats on them.  I don’t have any grandchildren yet, so I call Charlie and Tigger “my boys.”  Kitty toys litter my living room … little mice, balls, and catnip squares.

But here’s the thing.  These guys don’t care what I look like.  And lately, between the prednisone and the lupus flare ups, I’m a little worn around the edges.  Charlie and Tigger  just want to sit on my lap, purr and chill out.  When they act like total goofballs who run around and chase their tails, I often forget about the crummy day at work, or the scary doctor visit, or the infusions I deal with every three weeks.  These kitties are good for the heart and soul.

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Now, if they could only learn how to cook and fold the laundry.  But even I know that’s never gonna happen any time soon.   Maybe some day  🙂

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5 responses »

  1. OMG!!!! I cannot stop laughing. the picture of you laying on the cold vet’s floor next to Charlie with your neon purple rash….this really cracks me up. You silly girl. Keep laughing Sue, there is nothing better for the soul. (As I wipe the laughter tears from my eyes.)

  2. Hey, I call my cat Nurse Bea whenever I’mn sick. She is always there for me when I’m sick. She may not be able to physically drag me out of the house if there was a fire, but at least twice she’s meowed and woken me up when I’ve overslept 30 minutes and was running late for work. She knows to give me a tummy massage with her paws, or to sit in my lap when I’m freezing.

    Your cats are very cute, and if Beatrice wasn’t so shy, I’d say we’d exchange cat pics, lol!

    Yeah I know how cats can wake you up! Charlie always wakes me up early because he wants to eat!!

  3. That is the amazing thing about cats.
    They don’t care what we look like.
    They also know when you’re upset.
    I have three myself.
    My oldest male tabby, Sherlock, keys into my wife’s voice when she’s angry or upset.
    He will not leave her alone.
    It’s kind of funny actually. (he makes her laugh eventually)
    Glad you have ‘the boys’ to keep you company.
    Cats rule!
    ~m

    They certainly do!! 🙂

  4. Aw, I love your tribute to your kitties! They are such handsome boys! I have two cats also and one of mine is a 15 pound orange male, so I truly appreciate your Charlie although mine is not so graceful. LOL. Anyway, I totally agree that they can help protect you. Mine will actually slink around and growl when someone comes to the door so even when my wireless doorbell doesn’t work, I know when someone is at the door. Maybe I won’t bother replacing those batteries anymore. LOL. They are such a comfort when we aren’t feeling well and sometimes seem to sense just what type of behavior we need from then when we need. They also can be pretty unpredictable and keep us guessing all the time. Yeah, it may be expensive when they get sick but that hopefully is not often and is a responsibility that comes with being a pet owner. Anyway, you and I know that they are so worth every penny, right? 🙂

    Absolutely! They are good companions. Like yours, mine also know who’s coming to my door before I do. And they’re always at the door staring at me when I come home from work 🙂

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