Sunday, December 28, 2008

Cat lady?? (Lord, this is longer than I expected!)

Growing up and the entire time I was married, we were never allowed to have pets. Oh, there were times we had parakeets and the time my daughter's boyfriend gave her a bunny (he lived in the garage ... the bunny, not the boyfriend) but we never could have dogs or cats.

My ex and I split up in 2005 and by that summer, my youngest, Dani talked me into getting a kitty. I didn't even know I liked cats... I was just really pissed at my ex and he hated cats. So in August 2005, I traded in my ex for a gray striped tabby/siamese mix we named Cameron. The day we got him at Diane's Pet Shop, there were 2 kitties, siblings. Dani said, "How do we decide which one to get?" With that, Cameron hopped up and trotted right over to the door, as if to say, "ME! Pick me!!!" So we get Cameron home, and I keep thinking about that other poor little kitty we left at the pet shop. Two days later, we go back to get his sibling and he's already been adopted. Cammie's a loving little kitty, loves to be petted, loves to hop on the table, attacks my tunafish salad when I try to eat it (to this day he still does that!). Most of this behavior stops when he gets neutered several months later. I tried to keep him as an indoor cat but this kitty LOVES to be outside and he finally won that battle.

Two months after we get Cameron, Dani and I go to the PetSmart that just opened to get some stuff for Cameron. I didn't know they had a Cat Angel Network there. So as I'm checking out the collars and toys, etc., Dani is falling in love with this black short-haired domestic kitten. His name is Mason and he has a brother, Dixon (Dixon is a gray tabby). So Dani wears me down (I'm still in newly separated mode and giving this kid everthing she asks for because her dad left and I feel guilty about it) We talk to the lady at CAN, but she says Mason and Dixon are supposed to be adopted together since they came from the same home and the former owner wanted them to stay together. I really didn't want both cats... I already have one at home. She takes my name and we leave. A few days later, the CAN lady calls me and tells me she has someone who wants only Dixon and she already has a cat and since I already have a cat, I can take Mason if I want. After all, each kitty will be with another kitty. So we go back to PetSmart and get Mason and bring him home. I learn later it's unusual to get kittens at the Cat Angel Network because they mostly get full-grown cats. Either that or the kittens go so quickly, you rarely see any there.

We bring Mason home, introduce him to Cameron. Cam sniffs him all over and then proceeds to chase this poor little kitten all over the house! Mason finally runs up INSIDE my recliner sofa and we can't get him out! We had to cut the back of the sofa open to get him! I keep Mason in my office, just off the family room for 3 days with litter and food dishes. Finally, I decide to hell with this! You two are going to just have to learn to get along and I let Mason out and hope for the best. It was funny to see.... Cameron clearly had the upper paw and chased that poor cat all over. Then, one day, Mason decides enough is enough. He hid on one of the dining room chairs and pounced right on Cameron and gave him some right back! They now roll around and bite each other... just like real brothers!

Mason was afraid to go out for the longest time but now he cries at the back door for me to let him out. He mostly likes to go out at night but Cameron likes to go out during the day. It's like they take shifts! One comes in, one goes out!

Over time, we realize that Cameron is Dani's cat and Mason is mine. Nothing scares Cam.... just try to make him take off running and he looks at you and laughs. Mason, on the other hand, is afraid of his own shadow! He runs to the basement every time someone comes in the front door! I often wonder what happened to him before we got him. His tail is crooked too like it had been broken.

OK, fast-forward 3 years. I go into the nail salon to get my nails done and Sam (my nail tech) is there, holding this teeny little kitty. He's only 2 weeks old and they found him at the garage where they get their cars serviced. The mama died and they are tying to find a home for this little guy. Sam says just hold him while I do your nails. NO Sam! I already have 2 cats at home. I don't need a third one! sigh. So I'm holding this little kitty and he's climbing up to my shoulder and promptly falls asleep. He is soo teeny!!!! Within the hour, I'm driving home with nice red nails, a brown kitty and 2 cans of pet formula. Did I mention that I have to feed him every couple of hours from a baby bottle that looks like it's for a dolly? And I have to teach him how to poop because his mommy died before she could do that????

I give this as yet unnamed kitty a bath in Dawn dishwashing liquid and discover he's black, not brown (dirt from the garage) and loaded with fleas! How can they get so flea-infested in such a short time? Within a few days I take him to the vet to be checked out, discover he's a boy and he says he's doing well in spite of losing his mother so young. My older daughter's boyfriend, Gene thinks we should name in Java because he's the color of black coffee, so that's what we do (I was going to name him Sam whether he was a boy or girl) . At first Gene suggested Juan Valdez lol. A few weeks later, we begin to see gray stripes show up on his coat, so he's part back-haired and part gray tabby... a mix of both of my other cats!

Since Java was so young, he was living in my bedroom and bathroom. When I brought him home, Cameron (the bully) sniffed him and then started hissing and growling! Oh No! Mason, as usual, ran away and hid. (big wuss) I had to take Java with me to John's so I could take care of him, so he got used to travel fairly quickly.

Java is now 4+ months old and still living in my bedroom and bathroom. Cam is not a fan and I let him out for a few hours and when I came home, Java's eye was bleeding where Cam had swiped at him. Java just wants to hang out with his big brothers! He chases after them all the time. He didn't get to do that with his siblings. He's just looking for attention! Java likes to bite feet and that get real annoying! I hope it stops when he gets neutered! I tried a water gun, swatting him, nothing works. He thinks I'm playing with him. I have to keep him in my bathroom at night so I can get some sleep. I do let him out in the rest of the house for a while each day. He likes the Christmas tree (surprisingly, the other 2 cats leave it alone and always have). Dani calls him Satan. She doesn't like him.

One of the funniest thing this kitten does is jump into the shower with me! And if the water is running in the sink, he wets his paw and bathes himself! Goofy cat!

Anyway, I'm really afraid I'm turning into a cat lady. I'm not sure what to do about the Cameron/ Java thing. Any advice? ideas?


Jim and Garret said...

Wowsers and no more cats! Years ago, I bought my very first condo. A coworker stopped by with a kitten in hand. She found it on the way to see me. I kept it, and named her Clea because of the eye markings. Later down the road I think Clea is lonely and with my birthday coming around, I ask my mom for a kitten to keep Clea company. Clea bullied him, later Jag (stands for Jim And Garret) bully's her but they have never liked one another and still don't. I suggest you let them work it out for themselves. Keep Cam at arm's length and reassure him as the new arrival checks the rest of the house. You can't leave this cat in a room. Cam will have to deal with it. Chances are they won't become friends but they don't have to.


Alix said...

Couple things...

My nail tech's name is Sam too.

I once had 6 cats because there were a lot of strays in my neighborhood and I couldn't not take care of them. They were all loves and cuddlers.

I now have two cats - a pitch black domestic short hair and a seal point Siamese. Neither one gives me the time of day.

My son just got a second kitten and named it Velcro because it's so clingy. I thought that was funny.

Glad you're enjoying your kitties. I know someone who adopts children and is on her 13th! Cats are easier.

Liz said...

We are a dog household. I'd love to have a snuggly kitty... but my allergies don't allow for it. :( So I can't offer any advice. But I can share in the excitement of getting a pet as a sign of independence. My parents never had any pets for me or my brothers- save for a few fish here and there. So as soon as I graduated from college and had a job, I knew I wanted a pet- a dog. I still have my Sassy... but not sure how much longer she will be with us. Her eyes are starting to get cloudy... but her spirits and activity level have yet to show signs of aging!

Temple said...

Sounds like you made an excellent trade-in on the ex :)
And Cameron and Mason sound just like my Oscar and TomCat...they still have WWF kitty wrestling matches and "switch" up on the outdoor patrols, too!
Bless you for taking in the little furry angels--a home's true soul is found in the hearts of it's critters!

Oh, and thanks for the words of encouragement as I continue the beginning days of the Battle of the Treadmill!

Joanie said...

Well, I left Java out of my room all day. The hissing and the growling has been unreal! If Java lives through his it will be a miracle! Maybe the other 2 are jealous because he still has his balls. :)

Jim and Garret said...

Keep us posted. I've subscribed to this entry!


Joanie said...

Well, I've given Java the run of hte house and he's still living and as far as I can tell, he still has all his parts. If nothing else, Cameron and Mason will lose some weight, running away from Java! LOL I've been staying at John's these past few nights, so I'm not here to listen to the cat fights. :)

Jim and Garret said...

Ooooo, even better... no cat fight noises. You're a smart woman!