clingy cats

I love cats of all kinds. Big ones, little ones, lap cats and mean cats and cats that are crazy and cats that run the world. Stripey, orangey, black, white, splotchy, what have you. I don’t have a preference because I like them all for their quirks and their pecadillos. It’s what makes cats fun, in my opinion. They’re such individuals.

While some cats are more affectionate than others, in general there’s a certain standard of standoffishness you expect from a cat, right? A certain “I don’t care what you do” superiority, even if they don’t mean it deep down (sometimes they’re just faking for appearances). That slow blink that says, “You have an incurable tumor? Yes, that’s very interesting. And once you’re dead, my food bowl will be getting filled how?” I mean, those of you who knew my Katie can attest that she was never anything other than annoyed with the world, something I rather enjoyed.

The point is, given all of that, I was somewhat unprepared for Fred and George. Loving, affectionate, not given to sulks or attitude, they’re wonderful kitties… even if sometimes I’m scratching my head, wondering if they missed a day in Cat Attitude School. Still, lately they’ve really taken it up a notch. These days they’re downright…clingy. If I sit still for more than five minutes, I’m generally swarmed on by orangey fluff, and if I lie down on the bed, I end up with this:

I’m not complaining, believe me. But I’ll never know what I did to deserve such kitty devotion. Of course, it’s possible they’re just using me for body warmth and ear rubbings.

kitty anniversary day

On this day, five years ago, I brought two orangey furry guys home with me. While we of course celebrate their birthdays each year, I also like to commemorate Kitty Anniversary Day.

If the preceding paragraph isn’t explanation enough, you should go into this blog post knowing that whatever kind of crazy cat person you think you are, or have met in the past, my crazy catness is well off those charts. I am happier in the company of my boys than I am in that of almost every other human I know. They are two bright spots in my existence. They’re family. If you’re scoffing already, get out now. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Five years ago I was looking for two boy kittens to bring home. One day, I visited the Buffalo Animal Shelter. It must have been fate because I took one step into the cat room and saw them there, the two best-looking cats in the world, brother kitties, waiting there for me.

George and Fred at the shelterI quickly found a volunteer and said I wanted to meet them, but I already knew  we were meant to be together. This meeting was just a chance to spend time with them right away. They took me to the little room used for meet & greets and then brought the cats in. One of them (George) ran onto a kitty tower, looking a little afraid, distracted by newfound freedom and toys. The other sauntered toward me, confident and calm. He sniffed my finger then allowed me to pet him, and that was how I met Fred.

I went to finalize their adoption and learned that the shelter only accepted cash. The nearest ATM was a mile or so away. I left, begging them to keep those kitties for me until I came back — I was worried that someone else would swoop in at just that moment, see the two most wonderful cats in the world, and steal them away. Excited, I hurried back, and we signed all the forms, and they were mine. One last goodbye and they were whisked off for their snip-snip surgeries, and the next day they were ready to come home.

They were a little scared in the vet’s office, I remember, and cried a little in the carrier (back then, they both fit in — and preferred to be in — one). But I took them out to the car and the smooth noise of the engine and the last dregs of anesthesia calmed them down; first they were purring, and then fast asleep. It was snowing lightly all our ride home. We have been together since, and I love their company. They were there through long lonely times between visits with Dave, two surgeries and then a scary big move to Long Island. They’ve done wonderfully adjusting to their new home and I hope we make them happy here.

Some things have changed over time: they used to cuddle with each other, always, like two peas in a pod. Now, they will only occasionally sit near each other, and there is sometimes a skirmish of swiping and chasing, like two bickering teenagers, instead. They’re bigger, of course, and very different from each other. But still each perfect.

IMG_1570Georgie is a sweet, sweet boy, the prettiest cat I’ve ever seen (I’m biased, I know), and full of affection. He spends most days on my lap and sometimes will cuddle between us in bed at night — though he’s often too restless for that. He purrs and kneads and cries little kittenish cries for attention. He’s never grown up and remains a baby, and I know he thinks I’m his mother. He can be incredibly cute and loving, and he can also be a bad bad kitty, knocking things over just for attention, eating everything in sight, and generally wreaking havoc. He never learned his own name and doesn’t understand a thing I say to him, whether whispered or yelled — I actually came to the conclusion that he likes when I yell (“mommy making the shouty noise yay!”) and stopped bothering. He thinks squirt guns are a fun at-home water park activity and he’s climbed in the shower with me on more than one occasion. He’s a big doofus but he’s clever; he loves playing with Dave more than anything, and I love him in spite of, or maybe sometimes because of, his badness.

IMAG0143Fred is a more serious cat. He hates to be picked up and never sits on my lap, but he’ll climb onto me or Dave while we’re laying down, hunkering down on your chest with his face an inch from yours. And he climbs into bed with me every night, sometimes for hours at a time, his head on my pillow, purring, wrapped up in my arms. He comes when I call him and he understands what I say to him. Sometimes he purrs just when I look at him. His love is unrelenting, steadfast, and uncompromising. He takes care of me when I need him and I protect him from all his fears: grocery bags, strange neighborhood kitties, and the world outside his four walls. We have a special bond. No one in the world loves me like Freddie does, and no one but Freddie ever could.

So happy anniversary, Fred and George, of the day you came into my life. Thank you for choosing me. Belly rubs of celebration tonight.

we are dis many

Kitties are five years old today.

2013-05-18 008

Meow meow boys — happy birthday to the craziest and fluffiest boys ever. You are orangey, stripey and most lovable. You used to be a little more fond of each other, but now seem to spend a lot of time pouncing and wrestling, like two teen-aged boys. I like you best when you cuddle, but love you no matter what. Cream cheese awaits you tonight.

Will there be cows?

I hate moving. I hate going through the accumulated detritus of the years, I hate worrying about having enough boxes, I hate packing the boxes, I hate stacking the boxes and living with boxes, I hate needing things that are already in the boxes. All of it. I’ve moved more times than I wanted to, and I swore I would die in this house, but then some guy came along and got me feeling all mushy and now I’m moving again. Or rather, we’re moving. There are, as a matter of fact, two charming creatures that are less happy about moving than I am.

WHAT DIS MOO-VING? WILL THERE BE COWS? MOO MOO COWS!!! COWS WHY U NO TALK TO MEE?! MOM I THINK WE STAY RIGHT HERE OK?

WHAT DIS MOO-VING? WILL THERE BE COWS? MOO MOO COWS!!! COWS WHY U NO TALK TO MEE?! MOM I THINK WE STAY RIGHT HERE OK?

For the record, I am sure Fred and George are going to love their new home. The stairs, the patio doors, the fireplace, the breakfast bar, the sleigh bed. I can’t wait to show them. But they’re going to hate the move. The packing, the boxes (well, George likes boxes), and the craziness right around the wedding. And, most of all, moving day: being in their carriers, in the car for the long drive, and then a new place, one that may seem scary at first.

People ask if I’m talking to the boys about their upcoming move yet. The answer? Fred, yes. George, no.

Fred and I have had a few chats. I tell him about the amenities (particularly the enclosed gas fireplace, which was a non-negotiable condition of move) and discuss game-day strategy. Fred is calm and unworried about the endeavor. He has minions to do his worrying for him.

George? I don’t want to scare him. He’d just be confused. I don’t think he remembers that there’s anything else out there, other than his house. I think he thinks the windows are just one big television program with not enough birds and cars going by too quickly and Outside Kitty (belonging to our neighbors) who occasionally appears as if from nowhere. This would explain why he turns and looks at me sometimes, as if to say, “Put the channel with the birdees on, Mommy.” So no, I haven’t told him yet. I’m wondering if he sleeps most of the ride, I can get away with telling him we just built new walls and changed the channel. I think it’s worth a shot.

Good kitty news

happy-kittyLucien has been adopted!

I don’t know any of the details, but when I checked out Petfinder today (because I’m that obsessed about the little guy), I saw that Lucien is now an Adopted Kitty. Whoever took him, thank you. I knew he’d find someone to love him again. I wish it could have been me, but all that matters is that he has his home again. Be happy together!

One cat down. About 4 million to go.

I want what I can’t have

For the past few weeks I’ve been in a battle of wills with myself. I’m going to win (obviously), but I don’t have to like the outcome.

This sweet boy has been looking for a home for weeks and weeks now. His name is Lucien, and he’s at the Buffalo Animal Shelter, a wonderful place it’s true, a place that brought me the two feline loves of my life, Fred and George, but nevertheless he is there, stuck there, without a home to call his own. They say his owner had allergies and had to give him up… don’t get me started… and that he’s unhappy at the shelter. I mean, just look at this face:

I want him. I want to take him home. I want to go get him, now, yesterday, tomorrow, and bring him back here to my house, and tell Fred and George to lick him and give him lovings. I want to change his name to Sirius Black and squeeze him and make him my boy. And I can’t, damn it. Because next fall when Dave and I are living in Smithtown, our complex has a two-cat-limit. No exceptions. So I can’t do any of that, no matter how hard it is not to just jump in the car and bring him home. I have to lose this one, this time.

All I can do instead is tell everyone I know about this sweet boy, and hope someone falls in love like I did. I think his kitty mommy is out there somewhere. It just isn’t going to be me.