Cats I Have Known

A bunch of cats have passed through my life!

Critter. This orange tabby came strutting across the busy road in front of our house. His whiskers had been cut off and he was young semi-feral. He pooped in my dad’s car, in his work hat no less. The second time he didn’t have the good sense to leave the car and rode along with my dad to work. Dad heaved him over the fence into the lumber yard next to the freight truck yard where he worked. We kids thought he just ran away until we were told the truth a year later. We laughed and laughed, knowing Critter would survive because he had been an expert rodent catcher.

Daisy. A money cat kitten I was able to keep as a consolation prize for having to relocate with my family as soon as I graduated high school. She ate something bad and died under the car.

Meatball. Another yellow tabby, Daisy’s brother. I’m not sure of his fate after I left for college.

The Barn Cat. A black and white feral kitty who took shelter in the barn ell of the house my parents rented in Maine.

Harrison Henry Blackwell. Harry for short. He sat atop the kitchen cabinets next to a black cat shaped teapot.

Something Arabella Graymore. Both she and Henry came with the house my parents bought. She disappeared into the woods to die, we think. she had developed a hole in a facial that constantly drained onto her pretty kitty face.

Clytemnestra. A black female with cattitude. Named after the wife of Agamemnon from Greek mythology. She was my first cat completely on my own until she refused to move when I did.

Gorad. Black and white. The cat who refused to be named. My roommate’s boyfriend’s friend gave him that name. The same dopes who left the apartment door open. The same weekend the neighbors got a car for the first time. Gorad climbed into the engine. You know the rest. Right after I spent precious money (I was a senior in college) to have him fixed. It cost as much to euthanize him. He liked to sleep on my face. One of those.

Gandalf. A little white kitten who followed me on walks. One day he didn’t make it home. He was a sweetie.

Schuster. He came from friends who had a sibling, Simon. Yeah, like the publishers. My friends were readers (and dopeheads). Another blackie. He moved out to the woods with me and as far as I know he’s still there. He wouldn’t move to town with me. But that was a very long time ago.

& 12. Unicorn and Guinness. Brother and Sister, gray tabbies. They knocked down the Christmas tree I’d just set up with my fiance. Guinness ran away. My roommate adopted Unicorn when I moved out and got married.

Bridget. I don’t quite remember her name. Another black and white. She lived at the place where we were house parents for a few months. I helped her birth her kittens. One had to be pulled out.

Peachbottom. Adopted from my brother. We had to take her to a shelter because we were all getting bronchitis (2 kids by this time) and we thought we were allergic to her. Then we realized it was probably mold from the dirt floor basement of the house we were renting.

Schtuki Putz. Another cat who defied naming. A friend said she thought it meant cabbage head, but I don’t know about that. She was a tortoiseshell calico with a bad personality. She hated my daughter who wanted a cat from her friend’s litter. Schtuk like my husband and son best. She was a huge cat who made the journey west with us, yowling across the country. In February of 2013, she got out of the house and never came back. She was very old and emaciated and wanted to die on her own terms. I knew she was near the end when she started liking me.

Schtuki Putz, a female who preferred male humans until she grew old and demented then like me just fine.

Smoke. The softest gray kitty. He was fun and sat on my lap when I did school work. He got sick and died. We think he might have swallowed a rubber band that twisted up his innards. He was a sweetie.

Smoke. I didn’t name him, but it fit.

Twitch. Came with Smoke. A blackie as well, the fourth. He tells me when he thinks I should go to bed then waits patiently while I get settled then lays against my legs. His tail is funky, broken somewhere along the way. I adopted him and Smoke from a family whose kids were allergic. He’s outlived Schtuki, Smoke, and Tippy.

Twitch. This kitty’s tail is bent up and shortened. He came that way. My most favorite of all the cats. He prefers our bed and other warm places.

Tippy. She spent her early life in a shelter and never really gained social skills. I think my mom felt sorry for her. It was years until she finally warmed up to Mom–after a move. She kind of warmed up to me until I had to take her when mom got sick and never like me again. She became ours shortly after Schtuk left. She was blind toward the end. You can see the cataracts in this picture.

Yeah, so I’ve known a few cats. I’ve been cleaning cat boxes for 40 years.

Are you a cat person?