When I started this blog, I vowed to myself that I wasn't going to discuss my cats. I feel that the Internet is already overflowing with too many stories about people's precious little kitties, and that only MyCatHatesYou.com really captures the proper spirit of discourse about the beasts. (I even have one of their t-shirts.)
However, because I have four cats that demand a good deal of interaction when I'm home, I can't help but bring them up now and then. Right now, their special little cat needs are beginning to consume more and more of my time in the morning and evening. Let me introduce you to the cast of feline characters. In the Average Jane spirit of anonymity, I'll use their nicknames:
- The Possum - 17-year-old female cat. This was the sick cat from a few weeks ago. We inherited her when my husband's mother died.
- The Weasel - 14-year-old female cat. She used to be an outdoor cat until someone shot her. Now she spends her time picking fights with the other cats and trying to sneak out when people open the door. Her mother was an alley cat, and that explains a lot about her.
- The Boy - 15-year-old male cat. Very good natured and talkative, he was the first cat I got when I moved out on my own.
- Chunky - 12- or 13-year-old female cat. When she was a kitten, she made the news because she was found in a charity donation bin, tied into a pillow case. The experience obviously warped her in many ways. She harbors a bitter hatred for all children and she seems to see things that nobody else can see. We inherited her when my mother died.
Here's a typical cat-wrangling morning. The Boy needs special food or he gets thin and listless. We shut him in the bathroom to eat so the other cats don't horn in on his food. The Possum now needs canned food to aid her digestion. I feed her in the kitchen and she dawdles around with her one tablespoon of food seemingly forever while I shout, "Weasel, come here. Weasel, stay in here. Come here, Weasel," the entire time to give the Possum a fighting chance at her own grub.
Dry food is available at all times from a dispenser in the basement, but of course that's not nearly as appealing as the special food. Chunky is the only one who doesn't really care about other cats' food (although she'll mug you for your cereal mllk). Unfortunately, Chunky is the one who's been throwing up all over the house for days. Sigh. Yesterday I made a vet appointment for her, but I couldn't fit it around my work schedule until Saturday morning. I can tell that our vet's office staff thinks we are The Worst Pet Owners Ever. Hey, I'm bringing the cat in. What more do you want?
I know I'm making it sound as though there are no advantages to cat ownership whatsoever. Actually they all have good cat temperaments. They're cuddly, friendly and sociable with people. They love it when we have company. When we watch TV or read, we'll often have all four cats on the couch next to us or on us. The companionship the cats offer makes the hassles fade into the background, at least for a while. Still, my sister's predictions to the contrary, I'm in no danger of becoming the Crazy Cat Lady. I definitely know my limits!