Saturday, June 25, 2011

The New Kid becomes The Dude

It was immediately apparent this little life force either 1) had nothing whatsoever to do with the first Kid or 2) he had paid his karmic sweetie points and was entitled to become a normal persnickety full blown feline, because in that black coat was a green eyed hyper cat.

Again, I fear my pictures may be stored on floppy disks, but his first amazing stunt was sitting here by me at the computer and picking up dimes ... or pushing them on to the floor, whichever seemed to suit him more at the time.

There is another little black and white movie doing flips across the rungs of chairs. He also played CATCH for a while. And I do mean a little while.

I would throw his favorite squeeky toy which was a purple nobby thing and he chased it and brought it back - for about two hours. He would finally run after it and sit and look at me, as if it was my turn to "have some fun". When it was apparent it was not my idea of a good time, he decided he was not going to spend all that time chasing either! And he would pant. Never met a cat before or since that overworked so hard. Little pink tongue going like mad. I wonder if his heart is good. I have more suspicions later.

He also used to be fond of girls undies. He would perpetually pull my panties out of open drawers. As he got older, he went exclusively for socks. I believe his stubby little teeth grew in whiter than expected and tended to astonish the vet because as I slept I would hear squeak/crunching noises as he chewed on his little napkin after eating.

He grew long and lanky and FAST! By the time he had used up his first big bag of kitty food, he was putting on a paunch. He ate kitty low carb for most of his life.

Kid Junior

What else would I call him?

I thought "KJ" would be cool. I knew Kevin Johnson, the present mayor of Sacramento and former Phoenix Sun and that seemed cool. He was so small, I could hide him in my hair! He was a tough cookie. We got him rice baby cereal and kitten bottles and he immediately chewed the nipples off.

When I took him in again for his baby shots, the vet laughed... well not laughed, sort of did an odd half smile that cracked me up! Like "what a guy." We had him on solid food immediately.

Because it had been a while since I was a mother, I was sort of lucky that I had the flu for a few days. I put him on my bed with me and he slept in a little box with a shoebox of litter and explored while I was awake. He also bit the HECK out of me! It must have been separation anxiety or something, he was a nasty little thing and I was a chomped up mess.

I have been told to always play with toys, not hands, but he would bite in my sleep! I took him to the vet and when we fixed him, the vet suggested filing back his baby teeth! They would fall out eventually and perhaps if I didn't scream all the time, he would not get such joy!

So for a few months I healed and I had a very funny looking kitten. (The days before digital and nobody had film! We are still scouring the closets for baby pix!) When I left the house for work in the first weeks I would put him in the tub. He had a little basket and there IS a photo somewhere of the cat in the basket I will find. He was no doubt severely traumatized by it all, but seemed to deal with it.

The first Christmas I sent out cards with this photo and the caption:

Monday, June 20, 2011

SO... What is all this talk about a DUDE?

Well, I have to explain a few things before I introduce the leading player!

This is really my history with cats! Yes, I lost my allergies to everything it seems. Stink used to make me sneeze so I am pretty sure it is the great outdoors that triggers things.

She survived The Kid by quite a few years. I fed her outside, said "Hi" when she was around, kept water in her bowl and we co-existed. She had a bit of history with urinary problems and one Friday she looked slow and listless. I had determined to take her to the vet on Monday but woke up to see her sleeping in her shelter. But she wasn't asleep.

It was on the morning of my birthday.

I had a sudden sense of escape! I was going to be without a pet or an obligation for the first time in my life! We buried her in my condo and I gave away her cat food and threw out the scratching post and bowls. I was still waking up in the night hallucinating The Kid bouncing in the tub, but was sort of used to a pet free environment.

Now I was thinking of TRAVEL and freedom and it was sort of heady!!!

So..... there was this neighborhood Casanova named Oreo....

You might call him the "father of the complex". He was owned once by an neighbor and when he was no longer a kitten, he was sort of everybody's cat. I know personally of five people who had thought they had adopted him. He was big and husky and really a sweetie, but nobody really had "taken care of him" if you know what I mean. As he grew, even though the markings were not the same, the profile was unmistakable.

There was also a small scared little black pair of cats whom I had seen on occasion. One was pregnant a while back and the other, I think it had died some time ago... well there was a group of cats in the neighborhood.

So. It was the day after my birthday and my neighbor, a very nice retiree named Dorothy (who often pushed home a shopping cart with a half gallon of Jim Beam on top) knocked on my door and said "I have a problem. Maybe you do too? I think I have a cat in my wall."

Good old Dorothy!

She went on to say that she was hearing mewing noises while doing her laundry. We had attached storage in our patios and both had our own washer and dryers. It was apparent that one of the neighborhood mom's had thought a small opening in Dorothy's laundry room drywall might make a new home for her brood, but Dorothy must have shut the door on her plans!

Now, here I was... a free woman! Unencumbered by anyone but myself. A boyfriend who traveled and NOW I could hit the road too!

I thought.

"Well, it can't get out on its own, so we could leave it and it would die and smell." I said.
"Or I could go get a drill and see if I can drill a little hole and try to pull it out from below."

I was all set to take it to a rescue. I was sure they would help out.

So as I drilled and heard the rather robust mews... I heard a voice in my head say "Now that Stinkerbell is gone, Kiddie is coming back!"

When I made the fourth cut I bargained, that if it were a black cat, it was The Kid again and I would have to keep him.

So, the TINIEST little thing I had ever seen came out. I immediately called the vet and we assessed him to be about 8 weeks old. Out I ran to get the bottle for nursing and by golly I was a mother AGAIN!