Crazy Cat Lady’s Cats

Crazy Cat Lady’s Cats

I used to have no particular feelings about cats. I neither liked nor disliked them, I didn’t think of them. Then we moved from the city to the country (much to my dismay), and I discovered that our new home comes with a cat. The grandparents, whose house we now share, used to send us eggs, (dead) chickens and rabbits, but not once did they send a (live) kitten. Before we moved in with them, they gradually got rid of all their livestock, so that we came in to only a cat and some (unacknowledged) rats in the yard.

The cat intrigued me. She was (still is) a huge black one, and most of the time she acts invisible. She lies outstretched in one of the vegetable or flower patches in the garden and when not asleep, she observes the course of humanity with an aloof eye. She would scare you to death, if you choose to believe that it’s bad luck when a black cat crosses your path. From the beginning, she didn’t run away from me, but neither did she look impressed when I tentatively stroked her fur. She would always get fed up with me soon, twitch her tail once and slowly walk away, very dignified. That’s what she does.

Paw
Paw

I never quite succeeded in my project of becoming friends with the cat. I decided that it was perhaps too much to ask from her, to start acting affectionate when she’s been suffered rather than petted by the grandparents so far. The old couple are old school, so they do not recognise the concept of a pet. To them, a cow or a cat is a domestic animal that is to be utilised and receives no more care than necessary for its sustenance. I was no expert in animal keeping, but I noticed that the cat had no water bowl, ate her dry food from a rusty tin and received kitchen leftovers dropped on the ground. So at least I bought her two bowls and had her neutered.

The cat grew on me. I decided I newly liked cats. I thought I could do with a kitten to bring up and see if it will be any more affectionate when taught so from a young age. It was the summer when I was finishing my master’s thesis, and I called my new kitten Emma, for my thesis supervisor, to remind myself of my study duties when attending to kitty duties. She was fluffy, beautifully multi-coloured and cuddly enough (my cat, not my supervisor). Several months later, though, she conspired with the older cat against me and refused to be held unless I fed her meat while holding her. Then she got lost, and later I learned that she was run over by a car.

I duly mourned her for two years. On which I adopted a cute grey tabby, hardly five weeks old. I named her Ella, short from Elise, because everyone was already used to the similarly sounding Emma. While I figured Ella would be easy to learn, everyone but me calls the new cat with her deceased predecessor’s name. My new kitten was cheerful and outgoing. She never grew up out of the belief that I was her natural extension, and until now she likes to nap on my lap. She not only tolerates but enjoys being held and have the fur on her head ruffled. I was hoping for an affectionate pet, and strangely enough, that’s what I got.

Ella
Ella

Paw, the older cat, never approved of the new addition. She’s looking to sleeping curled up under the spruce tree in the garden, not to being chased around by a naughty ball of fur. Despite her better judgement, Paw can’t help her concern for the welfare of a fellow feline. She might hiss at her kitty competitor whenever the latter dares come near, but at nights she brings her dead rats snacks and meows plaintively until the kitty emerges to either eat it or pass. Paw is old school, like the grandparents, and she won’t unlearn catching mice for food (unlike the grandparents). It’s surely nice of her that she doesn’t take her food for granted, but I’d prefer her to stop devouring voraciously whatever pest she murders like I never feed her.

Ella, I suspect, never caught and killed anything. I approve – much to the dismay of all farmers and gardeners in the family (all family), who consider rats worse than plague. I’d rather have a rat than a plague. Ella would rather have me than a rat. The other day the two of us were spending quality time in the garden and I was holding the kitty on my lap. Suddenly she spotted movement, leaped out of my arms and ran after what turned out to be a poor little mouse. The mouse stopped, playing dead. The cat gently sniffed the mouse’s back and I braced myself to witness slaughter. The cat shrugged. The mouse resumed running. The cat twitched her tail, returned and climbed on my lap. We love each other like that.

28 thoughts on “Crazy Cat Lady’s Cats

  1. That really is a lovely kitty tale. I would find it hard to have to watch my cats eating rodents urge! Glad you eventually got the snuggly pet you wanted 😀 and I will get mine in December!!

    Like

    1. Yes, I find it alarming that my cats eat their prey too, but there’s little I can do to prevent them… At least I haven’t figured out anything! Oh yes, I’ve been incredibly lucky in ending up with the cuddly cat I wanted. Haha, you’ll meet in December indeed! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I actually think my older cat wouldn’t get along with anyone but would cope with anything by hiding herself; and the younger one would be totally excited about company, I’m quite sure of that 🙂 She so much wants to play with the older cat but the latter wants to have her peace…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh dear, your cats are a set of elderly ladies, but it’s good that they’re keeping up. I wonder what Teddy’s character is, I’d love to know him in person 😉

            Liked by 1 person

          2. Oh my, I’m so sorry, of course I know that you have a lady and a gentleman cat! What confused me momentarily was my mother tongue. We have grammatical gender for nouns, and the word “cat” happens to be of feminine gender, whether it’s a tom or a pussy cat. So what I said would make perfect sense in my language — not in English though! My apologies to the gentleman…

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Cats! My cats never used to eat their prey, instead just bringing in half-dead birds, shrews and mice as trophies and to play with. If my cats have eaten anything, they’ve done it without me looking, which is fine by me! My boyfriend’s dog once ate a pigeon in their garden, and it really shocked them – to see a domesticated animal still acting predator like that. It’s amazing how they often never lose their wild instincts.

    I’m glad you have your kitty. Cats make life better 🙂

    Like

    1. Yes, it feels strange to see your beloved pet behaving like the beast that s/he is, no matter how much we think of him or her as almost human… I hate my cats eating their prey, and I don’t quite understand why they have the need because I feed them meat — so they should lack nothing. But I’m glad that they don’t eat me and that they make each day better for me 🙂

      Like

  3. This was a delightful post. Thanks for being so… “human.” Maybe tenderhearted is a better word for it. ❤

    I have been a "cat lady" since childhood. When I was a girl of ten or twelve, my half tabby / half whatever else with long hair, was about to drop kittens in my closet when my mother found her and tossed her back outside to finish her business. I cried, but was happy she managed to take care of her brood somewhere besides my room.

    Since I have been an adult, our family has had way more cats than most would tolerate in a lifetime. I have found that yellow tabbies have one personality while gray tabbies have another. Usually the gray tabbies are the most affectionate, unless it might be a black and white domestic. Don't be surprised though if you later see your tabby kill and eat a mouse in front of you. Cats of all breeds kill rodents and birds. If you ever have a bird feeder, you can be sure the cats will watch for a tasty dinner while the birds feed.

    We have had a few purebred cats, and those can be nice, but not nearly as nice as the "barn cats" you find here and there. Siamese cats usually do not have good personalities and they can be quite destructive too.

    Like

    1. Wow, thank you very much for your thoughtful post! Lots to ponder about… It’s great to hear that you’ve been a proper cat lady since a child and that you’re apparently a cat lady for life then.

      I find your cat typology extremely interesting. Even more, it does actually seem to be that grey tabbies and black and whites are the most affectionate cats. I have the same experience, but I never ascribed any meaning to the colour of the cat…

      Oh yes, the Siamese, I wouldn’t have any of those, they’re known to be aloof, which is not what I seek in a pet. I hear British shorthair are good pets among pure breeds in that they are well balanced — not too active, but not lazy; not doting, but not distanced either…

      In my situation though it makes most sense just to have a non-purebred domestic cat — there’s plenty of them here and they are often in need of a home. I only wish I could have more cats, but my husband wouldn’t bear it 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A female cat is usually more affectionate than a tom; however one B&W domestic tom we had was the best for our older son. They slept in the same bed; went hunting together, etc. The tom was so illogically marked we called him Hubert C. Paintbucket (Bucket for short). He loved to catch the desert roadrunners and deposit them on our front porch. He never ate them, just brought them to us for presents.

        Like

        1. Bucket sounds nice 🙂 And considerate enough not to eat what he catches! True about the sex difference too, I don’t claim to know too much about cats, but it is said that female cats are more affectionate than males and that they don’t roam too much — so it’s not by chance that I only have females 🙂 Thanks for the lovely cat talk, very refreshing and informative too!

          Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree with you about grey tabbies! When I was a child my mum found a little grey kitten in the loading dick of her workplace. She was the most beautiful, affection cat, she would sleep with me every night and we had our own sleeping position, she would curl up against me on top of one arm and I would sleep with the other arm over her. She ended up getting alzheimers – she would get lost behind trees or under my bed and at nights she would get lost in the dark and start roaring. she died when I was in my early 20s.

      I’ve discovered that tortoiseshells have a laid back, friendly personality and ginger cats are generally food whores.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Also, a “loading dick”, I can’t stop laughing — because I spent a considerable amount of time googling this phrase to figure out what precisely it means… 😛

          Like

      1. When our kids were small, I am pretty sure we had a tortoiseshell tabby whose hips looked like a target when she was sitting. Her stripes were so wide we called her Fudge Ripple. Our whole family loved that cat more than you can imagine!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh my dear, do cats have alzheimers? Seriously?

        Hm, there’s one ginger cat in the neighbourhood and though I don’t know if he’s a food whore, he definitely is a whore because he always molests my cats. 😮

        Like

  4. Your grandparents would be horrified by me. Whenever my cats catch a rat, I rescue it and set it free. It’s usually liberated all soggy and ruffled after being in the cars mouth.

    I love your cats, they look so huggable whether they like it or not!

    Like

      1. Hahaha, your CAR doesn’t kill small prey at night? Now, that’s shocking, I thought that was what cars do? Sorry, I’m making fun of your phone autocorrect 😀

        Like

    1. Awe, that’s so sweet that you’re a rat rescuer! Rats deserve some love too, right? Sadly, I can’t resuscitate dead rats, hence I can’t save them because they’re always brought on my threshold dead. How nasty. On my defense, I used to have hamster and mice pets before I started with cats…

      Like

  5. Your cat companions are enchanting! I am so sorry to learn about Emma’s doleful fate. It is so difficult when a fine feline dies…Ella sounds wonderful, however. An absolute charmer! Reminds me of my Annie Cinder Patch (or Siddy Bell). She is addicted to human affection. She was abused and neglected before we inherited her with a house we inhabited on first arriving in Florida.

    Buddha, a cat I still bitterly mourn for, was especially kind to other small creatures. He would sometimes catch little birds in his velvet paws, and then, he would release them and watch them flutter away with a kind of dreamy look in his marble green eyes, with just a fleck of blue. He was an extraordinary cat. His name suited him well.

    Another cat, a bit like Paw, named Katey Blue (or Kathleen-A-Blue), loved to play fetch with locusts in the warm afternoon sun. I would pitch them across the yard, the locusts flying most of the way, and she would bolt after them. She’d come running back with her mouth gently holding onto the creature. Somehow, she never harmed the insects. I have no idea what the locusts felt in this game of torture, but the cat thought it was greatest game on earth. She is an excellent locust fetcher. We don’t play this game anymore, as there are no locusts loitering about here by the sea.

    Katey-Blue just happens to be my tuxedo-donning master. I bend to her every whim and wish. However, she can be very silly sometimes, when she is not busy being a tyrant, lording over humans, cats, rabbits and toads.

    And she is the quintessential copy-cat.

    I remember one early evening in early autumn. I had just clambered up amongst the beams and rafters of the garage and balanced a flimsy plastic solar pool cover between two beams. Then I rattled down the metal ladder and began chatting with me mum (she liked to be called Toad Girl when we were in gardening mode) and me dad (whom I like to call Sir). We were jabbering away about the garden when the little cat came whispering up behind me and silently climbed the ladder. I saw a black whoosh in the corner of my eye, turned, and there she was at the pinnacle of the ladder, smiling down at me, her lime-green eyes crackling with mischief.

    “KATE DON’T YOU DO IT!” I bugled in vain, gesticulating wildly like a child having a tantrum. By this point Toad Girl and Sir were also enraptured by the dainty little feline balancing at the top of the ladder, a stretch of flimsy pool cover before her. She had a “Lord of the Garage” look about her. She chirped at us, knowing she was master of this situation.

    “Kate NOOOOO!” I wailed in vain, again, crumpling to the ground in horror.

    She smiled, chirped and stepped right onto the crispy-blue plastic sea in front of her. It billowed, buckled, and suddenly collapsed. And down came cover and cat. The cat went flying by our noses and spilled right into the recyclable bin like a furry little present from the heavens.

    We peered into the recyclable bin, aghast. She chirped up at us, smiled, shook her little head and bounded out. Then she sashayed away as if nothing had happened.

    Here are some older photos of her- https://adayinthebrine.wordpress.com/2012/12/30/a-winters-day-long-ago/

    She is my best friend 😉

    Cheers,

    Autumn Jade

    P.S. I really felt watched as I was writing this comment to you. I turned around. It was just Kate staring into my soul, poised like a statue behind me. I’m not sure if this message is cat-approved, but I’m sending it off to you anyway…Best wishes!

    Like

    1. Cat stories, cat stories! You have as many cat stories as you have cats, right? Kate is a cutiepie, and anyway, cats are the only people whom I forgive everything. I’m puzzled how you always come up with the perfect name for a pet 😉

      Liked by 1 person

Say what?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.