Monday, April 12, 2010

Cat Wars 2010

There have only been a couple times in my life when I could truly say I was a lover of cats.  I don't hate them I just prefer dogs.

When I was a little child we treasured our kitties on the farm and played with them endlessly even dressing them up in doll clothes.  But  that went away when I grew up a little.

At the time my oldest was about two years old we got asked if we would consider taking a neighbor's cat to live at our house.  I said okay and the cat, who at first seemed friendly, attacked my young son's head.  I threw him out of the front door and he sat in a tree for three days.  After that, we kind of had an understanding.  He was a great pet to our son and even moved with us to town a couple years later.  But we were not "in house" cat people and it just didn't work out at that time.  We gave him to someone else.

When we moved back to the farm in 1997 I let each of the kids get a kitten from our former town neighbor.  I also brought home one more kitten whom I could not resist.  He was so fat and puffy.  That was the only one of that batch of cats who survived.  He started out as Katie and was tolerant of my 4 year old daughter's constant "loving" as well as occasionally "washing" it with a scrub brush and water.  When it came time to get the cat spayed we were told that "she" was indeed a "he".  So we renamed him Butter because the kids had always cooed that Katie was as soft as butter.

One day we got a couple more kittens from a dear friend who values her cats so much she give them MIDDLE names.  We almost had to sign a contract with her to say that we would love and care for them as she would.  One of those kittens survived.  His name was Jelly.  I'm sure you see the trend here.

Eventually, Butter and Jelly ended up being house cats for a reason I'll never remember.  But they were great house cats.  I loved Jelly like I have never loved a cat before or since.  He slept on our bed.  He cuddled with us and was just a super great pet.

One Sunday morning when we had driven in separate cars to church my husband informed haltingly as he arrived that he and the boys had found Jelly murdered by our driveway.  Someone had actually shot him with a hand gun.  Who would do something so cruel?  I was devastated and I was even more scared to tell my friend, the cat lover.

Butter became kind of "naughty" in the house and he was moved back outside.  At that point I had a new kid in the house and she required more attention than I wanted to give a cat so Butter became an outdoor cat.  Butter lived victoriously for 12 years with our family until the day last year when I accidentally hit him as I was backing out of the driveway.  I can honestly say that I cried so hard and hated to face my children who loved that cat like I love chocolate.

So we were elated when last spring a stray black cat showed up at our house and after several months of lurking in the shadows became a pet.  Of course his name became Shadow.  Somehow Shadow drew a psycho mama cat into our yard and she proceeded to have 5 kittens.  Three of them survived.  We brought the kitties into the house and played with them and fed them and loved them for HOURS last summer.  Out of those three kittens we were recently left with two of the originals and both Shadow and psycho mama had long since disappeared making us sad about Shadow.  Who would miss a psycho mama?  Oh, they left us one new kitten who was not very friendly and has since disappeared as well.

So here we were with Puff and Tigger.  Two orange cats--one long haired and one short haired. They were our kitties, our pets.

Then last weekend our oldest son asked us if we could take in a cat that he had rescued off the streets of Wichita last fall and had been keeping at the nursery/landscaping business where he works.  We agreed to give it a try.

It has been a little over a week.  The new cat scared Puff away and I think he may be gone for good.  We are all sad about that. Puff was the most cuddly and friendly of the two. Both of the cats still here have been neutered this week.  Yesterday we started trying to assimilate them to each other.  It was ugly.

Today I let them both out and was hopeful that they might learn to get along but they are fighting.  I don't have the energy nor the time to stay outside throwing water on them everytime they engage in a duel.

So new cat went into the garage for a while to give Tigger a break.

I can't believe I'm blogging about this.  

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