Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ruby, Porkchop and Schwayze

I love kitties. They're so soft and fuzzy, sweet, goofy, aloof, loving and so on, and so on, and so on. I have three cats. Actually, I have two and my daughter brought another home, but I always end up taking care of him, so I consider him mine.

I've had lots of cats over the years. Twinkle, Cranston, W, Rufus T Buckwheat, Margaret Ann Manarovich...they were all dear friends and I miss them. When I was 6 months pregnant with my second child, my cat Margaret finally wore out and passed away. I had her for 19 1/2 years. That's a long time for a cat to live! She witnessed me growing from a young lady to a young adult, and from a young adult to a 30-something woman. She was with me through thick and thin and I loved her with all of my heart. She was my 3rd gray cat. I have a thing for gray cats. Not sure why. They just speak to me. When she died, my hubby was kind enough to make a very nice, respectable grave for her complete with a headstone. He is a sort of closed off type of guy, so when he saw me crying with snot running down my face, pulling my hair, wailing at the moon, I think it unnerved him a bit. But he was really cool about it. I thank him to this day for being so kind.

When Margaret died, and Lloyd had made her such a nice grave, my little girl who was 5 at the time seemed to relish over pointing the grave out to visitors. In her tiny cute little girl voice she'd say 'this is where my mom's dead cat is.' Lloyd would sort of cringe and I'd start crying all over again. I can laugh about it now, thank goodness.

Four years later, I decided I needed another cat. My period of mourning had come to an end. So I went to the SPCA and found a gray cat. Unfortunately, that particular cat hissed and spit at me and I had the distinct feeling that we were not going to be friends. But when I passed another cage on my way out the door, a cute little gray paw poked out through the bars and the kitty meowed at me as if to say 'hey, you need me!" And she was right. I took her home and that's how Ruby came to be our newest family member.

A few years later after a painful divorce I decided that my girls and I needed a kitty to mark the beginning of a new/different life. Again we went to the SPCA and looked at cats. There weren't any solid gray ones, but there was one with a gray mask and lots of gray spots. She'd have to do. We were trying to decide upon a name (which could NOT be in any way normal) when my oldest girlie-pie came up with the name Pork Chop. It just seemed to fit. Porkie must have had a rough life before we got her because she was a real scaredy cat. She flinches if you make a move towards her too quickly. If you stand up really fast, she'll make a beeline for under the bed. Poor little girl.

Pork Chop has lots of hair. I've never seen a cat with so much hair! It just sort of falls out as she walks. When you pet her, you come away with a Pork Chop glove. That goes all the way to your elbows. I've brushed her before and gotten 15 brush-fulls of fur. And when I did it again 30 minutes later, I got 15 more! I don't like having so much hair everywhere but I figure if she had to deal with whatever it was before we got her, the least we could do is treat her like a queen and let her shed by the ton as she saw fit. Hey, I've got an idea...if you can make sweaters out of angora fur which really isn't that long, maybe I could make one out of Pork Chop fur! I'd make a mint! If I knew how to spin fur then weave it, I could probably produce 10-12 sweaters a week. I'll get right on that.

Schwayze came to us as a teeny weeny kitten. She was so darn cute but I tried to put my foot down and say that we didn't need another dang cat. Two was plenty. My daughter is a softy like me so when I told her to take her back, screaming and tears ensued. Needless to say, Schwayze is here to stay. Every living being in this house is a girl with the exception of Mr. Wonderful - that's why we call it the cat pad. Get it? 5 cats and one dog. Yes, we're strange. Anyway, when daughter #1 brought Schwayze home, we thought she was a she. None of us wanted a "he." Everything was going great until Mr. Wonderful, who knows a lot about a lot of stuff, told us that she was actually a he. Us city girls weren't schooled in the identifying markers of male cats. But Mr. Wonderful being a country boy and all knew the signs right away. Since it had been at least 15 minutes since we accepted Schwayze into our hearts, we were already hooked and there was no stinkin' way we were going to get rid of him. So now my beloved manchild has another male to bond with.

Pork Chop sticks to herself most of the time. She doesn't want to make friends or be lovey dovey with the other cats. Ruby is slightly tolerant of Pork Chop and a bit wary of Schwayze. Schwayze is oblivious to the fact that he really isn't welcome in the house of cats. He tries to play with everyone. He gets the crud knocked out of him by Pork Chop but Ruby has softened and will play with him now. He is so goofy (probably because he's a guy, and all guys are goofy) he can make his own fun. He likes to chase wadded up pieces of paper, and play with empty toilet paper rolls. He goes spastic fairly often and tries to run up the door frame. Not sure what that's all about. I guess he just wants to go up.

It's nice having cats. They greet me at the door, try to shred my sofa, leave fur all over the place, hiss and spit at one another and cause mayhem. But when bed time rolls around, one is laying next to me, one is on the floor guarding me and one is wrapped around my head, sucking my hair, purring to beat the band. I wouldn't have it any other way.

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