Thursday, December 14, 2006

City vs. Country

For the past decade or so I have owned cats. My first ever cat was Hero, and I loved her greatly, but alas, she had a tragic fault. Tragic for me, that is, because I could not have a cat that wanted to pee everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. So Hero left me for (hopefully) some elderly person who did not mind the smell and greatly benefited from her sweet nature and love of snuggling. At least that is what I try to tell myself since she was taken to an animal shelter. After Hero came Dala, or Queen Amidala, as I named her. I felt that her beautiful looks required a regal name, and being the Star Wars fan that I am, I felt that Amidala suited her. "Dala" was a great short name too. I have a picture of her, and if I can find it, I'll post it, but after going through several hard drives, my pictures are a little scattered (just another thing on my list of "things that I need to do"--organize my digital pictures). Dala was very quiet and very sweet. When we got her, she had spent the last few weeks being traumatized by 3 large hunting dogs and so she was very skittish. It took her a while to settle down, but she did, and was a great cat (and still is I believe). There were a series of kitties along the way, and I forget their order, but homage must be paid to them. Pika was a great kitty, but we gave her up to a nice family in our church, then there was Ringo, he was a foster kitty and was later named Stu, much to our disappointment. I hope I'm not forgetting anyone. And then came Nutmeg. Nutmeg was supposed to be "my" kitty, because I picked her out (even though Dala always was and still continues to be my favorite). She was awful cute, just a few weeks old when we got her, and looked as though she had gotten her tail stuck in a light socket. She was GREAT fun growing up. However, something happened in her tiny cat brain that I can't quite figure out and she turned into an orange and white demon. And cats like that usually live for a very long time, so I'm sure she is still demonizing her current owner. I had to give Dala and Nutmeg up because I was moving to a place where I couldn't have cats, and though it was sad, I believe they are loved and taken care of as though they were family. This brings to me to my current status as cat owner. When I married Jeff, I inherited his two cats, Bart and Callie. Bart is an orange and white Tom and Callie is a petite little Calico. Callie is the mommy of Bart. I was ecstatic to again be in possession of cats, but I quickly learned that this was a new breed of feline. These two cats were "outdoor" cats. I'd never had one. Mine had all been very civilized (exluding Nutmeg) indoor kitties who licked their paws and sat in patches of sunshine on the carpet. However, Bart wouldn't know a litter box if it bonked him on the head, and although Callie truly believes in her heart that she is an indoor cat, her taste for live animals completely keeps her off the list of "animals that I will let sleep on my bed". At first I was mortified at their behavior. I had never before been "offered" a dead mouse on my front porch step, but Callie faithfully feeds her new "mommy" (me) and proves her love and devotion on a regular basis. The first time I opened the door and saw a dead, decapitated mouse (she loves the heads) I recoiled in horror until I saw Callie standing by, meowing and rubbing her tail around on the door as if to say, "It's all for you, mommy (except the head, of course, must keep the best part)." So I begrudgingly said my thankyou and asked Jeff to "please get rid of that dead mouse". Somewhere along the way, though, I began to see that these cats were truly the way that God made them and were only acting out their natural instincts. Now, when I see a dead mouse, I wholeheartedly thank Callie (she's the only one who brings them to the door) and say "What a good mouser you are!" She is truly showing her appreciation for me in a way that my other cats never did. I know that this seems to be a non sequitor post, but it was just kind of swimming around in my head this morning as I watched this drama unfold in my back yard. I took pictures of it, mostly so that Grandma Poo could see what a good kitty Charlie is! Charlie is Grandma's kitty that we let go outside when she broke her leg, and I have enjoyed having him here very much. He has his moments of wanting to come back inside, but I don't think he would give up the joy of catching his own live chipmunk for a sofa, so he stays outside and is very happy to do so. Go, Charlie! Go, Bart and Callie! What good kitties you are! Now, if only I had a little doggie........

If you look very closely, there is a small chipmunk being stalked here.

Bart helps close the gap.

Charlie is triumphant!


G-Knee said...

Betty - Ooooh! That post made me smile. What a great writer you are! I remember all those cats except Ringo. And yep - Nutmeg - was/is a crazy one. Remember when I came over to your house shortly after moving out and I spun her around in a gift bag? I set the gift bad down and she walked out of it all wobbly and then 2 seconds later she crawled back if to ask for another ride on the "Whirl of Death". Nut..meg.
My best memory of Hero was that time she literatly ran up one wall and down the other...for reasons we couldn't figure out. I think the stress of whatever made her do that started the consequential peeing.

Jeff said...

Thats great sweetie! Where do you suppose they will decide to puke up the guts of that animal? (Bart and Charlie don't leave sacrifices for thier mommy)

Why don't you post some of those pictures? :)


Betty 'Rie said...

Ringo looked just like Pika, only it was a "he". I still have a picture of Nutmeg in the Smoothie King drink carrier. I had forgotten about Hero running up the wall. That was truly amazing! Hmmmmm....maybe that IS what caused the peeing!!!

And yes, they do puke up the guts sometimes. What is even scarier is when they've done that, and then a short time later they are mysteriously gone (the guts).....

G said...

'Kay. Hadn't heard THIS stalking story. I am but shouldn't be surprised there are photos.