The First Hundred Years
Tales of the Furry Fiends
The old saying about the first hundred years being the hardest was probably started by a cat owner. Correction. There is no such thing as a "Cat Owner". You may pay the vet bills, search through aisle after aisle of cat food to find something that will suit, and spend hours as an associate obstetrician, but you do not own a cat. At best you share things. You are in charge of quarters and rations; she, (he or it) is in charge of everything else. Everything else can include everything from friends/spouses to hobbies and working hours.
But, cats have always been part of my life. I barely remember "Scamper" who slept in my crib. In the fifties, I saw my father, a fairly strong willed man, taken prisoner by less than a pound of black and white fur. Was I warned? Not enough. Then Aunt Lou, an eminently sensible lady, was conned by a handsome grey and white gentleman cat. Her Wiemeriener was properly educated as to who the boss was going to be in less than a week.
In the early 70's, there was a tiny guesthouse in North Hollywood... It was private and it was cheap. We moved into it with her Imperial Fuzzyness, the Countess Shadow of Transylvannia and Ariel. Shadow, Ms. Shadow or the Countess, was born in Detroit and was the first step in the Himalyn breed, the cross between the Black Persian and the Siamese. This was in the early 60's and Shadow's fur wasn't long enough to be kept in the breeding line. Now the Imperious one felt that Ariel, the pretty tabby, was definitely not in her social class. It didn't take her too long to figure out how to get the screen door opened. Ariel managed to slipped out and got pregnant.. several times. We took her to the Vet. The anesthetics they were using were too strong for her. "Just keep her in."
Sure. We finally figured out that Ariel had help, but it took weeks for us to catch Shadow jumping up to hit the latch on the screen door and swinging her weight out to open the door. Irving the "Ever Watchful" who apparently lived under the palm tree next door, was always there and Ariel became known as "The Litterbug."
And even if you are temporarily catless, its like this. A friend's cat has kittens. Oh look at the cute li'l fuzzy things. Do not pick it up! Well... too late now. That handful of fluff and buzzes has reached out and wrapped you around her little paw. You all unsuspecting bring her home finding to your delight that she's all housebroken. Cat's don't like dirty sandboxes though, and the first time it isn't clean enough to suit Ms. Fluff & Buzzes you will wonder where she ever learned such language.
Then the problem of food rears its ugly head. If you are lucky, the furry fiend will eat anything. If not... well, Morris is not just a figment of some ad-writer's imagination. The black velvet aristocat who bossed me around for 20 years would eat anything. She sampled my morning coffee, my partner’s cokes, loved lettuce and really got dangerous around corn on the cob. On the other hand, paw, we have a friend who has to stick to one label. The problems she had when they changed it....
Sleeping arrangements are another area they feel they can manage quite well. Once upon a time, we had a floatation bed. They saw no reason to sleep anywhere else. The additional watermattress we had out on the patio for sunbathing became the perfect plaything for a litter of kittens. We came home one afternoon to find a whole field of tiny fountains where the kits had been finding bubbles. Sharp little claws ...
Sharra prefered to sleep on the ironing board when we had one, my head or the shelf over the computer monitor. The current youngsters, Mikey and Angel also find that the perfect place to supervise me.
We acquired " The Lewitt" because a friend was looking for a kitten. She had to go back home for an emergency and when she returned, her manager said she couldn't have a pet. Well, we couldn't toss her out in the street...
Duncan was supposed to be an "apple-headed Siamese Female"
He jumped out of the carrier and landed in my lap. How could I tell him that we'd wanted a girl?
Well, the First Hundred Years goes on, and really, I don't think I'd get through it without the Fruuy Fiends.