Saturday, August 1, 2009

Meet the "Family"

Some of our friends have dubbed this place as the "Trenton Cathouse." I think every Victorian house should have an abundance of cats, so I thought I'd properly introduce the "family." I think we've just hit 13. OH MY!

Our newest arrival is Duncan who has been with us a little over a week. He sure is a wild thing and cute as he can be. The man who brought him to us said she was a white calico, that her name was Molly and that she was 6 weeks old. A few surprises there though. Molly wasn't a girl nor is "she" a calico. He's got long thick white fur with a tabby tail and markings at his ears. He's just precious.

Callie was acquired from a family that had been out walking and said they had rescued her from the sewer. She had been following them for at least 2 blocks. Donnie and I just happened to be in the back yard near the gate and saw this little teeny tiny kitten running and jumping to keep up with them. A long story short-they live in an apartment and can't have pets, so I volunteered to taker her. She's about as smoochable as they come.

Sable is back home-or at least back to where she started more than 10 years ago. My sister found her as a tiny kitten at the automatic doors in front of Kroger and took her home. At the time, she lived where pets weren't allowed and asked if I'd take her until she moved to a place that would let her have a cat. So, Sable spent her kittenhood at my place which was 4 houses ago. She's getting older and my sister has other responsibilities to give her everything she needs so I brought Sable home with me one time when I was visiting. My sister is tickled that Sable is happy and healthy. Sable on the other hand, clearly has a few thoughts to express. :)

Constance was found on the street behind us about a year and a half ago on one of the coldest nights of the year. I was outside around midnight and heard this frantic screaming meow and went to investigate. She ran out from under some cars so I tucked her into my sweatshirt and brought her home. Donnie woke up to a surprise kitten in the kitchen the next morning. He handled it well. :) Constance is a hunter and takes it as her personal responsibility to try to keep the entire neighborhood free of anything moving.

Hieronymus, a.k.a. "Harry" was a wander-up to the food bowl a couple of years ago. Once I decided that he didn't have a proper home, I took him in to be neutered and to get all his testing and shots. The bad news is that he's not only FELV+, he's also FIV+. Other than having two fatal diseases, he's doing well and is a loving and gentle kitty. I pay extra attention to his general health as they can go downhill quickly with either disease. So far he seems to still be enjoying life and has a good appetite. I figure he'll let me know when it's time to go.

Merlin belonged to the neighbor in one of the houses on the street behind us but started making regular stops for food several years ago. Eventually, he pretty much stayed on the property and might make the occasional visit back to his real home. At some point, he stopped going home and packed his bags and moved over here where he prefers to spend his days napping in the top of the carport on top of the piles of building materials.

Callahan, a.k.a. "Papa" technically belongs to the neighbor next door. He's Papa because I suspect he may have had something to do with Poo's heritage. In his previous life, his name was Butterball, but it was about 2 years later that we found that out-or that he was their cat. By then, I guess the statute of limitations must have expired and they seem quite content knowing he's being fed and cared for.

I think I had my stuff moved into this house about a week before the bush next to the front porch started screaming. I went to investigate as it sounded vaguely like a small kitten. Indeed it was and she was very small, maybe a 6 weeks at the most. Pookins, a.k.a. Poobelle and Poo, wasn't thrilled about the idea of being picked up-and still isn't, but as long as you left her have her space, she's a real sweetie. Even now that she's grown, she one of the most amusing to watch zipping around the yard, jumping in the air and hunting invisible prey.

Fenton almost didn't make the bus! We were loading the last bunch of stuff when I moved from my old house when he strolled up to the back porch. He had been coming around for a couple of months but I imagine-or maybe hoped-that he had a home somewhere. So, he's just watching us load the last couple of kitties in the car and Donnie says "What about that cat?" When I didn't say anything cause I was still trying to decide what to do about him, he said "He's a nice cat." That did it. If Donnie could handle another cat, Fenton would be coming with us. He is a nice cat and he's especially nice if you offer him beef jerky.

Then there's the wild Bizzy. He was a half grown kitten when he started showing up at my last house and was so energetic in his stalking and pouncing and just generally annoying the other cats that he stayed pretty busy all day. For lack of anything else to call him-and hoping he already had a name and a home somewhere, I just started calling him Bizzy. Several years later after neutering and gaining 10 lbs. he isn't quite as busy anymore. The activity of the day is sleep, harrass Sable, sleep some more and take plenty of breaks to taste test the contents of the food bowl.

Then there's DaVinci who seemed to have multiple personalities. He also wandered up at my last house and would let me pet him and pick him up and was just a really sweet cat. Then there were times when I could come out on the porch and he'd be off like a shot. It all seemed very weird until one day I heard a cat fight in the barn and went to investigate. What I found was Vinny in a big ball fighting with himself! With my arrival, the ball unrolled and I could see that Vinny was actually 2 cats! Mystery solved. I think the people across the street left them behind when they moved. One was friendly and the other was afraid which made me even more determined to befriend him and provide him with safety and love. His name was Armani. Eventually, he did give in and I was able to catch him and bring him in the house. One kind pet on the head was all it took and he turned out to be a sweetie too. When I took them in to get neutered, I also had them run FELV/FIV testing as with all my kitties. The vet called me back within an hour and told my they were both FIV+ and recommended euthanization. No way. Not as long as they have quality of life and enough time to know love. So, they were neutered and I brought them both back home. They'd have to be indoor cats from now on. One morning not too long after that, Armani went into respiratory distress and there was nothing that could be done to save him. At that house, I had an area outside my bedroom window where I was making a landscape garden. I put him in there and it became Armani's Garden. DaVinci is still with me. He doesn't have much trouble with his disease, but most of his teeth have fallen out except one long one in the front. Vinny is the alpha cat. Everyone else gets in line behind him.  Because anxiety isn't good for his health, the spoiled little rascal has the upstairs master suite all to himself.

Clark was one of the only ones that came to me by choice, two houses and one apartment ago. A co-worker was moving out of the state and couldn't take him. She had gotten him from a shelter just in time on "his last day." It's a good thing too because he's a wonderful cat. He's the household explorer. He tells me "a rolling stone gathers no moss" and off he goes to explore the neighborhood. He has particular houses that he goes to for the most part. At my last house, there was a house on the street behind me that he liked to stay at. If I wanted him to come home, I'd just drive by their house, call for him, open the car door, and he'd jump in. I picked him up after work everyday. Kind of like daycare. The first time the people that owned the house saw this routine they just thought it was the funniest thing! Next thing I knew, they were letting him in the house and taking care of him if I went out of town. When I had them all on Invisible Fence collars, he'd pace the yard like a caged tiger and not too long after that he'd be on the other side. Guess he decided his freedom was worth the inconvenience of the shock. Eventually, I just quit collaring him and let him do his thing. He always knows his way home and has been doing this for almost a decade, so I guess you can't teach an old cat new tricks.

Red and his brother Bandit made their first appearance when they were about Callie and Duncan's age-maybe 2 1/2 months old-from a house that ran parallel to mine. The kids that they actually belonged to told me their names and where they came from. The kids said they found them up on Tiger Hill-a large hill that was nearby that had a reputation for rattlesnakes and copperheads and that we all drove up to on July 4th to watch fireworks around town since you could see all of Murfreesboro from up there. So Red and Bandit were barn cats and would wander from their house to mine and back. I guess eventually, Red decided he preferred the sofa and cable TV in my garage to the barn life and never went back. His real owners were happy he found a home, so that's how he came to be the member of the family that's been with me the longest. Other that the mysterious shattered femor that he had one morning several years ago (I think Bizzy pushed him off the hayloft and maybe he hit the car) , he's had an easy life. The leg healed and he's the most well-behaved, well-rounded cat of the bunch and has never met a stranger.

By the way, they're all just a little bit spoiled! :)


  1. Is the tiger in the grass Poo? May seem like a strange name, but we have one called Poot.

  2. Yeah, poor baby. She started out as temporarily as Poopkins cause she was just so cute but she could run ya out of the room! She never did get a new name before she started answering to Poo, so that's just what we call her. Someday, when the right name presents itself, She'll technically get a more appropiate name. Poor baby.