Here Kitty Kitty: An Ode To (Our) Cats
If you weren’t aware, Oct. 29th is National Cat Day, and we Cushies are passionate about our cats. Well, actually, we’re passionate about all of our pets, but since it’s a day celebrating cats, Liz and Kaitlyn decided to talk about the furry little loves in their lives.
How did you come about rescuing your current cat(s)?
Liz: I knew in late 2014 that I really wanted a cat. I actually became obsessed with looking at the Oregon Humane Society’s webpage so I could see all the cats that were available. And, on Jan. 3rd of 2015, two friends and I went to the Humane Society and I found him there. He was actually the first cat I was drawn to when I was inside, but he wasn’t the one I’d gone to see. However, when I saw him, I really responded to him. He was super laidback and chubby, and I felt a kinship. When they brought him in to meet me, he stood next to me, and I sort of just knew.
Kaitlyn: I had no intention of getting a cat but when I opened up Facebook there she was. Her tiny little face staring back at me. A friend had posted her picture stating that her friend’s daughter and snuck in this kitten to their house and they were both allergic. They lived in a county that only had kill shelters and they didn’t feel comfortable taking her there and were looking for a home. Something in me just had to save that cat so I called my friend and the next day I had her. I named her Moose. My two other cats were both hurt. My husband has worked for shelters and rescues and our cat Mushroom was found about two inches from death in a box on the side of the road. She was just weeks old. I took her home and syringe fed her for a week before she finally bounced back. She’s now a crazy spunky cat. Our latest kitten, Fig, was in a horrible family. He had a broken leg. Not just fractured but snapped in two completely different pieces. And they did NOTHING. Finally, thankfully, they thought he was too much of a problem and brought him to the animal shelter where my husband was working. I didn’t want him at first because I thought we had too many animals. The next day they posted a picture of him on social media to find him a foster and the thought of anybody else having that cat just broke me. I called my husband crying and told him to bring him home immediately. He lived in a kennel for two months but happy to say his leg has finally healed! He’s a mama’s boy now.
“Something in me just had to save that cat…”
Is this your first “relationship” with a cat?
Liz: No! I grew up with cats. I’ve had a few cats in my time: Kitty was my first. Then, Butch was a stray we took in and she was with us for over 15 years, I believe. Butch was pretty infamous because she was super sweet and super large. She was a boss. I also had Elliott, who was gifted to me, and my sister had this amazing baby named Brian, and she was a damn delight. But, Sondheim is the first cat to ever slip his way inside my heart and make it expand 3 times its size. Kinda like The Grinch.
Kaitlyn: Moose was my first relationship with a cat. I got her when she was 6 months old and and I was 23. She just turned five. She’s my soulmate. I don’t know that I ever truly knew love before Moose. Ok, that’s a bit of an over exaggeration but she is my soulmate. She had an entire slide in my thesis defense acknowledgement section as well as two whole paragraphs of acknowledgements in my written thesis. To give you some comparison, my then fiance, parents, and sister all shared a slide and a paragraph together.
Were you always a cat lover?
Liz: No, I wasn’t. At all. I said I grew up with cats, but I never really connected with them. Truth be told, I was not nice to animals. I wasn’t torturing them out in the yard or anything, but I didn’t love them. My first cat, Kitty, terrified me actually. I did, however, really connect with Butch. We had a good relationship and she would chill around me and sometimes tell me to shut up. I’m not kidding. Once, she was lying on my bed, in her sun-spot, and I was whistling terribly to an Aaliyah song and Butch told me to shut up. She kept meowing at me, and she had this look on her face that just said: Liz, shut the eff up! I never really connected to Elliott, though I tried. I did connect with Brian, who was such a beautiful baby, but she didn’t live very long. However, growing up, I was too afraid and really mean to really be a “cat person”.
Kaitlyn: Oh no. I didn’t understand why cats were pets. Like why would anybody want a cat when you could have a dog? Cat’s don’t love you. They just lie there and judge you. I truly did not ever want a cat and thought they were pretty awful. Now I know that while cats do judge you. They also love you… as long as it’s on their schedule. I also now have three cats and only one dog. I think that says a lot about me.
Why do you think these cats are different? What about them has gotten into your heart?
Liz: I think Sondheim is different because he came along at the right time in my life. I was on medication and really working on my anger issues and rage, as well as overall therapy for becoming a functional adult. I was really ready to love something other than myself, and I needed some companionship. From day one, he was my buddy. I’ll never forget the day after he came to live with me, he crawled up next to me on the couch and cuddled on me for a while. I was totally in love. I don’t know what it is about him because he’s definitely a jerk a lot of the time. He bites me, not hard, but hard enough. Well, he did bite me hard enough to draw blood when he bit me on the cheek after I returned from a two-week vacation, so I guess that’s not great. And, the other night, he totally punched me in the face. He knows how to work his paws to get me hard with his pads. Like I said, total jerk. But, when I’m sick, or when I’m crying, he’ll come and sit by me and won’t leave my side until he can see I’m better. A few years ago, I broke my nose in a weird accident, and he was so worried, he slept right by my head all night. And, recently, I had a terrible bout of food poisoning, and he sat in the bathroom with me as I was throwing up and slept by my couch all night as I rested and slept.
Kaitlyn: From the second I saw Moose’s picture on Facebook, I knew I was in love. They brought her to my house in a box with holes and I let her out on the carpet. I didn’t know what to do with her. I had never had a cat. How do you even keep these things alive? After the panic faded, I knew I was in love with her and truly knew I was in love with my now husband (we had only been dating for 4ish months at the time) when she crawled in his lap, rolled on her back, let him pet her tummy and purred for a solid thirty minutes. With Mushroom, I was careful because I thought she wasn’t going to make it through the week. Her and I slept in the guest bedroom because we didn’t know what she was sick with and we didn’t want to get Moose and our dog sick. I syringe fed her every 2-4 hours for several days. She was so small she fit in the palm of my hand and slept in my armpit all night. I couldn’t not love her. She was amazing. Our little miracle. Then Fig. Oh dear lord Fig. First off, I have only wanted girl animals. I don’t know why. I thought they would be easier than boys, even though I grew up with two boy dogs. My husband says it is the feminist in me. And when I called my husband crying to bring home Fig, I thought he was a girl. So did my husband. So he brought him home, put him in the guest bedroom in a kennel because he couldn’t walk with his broken leg and went back to work. When I got home from work, I went in to meet him picked him up, turned him over and was like… what is that!? So that is how we ended up with our first boy animal. Who by the way is way more difficult then all of our girls, so I was right. As he was in his kennel for two months healing, I took him out and held him for 30-60 minutes a day and he would just lay in my chest and pur. That little boy has me wrapped around his little crooked leg.
Does your cat respect your personal space?
Liz: Absolutely NOT! Never.
Kaitlyn: I’m sorry, what is personal space? Moose has to be in the bathroom with me when I shower or she throws a bloody fit. All four of our animals (including our dog) go to the bathroom with me now because I can’t get the door closed fast enough to keep them out.
Are cats really as allusive/independent as they're stereotyped to be?
Liz: Sondheim is really independent. And cuddle time is definitely when it benefits him. It doesn’t actually matter what I think. So, I might lean towards the idea that they are pretty independent and elusive. But, when I get attention from my furry dude, it feels like the best thing in the world.
Kaitlyn: Yes and no. They’re like people or dogs. They all have different personalities. Moose and Mushroom are very independent. They like to be near you, but don’t necessarily want to be touched by you. On the other hand when I leave the house, Moose walks around and cries and cries looking for me even if my husband or my former roommate were home. Fig on the other hand literally follows me everywhere and wants to be on top of me at all times. Either on my head, lap or shoulder. And he loves being picked up and cuddled and likes to give kisses.
Cats and dogs, friends or foe?
Liz: I can’t speak from experience, really. But, I have seen dogs and cats coexist. So, it’s probably real? My mom recently had to put her cat, Trixie, down sadly, but she had her and she has a dog named Penny. They lived together, but it wasn’t exactly blissful as they were always vying for my mom’s attention. But, I think if they learn early enough in their lives not to bother each other, they could potentially stay out of each other’s way. Admittedly though, I dream of the day when I have a little dog and my dude together, but I don’t want him thinking he’s not the King of my heart because he absolutely is. That’s just the way it goes.
Kaitlyn: Both. Some dogs truly have a prey drive that cannot be trained out and they have a desire to chase and go after small furry animals including cats. But some dogs, like our dog Widget, play with cats, cuddle with them and consider them part of the family. It all depends on the cat and the dog.
If you have kitties that you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to drop us a line in the comments! Really, we LOVE looking at photos of cats.