Monday, August 31, 2009

Four Fabulous Felines

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a person who adores cats, particularly the four cats that reside in our household. They are an integral part of my life and though my husband wasn't initially a cat person when we met, he has grown to accept that in our house cats will be on our bed, sofas, chairs, laps, pillows, etc. Suffice it to say, they run the show here. I consider myself a dog person and a horse person, but first and foremost, I am a cat person.

The picture on the top is Marbles, our long legged female calico. Marbles is a gigantic bitch to most of the world. However, she loves Jonathan to an absurd degree, which we've never been able to figure out. It is her mission in life to either smack, or ignore all of the other animals (including me)and shower Jonathan with as much attention getting cuteness as she possibly can. It's really quite pathetic, sort of like the chubby girl at school who wants a boy to like her, so she bakes him a cake, does his homework, etc. The writing is on the wall, it ain't going to work. But Marbles doesn't give up. She spends lots of time on the sofa, sitting patiently next to Jonathan, wantonly bumping her head into his arm, or leg. I guess you could say she is smitten. And yes, she is wearing a bandanna in the photo. I put it on her as a joke, thinking she would want it off immediately and she puffed up and ponced around the house and yard like she was royalty. She's a great cat, but she's got her issues.

The second picture is of Mia, or as we call her Little Me. I found Mia as a kitten, sitting in a cardboard box in the post office lobby during the winter, about eight years ago. Obviously, whoever left her there felt confident that some rube would come along and take her home, so I was the rube that day. She was readily accepted into our household and she loves all of the cats, dogs and humans that live there. Mia is known as a user and a copycat. She can find the warmest spot for sleeping, usually by snuggling up to us, or another cat and taking all of their body heat as her own. I've never seen a cat so proficient at molding her body to neatly fit next to another cat, rendering the image of Siamese twins. She also seems to study the latest sleeping spots of the other cats and when they aren't occupying their newest post, she will step in and give it a try. For some reason, as the youngest addition to our brood, they all seem to tolerate her antics much like the youngest child of a family is often the most spoiled and indulged. Another one of Mia's idiosyncrasies is her quest for fresh water from the tap. She will sit in the tub, or kitchen sink patiently waiting until we happen into the room and then meow in plaintive cries until we turn the faucet on so a trickle of water pours forth for her personal refreshment. It's a bit odd, but you have to give her credit, because she knows what she wants and how to attain it. Or rather, how to work us and the other animals so she gets the most out of her little life. If she were a person, we would probably dislike her, but since she's Little Me we think she is downright adorable.
The third picture is of Miss Girl. She is the most lovely soul in the land. Miss Girl was abandoned at a barn where we boarded our horses several years ago. I tried to catch her repeatedly, but she was quite shy and resisted my attempts, despite the fact that it was winter and she was surviving by eating leftovers from a dumpster. The barn owner eventually caught her in a Hav-a-heart trap and put her in his office. Once she was caught, she appeared quite civilized, so I asked if Icould have her. Twelve years later, she is still happily living with Jonathan and I. Just after we adopted her I started to think she might be pregnant. Lo and behold, two months later she gave birth to two kittens. We found a home for one and kept the second kitten, who is Big Zekie, the jumbo tiger cat in the bottom photo. Miss Girl has stolen our hearts from the minute she came into our lives, with her gentle nature, delicate voice and constant adoration. We have just discovered that she is a diabetic, so we're giving her treatment, which she is, of course, taking like the true lady that she is. She is not fond of the outdoors and instead chooses to spend her days relaxing on our bed, attending to her lovely, long hair do and purring with contentment. At the risk of sounding like the crazy cat lady, I feel so fortunate that she came into our lives.

So, last, but not least there is Big Zekie in the bottom pic. He is our only man cat, the son of Miss Girl. Big Zekie is 12 years old and he has matured into quite a large guy. In his younger years, he lived at our barn and he was a lithe, agile and fierce hunter. Though he was always tame, handling him was a delicate matter, for he had claws and teeth that were as sharp as Ginsu knives and he wasn't shy about using them to get his point across. Both Jonathan and I have fallen prey to his fangs on separate occasions and let me tell you, it bloody well hurt. Bloody being the key word in that phrase. When we closed our stable seven years ago, it was decided that he would be moving into our home with us. Jonathan was more or less okay with this plan, but he truly thought that Big Z was going to murder us in the night. We would be the couple that was written about in the paper with the headline, " Local Couple Falls Victim to Angry, Large House Cat". As it turned out, Zeke took to house cat status very well and he spends his days lounging about on the porch for hours on end during the warm months. In the winter, he takes up a portion of our queen size bed that is usually reserved for my feet. Jonathan complains bitterly about the cats taking up too much of our bed space, but I know he still has some fear of Zeke's claws, so Zeke sleeps the quiet slumber of a lion who knows he is the most ferocious animal in the jungle and therefore not to be disturbed. In his mind, it's good to be king.

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