The Fur Family
So, about me this week! Along with a wife and a step-son (more on him another day), I brought a fur family into this human family.
I came into the family with five (yes, five) cats. Sadly, two of those kitties have passed from age and cancer. Now we are down to three lovely babies! They do nearly everything with us including camping and travelling! And without a shadow of a doubt, if it was not for these furry support systems, I never would have survived the years of surgeries, the physical losses, the emotional losses, and being disabled. If they did not cuddle me and love me regardless what I’m feeling that day, I’d have surely taken my life long ago. They don’t cure the pain, but they make it bearable. They are my heart.
Toby the Terror
Our oldest resident cat is the only boy left in the mix. His name is Toby, he’s about 8-9 years old, and he is the cowardly lion in nearly all respects. He is also a TERROR. The cutest and calmest of a litter of kittens at the Winnipeg Humane Society, he seemed to be the sure thing for amazing cat videos to come!
Little did I know that if there is such a thing as ADHD for cats, he would be the poster boy. The middle of the night is his time to shine, and shine he does! Closet doors are not only for scampering in and out of, they are for tapping on with your paws! Any doors, really, are a target for him when he wants attention. And if that doesn’t get you up, how about nibbling on your earrings painfully? That surely wakes one up. What does he want, you say? Nothing, normally. He just wants to make sure no one else is asleep, either. He’s a maniac. He is tall and can open doorknobs if they aren’t round. He squeaks the tiniest little sound when he tries to meow, and he has never caught a living creature in his life. We truly believe he is a gay boy, and he would gladly hunt if it meant he didn’t have to eat it or if he had no chance of getting dirty. But, with camping he has become such a big boy now! He can actually poop outside if he is desperate, but that would be a last resort. In the end, he is our biggest challenge and quite the character. Always wants what he hasn’t got and never wants what’s in front of him. He’s like a teenager in that respect. But, he sure is handsome!
Pixie the Trickster
Next up is the resident sweetheart, Pixie. When I moved to Saskatchewan in October 2010, she and her sister were living on the back step of my new house. They were about 6 weeks old and could fit in a teacup. They were adorable. I tried to find them homes, even had they spayed at my expense, but being rural Saskatchewan, cats are disposable like paper cups. So, they became family.
She is the imp in the group. She never wants to be the boss and always lets someone else become the matriarch. Attacked by a dog at a young age she’s got hips like mine, old and sore. She is the totally sweetheart, and just wants to cuddle all the time. She used to be a skinny butt. Then we noticed she was finally putting on some weight! We were so happy. Then she started getting a little bit chubbier and chubbier. Little did we know that she had eaten her way into the extra food supply in the basement and turned herself into a little butterball.
She’s the cat that wants to be with you when you feel down, and when she is out camping she is like a new animal. She is so happy to be free and just loves to spend her days sunning her sore body and chasing bugs around the campsite. A consummate hunter she, if you ever want the horror of having a live mouse dropped into bed with you, she is the one to provide it.
Nutmeg the Phoenix
The newest child in the house is Nutmeg. While I was living in Kelowna in 2012, a tabby cat decided to jump in my window and help herself to the cat’s lunch. For a few days she’d jump in and eat and then get away from me as fast as possible. Then she decided that living underneath one of my chairs would be a great idea. She was terrified of people. I mean for months one could scarcely touch her. She hated to be approached. Men and people with ball caps on sent her into a frenzy of panic. She didn’t come up onto my lap for months. It was heartbreaking to watch.
And fast forward to today! Now we have a new matriarch. The phoenix has transformed. She became the most amazing, affectionate, loveable cat you could ever want. She will sit on your lap all day long if you are gentle. She follows you everywhere. She’s a hunting machine, and will lie in the grass in our campsite on her back, as though there is nothing to fear. It took a long time for her to open up to the family, but she has never looked back. She is the matron in the home and will make sure any newcomers are clean, if nothing else. Beware your skin, because she will clean it like nobody’s business. Her quirks and shyness are still there, but she will now sit in a house full of guests and be perfectly content. She accompanies me for every blog and she loves to travel with me. Now, she just needs a diet!