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Meet My New Nephew

August 8, 2008

…of the feline variety. Young Master Oliver James Cat. Isn’t he adorable?

This little guy found his way to my soft-hearted brother’s house, waking him up by crying under his porch one morning last week. As my vet said, it’s pretty hard to resist a kitten. Especially a desperate one.

Cats just find their way into your life. Sometimes you go looking for them, but often they find you. We have three of these little creatures, each with their own story.

Katie, the eldest, is Terri’s baby. Katie was abandoned by her mother as she was transporting kittens across a playground. She got dropped and left behind. Terri has handraised her from 4 days old. She wasn’t expected to make it, she was so young. However, she has thrived under Terri’s excellent care. Because she was abandoned so young, she has some personality quirks. She can be a little hot-and-cold, you might say. However, once she accepts you, she is the sweetest girl in the world and has a way of wrapping you around her little paw. Katie rules the roost. The entire king-size bed is Katie’s territory and she chooses whether any of us (humans included) are allowed on the bed at any given time. She ‘chirps’ at us when it’s time for bed, and will sleep nose-to-nose with Terri which is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen.

Cleo is the middle “child” and an adorable troublemaker. I got her from the humane society when she was just a little fluffy kitten. I’d had family cats all my life but she was the first cat that was all mine. I got her while I was in college and she has always been a persnickety princess. Now, in her later years (she’s about 13 or so), she has become a prankster. She steals food, runs around with kitty-crazies (literally climbing the walls), bats at the other cats, causes things to fall down… generally creating chaos whenever she can, earning herself an occasional nickname of Loki. She is the only one of the three who I suspect deliberately causes trouble. She also has a very special relationship with her water fountain. She MUST visit it several times a day and speaks to it in her own language. We think perhaps she is consulting the water oracle.

Tiger Lily (otherwise known as “Little”) is the baby of the family. I found her six or seven years ago under the apartment building I lived in at the time. From three stories up, I could hear her crying desperately. There was simply no question that I had to take this kitty in, and in the way of most foundlings, she has rewarded me with amazing amounts of love. Miss Tiger Little is just about the sweetest cat on record — there is no way you can not love this kitty. She is also, perhaps, not the brightest bulb in the box. Her favorite things include my lap, warm laundry, dry cat food, and talking to the kitty who lives in the oven (her reflection). Perhaps because of her desperate straits when I found her, she is a bit of a food addict, and will paw things directly off plates if not watched closely. She has very small paws and a tiny head, and a very round belly. She also has a heartbreaking habit of meowing pitiously when she ‘can’t find us’ — for instance, if we are all in the bedroom and she is in the livingroom next door. She breaks and warms my heart simulataneously every day.

Those are our girls. Troublemakers and angels, each in their own turn. It’s a cliche, but our lives would be so much poorer without them. Why is it that when you are feeling sad or bad, a pet can make you laugh and feel better even when the most well-meaning human can’t? I used to do pet therapy and it was amazing to watch people who hadn’t spoken in days or weeks start to pet and talk to the kittens I brought to nursing homes. Someday I would love to have a dog that could do pet therapy. Our girls are a bit too squirmy for it.

Let’s just pray that no little fuzzies show up on our doorstep anytime soon. Three makes a very full (but happy) household.

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