When I dated Nikki her roommate had an obnoxious cat named Casandra. This cat loved to rub up against my leg and whenever Nikki wasn’t looking I would heave Casandra across the room, but she kept coming back. When we got married, Nikki made it very clear . . . take me and love my cats. No cats, no me! So I learned to adjust to cats.
Our first cat, by far my favorite, was a beautiful Siamese named Meesha. Siamese are very intelligent, very possessive animals . . . somewhat like Dalmatian dogs! Meesha didn’t like it when either of us went away. I watched her once get into my half-packed suitcase, and start picking up my socks, one by one, and throwing them out of the suitcase. Then she would crap in Nikki’s suitcase. And once, when the suitcases were all packed and sitting by the door, we woke up at night to this crashing in the kitchen. Meesha had managed to crawl up on top of the refrigerator, open the cabinet door, and was one by one throwing champagne glasses to the floor! At one point we had the church youth group over for a picnic and we heard one of the girls in the bathroom screaming. Nikki went in, and Meesha was snarling at this poor girl, and she was standing on the toilet yelling.
When we had our first child we thought it was best to find Meesha a good home. Everything would probably have been fine, but being new parents, and knowing how possessive this cat was . . . we thought it was best to give up Meesha, but she really was my favorite cat.
When the kids were toddlers we tried a few other cats, usually adopting from others. One guy, who was beautiful, but didn’t last long insisted on crapping in the shag carpet. Another had a litter of kittens in my daughter’s dresser drawer. And we tried a dog in there too . . . an elderly lady had a little poodle that she had to get rid of. It was well-trained and Noelle, who must have been about five, took an instant liking to it. We had it for one day and it ran out the door and in front of a car. I think we have one picture of Noelle and her dog-for-a-day.
When we moved to Colorado and the kids were in grade school they wanted cats. So Nikki found them each a cat. Noelle’s was a black and white cat we called “Mittens”. Rebecca’s was a ball of white fluff that she named “Mia” . . . and I named “The Cat from Hell.” Each cat knew which kid it belonged to and always slept in the right kid’s bed. Noelle would dress Mittens up in baby clothes and put the cat in her play stroller and push the cat around the neighborhood. Very pliant animal. Nobody, especially not me, could touch or get near to Mia. But Rebecca could do anything with that cat . . . throw Mia over her shoulder, anything.
Well, the cats lived to be 20 and 21 years old! The kids were long off to college . . . and we still had the cats. My wife threatened to write a book with the title, “The Cats Are Dead And The Kids Are Gone!” Our kids never saw the humor in that, and they still don’t. The white cat “Mia” once Rebecca was gone turned out to be the most affectionate animal ever. We kept her until she couldn’t stand up and her kidneys were gone . . . and finally had to put her down.
[The picture is of Mia just before we put her down. She could no longer stand up, and this beautiful white cat had taken to curling up in the ashes of the fireplace and no longer cleaning herself.]
So now we come to Panama, the farm, four dogs, and Nikki’s 4.5 cats. All of these cats were strays that Nikki took to the Spay & Neuter Clinic of Los Animales . . . and somehow they have all stayed.
On the left is “Mama” and on the right “Tigre” . . . Nikki had rounded up the mother and her four kittens. One was eventually stolen, and the other was killed by a wild animal.
This is my favorite . . . “Pudge”. . . plush and cuddly. Unfortunately he had a run in with Monkey our Rottie. Monkey doesn’t intend to hurt, it’s just that 85 pounds of Rottweiler wanting to play is sometimes a bit much. We thought for a while that his spine was broken since both back legs were useless. Now . . . given some time, he runs around and scampers up trees and you’d never know he’d been injured.
This is “Socks” or “Tux”. . . he was actually Evangelisto’s cat. Evangelisto is the son of our Gnobe Bugle Indian worker. Socks has not been “taken care of” although Nikki has tried. Evangelisto, like many Gnobe Bugle, feels it is an affront to nature to take a cats balls. We’ve tried to explain to Evangelisto that it’s the cat, not him, we’re trying to reign in, but Evangelisto has been adamant. Nikki has even tried to talk one of the vets at the Span & Neuter Clinic into trying a vasectomy procedure if the “balls” issue is preventing Gnobe Bugle from bringing in their male animals.
And, finally, “.5” or the “Mystery Cat”. . . this is a big male tabby cat, a homeless cat brought into the Spay & Neuter Clinic . . . they took care of it, but in the process discovered that it had a big tumor that needed to be removed. Nikki brought it to the farm to recuperate, only it escaped . . . We thought it was gone, but our Indian worker and I have seen it hanging around in the coffee trees, so Nikki, who has never actually seen her mystery cat, faithfully puts food out for it every night.
“When a Cat adopts you there is nothing to be done about it except put up with it until the wind changes.” – T S Eliot
“I gave my cat a bath the other day. . .they love it. He sat there, he enjoyed it, if was fun for me. The fur would stick to my tongue, but other than that . . .” – Steve Martin
“Dogs have masters: cats have staff.” – Everyone who has ever had a cat
“Time spent with cats is never wasted.” – Sigmund Freud