I realized today that Kitty is not the same cat she was when Beastie was alive. Kitty came into our lives 12 years ago. She was a stray who was eating the bird bread outside of my mother’s house. At the time, I was caregiving for my mother 24/7, my daughter was 11, I was juggling two households, and there were 4 pets at my mother’s house and one at mine. The last thing I needed was another pet.
Kitty owes thanks to my daughter for our taking her in. We were expecting a very severe storm and with all I had on my plate at the time, my daughter was the one who said, “and what about the little cat outside?” So, in the teeming rain, she and I went out to grab that little black cat and we’ve had her ever since.
Kitty was thrust into a household with several pets…two cats at my mother’s place(Holly and Troubles), Benji, and Zowie. She didn’t know how to behave at first and we had to keep her in the bathroom for a while…and she tried jumping out of the screen many times. The only thing that really kept her with us in the beginning was food. For probably the first time in her life, she had food whenever she wanted it…and in the beginning, she was a bottomless pit.
What was interesting is that the other pets(with the exception of Zowie), were strays as well. Holly and Troubles along with their mother Daisy(who was deceased at that time) had come from the lot across the street and Benji had showed up one rainy day and was sitting on my mother’s porch when I came back from taking my daughter from school one day. They all accepted Kitty from day one…Kitty wasn’t sure about being part of a menagerie at that point and did her best at times to make life miserable for all of us.
Kitty has never been a brave cat. Any strange sound or person or animal is enough to put Kitty into hiding…last week we had someone in to repair something for us. I came home from work and asked my husband where Kitty was, “in the bathroom” he says…when I went in there, I looked in the shower first…which is where Beastie always used to hide…no Kitty…..lo and behold, wasn’t she hiding in the covered litter box.
In all those years with other pets, Kitty always stayed in the background. When Benji and Beastie both were hungry, Kitty was the one who would be with them and let them eat first… She never sat on my lap and was seemingly afraid of everything. My daughter just had to look at her a certain way and she would disappear.
I came to realize today how different Kitty is now. She now wants to be petted…a lot. She’s the first one to greet you in the morning and says good night as well. She demands to be fed and will show me what the problem is…whether it’s the food on the water. She loves to go out on the deck in the front now…something she never did before. The catnip is all hers’ now…she buries her head in her pot of catnip anytime she wants to anymore. She loves to be near Zowie now and if Zowie squawks, it usually means “danger” to Kitty…and Kitty listens…
Kitty reminds me of people who have never allowed themselves to shine…and one day they do and they find that life will never be the same. Benji had been with her from day one and she took care of him as he got older. She took care of Beastie as well. Now she is taking care of herself and watches over us as well and has become the loving cat I never thought she could be.
til next time…Eva