This isn’t going to be a long history of everything, but a vignette of my history of cats. I think anyone who knows me today has heard me talk about my pair of black babies. I adore Kawaii and Genkii. They weren’t my first cats. In fact they are number three and four.
My first cat was Cinnamon. I almost didn’t get her. I was about three or four. Someone my mother knew from her days of breeding siamese had kittens. The mother was a pure bred siamese (papers and everything) and went out and found herself a random tom…. so she offered to give kittens to my mother. So mom took all three kids over to get kittens. The story goes that I had fallen asleep in the car and so mom left me there while the other two went inside to pick out kittens. I woke up as we were leaving and started crying because I wasn’t getting a kitten. Mom (being a good mom) turned around and let me pick out my kitten. I had her for eight years when she got a tumor and was so sick she didn’t want to eat. Feb 6th, 1997 we took her to the vet and put her down. Cinnamon is still one of my favorite spices.
The summer one of the ladies in the church where mom was the youth pastor made a comment about getting rid of her ten year old cat Roxie. Miss Gracie was over ninety and Roxie was “gonna trip her and break her hip.” So I adopted Roxie in July. I was owner number nine. She literally spent the next month under my bed. I would hear her come out to eat and poop at night, but during the day she stayed in the darkest, deepest corner of my bed. It was almost October when she finally would let me pet her. It was probably the next year before I ever held her. But I think we spent my entire senior year of high school where she slept with me nightly. She was my writing cat, she was the perfect little muse to sit on my lap quietly, purring away content encouragement.
Then after I graduated from college my biological clock went off. Like a harpy with a toothache. At the time I was dating someone who said he never wanted kids (should have been a deal breaker….). When I had myself in an apartment I started looking at puppies and kittens. I really wanted a puppy. But I lived i 645 square feet, And I worked fulltime. And really liked spending weekends with my boyfriend. He told me I was being crazy to look at getting a pet. I told him I wanted a cat or a baby – his choice. He suddenly became very supportive of my baby-alternative. So I talked to a no-kill group in Conyers about a pair of cats, boys – brothers.
When I got to Petsmart to meet them I saw they were about 16 lbs each – and not overweight. They were big boys! So the lady took me to meet a little girl who was this tiny, delicate little cat who had bonded a big long-haired cat. He didn’t give a damn about people. She didn’t make my heart sing. There was a third pair that I don’t even remember. I remember standing in the middle of petsmart as the woman said, “I’m sorry, the only other pair we have is… well they are black cats.”
“I love black cats, I think they are amazing”
“If you like them…. if you’ll take the pair together… I’ll waive the adoption fee. It’s hard to get black cats adopted, and a bonded pair is even harder”
The moment I picked them up and held them… I knew I was their momma.
Seven years later and this week was my first health scare for them. Kawaii has a bad tooth that is going to need to be pulled. I came to bed Monday (surprised because she didn’t fetch me like normal) and she came to demand her cuddle-time. I just knew something was wrong with her. I can’t tell you how I knew. So I poked around her stomach (afraid it was kidney thing) but that just made her damn happy. But now I could see it in her eyes – something is wrong. I finally get her to let me look in her mouth and I immediately see it – kind a grey, gooeyness that… it looked awful (and I’m apparently squeamish).
She is ok, even though the tooth isn’t out. Tonight I changed sheets on the bed and she played “under the sheet dashes.”
I occasionally get looked at like the crazy cat lady. I argue that I’m not. I’m not as bad as many young parents with their children – and I’ve lost two before. Worse, I made the call when to administer the euthanasia (the right choice – but still hard). I adore my babies because I am trying to love them while I can. I try to appreciate these moments of joy when i’m tossing the sheet up and they are diving at the sinking corners. When Kawaii flops over with the look of “pet my tummy” and even when Genkii will not shut up and leave me alone during video games.
And yes, this is the second shortest version. Cinnamon was the cat of my childhood. Roxie was my writing muse. Genkii & Kawaii are my babies. Somehow I don’t think the short version is enough…