Friday, March 30, 2007

The CATalog

The title of this blog, nine cats, is merely a snapshot in time, not truly representative of the derangement that comes from having cats. Not just 1 or 2, but many, many felines, whose personalities and characters, while similar in a broad way, all add to the growing dementia of this owner. But "owner" is too generous; "fool" would be more appropriate.

So in the ever-growing need to relieve the pressure, the following is a compendium of every cat we've ever owned.

Pherinian (pronounced "Fer-rin-nian") - the first of the beasties, this precious orange kitten started his life as a wedding present to Michelle (the last time I ever gave a cat as a gift) and grew into a lazy fat thing, who ended up with a distain for his own offspring and a penchant for nuzzling Michelle's hair. He was a rather stupid animal, much like Fuzz,

Areai (pronounced "Air-ree-eye") - the other cat acquired right about the same time as Pherinian, this black and white wench typified everything that cats are; vindictive and evil. Her kittens became the source of division between her and Pherinian, causing us to give her, and them, away. The fact that sent her and the kittens away, and not Pherinian, tells you something about her wicked disposition. Areai nearly clawed up a 3 month old Ashley in one her fits against the other cat. At that moment, she forfeited our home for the pound.

Martin - this was a cute, fuzzy, gray thing whose life nearly ended when he mistook our waterbed for a litter box at 3am. The smell woke me up, which was bad enough, but when I put my hand in warm diarrhea, I knew that he could not stay. I can still remember when we turned on the light to see him pitifully meowing, covered in his own feces. I don't remember where we got him and I don't remember where he went. But he went. It was with Martin that the "cute kitten" syndrome was broken in me.

Sparkles - this cat was acquired from a fellow I worked with in the Navy and had a disposition to match. He was jittery, nervous, and looked as though he had beaten more often than was good for him. Sparkles was the same way. Ashley called him "Frarkles", and used to grind her teeth in seeming approval. The cat could care less, avoiding us most of the time, showing up meal times and making a home underneath the furniture. This animal actually lived in my father's house for a time, which is amazing if you don't know my father, and since we could not take him to the duplex, he stayed with them. He was the ideal cat - you hardly knew he was there.

Allie (aka Socks) - this cat was also a co-worker acquisition, another sob story to the gullible. She ended up getting out of the house and fornicating with every male cat in a 10 house radius, proof of which was the fact that her kittens looked so different. Shortly after delivering Tubby, Shadow, Barry, Spaz, and Skunk-Girl, she was mauled by a neighbor's dog. Live hard, die young. The 5 kittens became 3, as the girls were given away. Tubby you already know about. Shadow was the quiet calculating type, not overly loveable but not a hater, and Barry, an affectionate polydactyl beast who ended up a family favorite. Both were actually pretty good cats…until Tugger.

Tugger came to us by way of friend who was moving out of state and asked us to keep his cats until he got settled. The other cat was Isis, formerly known as Skunk-Girl, so named for the weird arrangement of black and white color on her muzzle. Tugger was quite large (though with a ridiculously short tail) and quite the bully. Eventually, Barry and Shadow ran away, which we guess was from Tugger's jerk-like behavior.

In the meantime, we acquired Calvin, a beautiful Angora-looking cat, pristine white, long-haired, one blue eye, one green eye. Tugger took him in as his own kitten, and he seemed quite normal. But as Calvin grew older, he became more and more skitterish (more so after Tugger was sent home and Iris was run over), to the point where even walking in the same room caused him to go into trembling fits of panic. He never got over this, though he did unwind a little at a new owners house, a much quieter place.

Sometime amidst all this chaos, two things happened. First, a next door neighbor brought us one stray kitten they found under their porch, in the knowledge that our house had become a cat farm, and the owners of said farm were crazy as loons. This cat, Pickles, who also turned out to be quite the hussy, ended up pregnant with 6 kittens, all of whom were given away except Socks, whom you already know.

The second thing that happened was that good friends of ours, who were also cat magnets (and stray dogs), packed up and went to the mission field, and asked us to take care of their remaining two beasties that couldn't travel with them. The first was Bonzee, an old cantankerous creature, whose ill disposition was only matched by her appearance. She looked like something the cat had dragged in, and was a horror to the other cats. Or rather, she was a horror to them. The other was Sugar, a petite female, much like Boo, except that as loveable as she was to humans, she was equally hated by the other cats. And I am not exaggerating when I say she was loathed by the other cats. She was chased, cornered, hissed at, swatted at, and driven to destroy every knick-knack, plant, lamp, or any other object not tied, glued, or otherwise permanently affixed to the top of the piano, bookcases, end-tables, or kitchen counter. She was the eye of the storm, the center to which all cat wrath was directed. And she made it difficult to like her since she caused so much ire in the others. Perhaps she was really possessed and the cats knew it. I like to think she was the normal one, the rest being possessed.

And how could I forget Tiger…the original stupid cat. This is the moron that ran into trees, in plain daylight. Who slept in the presence of invading rodents, who used affection to get his way, who chased and bullied the other cats constantly. We ended giving him away as well.

The above 6 kittens, including Socks, all had names, though their names escape me at the moment. After all of this, we got Boo, who produced the brothers, and the rest you know. If you count these beasts up, we're close to 40 cats in just less than 20 years.

If this is not insanity, I don't know what is.


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