Sunday, February 28, 2010

the family cat tree

When someone exclaims, "You have six cats?!" I almost always say, "We didn't plan on six!" Anyone who has a houseful of cats will usually tell you that it was completely unintentional.

We started out with one cat who seemed a little lonely - so we got her a companion kitten. Then the original cat contracted FIP, leaving us with one. The whole experience was so painful I decided that I was perfectly content with a singleton, declaring "no more cats!" Ever. Really.

Then Mike found abandoned kittens in a woodpile. 3 weeks old, unweaned, sick and loaded with fleas, he brought them home to me in a bucket. And after 5 weeks of middle of the night bottle feedings, vet appointments and wild rumpus kitten wrangling, we suddenly found ourselves living with four cats in a two bedroom apartment. We moved into a big, cat-friendly house pretty quick after that.

Our lone boy cat was a terror - beating up on his three sisters and wreaking the general havoc a young male is apt to do when he's bored. He clearly needed either a pal or a distraction so when a friend's cat turned up pregnant I agreed to take one boy kitten, which of course turned into two - "The twins do everything together! They're best friends! And look! Double cuteness!" - Fine, I said. We'll take both. Who am I to split up such a perfectly matched pair? (yes, they were in the dishwasher and no, they're not allowed in the kitchen anymore)

And just like that, there were 6, pushing me well into "cat lady" territory. Feel free to intervene if I ever get as crazy as this one:


Wiz said...

We've had as many as 9 at one time.

The decision to adopt always starts (it's a phone conversation) with Toni relating to me that "so-and-so just brought in a box of kittens and there was this white one that just climbed out of the box on the counter and came over to me and gave me what for." Or: "This little orange tabby/calico/russian blue/black shorthair/stumpy Maine coon ended up in a box on our front porch/rescued from a tree by the Arlington Heights Fire Department/up for adoption by Save Our Strays/ was left at the animal hospital in lieu of payment."

And my response is always, "Is he/she/it cute?"

I suspect a well-populated cattery is the sign of a warm and open heart. But what do I know? I'm biased in favor.

Mark Alger

Lydia said...

See as how the cats have more bedrooms than the owners of your house, I think you're safe from being crazy cat people. If you were still in the would have crossed the line.

reflectoscope said...

As long as they all have names which you can remember, you're probably ok.

(Of course, this comes apart if you have a good memory for name-face pairs)


reflectoscope said...

I'm sorry I got distracted from it when I submitted my last, but I like your new banner, too! If it is haunting, it is so in a good way.


Lissa said...

I volunteer at a cat shelter and we're still flying solo with Rajah.

For now . . .

Zdogk9 said...

Six IS right on the edge of "Crazy Cat Lady" territory. Spring is coming on, one day soon you'll be out shopping and a couple of cute little girls with a box of kittens will be sitting outside-------

Tango said...

here you go, breda. It's only fitting.

Comrade E.B. Misfit said...

Er, I thought it was "crazy lesbian cat lady"..

Sorry to read about your accident. I hope you're feeling better, the process of fixing or replacing your car isn't too tedious, and the perp gets offed in the joint.

Joanna said...

At least you're not like my mom. She couldn't admit she was becoming an empty-nester, so she replaced her kids with cats.

She's also pretty crazy, but that's an unrelated issue.

Crucis said...

I think the lady in the video has breathed too much floating cat fur. Neither of my two cats would put up with all that without drawing their switch-knives.

Thirdpower said...


1.Eris. My original. Got from a pet shop.
2 Athena. Rescued from a friend of mine who couldn't care for her.
3. Crazy. Rescued from a friend of the wife's who wouldn't care for her.
4. Loki. The last of a litter abandoned at an auction.
5. Ziggy. Gotten from wife's cousin when he and her original cat didn't get along. He was supposed to go back to his original home. He never left.
6. Romeo. Stray who adopted us.
7. Bo. Found at a friends baby shower when he came to the door howling in a rainstorm. Fixed and declawed.

Ms. Pants said...

I've got six as well. (Totally unplanned. I'm a crappy foster, but an ace adopter!) And I'm single. Which means I will never get laid again.

Heath said...

At least y'all will never go hungry.. :evil"

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

here you go cat lady. Try this out and report back.

PPPP said...

Six is a good number for kittehs.

Sixes is a very good number.

We has sixes.

It's much better than today's WV, which is fieves. That's one less than sixes.

Five of our current cats were born in our house. Who knew that a momcat could get preggers while she was nursing? We looked at her one day and said:
Is she getting fat (she was still nursing) or . . . Oh No! Pregnant !?!

She stayed indoors till the second litter was weaned, then she got fixed. It's really hard to give them away when your children name them as they're born.

So, for awhile, we had eight. A year later, momcat and one of the second litter disappeared.

Five years ago some people moved out and their very friendly unfixed male adopted us. He had to pay if he wanted to stay, so . . . fixed.

About two and a half years ago the two boys from the first litter got cat-napped by a little old lady in the mobile home park behind us. We've seen them a couple of times, but they live back there now.

And our youngest graduated from college and couldn't take her cat with her immediately. She'd take him back with her when she flew home for Christmas. Didn't happen.

So we had one, then four, then eight. Then back to six, then seven, then five, and finally - six. Breda's perfect number.

Willorith said...

To truly be a crazy cat lady, you must die and be eaten by your cats. Not something I see in your future.

sarahandmom said...

Cranky Central is basically an unofficial cat sanctuary because so many air thieves like to abandon unwanted cats and kittens (along with dogs and puppies) near our place. (The price of living in the middle of nowhere, I guess.)

Personally, I'm servant to five kitties, but there are more hanging out here who've enslaved the other humans. I'm glad that the furry beasts have a safe, comfy home and plenty of playmates, but not happy about the circumstances that brought them to us.

Well, save for Trouble. She was born here because we adopted a pregnant kitty almost four years ago. Trouble deemed me a worthy servant, so she claimed my bed and that was that. :)

B Smith said...

If you ever get as batsh*t crazy as that lady, can I have your guns?

Scott McCray said...

We lost the old maid of the household last summer, it was her time and we had to have a veterinary assist to ease her journey. We decided that we would accept the "kitty-kount" reduction. Seven days later we heard a horrendous screaming and thumping outside of our back door - we looked out of the storm door to see a tiny ball of fluff throwing himself against glass trying to get in! Apparently six is indeed kitteh equilibrium. Who knew?

John the Texaner said...

More than three...