Friday, January 05, 2007

My Feline Friends

I currently have 4 feline friends. I have a long-haired tabby at home, and she is my sole house-pet now. She is about 8½ years old, and I’ve had her since she was about a month old. She came into my life on the third of July, 1998. I was working at a car dealership in Newport at the time, and a customer came onto the lot, in a small pickup truck, drunk, and threw this poor, tiny little kitten out onto the pavement because she had pooped in his truck. So that was the last time he ever saw her. Because of the date, I named her “Independence” and call her Indy.

She played second fiddle to Toby for about 6 years, and when he died, she really started to come out of her shell. She is now ruler of the house, and is playful, affectionate and gorgeous. And she seems very happy. Whenever I am sitting, she is on my lap, and she sleeps on the bed with us, too.

Simon came into my life when I moved the studio to its current location. He belonged to my neighbor and he was left behind when said neighbor ended up in jail. So Simon became my studio cat. He is gorgeous and very sweet, but not very affectionate. He had some large, non-cancerous tumors on the back of his neck that my mother generously paid to have removed almost a year ago. Wednesday I noticed a large open wound on his shoulder, so we took him to the vet at the same time as Gypsy. He is back at the studio now with stitches and a drain tube in place.
I don’t know how he got that cut, but I’m guessing it was either a dog or raccoon… Simon usually spends his nights outside. I share him with the restaurant next door; the employees feed him outside the back door when they open at 5 a.m., and the diners greet him and pet him on their way in, and throw him scraps on their way out. He’s kind of a ‘community cat’. But I consider him my responsibility and he spends most of his days in the studio, sleeping on the ottoman in the window.
Sissy came into my life about a year ago as well. She started appearing in the back yard here at the studio, and it wasn’t long before we made friends and she started coming inside. Now she lives in the studio, and spends her nights inside. She’s still pretty skittish around strangers and loud noises, so I feel protective of her. She is terrified by trucks back-up beeping, and the sound of tape. Whenever I open one of my orders of large prints, she runs for cover because of the sounds of ripping packing tape. Even the small rolls of tape will send her into a tizzy. I’m guessing that at some point in her life, someone tortured her with it. Poor thing. Anyway, she and Simon are both about 5 years old, and were both fixed when they came to live with me at the studio. I’m glad that someone in their pasts cared enough about them to do that for them.

Sissy is extremely affectionate, and loves to get up on the desk, in my face, while I’m trying to work. She’ll lie on my hands while I’m trying to type. She rubs her face on my face and hands. She drools heavily when she’s happy, and it drips all over my desk, my clothing, and her fur. Small price to pay, I think, for the unconditional adoration she gives me. The drooling wouldn’t be nearly as tolerable without her wonderful sweet nature and absolute rapture at being close to me.

Stripe is another ‘community cat’ that hangs around the studio. I think she’s a neutered female, but I’m not sure. I also think she was dropped off here. She is here everyday looking for food, and eats ravenously when I put it down for her. She looks well-fed and healthy. She is getting more and more friendly, and wants to come into the studio in the worst way, but Sissy will not allow it. I let Stripe come in one day, and Sissy went after her, again and again, attacking her mercilessly, until I was able to get Stripe back out the door. I feel bad for Stripe, but I don’t know what to do about it. Sissy obviously will not accept her in the studio, at least not at this point. Maybe eventually. Sissy accepts Simon because he was here first. I’ve thought about taking Stripe home to be a housecat, but I don’t think Indy would appreciate that much at all. She loves being the only cat.

Overall, I am one of those people who prefer the company of animals to most of the people I’ve met. They work their way into my heart and take a firm hold on it. Sometimes I think I must have the word “sucker” stamped on my forehead. I adore them as much as they adore me. I foresee my future as the old crazy lady with a dozen cats. I just hope I don’t become that person for another 30 years or so… but there I’ll be, wearing purple and tending my cats.


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