Zoey, Part 8: “Did You Miss Me?”

I felt as if I had already lost her, as I handed Zoey over to Jake. Once she was in his arms, the change in his gruff demeanor was amazing; the kitten turned him into an enchanted boy, overjoyed to be holding his lost cat again.

“Macie Mae!” He cuddled and rocked her like she was a newborn baby. “Did you miss Daddy?”

Zoey didn’t nuzzle him back, nor did she try to get away from him. She just stiffened up. It was clear that she remembered Jake. So why didn’t she act happy or excited? She didn’t move a whisker, just remained paralyzed in Jake’s strong arms.

I watched this reunion in silence, alternately mourning the impending loss of my new furbaby, and wondering over the weirdness of it all: Jake’s transformation into a gentle giant… Zoey’s total lack of emotion… Clarissa still hanging back, staring.

The awkward cuddle fest dragged on for many long, torturous minutes. Finally I drew attention to Zoey’s hideous neck wound. Jake looked and blinked, noticing it for the first time. At last, Clarissa came forward to have a look. They gasped as they examined her.

 

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“It was nowhere near this bad when we last saw her,” Jake insisted.

“Ew! She feels disgusting!” Clarissa grimaced as she felt the scabby abrasions all around Zoey’s neck.

The couple looked at one another. There was some kind of silent communication going on between them.

“Okay, I’ll tell you what,” Jake said. “You can have her.”

Did I just hear right?!?

“You took her to the vet. You did a good thing for her. I’m willing to reimburse you some money towards the vet costs.”

Talk about doing a total 180!

“That’s not necessary,” I said. I was filled with gratitude towards him for gifting me this sweet baby girl. “I just thank you so much!”

As he handed the precious kitty back to me, I asked him to tell me a bit about Zoey’s history.

What I was told was nothing short of unbelievable.

TO BE CONTINUED…

 

zoeymeister
“So I stays?”

 

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Happy Birthday, Milo!

Yep, I have yet another cat with an April birthday… both of my furbabies are Aries! Today, my younger kitty, Milo Cyrus, turns 3 years old! He is a loverboy, a clown, a purrbucket, and most of all, a friend. I acquired Milo when he was a 5-month-old, unwanted kitten. I did not know at the time I brought him into my home that he had “special needs”… he was born with an eye disorder requiring daily attention. He has thrived and is a healthy, big boy who loves being loved, and giving that love back tenfold to me. I’m so lucky to be Milo’s Mom! Sweet Milo

Happy Birthday, Jinx!

Happy 7th birthday to my beautiful black babygirl, Jinx Elvira! In the six years that I’ve had her, she’s been a friend, soulmate, watchdog, and confidante. I love how she looks into my eyes as if she’s reading all of my worries and finding a solution. She has the silkiest fur, and the sweetest “chirrup” she makes as if to say “thank you” when I feed her. I love you, Jinx!

beautiful birthday girl

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Jinx Helo Kitty

No! You May NOT!

When Cats Make The Rules…

 

jinx in suitcase
NO! You may NOT go on a trip without me!
Milo shoe pile
NO! You may NOT wear these shoes, because I’m playing with the laces!
Jinx Helo Kitty
NO! You may NOT wear these Hello Kitty Pajamas, because they make a PURRfect pillow for me!

 

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NO! You may NOT read the Sunday paper! Scratch my back!

 

While Mom’s Away…

I guess you could call this a sequel to my previous blog, entitled How Do They Know?

Any Mom or Dad of furbabies knows the stress and anxiety that comes with going away for a few days, and leaving our pets under someone else’s care. It doesn’t matter if you leave your kitty or pup with a trusted friend, a family member, or with a professional pet sitter. I trust that 99.9% of you are like me; no matter how much we trust our pet’s temporary caregivers, there is always that relentless voice in the back of our minds: “Are they okay? Are they eating? What if Kitty slips out the door when So-and-So comes to feed and scoop?”

As I mentioned last time around, the cats seem to instinctively know when I’m going someplace. Especially Jinx. She stalks, panther-like, around my suitcase and carry-on bag, sniffing at everything and glaring at me. Her eyes seem to say, “You’re leaving me? AGAIN?”

jinx in suitcase
“You’re not leaving unless you take me, too!”

I trust a gal named Brandy to take care of Jinx and Milo whenever I’m away (which isn’t often). She is employed by Critter Sitters, a business started by a local veterinarian. Brandy is awesome, in that she not only feeds and waters my kitties and scoops their litter box, she brings in my mail and washes the pet bowls. She reports daily on their behavior, and sends me photographs to prove that they are still living and breathing. Here’s a rather eerie one of Milo that she snapped with her cell phone.

eVIL mILO FROM OUTER SPACE
“Yeah, I’m from another planet… So what?”

I recently made a three-day trip to Nashville (what a blast!) and felt confident that Jinx and Milo were in good hands. They know Brandy by now; she’s cared for them three times. So I wasn’t worried at all. I sure missed them, though! On the plane ride home, I couldn’t wait to get home to pet them and kiss them and make a fuss over them! Well, Milo was overjoyed to see me, running straight into my arms and delivering scratchy kitty kisses. When I went to pet Jinx, however, she scurried away, her upright tail sending me the message: “I’m not talking to you!” She spent most of the next morning giving me the cold shoulder, then decided that she still loves me, and jumped into my lap while I was using the computer. I cradled her until I heard her familiar, snuffly-sounding purr. By the time our cuddle session was over, my t-shirt was covered with black cat hair. Did I mind?

Not one bit.

Jinx and I

 

Crazy Cat Lady? Me???

I recently realized a startling truth about how I am perceived by my friends and work colleagues. They think I am a Crazy Cat Lady.

What was my first clue? It all started last Christmas, just over a month ago. Every single present I received pertained to cats! Every. Single. Present. I received a gorgeous cat quilt from my employer and her mother.

Quilt1
Beautiful Cat Quilt

 

My friend Hope gave me a set of file folders, with sweet photographs of felines on them. My ex gave me a Grumpy Cat desk calendar.

 

grumpy cat
Grumpy Cat desk calendar

 

Fast-forward to January 31st, my birthday. My presents included a book entitled How to Speak Cat, some cat notecards, cat bookmarks, and two pretty pillows that matched my cat quilt.

Hot to Speak Cat

 

While I was grateful for all of this cat paraphernalia, I was also a bit… well, embarrassed. What caused this seismic shift in people’s perception of me, as opposed to only a year before? I don’t recall ever getting such a bounty of cat things on special occasions prior to this. And so EXCLUSIVELY!!! The only non-cat-related item I received on my birthday was a greeting card with an alpaca on it (my second favorite animal). So what gives?

card both sides
Birthday card from my boss

 

cat pillows
Pillows to match the quilt

Also, I only own two kitties: Jinx and Milo. I try not to post an excessive amount of photos of them on Facebook. Maybe one or two a week. (That’s not to say I don’t have hundreds more on my hard drive.) It’s not like I started a FB account for either cat, or tried to make one of them a national star, like Grumpy Cat or Lil Bub. (Although Jinx does “tweet.” You can follow her on Twitter @EvilKittyJinx.) Don’t you have to own a certain amount of cats to be considered a Crazy Cat Lady? Like, at least 5??

I used to associate the term Crazy Cat Lady with an older woman, in her 50s or 60s, who wanders around her house all day in a bathrobe (covered in cat hair, of course) and slippers. I’ve since modified that stereotype. You can be a crazy cat lady in your 20s, as demonstrated by this hilarious Coca Cola commercial, featuring Taylor Swift and her Scottish Folds (plus a coupla dozen “extras”).

So I asked my Ex (probably the wrong person to ask) why people see me this way. He chuckled, then replied; “Because you fit all the criteria! You’re approaching middle age, you’re unattached, and you BLOG about your CATS!”

And? So??

Personally, I think that not only am I still technically “sane” because I only have a pair of kitties, but also because I don’t spend extravagant amounts of money on them. They don’t have a $200 cat “mansion”… Just a minimalist, $30 cat tower that consists of a platform, a tunnel, and a scratching post. I don’t cook for them (unlike my late mother, who used to broil tilapia for her cat, Mickey). I don’t dress them up in funny outfits…

 

Milo Claus lounging
Milo Claus
hippychick
Jinx as a hippychick

 

Hehe… Well, not usually.

I don’t initiate conversations with total strangers about my cats. Nor do I carry photographs of them in my wallet, like some folks do with their grandchildren.

What are YOUR thoughts? What constitutes a Crazy Cat Lady (or Man)? How many cats is TOO many? Am I overreacting to all of this? Please, comment away!

Cat Names: Beyond Muffin

 

Petco just released its annual Top 10 lists of the most popular cat names for boy and girl kitties for 2015. It seems that the days of giving our cats cutie-pie monikers like Fluffy, Princess, Muffin, and Blackie are a thing of the past.

Here are the lists, starting with the boys…

  1. Oliver
  2. Charlie
  3. Max
  4. Leo
  5. Milo
  6. Simba
  7. Smokey
  8. Jack
  9. Tiger
  10. Kitty
Milo peekaboo
My Milo… He ranks at #5

Okay, so numbers 9 and 10 are “leftovers” that have been around awhile. I predict that “Kitty” will disappear from the list next year. I’m surprised that “Tiger” is in the Top 10… What happened to “Tigger” (as in the Winnie the Pooh character)? I’m pretty sure it was high on the list last year. I must pat myself on the back for being a trendsetter… I named my rescue kitten Oliver like, five years ago! (He now lives with my ex.) And I didn’t realize Milo was a popular name for male cats when I bestowed it upon my newest addition nearly two years ago. He has a mark on his forehead that looks like the letter “M” and he just looked like a Milo to me!

2 kitties
Oliver and Tiffany. Oliver is the #1 name for male cats.

 

Okay, now for the girls…

  1. Chloe
  2. Bella
  3. Lucy
  4. Kitty
  5. Chloe
  6. Callie
  7. Nala
  8. Lily
  9. Gracie
  10. Daisy
Punkin Spice4
My neighbor’s cat, Daisy. She ranks at #10

Petco predicts that the popular Hunger Games book/ movie series will make an impact on next year’s list, so don’t be surprised if you see Katniss and Peeta in the Top 10 by the end of 2016. Also, due to the resurgence of Star Wars mania, Petco experts think that it’s possible that Leia and Chewie might an appearance as well.

Here are some cat names I like for girls. First, I must give a shout out to Tiffany (my little Turkish angora who lives with Oliver and the Ex) and Jinx, who is my perfect, stunning black cat.

peaceful Jinx
Jinx looks peeved that she didn’t make the list!

 

Other female cat names I fancy, but haven’t used yet are, well, Fancy, for a start! It’s a great name for a long-haired cat, such as a Persian. (Think of the Fancy Feast kitty.) I also like Delilah, Samantha, Gypsy, Angel, Abigail, Emma, Tabitha, and Taffy.

Some boy cat names I like are: Thomas (never goes out of style for big ol’ Tom), Oscar, Jasper, Casper (for a white cat), Samson, Brutus, Jaxon, and Diablo (for a black cat; it means “devil” in Spanish).

What about you? What are your favorite cat names. How did you come to name your own furbabies? I’d love to hear from you!