Zoey, Part 6: Settling in

I brought Zoey home and got started on her aftercare plan. I found it impossible to squirt the drops of liquid medicine down her throat; she was too wiggly. So I mixed the drops into her wet food, and she ate it right up. The flea med seemed to be working as well. While she still scratched a lot, a quick few strokes with a flea comb turned up no live fleas. The neck wound still looked awful, although it had started to fade from blood red to a healthier pink. I wondered if her fur would ever grow back there, or if she’d always have a bald spot.

My two adult cats weren’t sure what to make of the newcomer. I kept them separate as much as possible, sequestering Zoey in the spare bedroom most of the time. Of course, the other cats knew she was there; they’d smell her under the door, the way cats do. Also, I couldn’t resist letting her out once in awhile, for just a few minutes at a time, to explore a little bit of her new home.Well, the hallway at least.

As her sniffles cleared up, I let her out more and more. She was so curious about everything!

zoey bookcase
Zoey explores the bookcase. Notice that she is standing on a stack of cat-related books!

Speaking of curiosity, Milo seemed to want to know about Zoey. Jinx, however, was terribly offended that I would let another cat into our world. Certainly she, the magnificent Jinx, was splendid enough to fulfill anyone’s need for a cat! Even this Milo character was merely an “extra” on the set of her life. Him, she’d grown to tolerate, but this… this ZOEY. Just, no.

It will all work out, I thought. It’ll just take time. But three is my limit!

It’s funny, when I had just the two, I’d always joked that I was “one cat short of crazy.” Now, with the addition of Zoey, what did that make me???

 

jinx zoey staredown
Zoey looking up at Jinx. Jinx keeps her distance.

 

Before I could figure out the answer to that question, there was a knock at my door. I opened it to see Jake and Clarissa*, my neighbors. I’d only exchanged “hellos” in passing with them, yet I knew what they were here for.

They were Zoey’s original human parents. And Jake looked very unhappy.

 

*Names of humans have been changed

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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

My Life With Cats, as Reviewed by… Cats!

Now that My Life With Cats is in print as a real, actual, physical BOOK, I thought I would share it with four of the cats featured in its pages. I had to read it aloud to them, as my cats are pretty intelligent (except for Tiffany), but they’re not clever enough to read. Here are their honest, uncensored reactions.

 

JINX:

jinx-bradbury

First of all, I’m a little embarrassed by the revelation that my original name was “June Bug.” The folks at the SPCA thought me to be ornery and antisocial. Well, who can blame me? A sleek, black, spooky Halloween cat named “June Bug”??!? How demeaning! Mom and Pete chose the perfect name for me. I’ve always been a Jinx. I have lived many lives before… AT LEAST nine!!!! Bwahahahaha!

Other than that, I am pleased with my portrayal in this book.

Something you didn’t read about (because Mom doesn’t know)… I didn’t spend ALL my “missing days” in the neighbor’s basement. I had me some adventures I have never disclosed to anyone. Why? Because I am saving them for my own book someday!

 

MILO:

 

smiley-face

I love the book and I love my Momma! I am her favorite! Sometimes I gotta remind Jinx of that. I hardly remember my Military humans at all. Or my brothers and sisters. It seems that the whole world has always revolved around me. I don’t know what “surgery” is, but it sounds scary. I’m glad Momma’s not making me have it. She takes good care of my eyes.

I don’t know why Momma didn’t mention the tricks I can do, like the tunnel crawl and the bacon dance! Or how much I love John Denver. His voice makes my ears twitch. I think I remember him from one of my previous lives. How many am I up to anyway?

 

TIFFANY:

snootycat

 

I live with Pete now, but I still see Mom once a week. She’s okay. I prefer my Papa, or as I call him, my “Sugar Daddy.”

The cooler incident with my kittens is all a blur in my memory. I was never meant to be a mother. I am quite self-centered. My role models are Mae West and Scarlet O’Hara. I’m not sure I like the way Mom portrayed me in this book. Almost like I’m a…. Floozy!

 

OLIVER:

ollieollieoliver

My earliest memory is of not feeling like I belonged. I was the “black sheep” of the litter, if you will. I guess it’s because I have seven toes on my feet instead of five. I have a very faint memory of riding home in that little red canvas carrier. My goodness, I couldn’t even fit one leg in that little bitty thing now! I’m a big boy! I can’t help it if I’m shy. I don’t ALWAYS hide when Mom comes to visit. Sometimes I come out and do a “panther stalk” across the living room in slow motion. Tiffany may be a Daddy’s Girl, but Dad and me are best buddies.

All in all, an interesting book. Who knew Mom had so many kitties before us?

 

Copies of My Life With Cats may be ordered by clicking here.

 

my-life
Author! Author!

I’ve Created a Monster

I’m feeling just a little bit guilty.

I’ve noticed that my sweet black cat, Jinx, has been stressed out lately.

And I feel like… It’s. All. My. Fault.

If you read my previous post, The Stray Cat That Wasn’t, you know of the neighbor cat, Snowflake, AKA Toby. If you missed it, Snowflake was a cat that just showed up on my doorstep. Assuming he had been abandoned, I started feeding him and posted pics of the handsome cat. Came to find out he belongs to my new neighbors. Apparently, Toby/ Snowflake puts on his pathetic “starving stray cat” act for as many as five different households, according to his humans.

Even after I learned of his deception, I couldn’t help doting on Snowflake. His distinctive, hoarse “meow” and his refined pandering techniques were too cute for me to resist. I continued to feed him and make a fuss over him. I sometimes sat outside in my camping chair, with a book, with Toby/ Snowflake at my feet. I called him my “Reading Buddy.”

flakey boy
“Nom! Nom! Nom! I’m starving! I haven’t eaten in, like, two hours!”

Meanwhile, Jinx had been observing our budding friendship  from her perch on the living room windowsill. She seemed unaffected at first, like she couldn’t care less about this shaggy imposter. But one day, she started vocalizing her disapproval, letting out a series of forlorn meows through the window screen as she watched me play with Snowflake/ Toby on the porch. It wasn’t a jealous vibe that I picked up; it was more of an “Aren’t I good enough for you?” meow, as though her feelings had been hurt. When I found her crouched atop the kitchen cabinets (she NEVER gets up that high!) I knew things had to change.

jinx-is-high
“I am making a statement… Now help me down.”

Naturally, I felt like a Very Bad Mom. I decided to cut back on the attention I gave to the neighbor’s cat.

Easier said than done. That cat is seemingly ALWAYS here, croaking in his weird little voice on my doorstep. Jinx is perpetually stationed on the windowsill, staring out at him, her eyes as large and round as frisbees. Sometimes the loitering cat will stand up on his hind legs so that he’s almost nose-to-nose level with Jinx through the window screen. She doesn’t hiss or recoil, nor does she return his affections. She just stares at him.

The other day, Snowby (haha– get it? Combo of Snowflake and Toby!) actually rushed into my living room when I opened the front door. This was a first. Jinx remained where she was, again regarding him with that blank stare.

Milo, on the other hand, did not like this intrusion whatsoever. He leapt up on a table and hissed at Snowby. I scooped up the uninvited guest and quickly escorted him back outside. Milo had been within seconds of launching himself at Snowby, which would NOT have been pretty. He continued to hiss for a full minute after the  trespasser was gone.

milo-now
“This is my Domain. My. Domain. Mine.”

The neighbors who own Snowflake say “he just keeps running out.” I personally think they are overwhelmed with two toddlers, a newborn, a dog, and a cat. I feel sorry for Snow, even though he’s annoying. If only Milo wasn’t such a bully, I’d just let him in sometimes. I’m worried he might get hit by a car, the way he runs amok in the neighborhood.

Stay tuned for another installment of “As the Litterbox Turns,” coming soon.

snowby-poser
“You know you can’t resist me.”

 

 

 

 

Jinx is Six Years Old!

My sweet black cat, Jinx, is six years old today! Yes, her birthday really is April 1st, but trust me… she’s no fool! She is the most intuitive, savvy cat I’ve ever had the pleasure of living with. She has given me plenty of scares in her lifetime, like the time she escaped out a window after I moved, or her recent, erratic mood swings that caused the vet to prescribe Prozac for her. Both incidents turned out well. That time she got out, she was found safe and sound in the neighbor’s basement. And as for the weird behavior, it completely stopped after the vet’s visit. Never did get her to take the Prozac, and I guess it wasn’t needed. She just wanted extra attention, and perhaps a change of scenery (even if it WAS the vet’s office!). I’m proud of my special girl! She got her favorite flavor of Friskies, a little bit of catnip, and some extra lap-time today.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JINX!

jinx bday girl

Jinx, the Birthday Girl!

It seems like just last week when I brought a certain sleek, mysterious, little black cat home. At the time, she was no longer a kitten, but still not fully grown. Today, she turns five!

Jinx wasn’t always Jinx. She is the former June Bug. I’d always wanted a black cat, being a lover of felines, Edgar Allan Poe and Halloween. But occasional trips to the SPCA never rendered that “perfect match” for me. There was always an abundance of black cats in the shelter, but I never “clicked” with any of them. It seemed like the clever kitties would show off for prospective adoptive parents, but really, they just wanted out of their cramped cages. Once I actually got the cats in my arms, I sadly found that they were not interested in me, but in the wide open spaces they could have access to.

Then one day in 2011, the shelter had a “Black Cat Special.” Every now and then, there will be an overpopulation of black cats in the shelter. Why? Well, there is the “bad luck” stigma associated with black cats. Plus, even more ridiculously, in this Facebook/ Instagram crazed age, many folks say that they would not adopt a black cat simply for the fact that “they don’t photograph well.” Ridiculous!

When I first met June Bug, I held her for a bit. She didn’t try to squirm away from me as previous black cats had, but I didn’t feel an immediate love connection, either. I decided I would adopt her anyway, and hoped we would eventually develop a bond. She was put back in her cage while I went to the office to fill out paperwork. When I walked back into the cat room, the quiet black cat I had decided to take home stood up in her cage and stuck her snout through the steel bars. In a loud voice that belied her petite size, she cried out: “MEOW! MEOW! MEOW!” like an alarm that could not be shut off. My heart melted. I felt she was saying: “You’re BACK!!! I thought you’d LEFT me here!!!”

Jinx at age 1
                            Jinx at age 1

I knew that this cat had to be renamed, pronto. “June Bug” is too cutesy, more appropriate for a daffy orange kitty or a whimsical, skinny calico. I considered Spooky, Elvira, Poe, Raven, and other spooktacular monikers. Ultimately I decided on Jinx (with Elvira as a middle name). It turned out to be a very cool, yet ironic name for this precious animal. She has been anything BUT a “jinx.” She has been a friend, a blessing, a familiar, a treasure. Unpredictable, yet reliable. Tough, yet lovable. Sassy, yet sweet.

Happy Birthday, Pretty Girl.

Jinx Winks!
                    Jinx Winks!