Secondhand Cats

November 16, 2014 at 8:15 am (Life, Memoir) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Lulu came out of hiding today.

Lulu

I acquired a cat last week. She was a bit cranky at first and spent most of this week hiding. Which is understandable; she spent a day in the car to come here to a house where she had never been to live with someone she has never met.

She was my niece’s cat and now is mine.

We had a rocky start. I got bit. The bite hit bone and thus left a bruise (see picture below).

Nevertheless, today Lulu has come out of hiding. She played with me and sat on my lap. She ventured out of her safe room and started to explore her new home. Perhaps we’ll be friends after all.

However, I remain optimistically cautious.

Bite & Bruise

The thing is that I seem to keep acquiring second-hand cats that never seem to stick around.

We had family cats growing up. The first one I remember is a smoke black cat named Smokie. There is a picture of her with her kittens in one of my mother’s old photo albums. I think I remember the picture better than I remember the cat.

The cat I remember best is Willie, a big white tomcat who always felt like mine more than anyone else’s in the family. He slept with me. He hid with me when I would read under the bed. When we got a puppy, Willie adopted it as his own and taught him how to behave. I have a picture somewhere of Willie and Joey sleeping tight together (if I find it I will post it later this week).

We moved the summer I was thirteen. Willie didn’t like the move. It probably didn’t help that Joey had died that summer as well. The move was just one change too many for my old cat. Willie kept running back to our old house. Eventually he didn’t come back. When we couldn’t find him we assumed he died that winter; he was a very old, cantankerous tomcat. I miss him. I miss his warmth.

After that, the family got another dog. Well actually, my absentee divorced dad, without asking, brought us a new dog that he had named Trudeau after the prime minister (another story for another time). We shorted the dog’s name to Truce and he lived with us for many, many years.

Farm Kittens

Towards the end of my time living under my mom’s roof we would catsit my eldest sister’s cat over the winter. When my eldest sister was in university she acquired a pregnant street cat that came home with her and moved out to the farm with her when my sister married. The cat’s name was Mom. So Mom would move into town to our house for the winter. When I was at work she stayed in my mother’s basement. I would come home from work , open the basement door and meow and Mom would come to talk with me and sleep on my bed till morning. If I wiggled my toes, she would attack them. Sometimes I wiggled my toes on purpose. Mom was a very smart cat. She knew where her food was and if she felt she was not being fed enough she would climb into the cupboard, knock the box over and help herself.

My sister’s cats have always known me. As have their dogs. I go away for years at a time and when I come back the animals still know me. The animals still love me.

Cat & Pumpkin

The first cat that I had that was all mine was one of Mom’s kittens. He was called Tomcat or Kid or Son depending on what mood I was in. He was just mine and didn’t really fraternize with other members of my family. He ran away the weekend of my High School graduation (there were too many people around – I totally understood where he was coming from) and never came back.

After that, no more cats. No more pets for me. I got married (we had hamsters for awhile), got divorced, went back to university and moved and moved and moved again and then moved some more. I was a nomad. No time for cats. No room for cats.

I catsat for a month one summer at university when a friend went home. The cat’s name was Erasmus and he loved to have the tangles combed out of his fur. He was a street rescue and when my friend graduated university, Erasmus (potential scholar) moved out to her parent’s farm. I wonder what he and the farm cats conversed about on long winter nights. Someone needs to write a story about the homeless city cat who was rescued and his country farm cat cousins!

I always looked forward to the day I would settle down enough to have a cat of my own again.

When I first bought my house I almost got a cat. My sister’s friend’s cat had recently been relocated to my nephew’s farm and it was looking like that might not work out. But it did. The cat has adjusted; she is happy on the farm chasing mice and running free.

Than two of my step-dad’s cats had kittens (see second picture above) and I was going to take the black one once my Fall settled down. This was just about to happen when my niece needed to relocate her indoor only apartment Siamese cat. I’ve always wanted a permanent cat of my own. I’ve always wanted a Siamese even though they are very particular! It seemed fated.

Thus Lulu came to live at my house.

I’m that cat lady. I stop during my walks to chat with strange cats on the street. I wonder how much work a secondhand lion would be. For one, I’d need a bigger place before I acquire one of those. If I’m not careful I will end up with thirty cats or more.

We’ll see. Maybe Lulu will decide to relocate herself like all my other cats have.

Cats, after all, can be very peculiar.

 

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3 Comments

  1. Becoming Real | Solitary Spinster said,

    […] you may have noticed a few posts back when I told the tale of my secondhand cats, I have trouble naming things. I tend to call things by their classification first like Holly […]

  2. pix & kardz said,

    ouch, that looks painful. poor you, and poor Lulu.
     
    our cat was a bit unhappy after moving in – we were home no 4 for him, and i wasn’t sure how it would work out since he was in hiding initially, and seemed quite sad. he too had come via a long car ride, although we did have a chance to meet him a couple of weeks beforehand.
     
    i looked up what to do on the internet, and what was suggested was cuddling and petting, and if that didn’t work, to try playing. and the latter is what helped him to turn the corner. one of the toys we had acquired to welcome him was a stick with a string, and some feathers and faux-fur bits at the end. and he enjoyed chasing it.
     
    that was almost two years ago, and there’s no turning back now 🙂
     
    hope Lulu settles soon! all the best 🙂

  3. solitaryspinster said,

    Lulu has settled very nice and loves to stalk so we play stalk at least once a day.

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