Everyone In Our House Has A Cat

I’m a cat person. In fact, this was very nearly a cat blog instead of a mommy blog.

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Why can’t it be both?

Occasionally, cat-themed posts have still found their way in, like that time I was trying to figure out why hating cats is so popular. I even started pulling them in order to start a separate kitty blog until I figured out how maintaining both would be unrealistically time-consuming.

But I’m starting to wonder if ignoring all the cats leaves you with an incomplete picture of our family. You see, my two daughters have been socialized around cats since day 1, when our five kitties surrounded and guarded the human newborns. My girls are so fluent in cat that they’ll occasionally infiltrate their ranks and try to blend in.

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Boxes are really popular here

And everyone here has a personal cat. This wasn’t by design, but somehow every family member ended up taking ownership of one kitty in particular. So to understand our household politics, grasping the shadow feline alliances going on behind the scenes is critical. It provides relevant character insight:

Wylie

Wylie is a gorgeous grey-striped cat with white eyeliner. He looks and acts a bit feral. In fact, he had been labelled an “unadoptable” kitten with “problem behavior” when we met him in Petco that day…

IMG_0771He IS a bit stubborn and neurotic, though otherwise sweet. He jumps into every open cabinet and gets accidentally trapped all the time, which is really annoying around the kitchen. He’ll also keep jumping into your lap, easily thirty times in row, when you don’t want him sitting there and keep throwing him down. He’ll put his ears back, jump onto your chest and scream, “You WILL love me, damn it!” in cat.

He is my husband John’s cat, which is kind of hilarious. John was always a dog person until Wylie kept putting his front paws on John’s chest and meowing in his face, occasionally hugging him tightly around the neck and smashing his cat face into John’s forehead.

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Wyliecat guards the monkey kitten.

I don’t know if John, who once considered cats aloof, ever pictured himself being worn down by some cat’s incessant neediness, but Wylie follows him around like a crazed stalker and repeatedly torpedoes into John’s lap whenever he sits down. “Not NOW, cat!” John barks at him, as Wylie endlessly climbs up the opposite side of the couch and dives again, hoping a fresh angle will make all the difference.

John can’t help but be somewhat touched by this, especially since Wylie used to guard Brontë for hours when she was napping in her baby swing.

Violet

IMG_3339Very few people in the world will ever know of Violet. Violet sightings are extraordinarily rare.

She’s utterly elusive, slipping soundlessly out of view at the slightest footstep. She’s a tiny, 5-pound, black-and-white cat who must not have been held very much as a kitten because she’s deathly afraid of humans.

And she’s my kitty.

Luckily for her, I’m quasi-Druid and have an uncanny ability to tame wild animals (or part ranger, depending on how you roll). I spent about a year slowly sidling up to Violet, which was tough because she’d vaporize any time I made noise or perceptively moved in her direct line of sight.

But finally, she became my loyal friend. She only hangs out in my territory, sleeping next to me every night and whenever I’m up too late writing, she sneaks in to settle atop my desk until I’m ready to go to bed.

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When no one is looking

My daughter Brontë holds Violet in special regard, her being “mommy’s kitty.” She was hurt that Violet always ran away from her, so I taught her how to make friendly cat sounds and approach gently… this was invaluable practice being quiet for a toddler who usually stomped around screaming, because the cute little kitty would always disappear when she did. Violet taught Brontë how to be sneaky.

Now, Violet will let Brontë pet her and will even climb onto her lap. Brontë is very proud of this and loves to talk about how Violet “only trusts mommy and me” to anyone willing to listen, except they may suspect Violet is only a legend, having never caught sight of her.

Frodo

cropped-285784_10150914693639821_2031424290_n.jpgFrodo is the little black cat who always had a special bond with Brontë. When she would cry in her pack-n-play as an infant, he would jump in, ninja-style, licking her face until she stopped. He’s Violet’s brother, but much less shy than she.
Frodo is a good hunter and likes to hunch up his shoulders and walk like a panther as he terrorizes the local birds and squirrels. He our best bet for taking down errant spiders.

IMG_4016Fun fact: Frodo was initially named “Vivien” until the name became clearly inappropriate.

Another fun fact: Brontë keeps trying to teach Frodo to walk. She’s not there yet, but she can get him to stand on his hand legs by holding up her hand until he raises to meet it. He appreciates all the time she’s spent trying to help him evolve and tries to make it up to her with dead bird offerings, which she keeps pretending to like.

Raj

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Raj (whom I sometimes call “Roger”) is a big, meaty cat that looks like someone went to town decorating on with a black Sharpie. I mean, he’s yellowy with white eyeliner ringed in black eyeliner and a ridiculously ornate color pattern of black swirling and stripes, dots, waves, and a distinctly raccoon-looking tail. Big, beefy paws.

He’s our unpretentious, galumphing, cuddly enforcer… the only one chasing our lunatic dog Douglas to beat the crap out of him, whenever he’s getting out of hand, before collapsing into our laps in a purring lump. He likes to eat, fight, love, and sleep.

And he’s Bridget the Viking’s cat, which was an obvious pairing.

She’s also a fighter, who responds to skinning her knee by first punching the air and walls around her, then collapsing into my lap in a snuggly, toddler lump. Raj and Bridget “get” each other.

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Send help.

Bridget has a ridiculous ongoing routine with Raj that involves her tackling him with everything she’s got like a 3-foot Lenny, which he handles the best he can until she’s crushing his intestines to the point where he has to lightly smack her to not suffocate. Then she cries about “Raj scratching” until I remind her that she had it coming, which seems to keep getting us nowhere.

But she still profoundly loves him with all of her toddler heart and he loves her too. Raj is the cat she measures all other cats against… she screams out “RAJ!” whenever she meets a new one. And when our dog gets too hyper around Bridget and knocks her over, it’s Raj who always comes running to her defense.

Zoë

IMG_3361Ah, Zoë… she’s a beautiful black, long-haired girly cat who adopted shy little Violet when Violet was still scared and missing her mom. They would snuggle together for hours.

Zoë has a sweet little voice, is a beautiful doll, and knew I was pregnant before the tests did. She would signal this by sitting on my belly, purring, and guarding me. I’m convinced my girls could hear her purring when they were in the womb, and are still soothed by the sound.

Zoë is such a girly-girl cat, however, that she’ll blow up to 3X her original size upon catching sight of Wylie, Frodo, or Raj. I don’t know what her problem is, but she HATES boy cats.

And I mean HATES them. Wylie, Frodo, and Raj instantly transform gentle Zoë into a spitting, cat-swearing, claw-flinging maniac.

Having to live around boy cats pisses her off. Even after we tried everything from cat pheromones and separate liter boxes, Zoë would still protest her unacceptable proximity to boy cats by crapping in Brontë’s bed every time she saw one.

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Zoë actually identifies as a chicken

Night after night, Brontë would throw back her covers to reveal yet another curling cat turd before raising both arms in the air and shrieking at the insult. We finally decided Zoë would have to mostly be an outside cat.

Which is where she is now: circling the house perimeter in relative harmony until she happens upon one of the boy cats and flies into lunatic ravings.

So, there’s my introduction to the cat members of our household. Our sweet neighbor has also started fostering kittens for a local shelter, so there are two new kitties next door. She asked me if I wanted to participate, but frankly I’m a little worried because, as you can probably tell, I have some issues getting attached to stray animals and welcoming them into my home forever. Because I kind of like animals. A lot.

Especially cats.

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4 thoughts on “Everyone In Our House Has A Cat”

  1. I could not love this post more. We have puppies, but a big high five to you for having a cat per person. THAAAT”S AWESOME. And I mean you gotta respect Wylie wearing your husband down into acceptance. Reminds me of what Dixie Dog did to my husband.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! 🙂 I’ve been thinking of rerunning the cat posts I briefly put on another site. I like animals in general and the interaction between kids and pets is entertaining.

      I’ve had dogs I’ve loved to death, but think I’m a cat person by default, just because they make sense to me. My husband had a great rottweiler when we were dating, though. She got along well with cats, so it wasn’t a problem.

      Yeah, Wylie is pretty hilarious. Super aggressive with his love. I keep teasing my husband whenever Wylie is smashing his cat face into my husband’s about how he thought all cats were so aloof, lol 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m a dog person by default but am in no way a cat hater. One of our dachshunds, Dixie LOVES cats. Like she sneaks out to sneak them out in the neighborhood to befriend them and visit them.

        I used to think that about cats too like your husband until I got Dylan when I was in my early 20s. We don’t have him any more 😦 but Wylie sounds a lot like Dylan 🙂

        I’d love to see ALL your cat posts!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m the same in reverse! Dogs are cool and I’ve loved the ones I’ve had, but have always liked cats in particular.

          Dixie sounds adorable :). Most dogs and cats get along fine if they’re raised together- sometimes even when they’re not. My husband was so worried about his Rottweiler Scarlet hurting one of my (2) cats because she’d never been around them. But she ended up cuddling up with them and it was no problem.

          I’ve definitely met nasty cats before- that will hiss and scratch you. I’ve never had any. Some cats go feral unless they’re handled a lot, so I’m guessing the nasty ones probably weren’t held enough as kittens.

          Sorry to hear about Dylan 🙁. My neighbor isn’t a cat person either but she just took in a foster kitten that’s turning her around. Not sure if she’ll give the guy back, lol, because he hangs out in a daycare and is getting SUPER tame. Kids are great for taming animals.

          Like

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