First in a series of who I am and what this blog is about. I do, indeed, lead a fur-filled life! With five (at least!) dogs and two cat-dogs. No, I’m not crazy. Well, maybe a little. You get to be the judge. Without further ado, let me introduce you to one of my crew, the cats and dogs I fondly call my fur-children.
This is my kooky calico kitty, Jool. Today’s her birthday! Or the day we’ve deemed her birthday, anyway. Seven years ago today, I lived in an apartment with two dogs and a cat and I was babysitting my friend’s Golden Retriever. I had just moved in a couple of months before and had seen this pretty little kitty snoozing on my neighbor’s porch a few times. New Year’s day dawned with blue skies and sunshine, but by evening, had turned blustery-cold, miserable. I took the dogs on a last walk for the evening and as we passed one of the buildings in the complex, we heard meows. I didn’t see a cat, though, so we continued our walk. When we came back along the same path, I saw her peeking around the shrub. She looked right at me and meowed again, insistently. “Look, I’ve got three leashes in my hands and it’s freezing cold out here. If you want a warm place to sleep, you can follow me home. I live over there.” More insistent meows. “Well, come on, then!” And the dogs and I went home.
Admission: I’m not really a cat person. I’ve just never understood cats. Yes, I did already have one cat…but I’ll save the story of why and how I came to have her for later. Suffice to say, I find cats adorably cute, but they perplex me, so I wasn’t really interested in adopting another one. I closed the door, settled the dogs on their beds, switched on the television…and then promptly got back up, put on my coat and gloves and went outside. Because, after all, how could I just sit there in my warm, cozy apartment and let a cat freeze to death? I couldn’t. She must have known, because as I rounded the corner, there she sat. She came right up to me and in a matter of minutes, I was trying to figure out what her name was. When you name them, you know, they’re yours.
Jool, named after a character on the television series “Farscape,” is quite a character. Smart, scrappy, tenacious, adventurous, cuddly, and a wee bit passive-aggressive. She’s a talker, too. In fact, that’s probably what convinced me that I had to keep her. That first night, I put her in the guest bathroom to keep her away from my other cat until I could have her checked out at the vet and every time I visited her, she was squawking at me about something. Talk about frustrating! I had no idea what this cat wanted or why she was so unhappy. She didn’t try to escape the bathroom, so I assumed that being confined wasn’t bothering her too much. I gave her what I thought was plenty of food and water and she had a litter box hidden away in the cabinet under the sink. But still with the yelling! Finally, utterly frustrated, I said, “Look, I have no idea what that means. I don’t know what you want. I don’t speak cat language, so you’re going to have to figure out how to tell me what you want.” Jool somberly studied me for a few minutes and then lay down. The next morning, she began using a different meow for “I’m hungry!” I was astonished, amused, and I knew she was a keeper right then and there.
My vet confirmed what I suspected: Jool was healthy. She was even spayed. Yay! Happy dancing! “But,” he warned, “calicos are weird cats. I haven’t met one that wasn’t crazy.” He was wrong. Thank you, God!
Much, much more about Jool in future posts, rest assured. For now, I’ll leave you with a couple more pictures.