May I introduce Her Majesty, Katherine the Great!

Fourth 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.

Katie showed up at the apartment complex where I lived in the summer of 2001. I was pretty sure that she belonged to one of my neighbors. She greeted me when I came home from work, letting me pick her up and pet her. I never spent much time with her until one night in November. She hadn’t been around in a while, so I scooped her up to give her some lovin’…only to find that she was skin and bones. I looked into her sweet little face and said, “I don’t care who you belong to, you’re coming home with me!” And then my next thought was, “Oh, wait. I’m not really a cat person. Okay…I’ll find a home for her.”

{This is where you shake your head knowingly, laugh hysterically, and tell me that I found an excellent home for her. Go ahead. It’s okay.  I can take it.}

In my little one-bedroom apartment, there was only one place to keep Katie safe from my two dogs, Mac and Alex. I set up a cozy bed for her on top of the dryer, which was in a pass-through area from the kitchen to the bathroom. Every time I passed by, I petted her – and she hissed at me. Having been terrorized by two enthusiastic cocker spaniels on her first night with me, she went into stealth-kitty mode, only leaving the safety of her cat bed to eat a quick meal and to use her litter box. “You’re such a fraidy-cat,” I’d tell her. Eventually, she decided that being petted was good. Or unavoidable. I’m not sure which, but she stopped hissing at me. After a few weeks, Katie started visiting me when I was in the bathroom, even walking along the edge of the bathtub when I showered. But, she was still extra-cautious about everything, so I still called her a fraidy-cat, which morphed into Katie-the-fraidy-cat.

Ah, yes, that's my Katie, the one with the gaze that will set you on fire. To think she used to be a fraidy-cat!

I still planned to find a home for her because I really didn’t (and still kinda don’t) understand cats. But Alex thought she was the best toy I’d ever brought home, so I had to give this cat-thing a whirl. Alex sat in front of the dryer and stared at her for hours, begging her to come out and play with him. When he did catch her out of her safety zone, he chased her relentlessly, but never “caught” her. He’d corner her in the bathroom and just barked at her.  “Run, kitty! Run!” Neither Alex nor Mac ever tried to hurt her, and she finally decided that they didn’t have any interest in killing her.

Then, the dog toys started disappearing. Katie raided the toy basket at night and took her favorite ones into the bathroom. Alex, looking very confused, (“Hey…how’d these get in here??”) would grab them and take them back into the living room the next morning.

Next, Katie began greeting us after our walks. From the safety of the kitchen counter, she’d begin a chorus of meows the minute we walked in the door. Alex and Mac went nuts. Katie clearly loved the power she held over them.

Within six months, Katie had become a full-fledged, card-carrying member of the family. Well, after an ultimatum: “Look, kitty-cat, I don’t understand cats. I’m not a cat person. I really like you, but if you stay with me, I’m going to treat you like a dog. If you can be a cat-dog, you can stay.” She agreed.

Although I still can’t say I’m a cat person – I’m a dog person who likes cats and has two of them – Katie has taught me a lot about cats. I’m still learning. And Katie? Well, no one calls her Katie-the-fraidy-cat anymore. She’s given the dogs permission to call her Katherine the Great. I can’t even print what Jool calls her – this is a G-rated site, after all. Or, probably, the names all the vet techs and kennel attendants call her when shows her Tasmanian Devil side. I love her spunky spirit and even her manipulative meows. Her cat-ness often annoys me (that stealth kitty mode isn’t so cute when I’m the one looking for her and she doesn’t want to be found!), but when all’s said and done, she’s just my little Katie-bug.

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2 Responses to May I introduce Her Majesty, Katherine the Great!

  1. Darcy says:

    What a sweet little lump of love!! Our Peaches is also a dog in cat’s clothing. Love to the fur children! 🙂

  2. Elizabeth says:

    She looks like a sweetheart. I’m glad she found a great home with you. 🙂

    I don’t understand cats either. Truth be told, I am sort of afraid of their claws. So I don’t really mind that the allergies aren’t gone completely. Atlas would be just like Alex. I can just picture it. 🙂

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