Cats I Have Known

Midnight
One summer, a cat showed up in our bushes at home. I was probably 14 or 15. Our babysitter said, “Don’t feed it, and it will go away.” (They were called babysitters back then, not nannies.)

When Mom came home, we told her that a cat had showed up in our bushes. She said, “Don’t feed it, and it will go away.”

The next day, my brother fed it.

Thus, we got a cat. It was a skinny little thing, all black with green eyes. Honestly, she didn’t have a white spot on her. My brother, being the creative force that he is, named her Midnight.

My parents did have her spayed, but she was not ever 100% an indoor cat. Her food bowls lived outside on our upper porch. She spent great swathes of her time outside, hunting. She brought us many disemboweled creatures as a token of her affection. On one memorable occasion, she neglected to kill the chipmunk before she got into the house.

She was never overly affectionate, but she did seem to like my brother.

Caesar Boy and Lemonhead
Caesar Boy and Lemonhead were the house cats of the House of Babes. Technically, I think they belonged to Jen. I had to make sure they didn’t get in my room because I had developed an allergy to cats. I couldn’t pet them because if I did and then accidentally rubbed my eyes or touched my face, I spent the next hours itchy and sneezy.

Caesar Boy was a pretty, grey kitty, and Lemonhead was a calico. I was not involved with the naming, so I couldn’t explain why they were called those names. Maybe if Jen stops by the blog, she can explain if there are stories there.

Neither cat was ever fixed. We never let them outside. They were generally affectionate, and REALLY affectionate, depending on the time of the month — just like some residents of the House of Babes, oddly enough.

It is hard being allergic to cats and living with affectionate ones.

Robbie
This was another cat adopted by my brother. At the time he shared an apartment with our cousin Jennifer in Wilkinsburg.

Robbie was a huge cat, one of the biggest I’d ever seen. He was the size of a small dog, like a shih tzu. He was mostly beige, with a tail ringed with gray stripes. My brother had him neutered and declawed. He always seemed to regret declawing him — he said Robbie seemed to have been in a lot of pain. But he also wanted Robbie to be an indoor cat and not shred the furniture.

Robbie was VERY affectionate. He was the first cat — possibly the only cat — I ever saw actually RUN TO THE DOOR when someone came in. If the someone was my brother, he stuck around, seeking affection… and food, probably.

When my brother started dating my to-be SIL, he discovered that she was extremely allergic to cats. Extremely. Couldn’t be in the same room with them. Couldn’t share space at all with them, really. She just blew up and started wheezing.

I knew it was serious when my brother told me he went out and found Robbie another home.

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If Flora and I were not allergic to cats, I would get one as a pet for the children. It seems like a cat would be a good starter pet: feed it, water it, make sure the litter box gets cleaned. But looks like we’ll have to wait just a bit longer to get a dog instead. I am a dog person, not a cat person — but I am done cleaning up poop. The children gotta be ready to take that on.

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(h/t to Kim/@observacious for the subject matter)

Black Cat, Green Eyes
This is not an image of Midnight, but it is what she looked like.


Are you a dog person or cat person? What kind of cats have you known?

image source

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8 thoughts on “Cats I Have Known

  1. I’ll never get a dog. I’ve cleaned up enough poop over the last decade plus. Having to do so in the rain? No thanks. Cat person all the way. Don’t get me wrong. I love dogs. I think they are great animals. If they didn’t shed, smell and have to go outside all the time, yeah….

    • We are researching non-shedding dogs because of Flora’s allergy issues. They aren’t as bad as her cat allergy, but still something to be aware of. But yeah: I am done with poop and getting up in the middle of the night to tend to someone else’s bodily needs. So if it’s a puppy, my children are going to be tired.

  2. I’m both. I had the good fortune of growing up with the best dog and cat, ever. Jesse, a golden retriever, was mine. Got to pick her out for my 15th birthday. Amos, a Siamese, was the family cat. We got them within months of each other. Both were chock full of personality, loved their family, and were generally well-behaved.

    Amos live to be 17, and eventually took a turn living with each of us kids, as we moved out on our own.

    Jesse was killed by a car at the age of 4. It’s been over 35 years, and I still grieve for that dog. It’s still one of the darkest days I ever had.

    Someday I may get another pet… probably after I retire, so I’m not away for 10 hours a day. If it’s a cat, it’ll be Siamese. A dog, definitely a golden.

  3. Grew up a dog person, but as an adult I’m a cat person all the way! On my 2nd set of boys. Barney & Finn are two years,4 months and make my house a fun home. This morning I awoke to a living area filled with leaves that they decided need to be played with off the balcony overnight. Often I wake to furry toy mice offerings in my bed. Needless to say, I’m glad they are indoor/balcony only cats. God knows what my presents would be otherwise.

    • Toy mice and leaves are acceptable offerings.

      The other thing I would like about having cats is that they are independent. I hate the thought of a dog spending all day in the house alone. I also hate the thought of two dogs!

  4. I think I was partially joking when I suggested this topic, but it turned into a lovely post.

    My husband is horribly allergic to cats. Like if he picks up a coat belonging to a person who has a cat he’ll be miserable for hours. As a result, my son’s requests for a cat will go unrequited. Like yourself and several other commenters, a dog isn’t going to happen until the kids are old enough to take care of it.

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