Friday, November 13, 2009

The Only Kids I've Ever Had...

My kitties! Felix Bojangles (orange and white) and Zeus Shenanigans (gray and white).

I have always been a cat person. I found a picture of me when I was about 2 years old, laying on the floor and holding on tightly to our family cat, Tuxedo. I don't remember that cat, but I obviously made a bond with it early on that never left me.

My first kitty.

When I was about 7 years old, my dad brought home a stray cat that he found hanging around at his mechanic shop. Her name was Sandy. From that point on, we always had cats. Sandy had babies and her babies had babies and we took in other strays. At the most, we had about 10 at a time. Instead of getting them spayed or neutered like normal people would have done, we kept letting them procreate.

A lot of terrible things kept happening to keep our pet population down, though. We lived in this ghetto little town where our neighbors were the type of people who liked to shoot and kill animals for fun. (One of our dogs was decapitated one time, for instance.) There were also a lot of loose dogs, ours included, that ate some of the cats. We lived close to the road, so they were always getting run over. And periodically my older brothers would round up our "extra" cats, take them to the next town over, and drop them off in random neighborhoods.

This was so traumatizing for me! It made me grow up wanting to save all the kitties in the world! Even now, I sometimes have an overwhelming desire to take in strays or kitties up for adoption. Just the other day, Zay called me when he was on his way to work and said, "Hey - they're giving away kittens across the street." I was like, "ZAY! You know I'll want to take them all! Don't TELL me that!!!" I have to avoid situations like that or I will seriously take them all in like a crazy old cat lady.

When we moved to Utah, I couldn't take my kitty with me... her name is Trinity and it's a miracle that she's even still alive. She's survived about 8 years in that environment! I feel like she's waiting for me to come back and get her whenever I can. About a year went by without kitties in my life and I felt like I was so deprived. And of course Zay is so awesome - he surprised me close to Christmas of 2005 with Felix! He found him at a vet that he always passed on his way to work. Felix was the only kitty there that needed a home. He was about 5 months old and had been left there by someone who lived in an apartment that didn't allow pets. Funny thing is – neither did our apartment. But I think that is a cruel rule! Screw that! Ha ha. They should ban kids from apartments if they're worried about possible damage. Geez! I know, because I worked at a job cleaning apartments and it got pretty horrendous sometimes. Never from animals, always from kids.

A year later (Christmas 2006), I was taking a nap and Zay came in with this little kitten and set him beside my head. I freaked out!!! Our neighbors were getting rid of a litter their cat had just had. They were probably going to just dump him out on the street. I'm so glad I got to save little Zeus and give him a good home. He was so tiny and pitiful and tried to nurse on our clothes for the longest time. Look at this face! You can't not love this face!


Felix had to sniff him first...


...but they soon became best friends! Felix looks like he could eat Zeus in one bite in this picture...


It's funny that this next picture has my Greek Tragedies book in it, because that's what I was reading when I named Zeus. I gave him a name that represented someone strong and powerful, because he was so pitiful and I wanted to give him something to live up to.


Now they're all grown up and still best friends...


I'm learning most of my parenting skills from them. They're just like kids, right? I mean, they make me laugh...


And they "help" me with chores (the laundry)... isn't that what kids do?


And they give you that guilty look when they're caught doing something they're not supposed to...


And they are just so doggone CUTE! They make me love them with their quiet moments of adorableness.


I can only imagine what loving my own child would feel like. My kitties and my nephew (more about him later) are the closest things that I've got!





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