Oreo, Oreo…

I told my daughter that I would post a post for each of our cats. This one is for the third and final cat that we took into the household. If it were up to my daughter we’d have more and some dogs to boot. My place is just way too tiny for that. If I had a few acres of land then yea, maybe we would.

Anyway, here’s how Oreo came into our lives. With two cats already, Tiger and Bandit, we went to the petmart pretty regularly. This particular time we went there for some cat food and litter on a Saturday. Worst day of the week. This is the day when they bring in the orphaned cats for adoption. The other dumb thing I did was go there with my daughter. I know that two cats is my limit based on finances and the size of my place and I can go to the pet supermarket and zip in and out without looking around. Going with my daughter is a whole different story. She has to stop and visit every cat in the cages. On this particular day, she found this tuxedo cat sitting in a cage by herself. For some reason, my daughter fell in love with this cat. Oreo was a tiny little thing, I thought she was around six months or so old. I told my daughter that we really only had room for two cats in our lives based on the money I had and the space we lived in. I assured her that someone would probably adopt her in no time and she would be living in a good home. My daughter looked at me with those trusting eyes and said are you sure?

“Yes, I’m sure darling.” I said.

She said she wanted to take pictures so that she could always remember her.

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I finally got her out of the store and thought to myself, whew, I made it out of there without taking on another animal.

The story doesn’t end there.

About two months later, when my daughter was spending the weekend with her dad, I needed to go to the pet supermarket for more supplies. So, I went back to the same store she and I went to those months prior. Guess what I saw?? Yes, I saw that same kitty, in the cage still. I thought, Okay, no. I can’t just walk on out and leave this cat. She’s been in this cage for about two months that I know of and who knows how much longer before or after that she would still be in there.

I know.. I’m a sap.

I spoke with the lady and found out that Oreo wasn’t a six month old kitty as I originally thought. She was actually two years old. As tiny as she was, I guessed she hadn’t had an easy life. She wasn’t particularly friendly when placed in my arms, but then who would be if they’d been living in a cage as long as she had been? I agreed to adopt her.

Bringing her home was an interesting experience. She didn’t take too well to Tiger or Bandit at first. They were interested in her and wanted to welcome her into the home. She, on the other hand, wanted absolutely nothing to do with either of them. She hissed, she spit and she did everything she could to avoid them. Not a very trusting cat at that point.

Today she is a sweetheart. A mischievous one for she loves to tease the other two  by sneaking up on them and swiping their hind legs or butt. She’s also established herself as the ruler of the roost. The other two males are very docile and are quite happy to allow her the “queen bee” role in the house.

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Tiger is pretty much his own cat. He picks and chooses who he wants to be with at any given time.

Bandit is my cat. He’ll always come to me and very rarely to anyone else.

Oreo, however gravitates toward my daughter. She’ll snuggle with her as her first choice any time.

So, that’s my introduction to my cat family. Adorable, wonderful and precious. I’d have dogs too if I could, but they require a bit more attention and unfortunately our schedule isn’t very dog-friendly. Maybe if I ever get to the point when I can stop working and spend a little more time at home.

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My Shy Bandit

Don’t know if any of you guys have read it but I posted a piece about my cat Tiger recently. This one is about the other cat I got about a year after Tiger.

Tiger seemed to want other feline company judging by the way he would raid my daughter’s room for her stuffed animals. Always the cats, mind you. She had stuffed animals of every imaginable variety and Tiger seemed to always go for the cat kind. So, I felt that perhaps he was trying to tell us in his own way that he needed another cat to keep him company.

Bandit…

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Not only did he turn out to be the perfect companion for Tiger for they got along so well, but he also became my baby. From the time we got him, he attached himself to me and would cuddle whenever possible. At the time he was a tiny little kitten, today he is my biggest cat out of the three. He’s also the biggest baby, always wanting cuddles and snuggling  in my arms. The picture above is actually him curled up in my arms looking up at me.

It’s funny. You would expect him to establish himself as the ruler of the roost with his size, but as it turns out it’s the littlest one that rules our place. I’ll give her her own post later…

Bandit on the other hand, may have been taken from the mother too soon after birth. I noticed after I adopted him that he would snuggle in my arms and suck on the tip of his tail until he fell asleep. If I had any choice in the matter, I would have left him with his mama a little longer, but he’d already been taken away by the time I met him.

He’s a very skittish cat. Jumps at the slightest sound. My little one (the tiny, little, female) takes great amusement in sneaking up behind him and swiping his behind. When she does this, he jumps two feet into the air and takes off for another part of the house. I swear if cats could laugh, she’s definitely laughing.

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He’s the biggest cat and the biggest baby of them all. He’s the one I can always count on for snuggles and loving. Right now, as I’m typing, I can see him circling my chair trying to find a good spot to jump in and snuggle.

It’s funny because he doesn’t cuddle with anyone but me. This drives my daughter crazy. She loves the cats and wants them to love her back, but she knows that Bandit is my cat. The only thing I can think of is that he must have attached himself to me if they did indeed take him away from the mother too soon.

Tiger is a very welcoming cat. You’ll find that a lot of cats are very territorial. It takes some time for cats to allow another to enter what they consider to be their territory. Not Tiger, he’s had two cats brought into his space and both times, he welcomes them and is very curious of who they are rather than being hostile. It’s usually the newcomer who does all the hissing and spitting for the first couple of days.

Anyway, this is my introduction to Bandit. Probably one of the sweetest, gentlest cat I’ve ever met.

My Tiger…

Tiger is the cat that has graciously allowed me to be his mistress. I share my home with three of them actually,  Tiger was the first one  after my divorce. Him and I coming together was sort of an accident, but one that I believe was destined to be. He’s unique, special and just one hell of a cat.

I’ve always loved animals, my ex – not so much. So after my divorce I decided that it was time to bring a cat back into my life and also to give my daughter an opportunity to interact with a pet. I fell in love with a little kitten that was in a box with a bunch of others on a street corner. He was the quietest of the bunch and sat apart by himself. Unfortunately, he may have been sick and that would explain why he was so quiet. I only had him a couple of days before he died on me. I didn’t even have a chance to get him to a vet for a check up. Well, when I came home and found him like that, I took it to the vet. Why? I don’t know, there was nothing a vet could do for him, but I really didn’t want my daughter to find out that her first pet of 2 days died. Don’t ask me what I was expecting by going to the vet with a dead cat, but I kind of think it was destiny because that’s where Tiger and I met.

At the vet’s office, I brought the poor little kitten in and explained what had happened. Knowing in the back of my mind that they’re probably wondering what the heck was it I wanted them to do?? Bring it back to life? Sure would have been nice if that were possible but…   Anyway, back to the story – Weeping, I explained to them that this was my daughter’s first pet. I’m pretty sure they knew that I may have been the one hurting the most over this. I get far too attached to everything. One of the girls working there, came around the corner holding another kitten. She asked if I wanted to take this one home. She placed him in my arms and stood back. I looked at him and he looked at me. He immediately started wriggling and meowing in protest. He wasn’t particularly pretty. He was yellowish and wild looking. They explained to me that he had been found a few weeks prior with 2 other siblings – abandoned.  Hurricane Charley had just come through our area a couple of months earlier and wreaked havoc. We had downed trees everywhere, flooding, etc… the place was just a mess. Apparently, he and his siblings had either been born as wild cats or they had been left behind somehow and they were found amid the rubble. They told me that the other two had already been adopted out and he was the only one left. Dubiously I looked at him as he stalked around the room. Each time I tried to pick him up, he’d complain loudly. Definitely not a cuddly kind of cat. I wasn’t going to leave him behind though, not after hearing his story of being a hurricane survivor.

Tiger and I went home and the next few days was definitely a learning experience between all three of us. I’ve had lots of cats in my lifetime, but Tiger taught me that he was his own cat. He didn’t conform to anyone’s expectations of what cats should be. It didn’t take long before we bonded though. He turned out to be a really fun cat. He fetched. Yes, ‘fetched’ like a dog would. I bought him a little stuffed kitten to play with and quickly found that he absolutely loved for us to throw it for him to chase after. Not only did he chase after it but he actually brought it back to us for it to be thrown again. He talked. No, he didn’t say words, but he mewed his response to everything. If he liked something, he’d give us a little “rrrr” in the back of his throat. If he wasn’t happy, he’d produce a loud, gutteral “maiwww”. That’s the only way I can describe it. He didn’t “meow”, he made noises from deep within his throat and they would come out loud. Sometimes, I could hear him walking around just maiwwwing away. It just felt as if he were communicating with us all the time.

As the months went by, his yellow colors deepened into a gorgeous auburn shade.

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He still hated being held. Hated it with a passion. If anyone picked him up, he might tolerate it for a few seconds before he’d start squirming and meowing in protest. However, despite that particular aversion, he was a very loving cat. Just on his own terms. He’d follow us all over the house and always stayed in the same room as we did. He showed his love and affection by rubbing our legs or nuzzling us with his face. Curled up beside us on the sofa to sleep, purring the loudest purr I’d ever heard coming from a cat. Everything had to be on his own terms. He just didn’t like us picking him up.

There was one side effect from his being in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley’s mess and that was he developed some respiratory problems. At least that’s what everyone has agreed on. Those first few months, I noticed that he sneezed a lot. The vet would treat him for his sinuses, which would let up temporarily then return. After many trips to several vets and finally one specialist, they determined that he may have contracted some kind of bacterial infection in the mess left behind from the hurricane. We never found out for sure because they started quoting me figures in the thousand dollar range just to find out what might have been wrong. I don’t have much money and certainly not to spend a thousand just to “find out what the problem is”… not to mention fix it. He’s not in pain. He’s a very contented and happy cat. He can’t smell and goes into violent sneezing fits, but other than that he’s fine. So I wasn’t going to mess with it any more.

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I mentioned earlier in this post that I had 3 cats. Well, the second cat came into the house as a result of Tiger. My daughter had a lot of stuffed animals (a lot).  I worked and she went to school and whenever we came home at the end of the day, we would always see some of her stuffed cats in various parts of the house. Tiger seemed to know how to pick out the cats from the other animals. He’d bring them out to keep him company while we were gone. So I decided that I needed to get him a companion.

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Bandit.  He’ll get his own post later. For right now, this one is your introduction to Tiger, one of the most unique, fascinating cats I’ve ever met.