My mother has requested a post on the other cats I’ve owned throughout my life. I’m not sure why because she is the one other person who is already familiar with all of these cats, and I think she’s probably overestimating anyone else’s desire to read about them. Also I don’t think her request really falls under the purview of this blog since it’s supposed to be a blog about things that are currently making me happy. However, it is my blog so technically I can write about whatever I want. So for you sticklers out there we’ll just say that what is making me happy is making my mother happy by writing this post. For those of you already bored by the cat posts I promise they won’t make another appearance any time soon.
I got my first cats when I was either 2 or 3. I’m a little fuzzy on the math there. We lived in Ohio on 4 acres of land at the time. We had a barn, and my parents got the cats to help keep down the rodent population. My sister and I each got to name one. My cat was named Friend and my sister’s cat was named Baby. If I recall correctly, which I might not, I believe Baby escaped from the car as we were attempting to bring him home from the vet after getting neutered and was never seen again. Even if that’s not how it went down, Baby was gone before we moved from Ohio to Georgia. Friend made the trip with us, but didn’t stick around very long. When I was in preschool we had some sort of pet show where everyone brought in their pets. Thinking back on it, it seems like a really bad idea. At any rate we were standing outside on the preschool grounds that were surrounded by woods. My sister begged to hold the leash that the cat was on but let go of it when she was tired of holding it and of course the cat took off. We never saw Friend again after that. A fun little side note about Friend and Baby is that my mother used to make us cat shaped pancakes when we were little and I remember that my sister always got the fatter pancake because Baby was the fatter cat.
We didn’t get another cat for a number of years after Friend ran away. I have always been a cat person, so I always wanted another one. We had a dog though and apparently that was enough to deal with on the pet front. When I was in third grade though my dad with the help of some friends was turning our deck into a sunroom and sent my mom to the hardware store to pick up something for him. She also stopped at the grocery store nearest to the hardware store instead of where she normally shopped to pick up some food. Someone was trying to give away free kittens in front of the store and that is how we wound up with Mittens. I remember being over at a friend’s house and my sister calling to tell me my mom brought home a kitten. I didn’t believe her, especially since my mom was telling the story and saying it was fate that she wound up at that grocery store. I kept thinking my sister was telling me the cat was fake. I’m not really sure I knew what fate was at that age. Mittens was kind of a mean cat, but he was my cat and I loved him.
I’m not sure how old I was when we got Licorice. I’m also not 100% sure I remember how we got her. If I’m remembering correctly someone dropped off a box filled with a litter of kittens at the intersection by our house and we wound up adopting one of them. I remember the kittens being left there, I just can’t remember for sure if that’s where we got Licorice. Mittens hated Licorice and since they were indoor/outdoor cats he started staying away for days at a time. Sadly Licorice got hit by a car and did not survive. I’m not sure exactly when that was. As you can tell my ownership of this cat is a little fuzzy.
When I was in 7th grade we moved from Georgia to Massachusetts. Mittens was traumatized by the whole moving experience. He hate the car ride during the move and having to be kept on a leash during our travels. We also stayed in a hotel when we first got up there and had to board our pets. Mittens had never been boarded before so that was further trauma for the poor cat. He was back at the house and locked away in some room on the day the movers brought our furniture. Someone opened the door and he bolted. The doors to the outside were open because of the movers and Mittens escaped. We never saw him again after that.
To placate their children after uprooting them and losing their cat, my dad took us to pick out kittens from a litter he saw someone giving away on his way to golf. That’s when we got Allie and B.J. Allie was my cat. I had already decided if my cat was a girl she was going to be named Allie (like an alley cat) or Tom if it was a boy (like tom cat). My 7th grade year old self was obviously insanely clever. B.J. was my sister’s cat. His full name was Bubba Joe. I don’t know where she came up with that and no one ever called him by his full name except the vet. Allie and B.J. were with us for quite some time. They both made the move to Texas with us and also the move to Illinois. B.J. died one summer when I was home from college. He had been in failing health for awhile and my mom was doing her best to keep him alive with medicine and IVs. Apparently his potassium levels got off though and his heart failed. My mom said he was just walking and fell over. There wasn’t much they could do to save him, so my mom had him put down. Allie made another move down to Florida where my parents now currently live. They bought a house down there a few years before they actually moved, but my sister wound up living in the house while she went to school at the University of North Florida. At some point my mom took Allie down there to live with my sister and then inherited the cat back after my sister moved to Boston. My parents also inherited Nomar (named after former Red Sox player Nomar Garciaparra), which is the cat my sister adopted because she thought Allie was lonely after B.J. died. Allie died at a ripe old age. She was a little sad there at the end. She lost one of her eyes due to an infection and eventually died though I can’t remember exactly from what. My parents still have Nomar, and that is the story of all the cats I’ve ever owned.