One of those days…where you end up with a lot of cow blood on the floor and your cat might be dead

I guess I’m not often really happy. I am satisfied and glad and stuff, but occasionally I get this burst of happiness, like a whale erupting through the water’s surface, and it’s sort of shocking and I wonder what I did to deserve it and why I can’t feel it all the time and if I’m depressive most of the time and if I should be on anxiety medication and if I’m actually totally fine and I’m just being a crybaby and since I can feel this happiness I can probably feel more of it, more often.

Anyway, I was really happy the other day. I had all this sudden energy, maybe in part because I’ve been walking every day, like a champ. (To the guy who commented arrogantly under one of my old posts that I have the wrong attitude about health, IN YOUR FACE, I’m totally exercising and you don’t know anything about me!) I was bouncing around, being all thankful for stuff. We’d gone out with another couple and everyone got along really well and it’s so damn hard to find other couples to hang out with. I got some work done ahead of time, even though it was the weekend, and next week was going to be awesome because my friend Brenda was coming to visit and we were going to have the best time ever.

I went to bed early, because my sleep schedule has been better recently and I feel deliciously tired in the evening, instead of vaguely bored and confused about what I should be doing and thrown off by the fact that it’s dark so early.

And then, in a haze of sleep, Bear was standing by the side of the bed, trying to tell me things in an urgent, miserable voice. Something about the freezer and the front door. My brain pushed his image away, trying to burrow back into dreams. But he wouldn’t go away. Disoriented and foggy, I half-thought, “No, but today was so happy…”

And then I was mostly awake and he was telling me, “I think I killed Minute.” (My tiny orange cat.)

It started with the meat freezer.

We have one now. It’s new. We have it because we bought an eighth of a cow.

 

Which actually isn’t the most interesting story, but it made Bear’s dreams come true. He reads about food and chemicals and that sort of a thing a lot. And he made this rule for our little household that involves not eating beef that’s not grassfed and hormone free. Which means that it’s always annoyingly a lot more expensive and I buy it less because of that. But my mom has a friend who has a mom who has a farm and they raise cows very kindly there, before they murder them.

So suddenly we had this chance to get some of a cow, and it was decided that we’d get an eighth of one because we wouldn’t be able to fit more than that. We paid $2 a lb, for a lot of lbs of healthy beef. An incredible deal, and the meat would last us about a year.

My parents were like, “There’s no way this will fit in your pathetic little city freezer,” so Bear ordered a freestanding one online, from Walmart, and even then we were coming out ahead on the beef, so he was bursting with pride about the whole thing. In the elevator with our freezer full of meat, after we brought it all back from NJ, we looked like we were definitely either already serial killers or had plans to start killing soon. The freezer fit into the closet Bear had hoped it could live in, and everything was perfect in the world and Bear was feeling like a real, red-blooded, meat-freezing man.

And then everything fell apart.

“There was a puddle of blood on the floor!” Bear was telling me. “The freezer just stopped working! I had to carry it into the bathtub and I moved all the meat into the regular freezer, but it’s not frozen now, and I had to throw out the bloody towels so I went out to the trash room but the door shut and locked behind me and I rang the doorbell a lot but you didn’t wake up and come so I thought maybe someone snuck inside and killed you.”

While he was hauling the freezer into the bathtub, he kicked the cat accidentally in the face, because of course she was right where his foot was supposed to go.

Minute was a stray, probably abandoned, and my cousin found her on the street. She followed my cousin home. I have all sorts of theories about her past life, including that some terrible person was cruel to her. She loves people and reaches out her little paw yearningly towards them when they’re standing near her, but she can’t be picked up. When you try to pick her up, she fights for her life. I wonder if that means something. I wonder if someone also kicked her.

Bear is always complaining about Minute. I spoil her, he says. What will I be like as a mother, he wonders sometimes, aloud, if I spoil the cat this much? This is absurd, I tell him, she’s a cat. She has a very small cat brain. She can’t learn that much. She should just have a great life because she doesn’t understand much. If she wants chicken, she should have some chicken. It’s OK.

She needs to be trained! He says. I’ve never had a cat that jumps up on the counter all the time.

Plenty of cats jump up on the counter, I say. And at least she knows it’s bad. Look, she totally knows!

We find her sleeping on the counter when we come home.

Minute falls asleep on Bear’s chest, but he still loves to complain about her. He reminds me a lot that I forced him to let her stay. He jokingly refers to her as the biggest problem in our marriage.

“I left the window open,” he was explaining frantically. “I didn’t think she’d go out it, but she’s gone!” He’d left the window open in an effort to air out the stench of cow blood.

And then he’d gotten locked out. He’d finally gotten the key from building management and then checked the apartment for hidden murderers. But by then the cat had disappeared.

I stumbled out of bed in my underwear and began searching. There were not very many places to search.

“Come here, Minute!” we called, desperately. “Come here, little cat!!”

Nothing. How many cats actually come when you call them?

Bear went and checked the trash room, in case she’d somehow followed him into the hall and gotten into it. He wondered if maybe he’d somehow managed to throw her out with the trash. That’s how you get when it’s late and you’re panicking about killing the cat.

“I’m really sorry,” he said, trailing after me as I searched under the bathroom sink for the fourth time. “I’m really sorry if something happened to her.”

“Stop it!” I snapped, sure in that moment that if she was dead I would never speak to him again. “Get back to looking!”

I had a flashlight and I was crawling around with it. How small could the cat make herself? I checked the window again. The opening wasn’t large. Why would she go through it? Why would she want to? I imagined her plummeting to her death. I thought, she will have died quickly. She won’t have had too much time to be terrified. At least there’s that. Her death was quick.

Which helped, you know, not at all.

The truth was, there was nowhere to search. The apartment isn’t that big and we’d just cleaned it. And the closet doors were shut. And the bedroom door had been shut because I was sleeping.

Maybe a half hour later, in terrible silence except for the strangely loud circulation vent in the kitchen which I told myself might be masking Minute’s helpless cries, it seemed like we might have to give up. And do what? Go to sleep after our cat had mysteriously disappeared forever? What do you do when you can’t even figure the tragedy out?

And then, suddenly, the beam of the flashlight caught the glimmer of something unmistakable– A single eye, wedged in the back of a closet that was only open a sliver, that we’d already checked several times and which had appeared consistently to be catless, Minute had somehow managed to squeeze herself in the practically non-existent space between the wall and an old, heavy toolbox.

I fell to my knees. “Minute! Honey! Come here! Come to mommy!”

Bear hung back. “I’m sorry, Minute!” he called tentatively. “I hope you forgive me!”

“Do you think she’ll forgive me?” he asked me. “Does she think I’m abusive now?”

“I don’t know,” I said, a little tersely. “Minute! Come here, sweetie! It’s okay! It’s okay!”

The single wide eye stared at me unblinkingly.

It took me a long time to coax her out. And when she came, she slunk by me anxiously and ran to hide under the bed. We sat on the floor by the bed with a dish of canned food (chicken feast!), trying to convince her that she was safe.

Eventually, she was convinced. And then she purred and rolled around on the floor and order was restored to the universe.

We talked in hushed tones about what had happened. Maybe it had been the smell of the rotting blood that had upset her the most. Maybe the horror of the freezer being dragged into the bathroom, where her litter box is. The kick in the face…But then I remembered that he’d said he rang the doorbell many, many times, but I didn’t wake up. Minute is afraid of the doorbell. When it rings once, she runs and hides.

Just like Sherlock Holmes, we had solved the incredibly complicated mystery.

We went to bed, with Minute curled up next to us. And you know what? Even though we both had horrible nightmares that night (Bear dreamed that I was divorcing him and taking our imaginary child with me), the story had a totally happy ending. We still have an eighth of a cow, which has to be refrozen but google says that’s OK as long as it wasn’t totally thawed and it wasn’t, minus a couple livers that were sacrificed to the cause, and it all fits in our little city freezer. Take THAT, suburbs. Take that.

*   *    *

Who else has adopted a stray animal? Do you try to figure out its past?

Unroast: Today I love the way I feel in a loose shirt with a belt over a skirt. It’s just my jam.

40 Comments »

Kate on November 28th 2012 in fear, life, marriage

40 Responses to “One of those days…where you end up with a lot of cow blood on the floor and your cat might be dead”

  1. lik_11 responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    I’m a pet adopter… all my cats come from the streets. They all have very strange personality quirks that I wonder all about. My most recent cat is the same as Minute- very loving, and wants attention, but totally freaks out if you pick her up.
    As I’ve almost lost one of my kitties a couple of times (He’s an explorer) – I completely understand the freaking out. When I was dating my husband, he left work in the middle of the day to come help me search the streets of Cincinnati for my escaped cat. Soon as we went inside, and left the door open, he appeared in my apartment. I’m pretty sure he watched as we searched for him- just biding his time until we went home, so he could get back in the apartment.
    So glad all turned out well!!! I’m totally jealous of all your meat. mmm…
    PS- My cats come when called. I trained them by shaking the treats everytime I called their name, and would reward them when they came. Now- I don’t shake the treats, but I still occasionally reward them- so they always come. (All of my pets are very food-driven.)

  2. Ali responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 1:29 pm #

    so glad Minute is ok! From the title I had the terrible idea that somehow Bear assumed that the cow blood was her blood! Also, I ALWAYS try to figure out my pets’ pasts. It’s what makes them so unique!

  3. Kate responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 1:30 pm #

    @lik_11
    Interesting! Most of the people I know have cats that let them pick them up.
    Minute runs over when I pat the couch, but I’m not sure she knows her own name.

  4. Kate responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 1:31 pm #

    @Ali
    Lol!! That would’ve been so terrible!

    I wish I could somehow find out her story– it feels like such a mystery.

  5. Melanie responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 2:05 pm #

    I feel your pain. I had a couch surfer stay at the house recently and he had a dog. The dog was totally fine with my cats but the cats were not happy the dog was there. My big girl Roxy took off one morning and wasn’t there by the time I fell asleep. I just went to bed and hoped she’d be there when I woke up. Sure enough, there she was at the foot of my bed when I woke up in the middle of the night. Passive aggressive scaredy cats!!

    I have thought about going in with friends to buy a portion of a cow, but I eat so little red meat I have found that buying a pound of grass fed ground beef and two ribeyes a month that are from good farms, doesn’t cost that much.

    Your kitty is so damned cute. I never thought I was a cat lady, but I’ve had mine a year and a half and I’ve become one. They have helped me get over SO MUCH of my OCD stuff. It’s unbelievable.

  6. Emily responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    If something happened to my dog and it was because of my husband…I don’t know how I could forgive him. What a rift it would cause!

  7. lik_11 responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    @kate – you’d be surprised what your cat can learn with the right enticement… My cats absolutely know their names- and the word “treat-treat”. They will ear flick or come running at “treat-treat”. When I call their names- they will come, but at their own pace.

  8. Claire Allison responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Great story! I loved this post!

  9. Lisa responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 4:01 pm #

    We had a stray cat adopt us a year ago in December. The funny thing is that I’d seen him sitting on our back porch (oddly, next to a mouse!) the previous June, but he ran when I approached him. I continued to see him every so often in our yard throughout the rest of the summer and fall. I assumed he was feral, but every time I’d see him in our yard, I’d say, “Hey, Kitty Kitty!”

    Finally, a neighbor brought him to our door last December because she’d seen him outside and it was cold. He was skinny and hungry. She put him down and he wove around my legs, attempting to charm me. I recognized him as the same cat who’d been hanging around the yard and called to him, “here, kitty kitty!” He came running back to me, every time.

    I brought him inside that night, unsure of what to do with him (I have a dog.) I got him some cat food and he stuffed himself for days until you could no longer see his ribs. I tried to see if he belonged to anyone, got him neutered, and looked for a home for him. After about four months of no takers and an agreement from my cat-hater husband to not divorce me, we ended up keeping him. Long story short, it’s all worked out. The cat and the dog have become friends, hubby has grown fond of him, and he’s become a part of the family (although he can’t quite give up his outdoor ways and insists on going outside each day, even in the rain and snow.) He always comes home in time for dinner, though.

    He has odd little quirks that I try to figure out. For example, when he sleeps, he always has one paw stretched straight out. He also likes to sleep on his back with his paws in the air (he may have learned that one from the dog.) And, like your Minute, he will paw at us when we walk by. We named him Mewcifer, but he still comes to “Kitty.”

    I always say that he’s not the cat I would’ve picked if I were to pick a cat, but evidently the decision wasn’t up to me since he’s the one who picked us.

    I’m so glad to hear that your story had a happy ending. I mean, you simply can’t show adorable cat photos and NOT have a happy ending. That would be cruel.

  10. Tobasco responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    I’m glad your story had a happy ending! Stressful as it is, it makes for a good story. I have a kitty also, and a dog, both shelter animals. Kitty was only about eight weeks when we got her so we know her story. She is definitely one of those cats that knows what you want her to do, but doesn’t care. I’ve tried every trick in the book (even emailing with a cat trainer!) and she will not stop going on the counter. She was once eating from a pot on the stove, with the heat on underneath. I had visions of a flaming cat running through my house and burning the whole thing down for weeks.

    Our dog, on the other hand, was two years old when we got him. He was so terrified of cars when we got him he wouldn’t even walk past a car parked by the sidewalk. He is terrified of loud voices. But he looooves people. Who knows what really happened to him, but I will be very sad when he’s gone.

  11. Lindsey responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 6:00 pm #

    I adopted my cat when she was about 12 weeks old. She had been discovered by a vet tech somewhere in the UWS. She was insanely malnourished and small for her age – about the size of a normal 6-week-old. She had patchy, mangy fur and was skittish as all hell.

    She went through a long skittish phase, but it helped to socialize her with other cats. She had a kitty BFF who now lives with my sister, and I think he helped her a lot. Now she’s bold as all get-out and very friendly and affectionate, although loud noises sometimes startle her badly.

    Four years later, the only habit she maintains from those days is this weird talkativeness. She gets on meowing jags and WILL NOT STOP. Literally the only thing that will stop her is if I pick her up and hold her like a baby, but very tightly for a few minutes until she settles down. I’ve often wondered if those early, hungry days had anything to do with her chattiness, but I know for a fact that the good, loving care she’s had over the past four years have had a much more profound effect on her personality than the sad first few weeks of her life. I’m sure that’s also the case with Minute. Cats are pretty smart. They know who loves them.

  12. Janet T responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    someone left a dog tied up at the end of our road- tied her to a tree and left her there on a dead end road! She was the best dog ever. She was about 2 or 3 when we found her, but she had to be taught everything, like how to play and how to chase a ball. We had her put to sleep last month after having her 14 years. I still miss her so much.

    and honestly? I think that Bear of yours is a treasure

  13. Kate responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 7:17 pm #

    @Janet T
    WHO DOES THAT??? God, that’s so upsetting. And I’m so glad you saved her. Wow.
    My mom’s friend recently adopted a dog that someone just left in the park. He is deaf and huge– a lab– and he was so malnourished when he was found that he had to be fed intravenously at the vet for months. He is the sweetest thing. But stories like these really break my heart.

    And thank you! I agree about Bear :-)

  14. Erin H. responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 7:54 pm #

    Poor Bear. That’s even worse than the time hub accidentally deleted my senior project three days before it was due.

  15. Kae responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    Oh gawd, that story was almost too dramatic for this reader! Glad everything turned out okay.
    Yes, I’ve had a number of stray cats – they keep turning up, just like that – one of them seemed to have a dramatic / traumatic past as well. My roommate kept joking that maybe the cat spend her youth in a crack den, because she went completely ballistic every once in a while – so maybe she was having flashbacks? Anyway, she seemed to have had a bit of a rough start to live…

  16. Sheryl responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    It’s so hard worrying about pets :( I’m glad to hear Minute is all ok!

    My last dog was a pet store “rescue”, who we’re pretty sure was from a puppy mill. She was four months old when we got her, and all the history we knew of hers was that she had been in the pet store crate for a solid month before we took her home. (We just could not leave her. I know pet store buying is about the least responsible way to get an animal, but we just couldn’t leave her.) I used to wonder a lot about her young puppyhood and how life in the store treated her, because she came with some major anxiety and behavioural issues that we never 100% trained out of her.

    I also think that cats not wanting to be picked up is fairly common. Both my mom’s cat and my husband’s cat HATE being picked up. They want love, but all on their own terms.

  17. Katrina Blanchalle responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 8:11 pm #

    I got so stressed out reading this I almost cried. My partner has finally given up not-really-joking about how I care more about the pets than him, but he still doesn’t understand. They all had scary horrible previous lives, and they’re just so helpless, and I have to take extra special care of them.
    Also I bought a quarter of a very happy cow (for the same reasons as Bear) but haven’t got it yet and have been trying to eat everything in the freezer to make room for the obscene amount of meat I will have to stuff in there.

  18. Kate responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    @Katrina
    I’m sorry!!! If she’d actually died, I would still be curled up in a ball in the corner somewhere, unable to write at all.

    And enjoy your cow!!! It really is delicious. We just made an ENORMOUS amount of chili. So good.

    Before we got it, we also tried to eat everything out of our freezer, because we thought we’d need the extra space. Bear made these crazy, creative stews :-)

  19. Kate responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    @Erin H
    That sucks so much!!!

  20. Rapunzel responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 8:47 pm #

    My kitty’s name is Fiona. She was never a stray though–a coworker of mine had a cat that had a litter and I got first pick! I’ve always melted over her and spoil her to no end. She’s a princess though, and they’re supposed to be spoiled so it’s okay!
    She doesn’t like to be picked up though! I still pick her up and holder her like a baby, but she’ll meow and eventually squirm too much and start to growl. She really just likes to be gazed at. When I see her sauntering by flicking her tail I think she’s saying, “Yes, look at me, be mesmerized by my beauty!”
    Our other cat, Buddy, was a kitten when my husband found him wedged next to the heating coil of his freezer in his garage around Christmas. You can’t even pick Buddy up to hold him because he’ll flip out of your arms or he just sticks all of his feet out in a ridiculous way like he doesn’t know what to do.
    Our dog was abandoned. He was dumped on the National Forest and found by a permittee my husband knew. I always wonder what happened to him. He’s a purebred springer spaniel and he was already fixed when he was found, so we think he was a hunting dog that didn’t work out because he’s really gun shy. And he refuses to get into pick-up trucks or the bed of a pick-up. We think he might’ve been abused when they were trying to train him for hunting because he used to be afraid of people–especially men–but we’ve had him a year now and he’s better. He warms up to people in no time now! Best dog I’ve ever had!

  21. Lesliann responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 9:33 pm #

    We have rescued MANY cats! The most recent was 3 days ago. Living in the country we happen to be the owners of a former dairy barn. Every now and then a stray will adopt the barn for awhile and move on. It’s turned winter-cold where we are and one evening after bedding down our old mare and locking the chicken coop my husband arrived back with a tiny starving bundle of fur and bones! Poor baby! We don’t know what her personality will be but we are already her forever slaves! At her Vet appointment today she weighed in at a whopping 1 lb 5 oz. they say 5-6 months old! Cat people know this is way too small! Think good thoughts for “Little Feet”

  22. Gaby responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Aww kitty :( ! I’m so glad everyone turned out to be alright, except for the sacrificial cow products.
    It’s not too late to try training Minute, if you’re willing to do it and you’re able to stick with it. Bear will also have to help train her, so you can provide a predictable environment for your adorable ginger ninja. Husband and I have 2 cats (currently 3 years old, we got them as kittens) and we’ve managed to train them fairly well. I hope the things I’ve learned from trying to train the cats come in handy when we have children. Yes, I know that sounds odd, but I guess the ideas of ‘consistency’, ‘calm dominance’ and ‘a united front from both discipline-enforcers’ are important!
    If you want to get Minute to learn her name try saying it to her in a certain way, ensure she responds in some manner, then give her a treat (food or touch). In time you could try to get her attention from further away and see if she notices; whenever she responds in the way you want her to, give her a treat. You said in a comment that she comes over if you pet the couch – perfect! Try saying her name, petting the couch, and saying her name again, maybe even saying it many times as she walks to the couch. Try saying it the same way each time; hopefully she’ll learn to associate that sound with the action of “going to Kate”, and in the future when she hears the sound/”Minute” she will try find you! And if you and Bear both use the same vocal pattern/sounds to say her name, it’ll really help reinforce this with her.
    Our cats seem to know their names (Oscar and Momo) and we used food to train them. When we started training them we would say their names in a certain way (stressing the first syllable, “OS-car, MO-mo”, and using a bit of a sing-song voice) and shake the food container. They would come running because of the food sound/smell. In time they learned that hearing their names said that way meant they should come to wherever the sound was coming from. We can now use that method to make them come to us pretty much any time we call and at pretty much any place in our unit, which is great when we wonder where on earth one have them has gotten to. We still use the same voice pattern before feeding them too, of course, so they get the reward and the behaviour is reinforced.
    Other things we have trained them in… we feed them 3 times a day, but we don’t put their food bowls in front of them until they are quiet AND they’re sitting/have their butts on the floor. We realised when they were young that if we put the food down while they whined then they would learn “whining = getting fed”. Not anymore! They’re pretty smart. When they whined, they didn’t get any food. When they stopped whining, they got food. Then once they understood “silence = food”, we would hold the bowls in the air for longer. They would get bored standing around waiting for food, so instead they’d sit and wait for food. Once they sat, they got food. Bam! Lesson learned! And every food time we reinforce this lesson by not feeding them until they’re silent and sitting. They know the routine though, so they sit pretty quickly.
    I know this is a huuuuuge reply (kind of sorry!) but I just really wanted to let you know that it IS possible to train Minute, at least to some degree! I love our cats and I love that they’re well behaved; it’s really beneficial for us and them, I feel. We still haven’t found a 100% reliable way to keep our cats off the kitchen bench, either. They know that if we catch them on it they’ll get in trouble, but they still jump up from time to time. Oh well! Win some, lose some, ey? :)

  23. cheryl responded on 28 Nov 2012 at 10:27 pm #

    I have a stray! His name is Deli, and he’s our third cat… and so far our most expensive and annoying. He meows all night, which I’m hoping will be better when he gets fixed. But getting fixed isn’t happening yet, because we are still trying to figure out why he has such terrible diarrhea (ugh, gross, but it’s truth!)

    But I feel very responsible for his well-being, so in the house he stays despite the smelly poo and crying all night. I feel so responsible because when we first started feeding him, he was SO skittish. We (my boyfriend and me) would try to hold our hands out to him, and he’d hit our hands. My boyfriend even said one day “I don’t think Deli will ever be a housecat”. Until one day he let us pet him and suddenly became the biggest lover ever, and now I feel like he’s our job. The whole “if you tame something you have to take care of it” or whatever that is from The Little Prince. We tamed him, he’s ours now!

    I wonder a LOT about his past life. He wasn’t fixed and was skinny and skittish, so he hadn’t been taken care of for a long time. He’s an adult, so he must have been on his own for a long time, but how did he make it without figuring out how to woo the cat lovers in the neighborhood to feed him? The two other strays we feed, Moomoo and Goosey (how do I come up with these names?!) are charmers, and it’s easy to see how they keep fed.

    (now that I think about it, our other cat Doodle is also a stray. But my boyfriend brought her in before I was around, so I just know bits of her story.)

    ANYWAY, cat talk! You pushed my talky button. I could talk about cats all day!

  24. Lauren responded on 29 Nov 2012 at 12:38 am #

    I had to giggle reading this post although I’m sure it was quite traumatic for you (and Minute) at the time. We have two cats, both strays my partner found hanging around at his old work in an industrial area. One is Omelette (Ommy) and the other is Chaplin (as in Charlie, owing to his tiny white moustache, bowtie and socks). Chaplin is the most friendly, affectionate cat you’ll ever meet. He likes nothing better than to sleep, purring, by our heads, batting us awake 10 mins before our 0515 alarm to make sure we’re ready to give him breakfast. He just loves hanging out with anyone, but he too can’t stand to be picked up. Boldy stands up to the vacuum cleaner and automatic garage door, but fireworks send him scurrying under the spare bed. Omelette is a gorgeous butterfly tabby the size of a maine coon, who takes up the lower half of our bed. Terrified by vacuum cleaners and the garage door, oddly apathetic about fireworks. We are both thoroughly in love with them. I’m sure we’ll have kids in the next few years so hopefully there will be no sibling rivalry.

  25. sami responded on 29 Nov 2012 at 5:20 am #

    I rescued one of my cats when he was about a month old. A girl had found him on the street and was feeding him human food. He needed a home so I took him. On the way home I noticed he had only a little stump for a tail so his name is Bob :)

    Anyway I had to clean his little face because his eyes would gunk up all the time and he was stinky when I got him. I guess he had no mummy for a while. I became his mummy pretty quickly and now, 3 years later, he is a real mummys boy. He know his name and comes when I call him. He sleeps on my chest and drools on my face. He will let you pick him up and cradle him, but only if you carry him around to look at things from a new perspective- he will lean way back, stretch out his paws and look at things upside-down.

    My other cat, Asha, is totally happy to be picked up but will immediately leap onto your shoulder and sit there. Occasionally she is my kitty-scarf :)

    Funny creatures they are!

  26. Patti Smith responded on 29 Nov 2012 at 7:10 am #

    I’ve had cats all my life…pretty much all of them come when called…if they feel like it ;) But, I think that behavior is what makes cat lovers love them so much :) I, too, was hanging on the edge of my seat as I read your story…so worried that it wouldn’t end well. Soooo glad that it did :)
    I loved your line about buying meat from farms where the cows have been treated well…until they were murdered!! It’s such a conundrum, isn’t it??

  27. San D responded on 29 Nov 2012 at 10:16 am #

    Everyone has had their heart stopped at one point or another with their pets….and I might add, their children! There will come a point at which time your child will be accidently left somewhere (hopefully like a friend’s house and not in a hot car), and your heart will stop. Examples: you are shopping and the little one decides to hide under the clothing rounders, or when you are at the playground and they dash away while you are thinking about something else. Hug Minute and thank her for preparing you.

  28. Krystina responded on 29 Nov 2012 at 12:21 pm #

    :D So glad so many people adopt homeless pets!
    I found my “Jasper” in the parking lot at work. Him and the rest of his litter were running around, feral. We never found the mom cat. We guess she got hit. :/ I caught Jasper with a can of tuna. Took awhile. I brought him home where my mom said “No more pets Krystina.” I promised her I was just going to keep him until he gained weight and got healthy again. Yeah, he never left. I got him “fixed” and have slowly got him use to my family. A couple years ago I accidently poisoned him. I put flea drops on him that were suppose to go on a small dog ( like my mom’s chichuahua ). I figured since Jasper made two of the chichuahua it would be fine. WRONG. Don’t ever do that. To make a long story short Jasper had to be rushed to the vet where he continued to have seizures. He now drools. I am guessing he is down to 7 lives now. Jasper also only goes outside at night. He demands to be let back in the house at dawn. I have a vampire cat. :)

  29. Jenn responded on 29 Nov 2012 at 12:31 pm #

    This is just like the beginning of Cleveland Amory’s The Cat Who Came for Christmas, where the cat goes missing and they search the entire apartment and can’t find him, and then Cleveland’s brother shows up and says, where haven’t you looked? And Cleveland says, only places where he couldn’t possibly go. And his brother says, I don’t want your theories! I want to know where you haven’t looked! And then they find the cat in the back of the dishwasher.

    Just like that.

  30. Kate responded on 29 Nov 2012 at 12:32 pm #

    @Jenn
    Is that a children’s book?
    I wish I’d read it :-)

  31. Jenn responded on 29 Nov 2012 at 12:39 pm #

    @Kate Actually, no! I mean, I read it first in middle school, but it’s written on an adult level. I highly recommend it for all cat co-habitators – it offers tremendous insight into the adjustments first time cat-owning people and first time people-owning cats must make.

    http://www.amazon.com/Cat-Who-Came-Christmas/dp/B0031MA8SI/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1354210597&sr=1-1&keywords=the+cat+who+came+for+christmas

  32. Marie responded on 29 Nov 2012 at 7:37 pm #

    She might get better about being picked up. My husband and I adopted a one-year-old cat from a shelter. We don’t know much about her past, other than that she was found with a broken leg, but she has gotten much more lovey over time.

  33. Erin Lee responded on 29 Nov 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    My cat was dropped off at a farm. She apparently is not fit for outdoors because she was a skinny stick when we found her, poor thing. Now she’s plump and happy, and once in a while when she gets the nerve to run out the door, she stops and realizes she’s scared to death of the outdoors and is perfectly fine with me picking her up to bring her back inside.

  34. claire responded on 29 Nov 2012 at 9:41 pm #

    I can only say OY, at least she wasn’t on a roof, like your uncle’s cat. All is well that ends well. CRF

  35. Carolyn Watson Dubisch responded on 01 Dec 2012 at 11:46 am #

    I’ve adopted many strays and rescues over the years. I’m always making up stories in my head about their past lives. Their current life is so boring I try to make it exciting. Glad Minute and the corpse will pull through.

  36. Alicia Cumming responded on 02 Dec 2012 at 10:48 am #

    a couple livers? are you sure you had just ONE eighth of a cow?;) whatev, all the organs look the same-except the tongue-my mom’s fav. (we live on a dairy farm and always ate the beef from our own slaughtered cows-note to you all: hamburger isn’t supposed to be a bright red, but brown!)

  37. Kate responded on 02 Dec 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    @Alicia
    Sharp eye!

    I didn’t even think about it, and then my mom pointed out that she’d given us the livers.

  38. Kate responded on 02 Dec 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Annnd,now Bear is telling me that they were slices of livers! Oy! I can’t seem to get it right. But I’m trying!

    :p

  39. CW responded on 03 Dec 2012 at 10:50 pm #

    I have three cats that I adopted through a rescue program after they were found near a construction site in Los Angeles. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought I lost one of them! Of course, as soon as I reach full panic they come crawling out of some tiny hole stretching and yawning. They’re also afraid of the doorbell, which my husband and I use to our advantage. It’s great for preventing them from escaping when we’re carrying in groceries.

  40. The Great Vanishing Act. | Beer and Clothing in Cleveland responded on 04 Dec 2012 at 7:30 am #

    [...] for her cat. I was mortified for her at the same time I couldn’t help but laugh at the situation. You should probably read it. It brought back some of my own painful/hysterical memories of trying to [...]