THeRe'S An AnGeL On My ShOuLdEr...

Thursday, January 25, 2007


All of my life I've lived in the company of cats and can't imagine ever living without one! One of the things I've discovered is that all cats are not created equal, however all have left an impression on me in one way or another. Usually it has only been the one cat in the house, but there was a time when I had three. As I was single at the time, I was then known as the crazy cat girl.

Here is a bit about each of my cats, as I remember them.

Sandy arrived well before I did and I don't have strong memories of him except that he was a HUGE ginger puss that if it weren't for his colouring, could be mistaken for a wombat. He used to sleep in the bottom of the linen cupboard.

Then there was Pebbles, a gorgeous and pretty little tortie girl. She was delivered in a basket on the front of a bicycle. To me, she was 'my' cat. After all, I spent the most time with her, as my Brother & Sister were off doing other things, being older than me. Pebbles was my companion. She'd walk out to the front gate with me in the morning and be there to greet me when I came home from school. We used to have little tea parties out the back with pieces of fritz and cheese. I made a bed for her once (like a human bed)and she stayed in it for about 10 minutes. I used to dress her in dolls clothes. God, she must have hated me at times!. She would always sleep on my bed, competing with all my soft toys. She was a gentle, loving and affectionate puss and it was difficult getting up the courage to have her put to sleep when she got very sick when she was 13. The whole family cried for two weeks. We vowed not to get another cat for a while.

So much for that. Within a month we had 2 kittens. Brothers. Totally different from each other. One was Marco, a grey short haired tabby. He was affectionate and friendly but fairly 'normal' and to that end I can't recall any odd little ways he had, except that he used to catch a lot of honeyeaters, much to Dad's consternation. His brother, Polo was a complete contrast being a long haired coffee coloured cat. He had a lot of female cat characteristics and was not To the point that the vet was unsure which operation to perform when they went to be desexed. He was a magnificent looking cat and had a beautiful nature. Unfortunately Marco was killed in a car Accident a year after we got him :-(

Then came Toby. He arrived in a box and had been taken from his Mother (by someone else) at about 3 or 4 weeks of age. Far too young. His first week or so revolved around the inside of a big box. We fed him with an eyedropper until he was old enough to eat on his own. Toby grew into a tall, long black cat with a patch of white on him. He had a lovely temperament and Polo took him under his wing after the passing of Marco. The two regularly slept together. Unfortunately, Toby met the same fate as Marco, at about 1 year of age.

Then, briefly, we had Capone. He was a very little brown and black tabby that turned up on the doorstep and stayed. He was in very poor condition and was emaciated and had several injuries - skin ripped off, torn ears and the like. And he stank! We bathed him regularly, but he always seemed to smell 'off'. He wasn't a very bright cat, and followed in the footsteps of Marco & Toby being killed by a car some months later.

Once again, Polo was on his own. That was until my ex found a female ginger cat & dumped it with us. Sandy was very pretty, but totally stupid and a complete bitch. Not long after that, in fact a week before I got married, Polo vanished without a trace. We think he was stolen. He was a magnificent looking cat and a few days before he went missing he was being admired by a council guy laying the footpaths. The job finished at the same time Polo went missing. Coincidence? I think not.

So Mum & Dad had Sandy to keep them company while I had a cat free year in my 1st year of marriage. It was horrible & I'd befriend every cat I saw. My sister then rescued a female tabby & white kitten. Like Capone, it was worse for wear and Sue took it to the vet where it had an abortion and a hip removed. Her cats didn't like her, so Tibby ended up at Mum & Dads. Bad move. Neither Sandy or Tibby were particularly nice cats. There wasn't much endearing about them at all. To top it off - they HATED each other! This lead to all sorts of problems including the male behaviour of spraying on things in the house and out! One day Dad was out watering the lawn & Tibby sprayed on his leg!. Unfortunately, although they lived on the same busy road as Marco, Toby and Capone, neither of them got run over, despite Sandy's habit of sleeping on the road. They both eventually got very sick and were put to sleep. Mum & Dad were relieved.

After a year without a cat I was going mad. So, despite not being allowed to have a cat in our unit, we trooped off to the AWL to find Jet - a little black boy cat. That's right, I had his name and specifications all picked out before we went. Just as well they had a few black boys to choose from. Jet was the most active & alert, so off home he came. Without fail, Jet was the most magnificent & special cat I have had to date and I could do an entire blog entry on him alone. He was very affectionate with a beautiful personality. The type of Cat everyone wanted to come visit & take home with them. He was HUGE. Not so much fat (though he did get porky there for a while) he was tall and long. We always suspected he had a smattering of Burmese in him as he had a lot of their characteristics. I lost custody of Jet when I left my ex-husband.

Out on my own, I quickly found a pair of brothers, Merlin & Mandrake. Many of you will be familiar with Merlin as he is our current cat. Merlin & Mandrake, though brothers, like Marco & Polo, were as different in personality as chalk and cheese. However in appearance, they were similar, on grey, on black, but with matching white patched on their chest, and on their tummy's between their legs. Merlin was a nervous nellie (& still is) and spent the first few days hissing at me. Mandrake on the other hand was all over me like ants at a picnic. He was into EVERYTHING! Always getting into mischief, getting stuck on top of the wardrobe, between the couch cover and the couch, up trees in yards with Rottweilers, you name it, he's have a go. He used to steal my underwear when I'd have a shower & hid it around the house. He'd climb my leg when I was in the kitchen (lacerations aplenty). Merlin eventually calmed down enough to be an affectionate cat. He used to catch rats and mice - and bring them inside. He'd carry tennis balls in his mouth - when he was still a catten (not quite a kitten, but not quite a cat yet), he'd bring in pieces of wood & bark from the garden and leave a pile of kindling on the family room floor. I was beginning to think he was really a dog. He and Mandrake loved each other. For a while there I also had Jet back with me as my ex had been evicted. Mexican stand offs all 'round and competition for my attention. (she's MY Mum, but she was MY Mum first!) You can imagine! Jet went again & things were back to normal until they were about a year old. That's when Mandrake went missing without a trace. Everyone was very upset. I tried everything to find him, to no avail. I can only hope that he was adopted by another family and not killed. From that point on, Merlin's personality changed. He became nervous again and began insisting to be let out at between 3 & 4 each night. Something he still does. I often wonder if this had something to do with the disappearance of Mandrake. I'll never know. A few months later, I ended up with Jet again following my ex's 3rd eviction. This time I decided to keep him.

Merlin & Jet tolerated each other, but there were no fights so all was well. Intill I moved in with my now husband. There was not enough room for both of them and jet was 16 years old by this stage and his health was failing. Jet eventually ended up with Mum & Dad, who had always loved him & were happy to have him. He lived until he was 17 and a half.

Now we are left with Merlin. I love him to death even though he is one of the most stupid cats I've known. He's a character, that's for sure.

However, I'm thinking I want another little black boy kitten called Raven........





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