Happy 46: Learning to be a Cat

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We currently have several rescue kitties, mainly because of Sam. When my then boyfriend (now husband) James and I bought our first house, we decided that we were going to get a kitten. We are both very much cat people, and not being able to have pets throughout college made us want to have at least 1 in our own home. We found an advertisement for a litter of kittens, and went to check it out. If we had known more about cats, I think that we would have been a bit more careful as unbeknownst to us the kittens had been separated too soon from their mother. There was only the 1 kitten left, a little orange and white fur ball. We both fell in love, and took him home with us. We didn't even have a carrier, that is how unprepared we were, but Samwise took to his name straight away and decided that he was going to explore the entire car while we drove home. 

It was right after we had him fixed that we determined that he had been separated too soon. It was clear he had no idea how to be a cat. He'd hang upside down like a little monkey wherever he could, he hates tuna, but loves spaghetti sauce. He would lick just the tracy off the canned food and leave the chunks of meat alone. We took to calling him an Unidentified Adorable Ball of Fur. So we decided to look at a shelter to see if we could find an older cat who would help Sam learn how to be a cat. We searched, and found Buddy. Buddy had an interesting back story in that he was actually born dead, and was able to be brought back right away. He was the only one in his litter who survived, and he looked a lot like Sam. We brought Buddy home with us after all the paperwork was completed, and set things up to give the boys some time to get to know each other to avoid any fights. Well, the boys didn't like that setup, and within two hours of Buddy being in the house, they were sleeping together in a closet and were the best of friends.

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You couldn't separate them without the other whining for the entire separation. And he did help Sam learn to be a cat. Not two weeks after Buddy came home with us, the boys caught a bat in our upstairs bathroom. Well, Sam caught it. Buddy just kept me company on the bed so I wouldn't freak out. And they both still had their quirks. Sam would fetch, taking a bouncy ball to the top of the stairs and letting it fall only to run down, catch it, and bring it back. He'd do the same thing if it was tossed, bringing it back to whoever threw it. Buddy was afraid of the dark, and would cry if we went to bed without letting him know, until someone called out to him so that he could run upstairs to cuddle.


A few months later the rescue that we got Buddy from was overwhelmed with a new influx of cats. About 11 cats were taken in at once. There was a 12 year old cat named Peanut who looked terrified. She refused to eat, and who cringe if anyone tried to pet her. Our roommate (who is male) went down to her cage, and got her to eat from his hands and let him pet her. When a female would come in the room you could see the terror in the cat. So Peanut got brought home with us, as she took to Dean really well. The boys knew a new cat was in the room, but seemed to not care to bother her, and eventually we were able to leave Dean's bedroom door open and not hear any cat growls. 

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So now we had three cats, and everything was good. The rescue that we got Buddy and Peanut from was starting to wind down to a close as the lady who ran it was having health problems and no one else wanted to take over, and we figured that we were only going to have the three cats for the time being. That is until another litter of kittens was found with their mother having been run over by a car. All but one had found homes, so James, Dean, and I sat down with our other new roommate and decided to bring the one remaining home. She fetched as well, so we figured she would fit in. And she did. The boys wouldn't let her take any time to herself, all 3 of them took to each other right away. It was cute to see them cuddled up, since Sam and Buddy looked alike, and Mikoto is all black with one little white patch on her neck.

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Then tragedy struck. Buddy had liver failure, and even with all the vet help and love, we couldn't save him. Sam was heartbroken, and Mikoto looked lost. At least until two weeks after we lost Buddy that a bat got into the house again, and Sam got to teach Mimi how to hunt. After that they seemed to stop looking for Buddy as much, and just started to cling to each other. Peanut was the old lady of the bunch, and didn't let the fact that someone had declawed her before we got her stop her from beating up the youngins when they bothered her, and we settled into a routine. Peanut had finally gotten over her fear of females (as long as they weren't wearing any jewelry) and would even come and curl up next to me to be petted. 

Sadly, Peanut's age caught up to her this past week, and she crossed over in her sleep. As we said when it happened, at least Buddy was there to greet her. Sam and Mikoto still look towards Dean's room to see if she's going to come out

Author: Mandy

Photographer: Mandy

Editor: Marjorie Skiba

About the Author:

Mandy lives in the frozen tundra(AKA Iowa) with her husband, cats and 2 roommates. She enjoys reading and playing D&D.

Who doesn't enjoy a feel good animal story? If you have one you'd like to share Contact Marjorie and make it happen!