Addition to the Catalog by Julia Hayden

Created Sunday, 20 February 2011 15:43

Addition to the Catalog

If it’s covered in fur or feathers, my daughter is immediately taken. She has one dog and a cat-a-log and by dint of saying “no!” in an increasingly firmer tone of voice I have kept the numbers down to a manageable level. Sammy, the three-legged, cross-eyed flame-point Siamese was full-grown, and belonged to some neighbors when he met and fell deeply in love with my daughter when she came home on leave. He took one look and fell in love, deeply, hopelessly, and abjectly in love. He parked himself in her lap, looked deep into her eyes, while purring like a distant motor-boat, and could hardly be pried away. When her leave ended, Sammy was heartbroken, although he kept returning to our back yard, looking for her. Some weeks later, he stopped appearing, and I finally heard that he had been struck by a car, as he was crossing the road. Sammy recovered, although one leg had nerve damage – he holds it up close to him and gimps around on three. The neighbors moved away, and we convinced them to leave Sammy to us – heck, he practically lived in our back yard anyway.

Princess the tortoise-shell, was acquired at a neighborhood yard sale. She wasn’t among the inventory, but she was at that devastatingly cute kitten stage, and the spitting image of Patch-cat, whom we adopted when my daughter was a toddler. Patchie stayed until she died from old age – sixteen years, three houses and four PCS moves later. So, Princess came home from the yard-sale; she is the one who loves to play with the jingly-ball cat-toys, skating them across the floor as if she were playing football against herself. Tristan also came as a kitten, a tiny and undernourished one. The daughter of another neighbor rescued a litter from being drowned and poor Tris was the runt that no one else wanted . . . except my daughter. She brought him home (Me: Another kitten!? Are you out of your mind?) He was bottle-fed for a good few weeks, in the hopes of remedying his pathetic runtiness. Tris, white below and brindle above, with jade-green eyes, is the talkative one. He will meow loudly in answer when we talk to him.

Ffeiffer also came to us as a kitten; another neighbor found him under a shrub at a HEB gas station, wailing pathetically. Having walked through, or sat in some leaked gasoline – he was also chemically burned in places. Ffeiffer was only supposed to be fostered with us while the neighbor found him a more permanent home . . . but he turned out to be the most determined and persistent lap-sitter ever. Sit down for a short amount of time and Ffeiffer appears to stake out his claim. This is endearing . . . all talk of a permanent home with someone else went by the wayside, after about a month.

And finally – Molly-Moo. Not a pathetic kitten, but a pathetic older cat; ten years old, de-clawed and anti-social. She came from a home which recently acquired a dog. Molly-Moo didn’t get along with the dog. To be candid, she didn’t get along with anyone else, either, and the previous owner was going to deposit her in the animal shelter. Where her chance of adoption stood at nil and none . . . so, my daughter rescued her from a death sentence. She is mellowing at this point – moved from hiding on top of a tall shelf, to hiding among the bed-pillows. And by virtue of offering frequent cat-treats, she no longer tries to bite us when we scratch around her ears.

I swear – this is absolutely the last addition to the catalogue. Really.

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