Somehow I missed National Cat Day yesterday, which my oldest son (Blackie) is quite upset about. As a woman who didn’t have a pet until her early thirties, I had no idea what I was missing. I knew I was missing the clean-up of course, but I didn’t realize how different each cat is from one another. I also didn’t know I could love a cat. Or in my case, love 3 of them.
Welcome to one of Blackie’s first birthdays, circa 2006. For some reason he wasn’t interested in the cookie bar, but we managed to eat it for him.
Where we got him: A friend’s daughter had him living in her basement. She originally adopted the cat (named TC for Trial Cat!) as a gift for her grandmother. However, grandma was allergic. She took the cat home, only to find her older cat wanted to kill TC. So, TC was forced to live in the basement until I happened to mention Kayla wanted a cat. Kayla renamed TC and brought him home. He was about 8 months old.
How he got his name: Isn’t it obvious? A 4 year old named him. What’s interesting is if you look up the most popular cat names, Blackie is #71. I don’t know how you research most popular cat names. It’s not like they have a birth certificate!
We didn’t see much of Blackie for several years. He basically hid under our couch. Then, we adopted our 2nd cat and Blackie knew he had to step up his game.
Likes: Eating as much as possible. Shedding fur all over the rocking chair and white living room sofa. Enjoying the stares his mother gets when the vet calls out the name, “Blackie” in the waiting room. People’s Court (when Harvey Levin interviews the crowd). Red flowers.
Nicknames: Burnt Muffin, Blackster, Big Boy.
Dislikes: Bernie Sanders. Body shaming. Horror movies. An empty food bowl.
Claim to Fame: Blackie escaped one night when I let our baby-sitter out the door. He was missing for 10 days. I was besides myself, sleeping by the front door in case I could catch him eating the tuna I left out. It did keep disappearing, but I didn’t know for sure it was him eating it. My girlfriend (Sarah) was getting married in Jamaica. She drove from OH to meet her fiance in MI to leave for their flight. On the way to meet him, she stopped at my house. We already left town for Christmas. She rang a bell on my back deck and sat quietly, with a treat in hand. She found Blackie hiding next door, in a place we looked many times. It was a Christmas Eve miracle. I will always have a special place in my heart for Sarah.
Meet J.J. He’s 7 years old. He is the most loving cat you can imagine. He lives on Kayla’s lap whenever possible. If we arrive home, he runs to the door and meows. When we leave town he gets so upset he barely eats. #toocute.
How we got him: I wanted to get a second cat so Blackie wouldn’t be lonely. The cat was supposed to be for my son Josh; hence the name J.J. (for Josh Jr.). I went to the Dearborn Animal Shelter to visit an adorable cat I saw online. He wasn’t the least bit interested in me. However, J.J. was meowing and putting his paw out to play. He was the only cat in the shelter who interacted with me and the toy ball I “interviewed” him with. When I called my husband he was upset. He didn’t want a long-haired cat. Specifically he said, “I don’t want a F- Garfield”. Well, guess what. That’s exactly what he got.
Likes: Unattended heating pads. Sleeping with his mom (Kayla), following Kayla around the house, snuggling up with other people if Kayla is not home, looking at birds out the window and non-judgmental people. He loves Doritos, capers (really), and any kind of melted cheese. He thinks any cup filled with milk is meant for him.
Nicknames: J, Baby, Pumpkin.
Dislikes: The rush to judge OJ, Donald Trump, the Syrian Government and any time he’s alone in the house.
Meet Cookie “Oreo”, he’s 4 years old. He is handsome enough to be in commercials. Cookie probably has the most personality of any of the cats. He’s literally slapped the kids across the face when he’s annoyed with them. He also enjoys using his paw to splash water at people who are too close to his food bowl. Last Christmas, he pulled a red ribbon off a present. He played with that red ribbon until I put it away a couple weeks ago. I plan to give it to him again.
How we got him: My friend Jo-Set was coming over for dinner with her daughter and nephew. In the corner of her eye, she noticed a small animal near the highway exit ramp. She and kids lured the cat into their car. It wasn’t easy! We later learned that Jo-Set’s rescue was just 6 weeks old. My husband made it clear our visitor was not going to stay. 3 cats was too many. However, Cookie knew how to act cute. He immediately began sleeping with my daughter. She woke up with him literally on top of her face! Back then, Cookie let us pet him whenever we wanted and acted really cute. He played us basically. Cookie’s got game.
For a while, we called Cookie the Million Dollar Cat. He had worms and a bot bug in his head. Of course, Cookie waited until he worked his way into the house before showing any symptoms. Luckily, once those bills were paid he settled down and has remained healthy since. Other than his obesity that is. Hey- Maine Coons (the vet thought Cookie was part that breed) are supposed to be big.
Likes: He likes to stare at you from under the table. If he likes where he’s seated and doesn’t want to move, then you can pet him. Otherwise, he will be just out of reach. He loves boxes and any kind of food (he used to eat Kayla broccoli from under the table), One time I caught him pushing cheese out of the Mac and Cheese packet with his paws. He likes Scream Queens on Fox and long walks on the deck. He’s voting for Hillary Clinton, although he thinks she took too long to change her Keystone Pipeline position.
Nicknames: Cookie Monster, Hey Bastard
Dislikes: Visitors, the ending of Gone Girl, disorganization and recycling (since it makes his boxes disappear).
So, there’s my cats for you. I’d love to know what makes your cat(s) special. Leave a comment if you have a good story to share.