It’s been a long time since I’ve shared a home with an adult cat in all her glory. I’m currently in a state of awe and higher cat consciousness.
Sure, we’ve fostered kittens aplenty over the years – and even a couple of mama cats – but that’s not quite the same as living with an adult cat and spending time basking in their utter amazingness. Right or wrong, our focus has been on the kittens and on the mama cat as just that – the mama.
Now that we’ve got goddess Galaxy living with us – or should I say, now that she’s taken over the house and is allowing us to continue living here too – things are as they should be. We see to Galaxy’s every need, spend time with her and basically worship her daily, as is her right.
I had forgotten how utterly amazing and godlike cats are, and what an honor it is simply to spend time in their presence.
Z and I went to the zoo this week and spent time watching some big cats. Z kept saying, “OMG, Galaxy does that exact thing with her paws/ears/tail!” and I had to chuckle.
My experiences with both big and little felines have taught me that house cats are exactly the same as big cats except for their size – and we’re lucky they’re so small, because they are clearly superior to us in every way and could eat us in a heartbeat if they were big!
I love how delicate and graceful Galaxy is – combined with lightning-quick reflexes, power and ferocity when needed. Her flexibility, balance, strength, speed and agility are second to none. It’s like having a tiny, Gold-medals-in-all-events Olympic athlete in your home.
I also love how playful Galaxy is now – a side of her we never saw when she was in mom mode with the kittens. She plays with toys and with us, she gets the zoomies and sprints from one side of our basement to the other, and she watches birds, bunnies and chipmunks through her window with fierce focus. I’m sure she would be quite deadly if she were outside!
Galaxy is not the first cat that I’ve loved. Loving her is reminding me of all the past fabulous felines I’ve had the honor to know and love.
Growing up, we were a one-cat family. Our first cat was a calico named Lemondrop and she was really my Mom’s; I was so young that I only remember her from pictures.
After Lemondrop, we tried adopting a kitten from the local shelter but Oreo was very small and very sick, and sadly ended up dying within just a few days. After that bad experience, I think my parents decided to wait a while before getting another.
I begged for a kitten for years and sometime after my 10th birthday was rewarded with Frosty, a gorgeous kitten born to a friend’s young cat before they were able to get her spayed.
Frosty was a Lynx point Siamese and the love of my young life. There are many photos of us together. He slept on my bed and I doted on him all through the end of elementary school and well into middle school (which we called junior high back then).
After Frosty died, I was devastated. I remember my Mom let me stay home from school for the day. It was several years before I could convince my parents that another cat made sense.
Butternut – my first tortie!
When I was a senior in HS, I brought a small tortoiseshell kitten home from the shelter one day and my mom fell instantly in love. Butternut was mine for a time, and then she became my Mom’s cat when I left for college. She looked an awful lot like our Galaxy!
Years later, when my parents moved from NY to Cali, they drove across country and took the scenic route. They didn’t want to subject a cat to that drive, so Butternut returned to my care for a few months until Christmas, when I flew out West and brought her with me.
She wasn’t crazy about staying with me, partially because she was a cranky old lady by that time – and partly because by then I had two amazing cats of my own. We doped Butternut up for the flight to LA and I traveled with her under my seat.
She may not have enjoyed that flight, but I’m happy to say that swapping coasts did wonders for Butternut. She enjoyed her retirement in sunny Cali and lived to a ripe old age with my folks.
My very own kitties
When I’d been working for a while and had my own place, I splurged on the pure-breed kitten I’d been longing for: a beautiful baby Bengal named Jake.
Jake was a handsome handful. I could write an entire post just about the joys of owning a Bengal! He was the most un-catlike cat I’ve ever known. He loved water – as in, soaking in it and then sloshing on great big wet paws all about the house. He was beautiful but not very bright! We adored him.
When Jake was a couple months old, I felt bad that he was alone all day while I was at work, and I fell in love with a tiny little black kitten during a shelter visit for my job. Thus, Alabama came home with us to be our little black panther to go with our mini leopard.
While Jake wasn’t crazy about Alabama at first, she fell immediately in love with him. She pursued and groomed him affectionately until he had no choice but to love her back. Those two quickly became a dynamic duo, totally bonded and beautiful together. They were my only pets for years until someone got me a tiny beagle puppy – and then I gradually began to love dogs, too.
Later, we unexpectedly added a third cat to the mix. Ike was white with black spots – an adorable little cow kitty. He was awesome and playful, loved our dogs and everyone… but here is when I learned that three cats is not always a good number.
The trouble with three
When Ike reached adulthood, even though he was neutered, he began to chase and bully our sweet Alabama. It was a bad situation that ended up with her so stressed and anxious that she hid all the time and wouldn’t even come out to use the litter box. She just did her business right where she was, cowering in a closet in our spare bedroom.
By the time I realized the extent of what was going on, the damage had been done and she was too terrified to come out even when I tried to coax and reassure her. We ended up confining her to a spare room, where she could feel safe, and sadly that became her life. Ike got the rest of the house, and big derpy Jake would come and go between Alabama’s room and Ike’s area, crying at the door to get in or out, since that sweet lug got along with everyone.
After those three beloved cats, I became mostly a dog person for several years. We did have one short stint with a cat named Roxy, when Zoe was about a year old, but sadly Roxy ended up not working out for our family. With great regret, we had to take her back to the shelter we got her from.
Next gen cat lover
And that brings us to recent years, where we started out fostering kitties at Z’s request. Before that, we rescued a lost cat in our neighborhood. We even enjoyed the heck out of a vacation cat.
Z is a hardcore cat lover and has always wanted one of her very own, but on some level I think we were afraid to try again. I’m beyond thrilled her dream came true with our happy foster failure, Galaxy.
Keeping Galaxy here with us is 100% Zoe’s doing – she has been working hard on some personal goals. She proved to us that she is committed by cleaning Galaxy’s litter every single day and keeping her food and water freshened up, not to mention showering her with love.
I am so happy that my little cat lover now has her own fabulous feline – and selfishly happy that I get to dote on our little goddess, too. I totally get why the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats. They are truly worthy of our respect and admiration.
Are you a cat lover too, or more of a dog person? I’d love to hear your pet tales in the comments below or over on Facebook.