The Crankee Yankee and I are crazy cat people. For any of you who have followed my blog, you already know that we are owned by five indoor cats; Nala (our one female), Pookie, Plumpy-Nut, Tinker and Bailey. Each one has their own story, which I won’t bore you with for now, but suffice to say, they all needed a home.
We started with Nala after our 20-year old cat, Blackie, passed on. Nala came from a home with dogs (whom she hated and feared), so she spent most of her time alone in the basement. We were glad to give her a new life, and she seemed pretty happy to have her own place.
Nearly a year later, I read about one of our local shelters who had a list of “Desperate House Cats” who really needed homes. One of them was an all-black male named Pagan, who intrigued me. I went to see him, and he was very shy, hiding behind a desk. One of the workers coaxed him out and I fell in love with him. I took him home that day, renamed him “Pookie” and Nala took to him right away. Unfortunately he came to us with a sinus infection and a few other issues, so we had to give him medications (which of course he hated).
But we got him back to good health, and he and Nala got along well. We were a happy family of two humans and two cats, and life was great. It was around that time that we started seeing cats in our back yard, and we had no idea if they belonged to anyone. That’s when we started our “feeding and sheltering” program. The Crankee Yankee built a neat three-story “feeding station,” where the cats could get food and water and stay out of the elements.
We kept seeing a beautiful big yellow tiger cat in company with a very fluffy black and white cat with a unique tail shaped like a big “S”. We started feeding them, and they got used to us. We asked around the neighborhood if someone owned them; apparently no one did. As fall turned to winter, we had to make a decision: we started letting them into our “under the back porch” walled-in area, and fed them there.
The Crankee Yankee started to socialize them with Nala and Pookie by letting Tinker and Plumpy into the downstairs basement. Surprisingly, they all seemed to get along. By the the time snow fell, we had taken them to our wonderful vet to be spayed, given their shots, and general health evaluations. So they became house cats, and to this day, they are pretty happy about it.
When my mother died, and my dad was left with their cat, Bailey. It didn’t surprise me when, during a visit, he said that he really couldn’t care for him any longer. So we took Bailey home with us, and he became #5. Again, the other four accepted him. As Dad grew more frail, we moved him to our house. He spent most of his time in our bed (we bought a kingsize sofa with a surprisingly comfortable bed and slept in the living room), and we were able to care for him until he passed away on April 22, 2017.
During the time we had Dad with us, Bailey would often jump up on the bed to visit him. Don’t tell me that cats aren’t loyal; Bailey knew that Dad was dying, just as he knew when my mother was dying. He stayed close to her, and he also did with Dad as well.
Now he lives with us and the other cats. I call him my “Reiki cat” as he always seems to know when I need a cat on my lap. Actually, he’s the only one who does this. And, as always, we are still feeding and sheltering the “outdoorsies:” Scooter, a black and brown male, TwoTone1, a tan and white female, TwoTone2, a butterscotch and white ?, and Stripey1 and Stripey2, whom we haven’t gotten close enough to check their gender.
But all’s well; they have food, water and shelter, and we pick up the tab. So we are unabashed crazy cat people, and we really don’t care who knows it. There are cat people, dog people, horse people, bird people, snake people (ick), hamster people, and so on. It’s a lot like what happens when we fall in love with our one-and-only: we love whom we love, and we just can’t help it, be it human or animal.