25 October 2008

Please Share Your Tails of Adoption

How Did You Get Your Kitties!

Here are my adoption stories-

My 4th grade teacher's cat had kittens and my mom said we could have one. I picked a little girl who had all white, long fur except for a little black dot on her forehead. I named her Puss-in-Boots because that was the only cat name I ever heard of. My mom started calling her Gertrude whenever she got into mischief and that name stuck. When she was little and could fit under the couch, she loved to get on her back, dig her claws into the lining and race back and forth as fast as she could. Us kids thought it was pretty funny.

In 6th grade my art teacher had to get rid of her red persian-tabby named Toby. Her huge dog kept chasing Toby into a corner and Toby ripped the dog's nose open (ha, ha!). Dad renamed Toby to Heathcliff. I was aware of Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. Later, I learned that the comedian Red Skelton had a running story about 2 seagulls named Gertrude and Heathcliff. Heathcliff was quite the lover boy (to Gertrude, too!)

When I was all grown up and moved into my first house, I was pulling weeds one weekend and I heard MEOW coming from under my car in the driveway. It was a longhair Tuxedo cat. I pet her and removed some of the burrs from her fur. I assumed she belonged to someone and that was that, or so I thought. The next morning she was under my bedroom window meowing. She actually learned the sound of my Datsun 210's engine and came running whenever I arrived home from work. The neighbors told me she hung out on my roof during the day! I started feeding her and put a Found Cat notice up but nobody responded. We took her to the vet for shots and spaying and renamed her Elise, after the heroine in my favorite movie Somewhere in Time.

A few years later we moved cross country with Elise. We were visiting a cat-themed store in New Hope, PA and there was a persian kitten hanging out on the counter. It was so darn cute. My husband really fell for it. It wasn't for sale but I asked my husband if it were for sale, and a cheap price, would he give in? He said Yes. Later on we were at a fall festival and they were giving away adorable kittens for free but all were spoken for. Darn! So I got on the phone with the SPCA and pound - no kitties! Darn! A few weeks later the pet store had a kitten for cheap - no papers or pedigree (rescues hadn't been "invented" yet) but looked like a purebred Himalayan. He was gorgeous and very laid back. And he was mine! We named him Heimie (think of the handsome robot/android from Get Smart). He was a very cuddly boy who slept by my neck every night.

Shortly after losing Elise, I called the SPCA and pound again. No kitties. Just before Christmas the pet store got in two Himalayan kittens. (Still no rescues!) We chose a little girl, lighter in color than Heimie so we could tell who was who, and named her Ashley. Sometimes I called her Lee Lee. She was a very gentle soul who loved to sit in the sunshine and sleep at the foot of our bed. She LOVED to have her armpits rubbed. Around strangers she was a Nervous Nelly and hid. Some of my friends never saw her so I put a picture of her in a frame in the livingroom.

After Heimie went to heaven, he got replaced by two sister tabbies. This time there were rescues to contact. We found Pet Guardian and visited their "nursery" for pregnant/new mothers. My daughter picked a gray tabby baby who was named Blue by the foster. She also picked a gray tabby with a little bit of brown on her nose and chest. This one was named Paprika by the foster but my daughter's friend suggested we change the name to Pepper since no one (in the world of kids it seemed) knew what a Paprika was. Pepper's brown eventually took over her whole body - now she's a brown tabby with huge almond eyes. Blue and Pepper sleep together, groom each other, and love to run around the house, sounding like a herd of charging buffalo!

A few months later I was out in the backyard talking to a neighbor who told me she heard meowing all night long. And all of a sudden it started again - right next to us from behind a chrysanthemum bush. I reached in and pulled out a tiny longhair black tabby kitten - he was absolutely beautiful but very bony and too young to be away from its mother. I called the rescue we got Blue and Pepper from and they said to take this baby straight to the vet. The little boy was estimated at 5 weeks old, was very malnourished and underweight and had a broken leg. I was his foster mom for about a month but nobody wanted him (probably because of the broken leg/future doctor expenses issue). I ended up falling in love with him and keeping him. Ends up the doctor ordered "bed rest" and there were no operations, just follow-up xrays. We named our new little baby boy Pee Wee because he was so tiny. I should have knocked on wood when we named him. He's now very tall, very long, and weighs 17 pounds! Our vet, Dr. Dave at Banfield, calls him Moose! Pee Wee is now on special food to lose some fat. Once he gets to normal weight he'll still be huge because of his skeleton size. He and Pepper love to groom eachother and wrestle. Pepper always wins even though she's several pounds lighter.

So now I have 3 cats, all just over 2 years old. Hopefully we'll be able to enjoy all of them for another 15 to 20 years!

Let me know your adoption tails!


Meliza said...

Beautiful! I empathize with you and your loss of Ashley. May I put her picture in our next newsletter. Let me know. I will need it in JPEG Format. I hope to see you soon. Mary

Liz said...

Mary - Thanks. I sent you a picture. Good luck with your own menagerie of fuzzy babies!

jrrw said...

Our newest addition to the family is California Calico (Callie) who joined us in August 2007. We stopped at a pet adoption near the airport. We already had five cats, but thought if we found a calico, we would consider expanding our kitty family. We found her.

I was holding her sitting in a circle with some of the rescue workers. They were talking about people with the same names as my husband and I. We thought this was funny and quite a coincidence. Turned out the woman who runs the rescue group shares my name, and another kitty shares my husband's name. That sealed it for us.

Callie has her own story prior to our meeting. She was on "death row" at a pound. The rescue group was there to save a mom and her babies...but Callie made sure to get their attention! Apparently, she was pitiful....matted hair and eyes, underweight...

Now she is healthy, active and a little lover girl. She keeps all of us on our toes!

Liz said...

thanks for sharing!