Millions of Cats

I feel like talking about cats today. It’s true that I’m always posting here about writing and stories and art and nature. But my four cats* are important to me, and I interact with them a lot. Interact means pet, kiss on the mug, talk to, and talk for. The latter two go something like this:

Mom, I’m hungry again.

Sweetie, you’re not hungry. You just think you want food. What you want is a big hug.

Mom, I don’t want one right now.  Mom, stop!  You’re slobbering on my fur and I just bathed!

Ooh ooh ooh, Mom lubs you!

Oddly, both my cats and I have high-pitched new-mom-type voices.

In addition to Macavity, Pear Blossom, Felix, and Tiger, both my kids have cats–one each.

The other day my son sent me a video of his kitten dreaming. Meesker, a solid black spunky boy, lies on his back to sleep. In the video, he was eating and licking his chops–obviously dreaming of a delicious meal. Hilarious. This is the kitten who walks on a leash.

My daughter and her cat are living with us temporarily while she (not the cat) performs in a regional show. The cat, Izzie, is a good-natured sweetheart. My daughter rescued her right after she (daughter, not the cat) graduated from college, three years ago. Four days after they got to our house this summer, she had a lump removed from her (the cat this time) lip which turned out to be Mast Cell Cancer. She (still the cat) will have to be examined regularly because once a cat has this type of tumor she can get another . . . and another.

One week later, my 2nd oldest, Pear, a tuxedo lap cat, had her dental cleaning. The vet and I both decided to remove a teeny tiny little pimple on her nose. It was so small the vet couldn’t use stitches and had to glue the skin. It turned out she had Spindle Cell Cancer. The margins were clean, so she should be fine. My husband thought he’d be funny and called her Scarface a few days later, but I hid the coffee until he asked her forgiveness.

My oldest, Mac, is a darling. At least to me. He’s a master of intimidation, but he’s also a huge orange and white tabby whose beauty lures humans in for a touch, even if they are afraid. And with good reason.

Felix, my brown tabby, and Tiger, my calico, have been featured in previous posts.  I wrote about Felix in “Unease in the Desert,” a story about living in the desert at night. In “How and Why I Don’t Know Science,” I showed off a photo of the simply marvelous Miss Tiger.

The only problem with cats is they don’t mix well with just anyone or anything. I used to have finches for pets. No more birds for me since I became a (crazy) cat lady. I had a lovely pet rat named Nutmeg Noodles; she slept on the back of my neck, under my hair. I can’t have any more rats–just in case. And my husband used to get me flowers for every birthday, Mother’s Day, and Valentine’s Day. But my cats like to eat poisonous flowers–and so many of the florist flowers, even Baby’s Breath, are toxic to cats.

Luckily, roses and orchids are non-toxic to cats. Here is a beautiful orchid a friend sent me for my birthday a month and a half ago–still blooming radiantly. My cousin raises orchids in Arkansas, and I can’t help but wonder if this is one of his.  He’s got cats, too.

*  I have 4 cats, not millions. But I love that Wanda Gag picture book Millions of Cats: “Millions and billions and trillions of cats.”

18 Comments

Filed under Creative Nonfiction, Essay, Memoir, Nonfiction, Photographs

18 responses to “Millions of Cats

  1. jeannieunbottled

    All so affectionate. Keen observation!

  2. Boy,you are indeed a cat family! I love the names, especially Macavity! Okay, I guess I’m not a rat person, Luanne. Reading that Nutmeg Noodles (cute name) slept on the back of your neck freaked me out a little! 🙂

    • Luanne

      My son named Tiger or I would never have named her that–she deserves something better so her full name is Tiger Queenie Princess Mimi Josefina. And we started calling Felix “Felix” when he was a stray outside, meaning it as a generic name. And then it stuck haha. I never thought I would be anything but creeped out by rats until I met Nutmeg. What a sweetheart. She was the most solicitous (of me) pet I’ve ever had.

  3. We’ve always had cats and dogs, but I was more of a dog person until i encountered this adorable cat at my sister-in-law’s house over the summer. For some reason I fell in love with that cat and cuddled her all weekend, and now I have newfound love of even my own cat!

    • I can’t believe I never responded to this. Cats cats cats. They make me happy. Of course, I love dogs, too, and sometimes I get the urge to go adopt a dog, too. But I am SANE, ya know, even with 5 cats.

  4. My mom was a great namer-of-cats. Himsababy, a white, blue-eyed deaf cat, was always in her arms, she was always saying “himsababy.” Thing is, if you were a man and wearing work clothes, he would scratch your face off. Baby, indeed.

  5. Ian

    Many people think cats are aloof and antisocial creatures. My wife and I have owned three cats since we’ve been together, and each one has shown us love and affection and a desire to hang-out with the family. They also seem to be able to detect when you are feeling down or upset and will come sit with you (on you) at just the right time. I’d love to be able to get inside those furry brains and see what they’re thinking…

    • Ian–I never knew your comment was here. So strange. So it’s more than 3 years later. 😉 Cats are the best. They want lots of love and affection and to be around family, but then they like their little private moments which gives me a chance to get something done!

  6. I remember that book! It was very awesome in its drawings and it did get me to try liking cats, as a young child! I come from a dog loving family so enjoy reading about your son’s cat’s dreams and how your 4 cats “speak” to you, too!

    • Luanne

      It’s such a great book. I love how the little homely kitten is the one to get the nice home when the other kittens are so VAIN :). I ought to post the video of my son’s cat dreaming.

  7. Reblogged this on The Life & Times of Zoe the Fabulous Feline and commented:
    Glad I finally made it here…enjoyed my visit and what I’ve read so far. I love calicos (all cats, of course)…..and look forward to coming back to read more. Hope your precious pets are all doing well now.

    • Ah, you fabulous feline, Zoe! Haha, this post is old, but it’s my heart in a nutshell. Although I do have 5 cats now and my son has 2 and daughter still has 1. So there are now 8 in the family instead of 4–plus we lost our dear Mac (of old age). So it took 2 new cats to replace him, I guess: Kana (her new nickname is Nefertiti as she is quite queenlike. She is all black velvet.) and Sloopy Anne (gorgeous calico)! Thanks for the reblog!

  8. We once had five but they didn’t get along – one lived in our bedroom, two in the rest of the house and two outside, except when it was too cold or too hot – then they went in the garage. Only one left now, buthe is my boon companion.

    • Aw, it really is hard to get 5 cats to ALL get along. I now have 5 (we finally lost our dear Mac of old age and then got a black cat and a calico, both from the shelter we volunteer at) and two of them sort of pick on one of them. We have a system worked out that works. The only time they need separating is when we’re not home. Then I do it so the picked on one doesn’t have to be stressed out. One day I accidentally shut the picked on one with one of the bullies (the lesser bully) and they got along fine–go figure! Enjoy your sweet kitty!!!

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