A Cat’s Tale

Did you think that all the time hubby and I have been spending at the shelter playing with the kitties was going to increase our cat count at home?

A lot of people have mentioned that they expected me to bring home more cats.

But nah. I did spring one of the cats, but not for me. My son and his girlfriend saw the photos I had taken of some of the shelter cats and fell in love with an 8 month old kitten called “Precious.” They have a beautiful black velvet cat named Meesker. He’s already two years old–a fact I have trouble processing as it seems he was just a little kitten a couple of months ago. The kids decided they wanted Precious as a little sister to Meesker.

Meesker headshot


So I sprung the little sweetie two weeks before I would be seeing my son because the cat room had become so crowded at the shelter. We had a lot of new kittens and the anxiety level of the “roaming” cats was fairly high. I decided on the spur of the moment to bring Precious home to my house. She lived in my office.

On Monday, hubby and I drove Precious (now called Lily) from Phoenix to California so that Lily can live at the beach with her new mom and dad and big brother Meesker. Lily traveled in a large dog kennel that belongs to my oldest cat Mac.

She was so good the whole six hours, although for the last 1 1/2 she lay face down and it seemed clear to me that she had a tummy ache from the bumpy ride.

Imagine our surprise when we put two very sweet-natured cats together, and they didn’t get along very well. Lily played in Meesker’s favorite toy, his long fabric tunnel, and it made him sad. Lily chased Meesker, and he hid under the bed.

For awhile, Lily lay on the couch and Meesker on the floor, but it didn’t last long.

Lily on couch Meesker on floor


Poor Meesker.

June 7 2014

My son is going to get a gate for the bedroom so that the cats can sniff each other without worrying about losing any fur.Β I’m hoping that my son and his girlfriend will go very slowly in reintroducing the cats to each other. Then they can all live as one happy family.

So, no, I didn’t get a new cat for myself. However, if this works out well for them, there is a sweet black cat at the kennel who has been there far too long. Actually, there are two, but how many will I be able to slip past hubby without him really grasping how many cats live at our house?






Filed under #writerlife, California, Cats and Other Animals, Memoir, Nonfiction

52 responses to “A Cat’s Tale

  1. Great! I can see a suddenly perplexed husband counting furry legs, and coming up with four more than expected. πŸ˜€
    We couldn’t imagine a life without cats…

  2. They’ll work it out. Like siblings.

    • I sure hope so because if they don’t there goes the hope for a home at my house for another black shelter cat! And Lily is really young for my household where all 4 cats are seniors if not downright elderly.

  3. Haha. I’m the same way. It started with one rat, then two, then a chinchilla and a ferret. The rats and chinchilla died, so in their place came 1 rabbit. She was lonely, so I found another rabbit that she bonded to through fostering. Then the kitten arrived, and then a neighbor asked me to watch their kitten, and they never picked her back up.

    Good News! I think I found that baby an amazing home, fingers crossed.

    • Oh, that would be great! I had a rat once and she was such a great pet. With so many cats now I don’t dare bring in a rat to be terrified. And it’s so hard loving a rat and having them get cancer when they are 2, which seems to happen so often.

      • I went away for a week once, and when I came back, my first baby had to be put down, she had too many tumors that suddenly appeared. The other made it to 3 years old, as well as had tumors removed. Such sweet and affectionate babies.

        • Oh, how sad. That is what happened with Nutmeg Noodles. We went on a week vacation and left her with a friend. When we came back she hadn’t groomed at all and had a tumor. I even had it removed, but she died anyway. She was always trying to be nice to me! It was the oddest thing. And she sat for hours under my hair, on the back of my neck, while I worked at the computer.

  4. I love happy endings. Lily is so beautiful (I love orange cats but never had one) and I’m always a sucker for a black cat! Oh…wait…I’m a sucker for any cat.

    • You and me both. I’m a sucker for black cats, too. And, yup, all those other ones. Let’s hope this story has a happy ending. Best case: Lily and Meesker work it out (that will be up to my son’s patience as he keeps wanting to put them together too quickly) and I adopt 1-2 “special needs” cats who have been in the shelter too long–and my cats are ok with it. that is a lot of IFs.

      • It took 2 months for my old black cat Jake to accept my newest addition 2 years ago. You can’t rush things. I kept her separated for a week. Then she kept her distance from him (she was a young cat so she did want to play with him) for a while. Fortunately I had 2 other cat willing to play with her until he settled down. I did use Feliway plug ins to help.

  5. Aw…Lily looks happy in her new home. Maybe your son should buy a second tunnel.:)

    • Hehe, and that is just what Bampah and MooMoo (hubby and me) did last night! We bought a new tunnel system for Meesker so Lily could have his old one since he won’t touch it now!

  6. Lily’s ear tufts are positively elfin. Fingers crossed that Meesker resolves his initial reluctance. The photo of him peeking out from the curtains is so sad.

    • redosue, that’s a great description–elfin! yes! I sure hope Meesker can “get over it.” I heard he came out from under the bed and was excited about the new toys we bought him. But that is because that little terror (yeah, right) Lily was safely behind bars in the bedroom.

  7. Hah! Cat sneaker-inner! πŸ˜›
    Well they’re both adorable, but then, I think all cats are adorable! I’ve had a three cats that couldn’t work it out in our house, but they’ve made loving companions elsewhere. I’ve had six work out beautifully, some even right away. Hopefully Meesker and Lily are a good match and don’t know it yet πŸ™‚

    • Ugh, I sure hope Lily works out with Meesker because the alternative is I have to take her and she’s too young for my other cats AND I would rather take in (as my next project) one of the older cats who has been at the shelter for a long time. I have 2 in mind. One is a very sweet and friendly black cat who has had a lot of bad luck. The other is the cross-eyed, bobbed-tail tuxedo ball of wisdom who has been there for over a year.

  8. What a little darling Lily is πŸ˜€. Meeker is like all the little boys who wonder why Mom (in this case GrandMom) can’t just take Lily back to the hospital because she’s not AT ALL what he expected a little sister to be!!

    • LOL, Sammy. I was thinking about that old poem, “The First Tooth,” where the sister can’t understand why the baby brother who just lies there is more interesting to the adults than all her accomplishments. Sibling rivalry from the getgo. Methinks Meesker was more spoiled than I knew!

      • No doubt! He thought he was everybody’s #1 love because he never knew about all the cats GrandMom had at home 😍

        • That is so true. And when his cousin Izzie came to stay he chased her around, not to bother her, but because he wanted to “hug on” her all the time! He wouldn’t leave her alone!

  9. I love that you help out at the shelter, but I imagine it would be so difficult not to take the cats home with you. Whenever my kids and I go into a pet supply store, if they have cats, which some of them do, we go visit them. We always fall in love, and the only thing that prevents us from taking one home is my hub’s severe cat allergies. But oh, how we want one.

    Hopefully Lily and Meesker will become good friends. Or at least grow to tolerate each other. πŸ˜‰

    • Suddenly I had an epiphany that there was no need to bring home all these cats because the time I spent at the shelter with them is more than I can take care of at home. So that made me feel better . . . except for the ones who hang on at the shelter, seeing their buddies adopted and they don’t get adopted. I am so glad we don’t have severe cat allergies. That is so tough.
      I sure hope they become friends! The stinker figured out how to knock down the gate and move the sheet out of the way, I just heard from my son!

  10. Ah, cats. Such a mixed bag as far as what you get and how they get along with each other. Hope it works out!

    • Ugh, I hope this is just a case of a wired up kitten scaring an “only” cat who didn’t expect this to happen to his life, but he’ll love her once he knows her.

  11. Your tale of new cats and family is charming. I love the picture of Meesker behind the curtain with only sad eyes showing. Your cat wisdom reveals your love of cats. The cats in the shelter are fortunate to have you watching over them.

    • Ah, thanks, Viv. There are some wonderful people who volunteer at the shelter and have been there a lot longer than I have and contribute more hours per week, too. Son and his girlfriend are hanging in there like troupers working on getting the cats adjusted. Please keep your fingers crossed!

  12. What beautiful animals, and they all deserve to be in homes where they’re cared for and loved! πŸ™‚

  13. Oh Lily has great ear fur! We had 5 cats and they didn’t all get along, but they tolerated each other enough to get by πŸ™‚

    • I hope these guys are going to tolerate each other. Lily has proven herself to be very dominant. I think she wants to be an only cat or to have Meesker as her personal recyclable prey.

  14. I love Lily’s ears! That would be such a tough job for me and I already have 3 cats at home πŸ˜‰ Your son should introduce Meesker and Lily very slowly. When we took in Wendy (my fast-food find), we kept her in room of her own for a few days. When we were home from work, each of us would take turns petting her and then have the other two cats sniff our hands and clothes. And vice versa. As they become accustomed to each others’ scents, they become less fearful. It worked for us, and I do think it was in Wendy’s favor that she’s much younger than the other two. Now she and Junior are buds, but Maxine still wishes she was the only cat in the household πŸ˜‰

    • Lily is very dominant, something nobody saw when she was in the cat room at the shelter. But she wants to the only cat or she wants Meesker to cower under the bed, I guess. My son is working very hard at acclimating them very slowly. I sure hope it works so those cute little ears don’t have to come live here.

      • I think they will adapt to each other eventually. Maxine would love to be the only cat in our household, but she tolerates Wendy and Junior … even lets Junior lick her head sometimes πŸ˜‰

  15. They are SO cute! I know cats usually have to be introduced to each other slowly. I hope it works out! I don’t think our two boys would like another cat joining our family.

  16. Ahh Luanne, finally getting over here…and you know I had to read your cat post πŸ™‚ It is so hard to know if two cats will get along. Maisy, our now 12 year old, was a kitten from a shelter when we got her but Willow, our Queen of the House, then 11, wanted nothing to do with her. The most we got was a tolerance, barely. After we lost sweet Willow, we waited a little while and then got Eddie and the gamble paid off as Maisy and Eddie get on like a house on fire. I think it’s because Maisy mother’s him and he is just a big, soft baby albeit a rather chauvenistic one πŸ˜‰ Oh I hope that sweet Meesker will be okay with Lily. They are both so beautiful. But you could always take Lily home with you if it doesn’t work out…hubby won’t notice lol πŸ˜€ xoxo

    • LOL, I am trying to avoid bringing Lily here! And as my son said, “We love her and want to keep her!” hehe. Well, I sure hope those kitties can work it out. So hard for poor Meesker.
      I’m so glad to hear that Maisy and Eddie get on so well. That’s so rewarding to watch them interact together when they are like that!!

  17. I am starting back when I lost track of you, Luanne. So sorry I fell behind. Meeska will adjust somehow, I hope and the new one is so sweet looking. You are strong to not fall prey to their adorable kitty moves and spreading them into the family, a 6 hour trip to son’s house sounds like a good way to enjoy one, without owning them.

    • I so hope that your words come true. My son is working hard at slowly acclimating the kitties to each other. Lily is a very dominant cat. We couldn’t tell that at the shelter. But now I am thinking that maybe ginger cats are usually dominant.

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