The Outlier’s Tail: Part 4 of The Caterbuddy Tails

You can call me the Outlier because I refuse to be seen as just another one of the clowder. (You’ve heard of a murder of crows or a pack of dogs? A group of cats is a clowder, but this group stuff goes against my grain).

After breakfast I go to the bedroom hallway for a nap because the other cats stay in the kitchen. And when everyone else is watching television or reading books in the evening, more often than not I can be found in the hall, too. That’s where Mom keeps an old deacon’s bench her dad gave her, and I like to lie there.

My mom and dad never call me outlier. They call me Sloopy Anne or Sloops or Pretty Girl Princess. They aren’t very evolved when it comes to cat genders. Before I go any further I will tell you that I don’t consider myself an outlier with my hooman parents–just with the cats. If I could live with Mom and Dad without any other cats, I would be lying in bed with them and wouldn’t get out of their laps.

I got this way about other cats because of my life experiences. The first years of my life sucked so bad I don’t want to talk about them.

When I was three I was picked up by animal control. They don’t really have room for cats, and I heard some scary talk, but a lady from Home Fur Good no-kill shelter swooped in and gave me a freedom ride to that shelter. Woot! But all was not well. It was ok, but not good. You see, they thought I was pretty and ready to go to Petsmart to get adopted, but I got really scared. And I have a BIG independent streak. Plus I’m smart, so you can’t fool me about things. So I put up a lil bit of a fuss. Just sayin’.

Petsmart, although I heard they are usually really good to strays and rescues, said I could NEVER come there again.

This is where things began to go wrong again.

The cat roaming room at the shelter is full of . . . cats. Big cats, little cats. And people, in and out all day long. You can hear the dogs barking right in the next room. I was scared. They made me live in a cage for months because they thought I was skittish.

When Mom and Dad started volunteering at the shelter I was in the cage. That bothered Mom, and she started a campaign to get me out. In the meantime, her old cat Mac died and she adopted Kana. KANA, the one from the cage next to me. NOT ME. Part of me will never forgive her for that.

I had already been at the shelter for over a year at that point (though Mom didn’t realize it yet).

They let me out of the cage, but I was scared and annoyed so I spent a lot of time in a soft little cave bed.

Mom and Dad played with me when they came to take care of the cats, but time clicked on and I had to go in the nasty little hospital room because of ringworm. The cage was very small. And the room was dark and right next to the room with the BIG dogs.

A few weeks after I got out of the “infirmary” and when I had been at the shelter TWO STINKEN YEARS a big male cat chased me up on the high boards in the roaming room. He was bothering me, and I was more scared than usual.

When the tech came into the room, Mom and Dad reported his bad behavior. And the tech said, “Oh, that Slupe [that was my name then], she’s a BITER.”

Mom and Dad looked at each other in shock. They knew I didn’t bite.

The next morning the director of the shelter came to me and said, “You’re getting a new home.” A few hours later, Mom came and put me into a kennel and took me home.

For a month I stayed in my new hooman sister’s old bedroom, and Mom would let me lie on her chest so I could feel her heart beating. Then I entered the rest of the house and met my new fur roommates. I don’t really think of them as my siblings, but as transient beings in my life.

Tiger sleeps with Mom and Dad at night, but once she’s gone, I plan to be the one in there. I was here before Perry, so I have the right. I want to be that one special cat who gets to be with my parents without any other cats around.

One more important fact about me: I LOVE MY DAD. He never grabs me for brushing, teeth brushing, or vet appointments. He lets me rub on his feet and sandals. He reaches down to pet me, and I love that. We are best friends.

I love my mom, too, but I am wary of her grabbing me. Sometimes she takes me in her room and lets me lie on her chest. She sings, “I love you, and you love me,” our signature song. And I love that. But I never know what she wants, so I try to run off if I see her hand coming near me.

Therefore, I am a Daddy’s girl. Through and through.


Note from Sloopy Anne’s Mom: Sloopy Anne might prefer to live in a home without other cats, but she does remarkably well with the others. She never fights with them, and she is even decent to Tiger (remember “The Bitch’s Tail“), her lookalike little calico female. That she wasn’t adopted for two full years at the shelter is because she needed to be put front and center for a moment of her life. As the shelter has grown in volunteers and experience, the cats now get moved along much faster except for cats that really do have some sort of an issue (like Tanman and Louise, the laundry room cats, who are doing so well in their new home, by the way!). No cat is left behind–there is an emphasis on each and every one.

One more thing: Sloopy Anne doesn’t realize this because she doesn’t get that close to other cats, but her fur is very unusual. It is much thicker than other cat fur, but still very very soft. And when she goes to the vet or gets her nails clipped she is always very charming and beloved. A very special girl.


Filed under #NaPoWriMo, #writerlife, #writerslife, Cats and Other Animals, Memoir, Nonfiction, Writing

53 responses to “The Outlier’s Tail: Part 4 of The Caterbuddy Tails

  1. A delightful tail/tale!

  2. Lovely post!

  3. A very beautiful girl too! Sweet, sweet kitty!

    • She is so beautiful and sweet. We actually did try her in the bedroom with Tiger for awhile, but then one night after Tiger had gotten up and was making her way back to the bed, Sloopy Anne went after her. it was the only time she ever went after anyone, so she lost the privilege. I know she did it out of jealousy, but still I don’t want Tiger to have to worry about that.

  4. Sloopy, you look so much like my Wendy! She sleeps with me at night so hang in there. She also runs when she sees my hand reaching for her, but she also rubs against my feet and legs and even jumps up on the bathroom when it’s time for grooming. She’s a silly girl 😉 You just keep being you and eventually you’ll be at top of the pecking order. (By the way, I always thought a group of cats was a herd 😅😁).

  5. I love what you do for all these needy cats. Too bad there is only one of you.

    • Technically there are two of us hahahaha. And I know other people who do it, too. But it can’t make up for all the people who do such bad things to animals. Right now our county shelter is on quarantine for distemper and many dogs have been euthanized because people are too selfish and irresponsible and cheap to get their pets a $15 shot.

  6. I love the voice of the cat and the wonderful rescue after the first rough two years…you and the Gardener are wonderful examples of what our species should be. Bless you both for that.
    P.S. What I also loved was the marvelous deacon’s bench. Pretty would love it!

    • Aw, shucks. You are so good to the dogs, too, Sheila! I loved that bench since my father found it and brought it home (to their house). So when they moved to the retirement home he gave it to me. I think it’s undoubtedly a reproduction, but still very unique and special.

  7. Lovely post. Luanne. Thank you for sharing.

  8. In my next life, I want to be one of your cats. 🙂

    • Once they get in my house, right? Not before that because they’ve all had hard lives up til that point. That’s why I like making the followup calls on the adoptions. So many happy stories :).

  9. Oh, how you can spin a cat’s tale (tail!) 😻 I was very excited to read this and truly remember how you and your husband came to the point of not just visiting cats but bringing them home with you, Luanne! Your husband sounds very kind, loving towards Sloopy Anne! As a Mommy to the cats, you get the chance to love on them, but get stuck with the less preferable (by kitties/cats) chores! Best wishes for a cat story collection, I’ll be back to check out your other stories! 😺🐈

    • He loves his little calicos so much–Tiger and Sloopy Anne. He’s very devoted to them all and constantly tells me when somebody is hungry or somebody spit up. HAHAHAHA!

      • So, including in his description: Perry is your inside informant, Luanne! Hahaha! 😹 xo

        • Hahaha, to clarify, the gardener is the one letting me know when the guys are hungry or throw up. He seems to think it’s important that I rush and tend to them at every little stretch or whimper. He’s worse than he was when the kids were babies!

  10. Well now Sloopy Anne, I am so glad to hear that life has improved out of sight for you – except for the rest of those pesky cats in your house of course….. but I do rather wonder if you took a moment to think about it you might realise that they are not so bad after all. You sure are a pretty girl with your colourful, thick coat and your big, round green eyes, pointy ears and those proud whiskers. Now that you know you have a mom and dad who love you so much and are so good to you I expect you will eventually mellow and chill out and become quite a perfect leader of your little group. I must also note that you have chosen quite the loveliest seat in the whole house to be yours – good taste my dear, very good taste!

    • They aren’t that bad, but I don’t like cat games very much so it’s better if I let Mom and Dad know those cats aren’t that cool. Maybe they won’t bring home any more if I remind them how unnecessary they are! Mom tells me I’m pretty so maybe you are right! Mom says to say hi to Siddy and Orlando!

  11. Dear Sloopy Ann,
    When your life story is published in book form, I hope there are pictures!
    Yours in admiration,

  12. Grandpa had great taste in benches

  13. Awwww–such a sweetie! I’m happy you took her home. We got our white cat, Mickey, from a Petsmart shelter. He was still a kitten then, but they called him Demon Cat. He was not happy there, and I’m pretty sure there are big warning stickers on his file at the vets! He’s Daddy’s Little Boy, and we think he’s sweet, but he’s scared of everyone else.

  14. Oh, I love this, Luanne! I used to have cats and all three were rescue cats. What suffering they have to endure before they are rescued!

  15. What a story! I’m glad she has someone writing her biography! She’s beautiful. 💚

    • Thanks, Cheryl. She is such a beauty that it defies reason that she was in the shelter for two years (or as I used to say to her, “two birthdays, two Christmases, two 4th of Julys”). But she had a way of making herself fade into the background when potential adopters came into the roaming room.

  16. Sloopy Ann looks so much like my cat from law school. I enjoyed her tale of rescue and transition into happiness (though I must admit that at first I didn’t know you were writing from her POV and wondered what might be going on that you needed a nap after breakfast. 🙂 )

  17. Love this tale from Sloopy Anne’s POV. Very imaginative! I also really enjoy hearing more of her “memoirs” too! Have a great week, Luanne!

    • I guess I went away when you wrote this and never saw it geesh. Thanks, Theresa! Make it a good week THIS one ahead of us!

      • Yes. No worries about the delay, I’m just delighted you came back around and I got to hear from you again. I miss comments too, sometimes. And I’m glad to report I *seem* to be gathering some momentum around projects. At last! Oh! Hope I don’t jinx it! hahaha

  18. Hey, Luanne, I wanted to tell you, the inspiration you gave me to try April NaPoWriMo is still going on into June! I am working my way through some poetry exercises from Robin Behn’s “The Practice of Poetry” and today I wrote a villanelle for an exercise that said, “Write a poem about food.” I ended up taking the repeated lines and fiddling with word order to make it more interesting to myself, and I got some interesting word juxtapositions! Something that helps when I go to write prose. 🙂 Thanks, thanks!

  19. This particular cat strongly evokes punctuation – specifically, an exclamation point. Every single picture of this cat says “!”. Hitherto I thought that squirrels were the only creatures that evoked punctuation. I once wrote a poem, “Punctuation on the Lawn” about how even a single squirrel could be a comma, then a question mark, then a period, and then an exclamation point. I wanted to include it in this comment, but the folder ‘Verse&Worse’ must be on a different disk.

  20. Sloopy Anne is a new form of punctuation that has not been discovered yet. She invented it, and she could care less if it takes off or not. Such is her personality.
    Maybe you better go find that poem!

  21. Pingback: The Boss’s Tail: Part 6 of The Caterbuddy Tails | Luanne Castle's Writer Site

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