I've decided to out myself. I've said it before and I'll say it again...I'm a crazy cat lady. For years now whenever someone would ask "just how many cats do you have?" I always gave a few pat answers such as "you really don't want to know", I really can't keep track of them all", and "it's a state secret." I'm now going to list all my furbies to dispel the age-old stereotype of the crazy cat lady and to start a new definition of one. You know the old one--a desperate lonely single woman (usually old or ugly, or both), possibly a hoarder, with no friends save her feline ones. Okay, I'm single but that's as far as the stereotype goes. I have a decent paying and good job, own my own home, have many friends both at work and outside of work and have many, MANY outside interests that have absolutely nothing to do with cats!
If someone takes in a number of dogs, or horses, or whatever, you never hear a derogatory stereotype about them...why cats? Everyone I know that has taken in cats have hearts of gold. They, like myself, cannot turn their backs on a needy animal. These folks, like myself, also volunteer and give money to many local animal shelters and know the realities of bringing in stray cats to the shelter and decide "what's one more cat?" Instead of making fun of these folks, people should be thanking them for all they do for these vulnerable animals.
Whew!! Okay, I feel better now. So, without further ado, here are the current occupants of Possumlady Place, ranked in order of their being taken in.
At 13 years old, Apu is the oldest of the clan and now the only cat that I actually adopted from a shelter back in 1996. A typical scaredy cat and curmudgeon, Apu has really grown in the year since his security blanket, Butterball, passed on. He was named after a favorite Simpsons cartoon character.
He is roughly 10 years old. Around 5:45 one morning in August of 2001 I heard a cat fight right under my bedroom window. I looked out to see a fluffy gray cat running away with my neighbor's cat, Winston, in hot pursuit. My neighbors and I started feeding him and asking around the neighborhood. No one claimed him so my neighbor took him in to get neutered, cleaned up, and get the necessary shots. Then what? Another neighbor had expressed interest earlier on but when the cat was ready to be adopted, the neighbor changed his mind. So again, what's one more cat. I took him in with Butterball and Apu already in residence. Yet neither Butterball nor Apu were lap cats and this cat loved to jump in my lap and bury his head. I just kept telling him what a Sweet Pea he was and the name stuck.
He will be 8 this fall. I started seeing Woody in March of 2002 and I assumed he just lived up the street. Then I didn't see him again until June. I hardly recognized him. Patchy, dull coat and so emaciated you could see every vertebra and rib on his body. I watched as he slowly made the rounds of the neighborhood, walking up to the front porches of people who had cats, looking for food. I followed him with a bowl full of turkey baby food. I called him and he slowly came to me. I put down the food and I never saw a cat eat so fast. I picked him up and brought him home where I put out dry and wet food. Again, my neighbor took him in to be neutered and given his shots. The vet estimated he was around 8 months old. When my neighbor got him home, she asked me if I wanted him. My mind was screaming NO, NO, NO!! But, somehow the words that came out of my mouth were "sure, why not". I started calling him String Bean (Beanie), then settled on Woody. He has grown to be one of my largest cats and a sweeter one you will never meet. He does not have a mean bone in his body and loves everyone. If he could find a way to velcro himself to my lap, he would do it.
Toby, Figaro, and Chloe
These three cats came over from my neighbor's house around the same time in late 2003, early 2004. I have no idea their ages. My neighbor had them as give ups or from other rescuers. They were all very skittish with Toby acting almost feral in his fear of people. I can imagine with my neighbor's four barkey terrier type dogs and her foster dogs and cats, along with potential adopters coming and going most evenings, her home must have been a nightmare for these quiet, terrified souls. They found quiet and sanctuary at my house and they have all blossomed. Figaro and Chloe are the tuxedo twins and are very sweet and friendly. Toby is still pretty skittish but will allow me to pet him on occasion. In fact, I finally just got Toby to come into the house about a year ago so he wouldn't be the only cat outside on cold winter nights.
aka, Chunky Lisa, or Lisa Marie. Chunky Lisa, a dilute calico, also came over from my neighbor's house. I started seeing her around January 2005. She was brought over when her elderly owner passed away. A timid, sensitive soul, Chunky Lisa has blossomed since coming to Possumlady Place. I've often wanted to change her name to Chatty Cathy as she trills, grunts, tweets and meows almost constantly when she is awake.
aka, Ollie, or Ollie Baba. Little Oliver started showing up in my front yard bushes with eyes glowing in the night around March 2006. I would see him snatching a bit to eat on my front porch. If he saw me he would hiss and run off. I noticed he had a tipped ear--a mark of a feral cat that has been trapped, neutered and released. Imagine my surprise when a few weeks later he started running up to me to be petted. Very skinny and gangly, I named him Oliver Twist as he always wanted more food!
So, there you have it. All the creatures currently at Possumlady Place---for now ;-)