Monday, June 22, 2009

Roll Call


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.

Apu



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.

Sweet Pea






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.


Woody


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.


Lisa


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.

Oliver (Twist)


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 ;-)

16 comments:

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I loved the pictures and bio's on all of your kitties. All of the photos show a bit of their personalities. I've always thought of "cat ladies" as thosw who really couldn't care for all of their cats. You obviously provide for them very well- with foood and shelter and most importantly- LOVE.

Embrace the Cat Lady!!

KGMom said...

If you're a crazy cat lady, it's the kind of craqzy of which I approve!
They are all very lucky to have found you.
My question--do they all get along with each other? We only have 2 now, but they do not like each other.

Dog_geek said...

What I take away from this is that it is pretty much all your neighbor's fault. Seriously, though, thanks for the run-down on your residents. 8 kitties isn't too many!

las794 said...

It was great to meet all your kitties...and the Crazy Cat Lady sign is priceless! :D

Dorothy said...

Hi Chris...I always read your blog but rarely comment because I haven't updated mine since last August. But I could not comment on today's post! I LOVED IT..meeting all your kitty gang!!!
We have 8 too..inside kitties....and have recently (since our neighbor moved) started feeding a colony of 20 that live outside in our woods. OMYGOD!!!!
Kittens...kittens...I feel like the little old lady who lives in a shoe....what am I going to do????
We TNS as many as we can..but it's almost impossible physically and financially to keep up with them all. You are a saint...and your kitties are precious!!!

Dorothy said...

PS...I love your sign!!!!

Amy said...

its like what should you do? let them starve? let them be dumped on the streets? poison them? shoot them? do nothing? people who have such negative reactions to helping animals are just worthless. ignorant. i appreciate that you didnt turn the other cheek.

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Christine! You have a heart of gold.

I don't understand why people have such an aversion to cats. They're the best. Don't get me wrong, I love all animals, but there's something about a cats love that can't be beat. I guess I'm one of those crazy cat ladys myself. Lisa

possumlady said...

Lynne, yes I need to embrace my inner cat lady! One caricature of the crazy cat lady that always makes me laugh out loud is the one featured occasionally in the Simpsons cartoons. Now, THAT is funny!

Donna, except for a few spats between Apu and Sweet Pea or Apu and Woody, all the cats get along really well. I really should count my blessings. I don't think I could deal with so many if there was constant bickering going on.

D-G, I tell my neighbor that ALL the TIME! I don't want to make her out to be neglectful as she is sometimes a last chance for cats or kittens, she will never say no even when all other shelters and fosters home do. All the cats that came over to my house were all deemed unadoptable for various reasons. When they are at her house, they all get shelter, good food and water and good medical care. She is just by nature a dog person, so the cats are generally left to themselves while they are living with her.

Las794, glad you like the plaque! My sister gave it to me for my birthday last year and I still haven't figured out where I want to hang it. Either in my bedroom or office!

Dorothy, always so good to hear from you! Wow, you do have your hands full. Have you contacted alley cat allies? I'm sure they could put you in contact with a local chapter that could help get the cats trapped and at least neutered and spayed. Keep my posted!

Hi Amy and thanks for visiting. Yes, I think the same thing sometimes. Do people think I should just throw things and shoo the cats out of my yard? I just can't do that to an already lost and afraid animal.

Hi Lisa, I agree. I'm an all over animals lover but never knew the joys of having cats until I had my first one in 1983. Totally loving and sometimes totally unpredictable. I love the wildness in them and feel pretty special when a frightened stray eventually learns to trust and love me. My niece has called me the Cat Whisperer!

Dorothy said...

Hi Christine..

Yes we are affliliated with Animal Lifeline..(animallifelineonline.org)who has helped us with free spaying provided we can trap them. Even if I had 20 have-a-heart traps, I would need a very caring and generous vet to help spay and neuter our outside 'gang'.
And you're very lucky, we have to keep french doors on many of our rooms to keep 2 males separated from 2 other males or they'd really fight. It didn't start until two of them had to go the Vet hospital overnight. I sure know what you mean when you say there is nothing like gaining the trust of a former feral. There is nothing like it!!

Luna said...

I like your sign with the crazy cat lady....I think I need that too ;o)

Here we say: either you love cats or you hate cats.

I love cats and that is OK!!!

janinsanfran said...

I want to be a cat lady when I grow (not likely to happen, growing up I mean.) Thanks for this!

Just came to visit from Time Goes By.

possumlady said...

Hi Luna and thanks for visiting. Wie gehts! My first comment from Germany! There doesn't seem to be any middle ground when it comes to cats, does it?

Welcome Janinsanfran! I'm actually a bit embarrassed that Ronni listed me in Times Go By! I'm really out of her league! Just a crazy cat lady blathering on and on about her cats, am I.

Clay Lady said...

I am finally getting back to visit your blog--and thank you for your earlier reply. We are crazy dog people--not by design--mostly by taking in a feral dog who had puppies. How many dogs, you ask? It's a state secret (love that reply and will use it, if you don't mind)!

We used to have a lot of cats--they lived long lives, but I still miss them. Have a special place in my heart for black kitties. Thankfully, we still have our Stetson--a 16 years young gray tabby. He's been through a lot of medical procedures, but is still going strong. Stetson lives upstairs, away from the dogs. But, when we let one up, under supervision, we usually have to protect the dog!

Thank you for sharing the kitties' stories--I don't think you're crazy at all!

possumlady said...

Thanks Clay Lady! I'm sorry, I'm still working on getting to your blog! Things have been crazy busy here at work preparing for board meetings next week. Will have a bit of down time after I get back so I'll be checking out your blog soon!

Crazy cat people, crazy dog people...it's all good.

Jack said...

It was really great to meet all your kitties...I hope we will meet soon..take care...lol
--
Jack
Plug and play Security Systems no Contracts at the best affordable Prices