Sad Ending for my Calico Cat

My Calico Cat

I have almost always had a cat as a pet, and I love their independence, ease of care and their playfulness. Unfortunately, there are way too many cats in homeless shelters. As a responsible pet owner, getting your pets spayed or neutered is essential, unless you are in the breeding business I particularly like Calico cats and have owned two in the past; the first one (Muffin) got hit by a car, and the second one (Callegirl - I know the name is not too original) died of lung cancer when she was 7 years old. Each of these losses broke my heart as owning a pet over a period of time makes them just like a family member.

Callegirl

Rooftop View

Callegirl on roof. My phtott.
Callegirl on roof. My phtott.

Calicos

Calicos aren’t really a breed of cat, but the term calico refers to the genetic coloring of the fur. They are sometimes called “torties” due to their tortoise shell coloring. They are always female with very rare exceptions, as they have two X chromosomes. There is really no way to plan for a litter of calico kittens due to the XX chromosome factor.

Since Calicos are not a breed, they have no specific personality characteristic, so each cat might be a bit different. Calico cats are considered good luck in Japanese homes, and they are the State cat of Maryland. My first Calico was a one person cat and would sit on my lap but ignored most everyone else, however she was always gentle. Callegirl seemed to spend equal time with my husband and myself, but was not very friendly to others. She was so young and tiny when he brought her home to me in his shirt pocket one day. I had to teach her how to drink milk.

She was adorable. We had woods behind our home in GA where she loved to play. There were rabbits, squirrels, deer, birds, etc. which was plenty to keep her occupied. If I wanted her to come inside she would not necessarily respond to my calling, so I would shake her food dish while standing on the deck and it worked every time. She did not go into other yards, so I did not worry about her. I always kept her in at night. If her cat food dish was empty at night she used to walk up and down our bodies until someone got her food. She was a very prissy little cat, always grooming herself, at barely 8 pounds.

Hard Times

We moved to Jacksonville in 2000, and we still allowed her to be an outdoor cat during the day but indoor at night. She was always playful and she would climb our back fence and walk across the roof to the front and check out what we were doing if we happened to be working in the front of the house. She eventually started wandering on the street behind us and we quit letting her go outside, as I did not want to lose another cat.

When we had an addition built on our home so my mother could move it with us they did not seal in the roof correctly. It rained that night and one end of our living room ceiling collapsed, which produced a lot of particulates in the air, in addition to the horrendous mess, I believe that is why my little calico got lung cancer.

Therefore, we had to put Callegirl asleep about three months after my husband’s stroke. It was a miserable time, and it seemed like I cried all the time, which is not at all like me at all. Finally one day my husband said, “Please quit crying! I can’t stand to see you hurt any more.” We also had to put my mother's dog to sleep shortly thereafter, so everyone was dealing with grief on some level. Pets become just like a family member and when you lose them, it hurts.

Grief over the loss of a pet and grief over the physical changes that occurred to my husband, which changed our whole lifestyle, were overwhelming to me at that time, but time and faith does heal all wounds.

Tuxedo kittens at play

Play Time

My husband playing with Oscar with a string.
My husband playing with Oscar with a string.

One Tall Cat

Oscar Exploring
Oscar Exploring

Life with Oscar

Finally, we went to the pet rescue and adopted a male Tuxedo cat, which had already been neutered. We named him Oscar (after my great grandfather). Tuxedo cats are also not a breed, but have 3 genetic coat patterns. He was about 2 or 3 months old but fairly large for his age and had big paws. I named him Oscar after my great grandfather. Tuxedo cats are sometimes called Jellicle cats which come from T. S. Elliot’s book, “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats: The Song of the Jellicles.”

He adapted to the litter box immediately as I decided I wanted him to be safe indoors all the time. I don’t believe in de-clawing cats and my husband was able to build a scratching post that butted up against the hearth and Oscar knew it was his. He’s never scratched the furniture. He loves everyone but he watches everything I do. He follows me around and will come if I call him. He weighs 16.5 pounds and has a big fluffy tail. He can be very vocal, almost like he is trying to talk, and he manages to let you know what he wants.

Oscar Sleep Anywhere

Oscar wet from bath lying on table in the sun  as he can't figure out what to do with himself until he is dry.
Oscar wet from bath lying on table in the sun as he can't figure out what to do with himself until he is dry.

In Conclusion

I have never been around a more loving cat. Oscar curls up by me and sleeps most days. He loves to play little games and he brings much joy into all our lives. He is the first male cat I have owned, not by design, but just circumstance. I think we made a wonderful choice when we found him.Sure, I still miss my other cats and wish I had them all, but I am blessed to have found such a good cat in Oscar.

© 2011 Pamela Oglesby

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Comments 34 comments

DIYweddingplanner profile image

DIYweddingplanner 5 years ago from South Carolina, USA

You made me miss my cat, Sadie. Love the pics! I voted UP!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

DIYweddingplanner, When we lost our second cat we decided not to get another one but in just a few weeks we went looked and I'm so glad we did as Oscar has been such a wonderful pet. Thanks so much for your comment.


Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

Cats,Dogs,or goldfish...animals are cool.;)


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Acer, I agree! Thanks for your comment.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

Oh what a beautiful hub Pamela, and I loved your lovely photos.Very lucky cats I think, it's easy to see that you adore them.

For the first time ever I have no pets and I do miss them.

Thanks for sharing Pamela.

Take care

Eiddwen.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Eiddwen, Thank you so much for your lovely comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.


Taylorwise profile image

Taylorwise 5 years ago from Austin, TX

Soon I will turn int a crazy cat lady....Thanks for this hub, my kitties are frolicking the garden right now. Give Oscar a big hug for me.


katiem2 profile image

katiem2 5 years ago from I'm outta here

I so agree, a cat makes a wonderful pet. I love cats and have a very special cat or two living with me and my family. Cats are just wonderful and I'm so happy to read your delightful information on the benefits of having a cat as a pet. :) Katie


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

I have always had dogs, not cats, but the loving way you describe your cats, Pamela, makes me think they are as sweet to own as dogs.

My sister has always had cats, often more than one at a time, so we always told folks she was running a 'cat house.' Don't think she appreciated that.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Taylorwse, I would be glad to give Oscar hug and I'm glad you enjoyed your cats. Thank you for your comments.

Katie, I thought your cat lover and I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. I appreciate your comments.

drbj, I have had dogs and cats times it just right now one This is much as I want to be taking care of. I imagine your sister will forgive you but it is kind of funny. Thanks for your comments..


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

I love the picture of Oscar all wet lying on the table!

What a great cat!!


Lidian profile image

Lidian 5 years ago

What sweet kitties! You made me think of my Burgo and Cora, gone many years but I still miss them a lot. We have two Russian Blue sister cats now, 11 years old - I adore them! I can't imagine not having cats. And I enjoyed your hub very much :)


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 5 years ago from Cape Cod

Some of my best friends are cats. I have only had about six in my whole life and two of them lived over 20 years. I do not know if I will ever have another. It hurts too much when you lose them and I do not believe they are like car tires....just put another on when one goes.


stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Very Nice Hub. GBY.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

sueroy, Of course I think he's terrific cat and I appreciate your comments.

Lidian, Even when you have two new great cats you always miss the ones that you loved. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.

Billrrr, It does hurt when they're gone him but after a short time I find I have to get another. I appreciate your comments.

Stars, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.


JY3502 profile image

JY3502 5 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

Beautiful story Pam. Loved it. Voted up as always.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

JY, Thank you so much for your comments.


akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

I haven't had cats in years and that did make me miss them! Unfortunately with my hubby's allergies to them, I guess I won't be having any anytime soon. I always wonder if my malamutes would get along with them. I have a feeling that they would - it's all about how you introduce them and such. Anyhow - wonderful hub and it does make me remember my many wonderful years with my calico cat, my manx and my couple other feisty little critters!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Audry, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I appreciate your comments.


RedElf profile image

RedElf 5 years ago from Canada

Lovely hub! I adore kitties, almost as much as I enjoyed reading this. It brought back many happy memories of my own dear kitty.


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 5 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Beautiful cat photos Pamela - the kittens are adorable and I used to have a black and white cat that looked just like your Oscar


The Frog Prince profile image

The Frog Prince 5 years ago from Arlington, TX

We have a barn cat who tends to the barn and outlying areas and an around the house cat who keeps the varmints away from the house. They are sisters and now have an extreme dislike for each other.

They are low maintenance and independent as can be.

Good work and thanks for sharing.

The Frog


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Red Elf, I would have to mention that your avatar is a dead give-away that you like kittens.:-)) I appreciate your comments.

CMHypno, Thank you so much for your comments.

Frog Prince, It's funny how some cats get along well and others don't at all. I keep my son cat, a mancoon, occasionally and the cats get along well, but they do have many chase scenes! Thanks for your comments.


HealthyHanna profile image

HealthyHanna 5 years ago from Utah

I love my cat!


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Hannah, I think we all love our cats. Thanks for the comment.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Pamela, this is a very heartwarming story/tribute to your wonderful kitty companions. I have always had cats in my life and I wouldn't have it any other way. It is so very difficult when we lose a beloved pet. I know how devastating it is. Thank you for a great article. Kathy aka Lucky Cats


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Lucky Cats, guess your name says something about where your heart is. Thanks for your comments.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 5 years ago from the short journey

Lovely hub! People who've never had a sweet cat for a pet can't understand how wonderful they can be. I'm glad you have had your little friends. The photos are precious.

A favorite maple in our backyard died last year, but now, it is our cat's throne. She is the queen, so we decided to leave the stump tall so she could rule. Just a bit ago I walked outside in our lovely weather and there she sat, serene and regal. She's a wonderful garden buddy. She is getting older now, but can be delightfully playful, bounding across the yard to greet me and waiting patiently to get a drink from the water hose, poking her nose into my hosta as I do some weeding. Hey...this is your hub about your cats. I better quit! :)


tony0724 profile image

tony0724 5 years ago from san diego calif

Pamela when I was a kid me and my sisters used to feed every stray cat in the neighborhood and then all of a sudden we had new residents. Drove Ma crazy ! But inspite of herself she took a liking to a couple of them too. And the strays stayed outside and we had a couple of indoor cats too. Plus a dog. I like animals , what can I say ? But the moral of the story is cats are great pets and I don't drive Ma as crazy now being a full grown adult for the most part now.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

RTolloni, Thank you for sharing your experience. Your cat sounds precious. Thanks.

Tony, When I was young both my parents worked and we were never allowed to have pets until I got a canary from my friends for my 16th birthday. As an adult I have almost always had cats and dogs as I love animals also. Your mom sounds like a patient woman. Thanks for your comments.


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 5 years ago

Interesting for me to know that calicos and tuxedos are not breeds. I've never had cats, only dogs and my cat info is quite skewed from too much Dr. Seuss 'The Cat in the Hat.' Your cats are all adorable, especially rooftop callegirl.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Bail up, I appreciate your comments.


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago

Oscar looks cute and I'm glad you've found some joy after what happened. I love cats more than dogs (sorry, dog lovers). Thanks for sharing and rating it up.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States Author

Anginwu, Thanks so much for your comments.

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