Cats: A Miracle in Fur
Socks the Mystery Cat
When I was a child, I loved cats. I even had a shirt that pictured Garfield and read "I'm a cat lover!' According to Mom we could not have a cat because we were allergic plus Mom always maintained "I hate cats!"
Well cats don't see it that way. In fact, be careful, how easily they put paw prints across your heart. That happened to me in my mid-twenties.
She Had me at Meow
Socks the Mystery Cat
As with my brother, I didn't move out of my parent's house until I was twenty-seven. As with overprotective parents my mother worried about me. Mom was a woman of great faith and she prayed for something that would give her peace of mind about me moving out.
About this time a beautiful black and white kitty took up residence in the backyard. It soon became apparent to both my mother and I that she was homeless and hungry. Unbeknownst to myself my mom had begun feeding her little dog treats I had for my hamsters. I unbeknownst to her was leaving out saucers of milk. So of course, the kitty took up residence in our yard. There was just something about this cat. She picked us. I remember months before we adopted her seeing her little face peeking through the back door of our home late one night. It scared the daylights out of me at the time but her presence became very familiar. That summer I used to listen for her the same time daily jumping the fence into our yard and walking under the bay window of the study where I would check my e-mail. She was a creature of habit. In the heat of summer she sheltered herself under my Mom's plants that she kept outdoors during the summer. I even started petting her and playing with her. I even bought her a wand toy.
I confessed finally about August that I thought the cat who I had already named Socks because she reminded me of Chelsea Clinton's little cat Socks, was meant to be my cat. My mother agreed and we decided together before she took up permanent residence in the house we would have her checked out by the vet. We tried on one of those hot August days to get her into the car and take her to the vet but she was afraid of the car. My mother and I could not convey her to the car. That evening I purchased a cat carrier and the next day my mother and I struggled to get her into the carrier. We got her to the vet and my Socks got a clean bill of health and that evening we brought her inside. Immediately she used the cat box I had also purchased as a litter box. We were pleased.
I think at one time Socks had a home. I don't know what happened that she lost her original home. In pains me even to this day, that my baby once had to survive on her own without front claws. You see she was declawed in front. She had been neutered. She had no chip in her neck identifying her. I did post some flyers at the local pet stores and online to announce the finding of a black tuxedo cat but no one called or inquired about her. I knew they wouldn't something told me she was mine. She knew it and I knew it. Or rather, from the cat point of view, I was hers.
I think in one of her lives at least she was a temple cat worshiped as a goddess in Egypt. My parents traveled to New Mexico each summer and they bought a clay sun face to hang in our garden. Socks eerily walked around it almost reverently like it was the face of Ra himself. Uncanny things like this is why I started calling her the Mystery Cat. She came to me in great mystery sent to me I think by Bastet herself and I was her chosen human.
Little Angels in Fur
Are they not little angels in fur? Okay, little angels with a frisky, mischievous side. She made me love her even more with her mischief making. I remember, I hung an Indian dream catcher just out of reach of a kitty, or at least what I thought was out of rich of a little kitty cat. Well, I came home each day to find a little bit more of the beautiful feather hanging from the bottom of the dream catcher to be missing. Finally, one day it was down to just a nub. I know I should have scolded her but I couldn't. Partly, I was deeply impressed by her athletic ability to jump so impossibly high.
Another thing she used to do is on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I would take a nap and suddenly from the other room I would hear the most piteous high mew from my Socks. I being the over protective cat mother would get up and run into the other room. "What's the matter, Socks?" and she would be seated in the window calmly watching whatever was outside and she would turn to me as if to say, "Yes, can I help you." She would sometimes do this two and three times during one of my naps. I was slightly annoyed at the time but later I always laughed about it. She could be ornery.
My Favorite Pet
What animal is your favorite pet?
I moved out of the parent's house into my apartment and I took Socks with me. I would take Socks over to Mom and Dad's on the weekend but they missed having Socks during the week so Mom and Dad got their own cat, a kitten they named Boots. The veterinarian's office at the time had an animal shelter in it and they had kittens. They first saw Boots asleep with his brother, a tabby. Well Mom wanted a black and white cat to match my Socks. So, she held Boots and knew he was the one.
The first time I met Boots he was tiny. I could fit him in the palm of my hand. He had the blue eyes of a kitten and had four big paws and a super long tail. Boots also had a super cute sound he made, it was kind of a "Rhow!" He made that sound when he was happy, when he was angry and just because he could. It was so cute. Bless his heart, he was so stupid. He didn't have to be smart though because he was even more spoiled then my Socks. My old bedroom, it became Boots' room. Mom even put his name on the door.
My brother and I teased each other that Boots was the favorite child. He really kind of was. There was a time the three of us: Mike, Boots and me were sitting on the couch together. Well, Boots sat between us and the way he was sitting it was as if to say, "I'm father's favorite!" He walked around the house with his little cat attitude, kind of like, "Who the cat!" It was darling.
Cats as Antidepressants
Now if you are depressed, definitely get mental health care. However, I highly recommend cats as an additional aid to mental healthcare. I have been so depressed at times to be nudged by a little nose or to be head butted. Socks knew when I felt down and did her best to make me feel better. Even if it meant just sitting with me while I was sad. Amazingly, she would make me feel better just having her constant and unconditional love.
My mother died in 2007 and Socks was there for me then too. She would lie beside me snuggling. I wish humans knew to be like cats, just being there for you, no need to say or do anything. It was just the companionship, knowing Socks little precious soul was right there. A little snuggle or head butt and I knew I was not alone.
Kidney Disease in Cats
Socks died of kidney disease. Apparently, according to my veterinarian this is a common cause of death in our little felines. My Socks condition was probably irritated by the time she spent outside homeless plus the heat of that long hot summer did not help. She did not get enough food or water which gave the kidneys undue stress. Plus, we don't know what she ate to survive and their is the possibility she imbibed fluids that where not good for her little body. Antifreeze is one of those chemicals that is potentially deadly for a cat. They may be tempted to drink it and it would effect the kidneys.
We do not know what caused her illness but she gave me hints to its onset. From the time she came to us, Socks had always had a problem with peeing outside the litter box. I took it to be a behavioral problem, maybe due to some sort of nervousness. As she grew older, I noticed it got worse. The sad thing was all that time it was a symptom of kidney disease. The past is finished and I did not know any better. If your cat has trouble with peeing outside the litter box do take him or her to the vet to be tested for kidney disease. The tests are kind of expensive but they are worth it especially if intervention could prolong their precious lives. Never dismiss anything. They can't tell us what is wrong but their behavior and our observation of them is paramount in importance to getting our cats the care they need.
Socks Died in My Arms
For my last Christmas with Socks, she got a laser pointer that she loved to chase. Little did I know while pointing the little red dot and watching her chase it, that a shadow had fallen that within the year would take my little girl from me. In March of the new year, I could tell that Socks was losing weight and after much persuasion from me, my brother finally agreed to go with me to the vet to have Socks checked out. Socks was tested and we discovered she had kidney failure. Though given a medicine that briefly made Socks rally, three months later I held my Socks and about 5pm in the evening on July 3, she died in my arms after I whispered, "I let you go."
Poisonous to Cats
Cats can not metabolize the caffiene
Causes system failure and possible death
again, the caffeine is dangerous
Irritates the tummy but though it makes cats sick it doesn't seem to deter them from eating it.
Socks was cremated and a little varnished wooden box holding her ashes now sits on the mantel next to a box of my Mother's ashes. I was inconsolable after losing my precious mystery cat Socks. My friend from fencing, Holly was worried about me. It was obvious I needed a new companion. So, about two weeks after Socks death, Holly took me to the KC Pet Project, a no kill shelter that was overrun with cats during kitten season.
There she was sleeping in a little ball of fur, a perfect little black kitten with a triangular face and yellow eyes one slightly crossed. I knew she was the one the first time I held her. I held her in my arms and she scratches me with her long claws, not in a mean way but affectionately (she's never figured out I don't have a fur coat like hers). Her name is Salem and considering she is a black cat, a perfect name. My friend Holly helped me pay for her and I was the proud Mother of a eight month old kitten and she was precious!
KC Pet Project
- Kansas City, MO Animal Shelter | KC Pet Project (KCPP™)
Adopt a dog or cat from the Kansas City Pet Project, the city shelter for Kansas City, Missouri. Dogs, cats, puppies, kittens available for adoption in KCMO.
Cute Picture of Boots lying on my Brother
Boots is Getting Old
I am watching Boots these days, slowing down. He hides a lot and keeps more to himself. He still loves to eat but he doesn't eat as much. I think the old boy is getting older. He really is an old curmudgeon, he is lovable but sometimes he thinks I'm fussing at him and he hisses. He gets kind of grumpy.
I have an older cat. It makes me sad, but I know I need to appreciate every moment with him. I think he is in decent health because we take him to the vet twice a year for senior cat visits. I love him just as much today as the first time I laid eyes on his cute little kitten self.