WHEN I BECAME A CAT LOVER
I did not grow up with cats in my life. We had one dog named Duke my entire childhood (into adulthood). My Mom and sister found him one day just before Christmas in between the glass doors at the local S. S. Kresge’s store. He was a tiny puppy, way too small to be away from his mother. Yet someone left a litter of puppies there on this cold winter day knowing that they would find good homes. Duke was a wonderful Christmas present that year and my family gave him a great home for over 17 years. The only other pets we had were a canary, parakeet, and goldfish. I also remember having a duck? Yeah, we had a duck in our basement. Why? I really don’t remember much about the duck except my parents won him or something. I wonder what ever happened to that duck.
So, as I said earlier, I did not grow up with cats in my life. When I was around 19 years old and moved out of my parent’s home, I lived in a townhouse with a couple roommates. I remember one of my roommates brought two kittens into our home. I’m kind of surprised that I still remember their names: SweetPea and Nelson. And I do remember not being very fond of them. I was not used to cats. I was kind of afraid of them. I felt like anytime they were near me, they were going to scratch, bite and hiss at me.
During this time, I was a typical young adult ;) You know, I went to work like a good girl and then came home, changed my clothes and left again to meet my friends at the bar. So I never had the chance to bond with SweetPea and Nelson. I wonder what ever happened to them.
FAST FORWARD 20 YEARS . . .
I now have a dog of my own, a toy poodle, the love of my life named Buttons. And I still really never had cats in my life and it was not a priority to start now.
One day my partner walked in with a kitten, a very sick kitten. She couldn’t see from an eye infection. She couldn’t hear from an ear infection. She was having a difficult time breathing. She was underweight and covered in fleas. I didn’t want this thing in my house. “Get her out of here.” Honestly, I could describe myself as an animal lover, but that really didn’t include cats.
I lost that battle and we started caring for this kitten. Yes, I helped too. We got Clavamox from our Veterinarian. We picked up kitten food, flea dip, litter and a box from the store. We cleaned her eyes and ears and gave her several baths. She was coming back to life. We were giving her a second chance. It truly was exciting to watch her progress.
Just a couple days later while I was at work, I sent out a bunch of emails to people who I thought would like a new kitten. I took pictures of her and put signs up at work. FREE KITTEN TO A GOOD HOME. But at the end of the work day, I found myself hurrying to get home to see her. I made her a little toy out of yarn and a bell. And I started to call her E.T. She looked like E.T. I held her like a baby and talked to her. I whispered “I promise, no one will ever let you get that sick again.” I made little beds for her all over the house. What was happening to me?
The next day at work I received some email responses “sorry, she’s adorable but we just can’t add another animal at this time.” “My son is allergic, sorry.” “If you are looking for a place to take her, here is a list of no kill shelters. Good luck.” Wow, no takers yet to my surprise. I was sort of relieved and again rushed home that evening to see little E.T. When I arrived, there was a voice message on my machine. It was from a friend named Terri. “Hey, I saw your email about the kitten. We’ve been thinking about adding another kitten so Tasha has a friend to play with. When can I stop over with the kids?” Oh my gosh. My heart began to pound. Someone wants to take E.T.
I avoided calling Terri back right away. When my partner got home, I was found sitting curled up on the window seat with E.T. “Sharyn, you are really getting attached to her, aren’t cha?”
I turned into a little girl, shrugged my shoulders, and puckered my lips “yup, I, uh, I tink so.” At this point, there was no turning back. I was falling in love with E.T. I called Terri and told her the news. I sent out an email letting everyone know that E.T. found a new home.
Less than one week later, our kitten was really changing. She wasn’t looking like E.T. so much anymore. So we discussed changing her name. Let’s face it, E.T. really isn’t all that attractive. At this point to me, my new kitten was the cutest in the whole wide world.
Changing her name became a serious decision for me. We were now talking about MY little girl. After literally writing name ideas down on a piece of paper and chatting about it for a long time, our E.T. became our little Punkin. I like to call her Punkinbutt. I love my Punkinbutt. I became a cat lover the day Punkin came into my life.
A lot has changed since then. We now have three cats: Punkin, Peanut and Momma Kitty.
I look forward to writing about the days my other girls came into my life. And Momma Kitty’s story – well there is a reason she is called “Momma.” Gosh do I love cats!
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See my new article MOMMA KITTY: A Story For Cat Lovers