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Life according to Malibu our calico cat

Updated on October 10, 2013

Life according to Malibu our calico cat

This is a tribute to Malibu, our calico cat who gave us the best 13 1/2 years of our lives. Mali passed away on March 13, 2013. She had added structure to our daily lives, trained us, and adopted us. Sadness turned to gladness after we realized that Mali was a little gift from God.

In this article, "Mali" tells her story about her fruitful life after being picked up as an abandoned kitten from a parking lot in April of 2000. See the world through the eyes and words of Mali, our calico cat, who may have left the world but never left our hearts.

The photos were selected and posted in a chronological order. These reflect what I remembered best about Mali, the cat that took over our lives.

All photos were taken by Bakerwoman (that's me)

Here I am at 6 months old. Someone abandoned me in a parking lot so the right person can adopt me. - My humans named me Malibu

Photo taken by Bakerwoman on Apr.8, 2000

In time, my name Malibu was shortened to Mali, because two-syllable names are so much easier to say, and usually pronounced in a musical high-pitched voice. It does not matter what my name is. They say cats do not come when they are called anyway unless it is time for dindin. This is so true.

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That's me looking like a diva lounging on a camel saddle bag from the flea market - Like a true feline, I gravitate towards sunlight.

Photo was taken by Bakerwoman on Jan.1, 2002

This is a hand-me-down camel saddle bag in the sunroom that the previous resident cat used to lounge on. I'm not proud. It is mine now. This is where I nap most of the afternoon to catch some rays. My momma finally bought a powerful vacuum cleaner to help remove all the cat hair I always leave behind.

Handwoven tribal nomad camel/horse saddle bags - Use as wallhanging, rug, cushion for yourself or a pet.

I stuffed the two large pockets of the saddle bags with square pillows so this can make a comfortable sitting area on the floor. Or fold it in half over a rod and use both pockets to stash away essentials.

Cat loungers and beds to pamper your pet - Yes, cats spend a great portion of the day napping than sleeping

Who says cats and water don't mix? - I'm not afraid to get my fur wet. Just like a tiger.

Photo taken by Bakerwoman Oct. 12, 2003

I tried to turn on the faucet myself by biting on the handle. I have seen my Momma turn on the water. Now she is not too happy that I scratched up the faucet handle with teeth marks. You see, I love to play with water and I do not mind water dribbling all over me. Is that strange for a cat or what.

I have added structure to the daily life of my momma

Cats provide sensory stress relief too

I have a routine of dry food on demand, clean water in two locations, and a quarter can of ground wet food in the evening. What is this ground food business? Well, if the truth must be told. I have never learned to eat sliced or chunky food. I know, what you are thinking. I am such a big baby. Yup, I eat only ground salmon, white fish, or chicken.

I have a calming effect on my owners. Humans have a basic need to touch. The stroking, holding and cuddling calms and reduces anxiety. That is what a long-haired cat is for.

And then there is cat hair all over the clothes and furniture. But that is another story and we won't talk about that.

Photo was taken by Bakerwoman on Oct. 16, 2004

Pet hair magnets and remover for upholstery and clothes - Long-haired pet owners need one of these to save your sanity

Four Paws Magic Coat Pet Hair Remover
Four Paws Magic Coat Pet Hair Remover

Nothing to refill, easy to use, and simply give a rinse once in a while.

 

Do you like my matching purse? - My human put something grassy inside called catnip that keeps me sedated.

Photo was taken by Bakerwoman on March 2005

Like a typical finicky cat, I traded this ratty stuffed mouse for a new model ---a pink one. Of course, I have other stuffed mice--- a green one, orange one, and fuzzy ones. But my fav of all time is the pink mouse. I bring the pink mouse to the hallway and loudly announce to my humans that I brought them a gift. It works like a charm. They love me even more.

Cats like to be praised and rewarded by their owners.

My favorite pink ratty mouse

My favorite pink ratty mouse
My favorite pink ratty mouse

Cats go wild over catnip. - A happy cat makes a happy owner

KONG Naturals Premium Catnip, 2-Ounce
KONG Naturals Premium Catnip, 2-Ounce

Stuffed a bit of catnip in an old sock and tie one end with a string. Watch your cat pounce on its new toy for hours. Keep you cat active and healthy.

 

Happiness is finding a warm place to nap - Like a pile of fresh laundry

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Oct.29, 2005April 25, 2003 The top of the sideboard is great for birdwatching too. But I am glad I am inside right now. Those Western scrub jays are nasty birds.March 4, 2006 Catching a ray of sunshine is my share of vitamin D.Sept. 31, 2005 I love to play with these rattan slats. I can see right through them.Feb. 12, 2012 My favorite backyard bench is all mine.June 21 2003 A good stretch keeps me nimble and lithe.
Oct.29, 2005
Oct.29, 2005
April 25, 2003 The top of the sideboard is great for birdwatching too. But I am glad I am inside right now. Those Western scrub jays are nasty birds.
April 25, 2003 The top of the sideboard is great for birdwatching too. But I am glad I am inside right now. Those Western scrub jays are nasty birds.
March 4, 2006 Catching a ray of sunshine is my share of vitamin D.
March 4, 2006 Catching a ray of sunshine is my share of vitamin D.
Sept. 31, 2005 I love to play with these rattan slats. I can see right through them.
Sept. 31, 2005 I love to play with these rattan slats. I can see right through them.
Feb. 12, 2012 My favorite backyard bench is all mine.
Feb. 12, 2012 My favorite backyard bench is all mine.
June 21 2003 A good stretch keeps me nimble and lithe.
June 21 2003 A good stretch keeps me nimble and lithe.

Just love this laptop that blows hot air on my behind - That cat clock meows every hour. It is really annoying.

Photo taken by Bakerwoman 2005

In the winter, I love to hop on momma's desk and relax next to her laptop. I like the air blowing out on the side. Nice. Keeps my buns warm.

My momma painted that cat picture on the wall. I've been told it sort of looks like me but has a different color. The painting was dated May 1999. That was about the time I was born. Except my momma never knew I existed until April of 2000. It must have been my destiny to come home here.

A loving pet is your guardian angel - Wonderful gift for the calico cat lover

Calico Cat Ornament Tiny Angel Calico Cat Figurine
Calico Cat Ornament Tiny Angel Calico Cat Figurine

Hang this angelic kitty ornament on your Christmas tree or display in your curio shelf. This one simply reminds me of our loving calico cat that flew to Rainbow Bridge recently.

 

I've been told I have a cute derriere. - But isn't this taking it a bit too far.

Photo was taken by Bakerwoman on March 5, 2006

My human painted me on the powder room wall so there is something to look at when you're seated. Most folks leave the restroom smiling and amused and not because they have just relieved themselves. They think my Mali mural is such a cute idea. Of course, my momma gets all the compliments.

Cats are hunters by instinct

I don't mind supervised outdoor fun in the garden - I am an explorer by nature and is constantly on the hunt

Click thumbnail to view full-size
2007- This is what I call living. Soon I will be chasing some dragonfly or pouncing on a lizard. Although it is just all in pretense. I would never hurt a living creature, except when it a spider.There are lizard hiding in this yellow marguerite bush. I also love to sniff the flowers.I am just having too much fun and not ready to come inside when my momma calls. I am usually caught between a rock and a hard place.3-4-2006 I bet I can climb this crepe myrtle tree faster than you think.An old gnarly tree trunk is great for filing my nails.
2007- This is what I call living. Soon I will be chasing some dragonfly or pouncing on a lizard. Although it is just all in pretense. I would never hurt a living creature, except when it a spider.
2007- This is what I call living. Soon I will be chasing some dragonfly or pouncing on a lizard. Although it is just all in pretense. I would never hurt a living creature, except when it a spider.
There are lizard hiding in this yellow marguerite bush. I also love to sniff the flowers.
There are lizard hiding in this yellow marguerite bush. I also love to sniff the flowers.
I am just having too much fun and not ready to come inside when my momma calls. I am usually caught between a rock and a hard place.
I am just having too much fun and not ready to come inside when my momma calls. I am usually caught between a rock and a hard place.
3-4-2006 I bet I can climb this crepe myrtle tree faster than you think.
3-4-2006 I bet I can climb this crepe myrtle tree faster than you think.
An old gnarly tree trunk is great for filing my nails.
An old gnarly tree trunk is great for filing my nails.

Cats can tolerate heat very well just like their desert-loving ancestors.

My bestfriend lives on the backyard deck - He is the first one I greet when I go outside.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Sept 25, 2008 A good friend never feels ignored when you want to soak in some sunshine.A good friend enjoys your company without having to say a word.A good friend lets you use him as a pillow even if you are heavier than him.A bestfriend who is always there for me deserves a kiss.Stoneface cat  is a boot brush garden shoe cleaner with a bristly back. My humans are supposed to clean their muddy shoes on it, but they never do.
Sept 25, 2008 A good friend never feels ignored when you want to soak in some sunshine.
Sept 25, 2008 A good friend never feels ignored when you want to soak in some sunshine.
A good friend enjoys your company without having to say a word.
A good friend enjoys your company without having to say a word.
A good friend lets you use him as a pillow even if you are heavier than him.
A good friend lets you use him as a pillow even if you are heavier than him.
A bestfriend who is always there for me deserves a kiss.
A bestfriend who is always there for me deserves a kiss.
Stoneface cat  is a boot brush garden shoe cleaner with a bristly back. My humans are supposed to clean their muddy shoes on it, but they never do.
Stoneface cat is a boot brush garden shoe cleaner with a bristly back. My humans are supposed to clean their muddy shoes on it, but they never do.

Coco doormats are one of my favorite back scratchers - Some strange critter has left footprints on my favorite welcome mat

Photo was taken by Bakerwoman on July 8, 2008

Oh drats. I hope it is not that nasty raccoon again. Being an indoor cat keeps me safe from these critters that occasionally lurk in the backyard garden. I must admit I'm just a scaredy cat.

Natural Coco doormats are eco-friendly and welcoming - And printed with vibrant and attractive designs

Kempf Wipe Your Paws Coco Doormat, Rubber Backed, 18 by 30 by 0.5-Inch
Kempf Wipe Your Paws Coco Doormat, Rubber Backed, 18 by 30 by 0.5-Inch

Whimsical welcome mat with paw print will make your guests pause and smile.

 

That's me looking grumpy with my momma in 2009. Cats just do not know how to "say cheese."

That's me looking grumpy with my momma in 2009. Cats just do not know how to "say cheese."
That's me looking grumpy with my momma in 2009. Cats just do not know how to "say cheese."

Cats do not keep still for a photoshoot

Only dogs wear clothes - I might be pretty in pink, but I am awesome in my own fur coat

Photo was taken by Bakerwoman on March 9, 2010

When my humans makes me wear girlie clothes, I would freeze -- like being stuck to one spot on the floor. I made it known I am not a fashionista and would prefer to be naked. Except this pinafore is hard to wriggle out of.

Let kitty be queen for the day - Although kitty looks more like Liberace in this outfit

Get a load of the grumpy face.

Pet Costume - Queen Dog or Cat Costume Large Dog
Pet Costume - Queen Dog or Cat Costume Large Dog

Luxurious red cape with faux fur and hood will stop traffic and turn heads anytime. Costume comes with crown to make it known who is really queen of the house. Comes in small, medium, large sizes.

 

Who says cats cannot be trained to walk on a leash? - I compromised and agreed to walk on a leash for 5 minutes.

Photo was taken by Bakerwoman on Mar 13, 2010

You see, I know how to get on my Momma's good side. So, I learned how to lead the way. Sometimes Momma cannot keep up with me.

Cats are also expert contortionists. You should see me wriggle out of this harness faster than Harry Houdini can. I really hate being restrained by a harness.

Adjustable cat harness and leash sets - Train your cat to take a walk with you

Cats bathe themselves by licking their fur - I like keeping cool in here.

Photo taken by Bakerwoman on March 25, 2010

Being a creature of habit, I still love to get into the washbasin whether it is wet or not. Turn on the tap please.

I get to sit in high places in the backyard deck - I don't get my snowshoe paws muddy here

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Up high on the catwalk, I can see everything that is going on down below.An umbrella comes in handy against the hot summer rays.Is it time for a siesta yet?I like to pretend that I can walk sideways on these rails.The red crepe myrtle sure look pretty.
Up high on the catwalk, I can see everything that is going on down below.
Up high on the catwalk, I can see everything that is going on down below.
An umbrella comes in handy against the hot summer rays.
An umbrella comes in handy against the hot summer rays.
Is it time for a siesta yet?
Is it time for a siesta yet?
I like to pretend that I can walk sideways on these rails.
I like to pretend that I can walk sideways on these rails.
The red crepe myrtle sure look pretty.
The red crepe myrtle sure look pretty.

I enjoy deadheading the jade plant - See the dried up leaf behind me?

Photo taken by Bakerwoman on April 29, 2012

There is a story as to why the jade plant ended up outside in the porch. This was so I do not kill the plant with my cat antics. I used to collect the dried leaves and offer them as presents to my humans. I would bring my offerings in front of their masterbedroom door. You see the surprised look on their faces.

I don't like holidays because I have to dress the part. - This bib makes me look like a clown.

Photo taken by Bakerwoman on Dec. 25, 2012

It was Christmas Day and the usual crowd of friends were over for our long-drawn dinner.

I look upset because I got caught stealing a piece of ham on the kitchen counter. I did not use to climb on tables and counters. I seem to be so hungry all the time lately. Those appetizer plates of ham, smoked salmon, cheeses and whatnot did not help. Then I got caught again getting on the dining table sniffing the red tablecloth. My momma put this harlequin bib on me to punish me, I think.

Do I look like a grumpy cat?

The vet says I am a senior

Does that mean I should get more respect, or I am just an old cat.

Going to the vet is no excursion. - I am always hungry but kept on losing weight

Photo taken by Bakerwoman on Jan. 19, 2013

The vet said that I had tapeworms. Those tiny critters inside me were eating up all the nutrients I needed to be healthy. So I got two separate shots at two week intervals to get rid of the tapeworms. But I continued to ask for food and am always thirsty. Then I started to vomit and have loose bowels. Off to the vet I go again for more tests-- blood test, fecal test, urinalysis which all came up negative for diabetes, kidney stones, and tapeworms. Then came the X-ray results. It shows a blurry mass inside my intestines. The vet thinks it is lymphoma and only an ultrasound can confirm this suspicion. It is a form of malignant cancer. Older cats typically get it. Lymphoma causes the lining of my intestines to thicken too. But there is really no cure for lymphoma and we already spent so much money.

We resorted to cortesteroids and antibiotics for 3 weeks in February and the vomitting and diarrhea stopped. Momma was hopeful. After the medicines were used up, I got really sick again, throwing up and refusing to use the litterbox because it was difficult for me to get in and out and to squat on the feline pine litter. So I used a corner of the living room to do my business because I the soft carpet was easy on my behind. My poor momma had to do the dirty job of cleaning up and steam cleaning the living room.

Pet carriers come in all styles and sizes - There is one for your pet

Petmate Lifestyle Cab Sm Lady Pink/Dk Pink S
Petmate Lifestyle Cab Sm Lady Pink/Dk Pink S

Pretty in pink is perfect for Fluffy whether it is a cat or small dog.

 
Petnation Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home, 16-Inch, for Pets up to 10 Pounds
Petnation Indoor/Outdoor Pet Home, 16-Inch, for Pets up to 10 Pounds

This versatile pet home is like taking your pet camping in its own tent. Made of water-resistant material, this Port-A-Crate is so easy to keep clean.

Setup is a cinch and folds flat for storing.

 

Frogs and calico cats are lucky symbols for their owners - I love to rub my head on this lucky frog sundial

Photo taken by Bakerwoman on Feb.18, 2013

Momma let me go outside so I can smell the fresh air and visit Stoneface, my bestfriend cat and my favorite frog sundial. I enjoy rubbing my face on it. But I don't like spending too much time out on the deck anymore. I just want to come back inside.

That's me trying to help myself with some taro (ube) ice cream - I got caught red-handed...again

Photo was taken by Bakerwoman on March 2, 2013

I have not been feeling well since the vet suspected I had lymphoma. I started looking for food that I do not normally eat, like ice cream. My weight dipped below 6 pounds from 9 pounds. And I stopped asking to go outside because my defenses are down. I am scared of everything that moves.

Snoozing under the coffee table for the last time - This is a great kitty condo, private and quiet

Photo taken by Bakerwoman on March 11, 2013

There is nothing unusual about me sleeping under my favorite coffee table. It is just that I feel so tired and weak and I have lost interest in eating or drinking. I have become anti-social too. Usually, I would sit on the couch with my humans while they watched tv. Not anymore. I just want to be alone today.

I hid behind the headboard all day and waited for Momma to come home

It was almost time for me to go to "Rainbow Bridge"

Photo taken on March 12, 2013

I hid behind the headboard all day and did not come out to eat, drink or even use the litterbox. The male human in my house could not coax me to come out. He was worried so he called Momma at work.

When Momma came home that evening, I struggled out of the headboard and wobbled my way to the bathroom to greet her with my three loudest meows. I startled Momma but she was so happy to see me. She scooped me up and hugged me and would not let go. She was teary-eyed because she knew I had waited for her to come home so I could say goodbye.

I was so thirsty but I could no longer drink on my own. So momma gave me water through a syringe in my mouth to keep me hydrated. I drank the water as if it was my last time. Right after that I vomitted a massive amount of reddish brown fluid with mucous and froze on the bathroom floor.

All the humans in my home were so grief stricken.

Read the Rainbow Bridge Poem - Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge

On the morning of March 13, 2013 I left for Rainbow Bridge. But I was coming home again that day.

Photo taken on March 13, 2013

Momma woke up at 7 a.m. and picked me up and I groaned and looked at her. She placed me on top of the bathroom mat and wiped my mouth because I had thrown up again that night. I twitched my head and paws a few more times and then I breathed my last.

Momma wrapped me in a baby blanket and took me to Pet's Rest in Colma, California. It was the only pet cemetery that allowed witnessed cremation. Momma wanted to make sure that I was the one coming home with her. She took me home in this pretty handcarved wood keepsake box.

It was a 13 and a half year journey. I am so happy I found the love and care of my humans, especially my Momma.

It was a 13 and a half year journey. I am so happy I found the love and care of my humans, especially my Momma.
It was a 13 and a half year journey. I am so happy I found the love and care of my humans, especially my Momma.

Do you own a pet? - Let me know you stopped by

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    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 3 years ago

      What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful cat. Although a year has gone by now, I'm sure you must still miss her very much. My condolences on your loss - it is never easy to lose a companion animal - but also my congratulations on enjoying so many years with Malibu.

    • jlshernandez profile image
      Author

      jlshernandez 4 years ago

      @SpacePieFace: SpacePieFace, losing a loved pet is like losing a good friend. I appreciate your support.

    • jlshernandez profile image
      Author

      jlshernandez 4 years ago

      @aesta1: Thanks aesta1. I am grateful that I spent some of my happiest years with Malibu.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Ahhh, I did not realize it would end this way...ah well, may Malibu rest in peace.

    • profile image

      SpacePieFace 4 years ago

      Adorable, I'm so sorry for your loss. Nothing makes up for the loss of a loved pet.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Thanks, Jenny for this beautiful tribute of Mali. I compassion you and your family. You have a beautiful story-telling skills. I ended up with tears, as I also remembered my Shih Tzu, Althea, gone March 27, 2012. We thank God for the gift of loving pets

    • jlshernandez profile image
      Author

      jlshernandez 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thanks Susan for visiting. You must seen it on FB.

    • jlshernandez profile image
      Author

      jlshernandez 4 years ago

      @lgOlson: SophieOlson, I appreciate your visit and comments. Enjoy every moment with your 3 cats. They will wonderful footprints in your life.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Oh, Jenny and Jose, I feel your loss. Such a beautiful tribute to Malibu.

    • lgOlson profile image

      L. Olson 4 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Oh, gosh, this had me crying. What a wonderful life together you two had, though! Mali was truly blessed to have you, and you are for having Mali. I am struggling with my 3, who are nearly the end of their lifes journey and always wonder if "this will be the day". A beautiful memorial bakerwoman, thanks.