Fun (Non-Political) Article Prompt WC: 1142
I have had numerous cats in my seventy years on Earth. Of those cats, twelve of them convinced me that cats, contrary to popular opinion, are the ones who owned me rather than me owning them. Indeed, sometimes I suspect cats evolved on a different planet, and either transported themselves to Earth or were brought here as stowaways on alien interstellar ships in the distant past. The one thing I am convinced about is that cats have been our furry companions, by their choice, for millennia, and they will continue to be our furry companions for billions of years to come.
The first cat that owned me, was a black and white tomcat called Mittens. I do not remember precisely how he came into my life. Perhaps he was given to me by a neighbor or he teleported himself, as a kitten, into my life. He was with me throughout my grade school years. Since he was an unaltered male, he has his harem of queens (unaltered female cats) scattered across our neighborhood. One of those queens, had orange, yellow, and white strips, and lived under our back porch with her black and white kittens. Mittens was a fighter, so no other tomcats ventured into our yard.
Mittens, when he slept in the house, usually slept at the foot of my bed. He would allow my mother or siblings to feed him, but he made it clear that he was my cat. He did this by jumping on my lap when I was watching television, or laying on my homework when I was doing that. I do not know what happened to him, because one day he just disappeared from my life. I missed him because his purr was comforting. I like to think he decided to take a stroll across the rainbow bridge without going to the trouble of leaving his body behind. However, it is possible he died under the house or that my mother found his body and decided to just bury him in the backyard without telling me. Mother's do tend to be a bit over protective of their children sometimes.
The next cat that made an impression on me was Jay, an altered Siamese male, who owned my maternal grandmother. Jay was abandoned by an acquittance of Grandma Mary's, who summered at the same recreational lake as my grandparents. Somehow, Jay convinced Grandma to feed him when they were at The Lake (I don't remember the actual name because we always called it The Lake) on weekends. At the end of summer, he jumped into a cardboard box and let my grandparents take him back to Blackwell for the winter. He remained in my grandparents' house for the rest of his life.
Jay is the first cat that I ever encountered who liked playing with dogs. Actually, it was just one dog that Jay played with. One of Grandma Mary's neighbors had a boarder collie named Pal. Pal had a bit of a reputation for killing cats, actually it was only one woman's cats that he stalked. Pal could not stand Mrs. Cs cats, and, whenever he got a chance, he would catch them and send them to the rainbow bridge. Of course, Mrs. Cs cats weren't very bright because they tended to steal baby skunks from their mothers, but that's a whole different story.
Anyway, as I was writing, Jay liked to play with Pal. They would chase each other through the yard and play wrestle like a couple of little boys. Another thing Jay liked to do was to take catnaps in my grandparents' chicken house. During the heat of the day, he would go inside hen house--Grandpa Frank built for the chickens--curl up in one of the nests, and go to sleep. Neither the hens nor the rooster ever bothered Jay, who had his own private nest. All the time Jay slept in the hen house, Grandma never lost any eggs to Mrs. Cs egg sucking cats.
The next ten cats that acquired ownership of me, came into our lives in Las Vegas. The first two were DC (Darn Cat or Damn Cat) and Vashtie. These were family cats, who came to me from my brother, Frank, and his second wife, Maria. Vashtie, who was born Bashti, actually changed names when she became my owner. DC took up ownership of my mother, which was good because I'm not sure Mom could have dealt with Vashtie jumping from the top of the refrigerator onto her shoulders. It wasn't scary during the daylight hours, but a cat jumping on your shoulders when you go into the kitchen for a midnight snack is frightening, and a little disorienting.
The next two cats to become my owner were Baloo (Granny Cat) and Rust (Mama Cat). They came from my sister to stay with us for a little while, but it became permanent when Rusty gave birth to six kittens, four males and two females. The kitten, in order of size, were Midnight, Prince, Beauty, Spot, Lion, and Troubles. At the same time these cats owned us, we also had a Springer spaniel named Specs. The weird thing about this was the relationship between Rusty and Specs. Rusty would not allow Baloo, her own mother, near the kittens, but she would let Specs baby sit the kittens and clean them.
These last ten cats taught me a lot about myself, and one of them convinced me that cats have the ability to teleport themselves wherever they want. Since I made sure they were all appropriately altered, they usually did not teleport themselves outside the house. The exception was Vashtie, even though she could not reproduce, she hated having a female cat in heat or season (whatever you call the time in cats when they can conceive) in her yard. Every time one of the neighbors' unaltered females came into the yard, I would have to go outside and attempt to separate fighting cats.
I used a spray water bottle to separate them. It probably was not the kindest way, but it was the safest way. The neighbors' cat would go off in a huff, as if the most insulting and dangerous thing to happen to her was getting wet. Vashtie would go back into the house and not speak or purr to me for the rest of the day. The anger did not stop her from letting me feed her, but she would not get on my lap or lay next to me on the couch. When Mom came home from work the cat would snuggle up to her.
I miss being owned by cats. Unfortunately, with my physical problems it is difficult to change the litter. Since I cannot afford to pay someone to do that, I have to forgo the pleasure of being owned by a cat.