As I have mentioned before, I have two cats. I love my kitties. At 25, I am already a certified Old Cat Lady. As much as I love my two girls, however, they are both very different and do not love each other.
This is Jazzle. She’s been a pet since before she was born. Her mother, our dearly departed Basil, was abandoned at our veterinarian’s office by her former owners. Around that time, she knew my mother was in the market for a new cat, so she called her up to see if she wanted to stop by and see these other two cats that she had. Mom wasn’t interested in them, but as she was leaving, she noticed Basil reaching her paw out through her cage to her.
“What’s her story?” my mom asked.
The vet proceeded to tell her that she was a young cat, no older than a year or two, and that she had been left there. She was also expecting a litter of kittens.
My mom knew instantly that she wanted Basil. She also knew that, at age five, I had never been around a kitten. Both of our other cats had been old when I was born. So she told the vet to call us when the kittens were born and we’d come pick one out. We actually ended up with two kittens. My grandmother came along and decided she just had to have the little orange kitten. We named him Rusty. I, however, had my heart set on a baby girl kitten, and as it turned out, there was only one. A tiny little blue tortie, the runt of the litter. I immediately claimed her as mine and christened her Jasmine after Princess Jasmine in Aladdin. Over the years her name has evolved from Jasmine to Baby Jaz to Jazzie and finally, to Jazzle thanks to Sheldon and his beloved Zazzle on The Big Bang Theory.
Jazzle is now nineteen years old, so we basically do everything we can to keep her happy. This includes feeding her whatever she wants and giving her glasses of ice water to drink.
Case in point.
Since she has been a pet all of her life, Jazzle is a pretty happy, unspoiled little kitty. She sleeps, she eats, she gets brushed, and then she sleeps some more.
Midnight, however, has not always been a pet. I don’t know her story before she showed up in our backyard one fall evening. All we know is that she had been fixed, so it’s safe to assume that at one point she was a pet or going to be one, and she didn’t have any diseases when we adopted her, so she’d probably been vaccinated before. However, when she found us, she was underfed and terrified of humans. She didn’t let me pet her until about a year and a half later.
This is Midnight. Yes, she is missing a leg. And yes, my dad calls her “Tripod.” And “Wobbles.” And “Tub.” But that’s because he thinks she’s fat, not because she has three legs.
I’m not sure what Midnight expected when she first came to live with us, but I don’t think she was expecting there to be so much she had to put up with.
For example, I don’t let her drink dirty water from where the ceiling leaks. She is forced to drink out of the clean, sterling silver bowl that we put down for her.
Then we don’t let her play with electric wires or get behind the washing machine even though every time she tries, she gets stuck and realizes that she hates it and she gets dirt and dust all over her meticulously clean fur.
Occasionally, she also has to share her chair. She doesn’t like this at all.
Then, of course, we let other people into the house sometime and she doesn’t approve of that either. The last time that happened, we locked her up in my room, much to her dismay, and she decided to punish me by refusing to take her pills for about three hours.
Then there’s the vet. Whenever my mom or I have the audacity to take her to the vet, we hear about it. For the rest of the day. And then, of course, she refuses to take her pills, probably because she knows they came from the vet.
The latest egregious sin we have committed involved leaving her alone overnight and allowing my friend to come in and feed her and try to give her pills at 7 when she is accustomed to taking them at 8:30. That’s pretty much a triple whammy for her. She doesn’t like being left alone unless she’s trying to sleep, she doesn’t like other people, and she really doesn’t like not being on her schedule. She flat out refused to take the pills and she didn’t eat a darn thing that my friend left for her, opting instead to devour the entire bowl full of dry food that we had put down before we left.
But at least we had fun on our trip. And she’s happy that we’re back. And maybe, just maybe, she’ll forgive me by the time 8:30 rolls around.