I call the lady who rescued me from a blizzard 13 years ago, "Mom." She isn't my biological mother, of course. But since I don't remember my bio-mom, and my rescuer doesn't have human children, we came to an agreement way back on that cold day in January. She would be my mom and take care of me forever, and in return, I'd help her write books, and keep her company when she travels, and devote my 9 Lives to being by her side, through thick and thin.
Maybe I should have looked at the fine print in our contract.
Maybe I should have hired a lawyer to draw up a contract! (Is it too late?)
I didn't realize at the time, way back on that cold January day, that the lady I let rescue me was a Cat Magnet. I don't think Webster has come up yet with a definition, but my definition of Cat Magnet means, my mom can walk outside and a stray cat will be there -- right there! -- waiting for her to feed him, and name him, and take him to the doctor for...you know...doctoring. And then...she usually keeps him. *Sigh!* She's pretty much run out of peoples who don't already have a bunch of cats to ask if they want to adopt her newest stray.
Lately, my mom stinks like a tomcat. You'd think I'd be used to it by now. She's adopted countless cats over the past 13 years, and while she hasn't kept them all; some she's actually found homes for, the others who have stayed have sunk their claws into her heart. Which breaks mine. Because there is only so much of her to go around. And when a new cat shows up, all needy and wonky from Life on the Road, that's less time she will have for me.
There are 7 of us living inside: Me, Opie, Peaches and her son, Jack, and her granddaughter Gidget, and Chauncie Marie and Adorapurr aka Dori.
And there are 3 panfur cats living in our fenced yard: Jesse is Peaches' son, Jack's brother and Gidget's dad. Nikolas is Dori's daddy. Feral Charlie has been around for 3 years, but he knows what a live trap is, and so far has eluded entrapment.
That's 10, not counting the raccoons Mom cares for, who are currently making more raccoons.
Every single one of us cats has had a prior life on the streets. We've known hunger. We've been scared. We've had injuries, and sickness. None of us came to Mom 100% clean. She rescued all of us, and so many more, out of her own pocket, and out of her own time.
Time better spent on me.
I'm just saying.
I'm sure you might have read about her trying to capture Joshua, the sick orange kitty who found his way to our yard, but like Charlie, had confinement issues. He had a runny nose, crusty eyes, couldn't breathe! So of course he couldn't smell food inside the trap, nor could he smell food on a clean plate right under his nose. It took him watching Mom use a broom to battle back another tomcat who wanted to beat the stuffing out of Josh, for Josh to realize maybe she wasn't his enemy. After the broom incident, Josh let her approach to feed him. She talked baby talk to him, and eventually he came to her for petting. She wanted to get him to the doctor, he needed it desperately. He was so thin, dehydrated!
But it wasn't to be. He got scared, and then returned to the woods behind our house, avoiding Mom except for after dark when he would come to the porch and she would feed him and love him. And try to capture him. She got a lot of scratches from him being scared. Finally, she got a drug from the doctor and was able to pick him up and cage him. But it wasn't to be. Joshua had leukemia. He is now OTRB, may he rest in peace. But at least he knew someone cared at the very end. Joshua would have joined my Mom's cat club, if he had lived. There's no doubt about that, cuz I overheard her telling him he'd have a home when he returned from the doctor.
Remember that tomcat she had to sweep back to keep him from beating the stuffing out of Josh?
That's Frank. He showed up about the same time as Josh, in early spring, acting tough, showing off his man cat pride with tail held high. Jesse and Nikolas never really bonded, but now, because of their mutual dislike of Frank, they're pretty chummy.
Mom and Dad like Frank. A lot. He's a 13-1/2 pound tabby, all muscle, with a tiny bite out of his one ear. Dad sez he's a dog-cat. He comes when he's called. He supervises Dad doing yard work. He wants to come inside the house to hang out with my mom. But... thank cat! Frank won't be allowed inside the house. Unlike that old teevee show from the 70s, 7 is Enough!
Frank has claimed the garage for his turf. He's been set up with a bed, a kitchenette, a fan and toys. Mom cracks open the door so he can come and go. She's also encouraged him to hang out in the raccoon yard because its been so hot here and she doesn't want him to get heat stroke.
Some of you might know that I've recently taken up pawtography. So, I decided to rise above my deepest desire to rip him to shreds, and asked Frank to sit for his Official Adoption Portrait. My wonderpurr talent has made him look better than he really is.