I thoroughly enjoy finding out what National Day it is. It is a simple joy. It doesn’t involve some brain-wracking, thought-provoking analysis. It’s just another thing I can add to my bottomless pit of useless knowledge. These little tidbits of useless information act as conversation starters and can apparently work as inspiration for blog posts 😛 ! Today is National Hug your Cat Day.
From the time I was 6, I’ve always had a cat. Not to mention growing up on a farm, there was a never-ending clowder of them. People always assumed that since we had a barn, that we must clearly need cats. From the time I got my first cat to the time I moved out of my family’s home, we must have housed, fixed or spayed, and loved 10+ cats. Not all of them were inside cats, most stayed outside, but there were a few that really stick out in my mind.
- Todd. Named after the Fox and the Hound movie, this was the very first cat we had. We got him as a kitten and he was a beautiful black long-haired cat. He was an indoor cat and some of my favourite memories are of him biting onto the butt part of my baby sister’s diaper and letting his legs go as she crawled as fast as she could to my parents. He would also clasp onto her head, blinding her with his fur as she crawled. He never hurt her, but he loved using her as a transportation device. He was definitely attached to my mom, and living in a farm-house, he was looking for ways to prove his worth. We always had bats in the house (oh the joys of living in an old farm-house) and my mother HATED them. Despite being declawed, he would pounce through the air, catch the bat in mid-flight, bite its wings off and leave the still alive winged rat next to my mother, who was squealing helplessly under the blanket. He would step on it to make it squeak.
- Garfield. A beautiful orange tabby, he has been our longest living cat. We’ve had him for almost 20 years, and he is an outdoor cat and I don’t think he would have had it any other way. I have seen him literally carry moles from the field to give to our dog and other younger cat, then go back and bring himself a rabbit, the full length of him, and the three would eat together. He was the hunter and provider for our ever-growing domesticated brood. At my sister’s bridal shower, despite being injured from another animal, he brought my sister a rat as a gift and set it down in front of her gifts and guests. My sister was grossed out and flattered at the same time. He is getting older now and my dad built him what he calls a “Cat Condo” which he currently shares with his protege Sparky. His beautiful orange colour is going white and when he finally does go, it will be one of the most heart-wrenching days our family has ever gone into. 20 years is a very long time to be a part of a family.
- Emma. She was my kitty. I found her when she was just a kitten. Someone had come onto our property during the night and had placed her inside the woodbox in our screened in porch. I was going outside to feed our pets when I heard the faintest meow behind me. When I saw her I was in love. I picked her up and tiptoed back inside. My dad was sleeping on the couch and I knew if I showed her to my sisters first, there was no way he would make us get rid of her. However, as I was sneaking by, he opened his eyes and barked “What’s that?” My sister’s came down when they heard that and my response to him was “But look Daddy, it’s a kitty!” My sisters started cooing and my dad knew it was over.
- We’ve had other cats and while their memories do not stick in my mind as vividly as the three mentioned above, they still deserve an honourable mention. Kitty, Ronan, Spike & Ike (pure white twin brothers, my mother said white cats were bad luck so they were outside cats), Clarice and Sparky.
Aside from my birds, I have never bought any animal from a pet store. All my dogs and cats have been rescued or taken from an unwanted litter. Our current cat Remi was a rescue. The Princess loves cats and had kept asking us for one. Hubby had cats as well growing up and our search for a cat began. I went to a nearby shelter, and despite finding cats that I truly wanted to adopt, the woman who ran it was our deciding factor in not going for those cats. She specifically asked for a one on one interview with the Princess, who was only 2 at the time. She said she needed to be sure she wouldn’t torture the cats. Lady, she’s a toddler, not a serial killer. But after searching on Kijiji, we found Remi. Now, coincidence or not, I always wanted a pet named Remi. Can’t tell you the rhyme or reason, but I just liked the name. So when I found his picture and saw what his name was, I immediately called the Cat Rescue. We set up an appointment and by the end of the visit, Remi was purring and glad to be coming home. He had been abandoned and left outside with no home for a year. It took only 5 minutes of being at our home before he made it his own. Our birds and him have a mutual understanding. They provide him with hours of entertainment, and they taunt him mercifully, knowing they are safe in their cage. It’s like watching Sylvester and Tweety, but in real life. He is a cuddler, especially with Hubby, and while he doesn’t always play with the Princess and chases her around instead, he always sleeps at the foot of her bed or in the windowsill in her room. I’m very glad we have made Remi a member of our family! So hug your furry little joy today!