...and I am very happy there.

...and I am very happy there.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The one, two, three, four or more little kittens?

These days we share our home with two lively cats. They are really kittens under a year old, but almost full grown. They are almost too big for the games they play so they are continuously heard banging into the walls as they wrestle on the top bunk or roll together down the hall.

They are a joy to watch and remind us that we need to have a little fun in our daily lives.

These two came to us by a of a woman named Nita who valiantly tried to rescue 19 cats, left behind in upstate NY, when the family moved south. Nita sacrificed her vacation time to capture 16 of the cats and have them spayed or neutered and then feed them until homes could be found. One dairy farmer took three. We took two and several others were adopted to other families. The rest, unfortunately, were placed in a shelter to hopefully find homes for them as Nita didn't want them to live in the barn through the winter. A special lady, that Nita, it took her weeks to catch the cats, call around to get free services, locate homes and nurture them to trust humans.

Our two get along great and are settling into their new home comfortably. We give them full rein of the house and garage so we won't let them outdoors. We live on a busy road and would like to try to keep the cats alive for as long as possible, so indoor cats they will remain. We have had cats in the past that we let out and they learned to stay in the back yard. But they also would bring us treats of mice and snakes, frogs or birds.

We are avid bird watchers and wild life cultivators, and the cats tend to want to destroy our mecca of wildlife through their games and natural instincts, hence another reason to keep them inside.

Neko and Nellie love to watch our birds as well and have been known to clear my desk in an effort share the small space so they can both see out the window. They also love our bay window and even though the tiles are cold they like to sit there and bask in the sun. Now that we have had temps below 0 degrees, they have moved to the blankets on the couch. The view isn't as good, but it is much warmer.

I have had cats since I was a teenager. I find them much easier to care for than dogs, though someday I will have a dog again. Since we like to travel a bit, a cat is much easier to leave at home and just have someone check on. They also are pretty neat and we never have had to bathe them.

They are also content to amuse themselves with some things they find around the house: a pencil or pen, my earrings, small pieces of wood, chopsticks. This even though we have purchased them some toys of their own.

They are slowly getting comfortable enough with us to sit on our laps or lie on our bed with us. This, after many months of learning to trust us. When company comes they will find new hiding spots and one would never know they were around.

If you discover Nellie's hiding spot she will move to another one before you come back again. This baffled our grandson, Asher, who would "find" her and then come to tell us he found her only to have her gone when he returned to show us.
Cats are great company. Our sons loved the cats we had in the past. Bryan "found" RC in the woodpile when she was newborn. We had to put her on a heating pad and feed her with a dropper until she was old enough to eat on her own. "RC" was for Re-inCarnated because Bryan thought she was dead when he found her and we "revived" her back to life.

Later, we had Jessy and Sandy who were fondly called Skins and Mama Bear as their personalities came through. Skins was the mighty hunter and would scale trees and poles to the utmost heights. She was the one who brought us the snakes, mice, and rabbits. Mama had at least two litters before we could get her in to be spayed. She too wanted to impress us with her hunting skills and would leave bones and guts on our doorstep. Though she was proudest when she brought a mouthful of straw from the field. We never knew if she had a nest and dropped the babies on the way, or if she just thought the straw with the scent of field mice was enough.

Our son Aaron, wrote in his journal once that his cat was the best thing in his life. Our kids always loved our cats, the dog was another story. Skins, the wanderer, left us one day never to return. Mama Bear lived with us for over 17 years before disappearing one late morning after I went to work. We think she may have wandered in the field to die.

It was a few years before we surprised Aaron with his own kitten one Christmas, She moved with him to Florida and lived the life of a Queen until he married and got a dog this past year.

To date, there are four Tuxedo cats that make their home among the Bell households. Byran's family adopted, Jiji. Aaron & Corinn have Noobkins and we have Neko & Nellie.

Jim's grew up with dogs and cats. The Mullers only had one cat that I can remember. We did live on a farm, so we had a menagerie of other animals.

Jim and I had several cats before we had kids and later adopted many "found" cats that made their home with us. Tuffy, Muffy, Fluffy, were there first.  (There were a few more in there that we rescued, but obviously didn't make much of an impact on us.)  We also had Guinea Pigs, fish and and one dog we adopted and another dog that was pregnant we did foster care for until her litter was eight weeks old. By far the cats were the easiest to care for. Cats seem to favor Jim over me so that is the only cause for me to eventually want a dog. The dog we had loved me and I felt the same....that is until he bit me...and that's a story for another blog. :)

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