Day 112. My Diva

When I began this exercise and wrote my first post using the letter “A” what, or who, I’d be telling you about by the time I got to “Z” was a foregone conclusion: It could be none other than my beloved tabby, Miss Zazu.

Several years before I moved to Toronto, I adopted a cat in Montreal. He was a gorgeous chinchilla persian. A friend of mine had a neighbour who had the mother and father. The litter was unusually large for persians — six adorable kittens. In a one-bedroom apartment there was no way this girl would have been able to keep eight cats, so she was keeping the parents and one kitten and the rest had to be adopted.

I lucked out. But he picked me, I didn’t pick him. The first time I saw them, when I went to this gal’s apartment to decide which one I wanted, I just gasped when she opened the door. They were the cutest little critters I’d ever seen. I immediately threw myself down on the living room floor. And all of a sudden, the chubbiest one waddled over and sat down on my lap. I named him Buddha (because he had this big, round belly and he sat like the statues we see of Buddha’s) and he and I were devoted to each other for almost nineteen years.

But when he passed, I decided I would get two cats the next time. I always felt that he was lonely all day when I went to work. And that it would have been more fun for both of us if he’d had a buddy. I’d mentioned this to a friend of mine, another

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Day 43. Little Bugger

Sundance.  So named, because the colour of his fur reminds me of the colour of Robert Redford’s hair, in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  

Angelic looking, isn’t he?  The cat, not the actor.  Hmmm … well, remember this.  Appearances can be deceiving.  I admit, he looks so sweet, like butter would melt in his mouth.  And he is so elegant, he has such noble bearing.  But he’s trouble.  With a capital “t”.  Yes, Trouble.  Has been, since the day I got him.  Just not happy unless he’s getting into mischief.

Like my others, he’s a rescue.  When my first cat died, at 18, I contacted a rescue group in my neighbourhood, but they didn’t have any cats at the time.  Then, about three months after I adopted one (the late, great, Miss Zazu, the diva to end all divas), the rescue called.

They’d found a very pregnant, feral, ginger female.  They took her in, cared for her, and waited.  It didn’t take long for her to have a litter.  A huge litter.  Sundance was one of six or seven teeny tiny ginger babies.  I could come and pick one out, but would have to wait another month before I would be able to take my chosen kitten home with me.  They were still far too young to be taken from their mother.

He was the cutest, bravest little thing I’d ever seen, making himself right at home the instant we walked through my front door.  Even at two months old he didn’t let Zazu intimidate him, or boss him around.  So she mothered him, instead.  It also didn’t take him a nano second to figure out that he’d just landed in Nirvana.  There was a Continue reading

Day 6. The Continuation

As I recall, when I left off yesterday I was doomed.  Indeed I was.

A new email from my friend announced that she’d found homes for two kittens.  Just one was left; and this time she shared the whole story with me:  When the kind soul found them in that dumpster they were just days old.  He had a child with asthma, so taking them home was out of the question.  So he took them to work.  He fed them, cared for them, even made pillows for them.  But by the time a month had passed they were starting to grow and he knew he couldn’t keep them for much longer.

How Debbie (my friend) got them from him I don’t remember.  It was rather convoluted.

Anyway, we had one baby left and Debbie, who already had four cats of her own, insisted that I come and pick one up and take it to my house until a foster home was found.  Off I went to her house.

When I saw those three little butterballs tumbling unsteadily around her basement I was as good as gone.  But when Bartlett cocked his head to one side (not surprising given how heavy those ears must have been) and stared right into my eyes it was love at first sight — for Continue reading

Day 5. Simply Irresistible

When I first met Bartlett I already had two cats:

Zazu, a female tabby with major attitude.  A true diva, she was a total slut.  The minute she heard a man’s voice, even if it was the cable guy, she came tearing down to the front door from wherever she was in the house and literally draped herself around his legs, refusing to leave him alone until he picked her up and gave her a hug.  And Sundance, a very handsome ginger male who looks sweet and shy, but isn’t happy unless he’s getting into trouble.  He’s my juvenile delinquent.

Both were rescued.  Zazu and two siblings were found on the porch of a chinese restaurant by a Vet.  A friend of mine, who knew I was longing for a cat to replace one I’d recently lost after 18 years, called to let me know that she’d taken one, and there were two left.  I actually wanted both, so I hightailed it to the Vet’s office, but someone had beaten me to it.  Just one was left — and I immediately fell in love with her.  When I arrived she was fast asleep, laying on top of a dog, who was, himself, dozing in the waiting room.  Three months after I had Zazu I got a phone call from a cat rescue I’d registered with.

They had a litter of ginger kittens and there was a male reserved for me.  Only days old at the time, I was told I’d have to wait two months until he was old enough to be weaned away from his mom — a feral cat who would be spayed before being allowed to roam free again.  She was too old and too set in her ways to ever live in captivity, but they made sure she was healthy and unable to get pregnant before releasing her.

It never occurred to me that Zazu would be upset about having a companion.  After all, she’d lived at a Vet’s for a month — and there she had everything from birds to fish to dogs and other cats for roomies.  It never dawned on me that she was thrilled to leave the menagerie behind her, and loved having me — and my 3-story Continue reading