My wonderful feline copilot turned 18 years old today.
I couldn’t have asked for a better companion these past 18 years. I can not adequately express how much she has meant to me, often bringing me out of those dark times when I felt hopeless about life. I owe her more than I can ever repay. Rest assured, she is spoiled and pampered.
While searching for one cat, I found another.
A previous cat of mine, Eggo (so named because she once stole a bite of my strawberry-jam-topped Eggo waffle), had gone missing so I went to the humane shelter every three days to look for her. After about a month or so, I first saw Checkers sitting in one of the cages. She was a five-week old kitten and the runt of the litter. She was so small she could sit in the palm of my hand.
About a week later I adopted her. She was – and still is – so full of energy. She used to race about the living room in a circuit that included running across the length of the vertical back of the couch. Her small size defied gravity.
Checkers has been catnapped twice in her life.
The first time she was about ten weeks old and a neighbor, having seen her walking around in my yard, decided she was homeless - even though she had a collar. ?? When I went door-to-door looking for her the neighbor confessed and gave her back – sans collar. She claimed she thought the kitten was too young to have a collar… I told her MY kitten was ten weeks old, and looked small because she was the runt.
The next time she was catnapped was a year or two later. She was an indoor-outdoor cat that always came in at night. I couldn’t find her one evening so I made flyers and posted them around the neighborhood (not the same area as the first catnapping). Nothing for a few days. Then, during their nightly walk, my next door neighbors spotted her in the open garage of a house on the next block. I immediately went there and retrieved MY kitty. The accomplice claimed his seven-year-old daughter had brought my kitty home. Again with a collar. He had no remorse and didn’t apologize. I scooped her up and left.
A Buddy for My Baby
I thought Checkers might be lonely as an only cat. When my neighbors (again, a different neighborhood) recently found some abandoned kittens (no collars), I offered to take the little calico on a two-day trial basis.
Well, it was a trial all right. Checkers was not pleased and hissed at ME for bringing the kitten around. She almost never hisses at me unless she doesn’t want me working a knot in her fur. She sat on my lap, faced away from me, and hissed as I petted her.
The kitten was returned and so was Checkers sweet disposition.
Today I’ll spoil her more than usual with favorite treats, brushing and cuddling. And no kittens for gifts.
(Yeah, yeah, I know I’m a crazy cat lady. Whatever.)