"Shee-shu Smeeshy...." ~ Jack at 2 years old
I love animals, especially cats. I don't think there has been a day in my 35 years that I haven't had a cat as a pet. My parents took in and adopted several stray cats over the years as well as 2 dogs. I had hamsters, guinea pigs, a rabbit and every injured bird I could find as a kid. In 1994 while in University, I adopted the ugliest yet most beautiful black kitten I have ever seen. He was a scrawny little thing with a big head and long tail. The runt of the litter in size, but the smartest and most vocal of the bunch. He was one of 13 kittens born to a young mother who, with such a large litter, died shortly after they were born and the kittens were hand raised by a vet's office. I brought my runt home when he was 4 weeks old and named him "Marley" because when that cat cried, he wailed!
Marley grew into his body and became a stunning cat, albeit fat later on in life. Sadly, our boy had to be put down last November at nearly 14 years old due to issues that became beyond our control. He was peeing all over the house, including where he slept. Something was wrong and we didn't have the means to treat him, unfortunately. I still miss him and think about him often. He was a smart cat who thought he was a human being, and he was a good, loyal cat.
We have since adopted 2 other wonderful beauties, and they have filled the void left by good ol' Marley. First came Dinah, a gorgeous grey and brown calico. Svelte and beautiful, Dinah is an adventurer. She's smart and playful and very much Alice's cat. When Alice takes off to a friend's house up the street, Dinah follows her mewing. Whenever we return from vacation or a weekend away, Dinah brings us home an offering of a mouse or a bird, probably begging us not to go away and leave her again. She's an amazing cat.
Our second girl is Smokey, aka "Smeeshy". With a coat of almost blueish-grey, Smokey adopted us after being abandoned a few streets over by her previous owners. We took her in, loved her up and she's been with us ever since. She arrived around the time that Jack first really started talking in "sentences". One day she rubbed up against him and he said, "Aww. Coot. Shee-shu Smeeshy..." (translation: Aww, cute. Thank you, Smokey). "Smeeshy" has stuck as a nickname although Jack's pronunciation has improved, and Brad and I still giggle when we call her "Smeeshy". Smeeshy likes to stay closer to home and be around her people, unlike Dinah the wanderer. She's a lap cat and a lover, and "my" girl. Smeeshy is a great cat.
I love our cats. I'm happy that they love us too and continue to make us their "people". We will gladly be their people as long as they will have us.
Have you hugged a cat today?