My mom and Don are animal people and they love cats. It’s an interesting story because my mom was always more of a dog person, and never much of a cat person when I was growing up. We had cats over the years; Chloe, Mr. Bill, Silver, and we ended up with one named Rufus when a friend of hers passed away, but we mainly had dogs.
When I was around 21 or 22, I brought home two kittens when a former coworker of mine was trying to find someone to take them. I named them Presley and Cash. I don’t really talk about them because I had them for such a short time, my mom has had them for years, so they never really felt like mine. At that point in my life, I decided I didn’t want the responsibility of pet ownership. I didn’t take the time research and learn things like the fact that it’s normal to cats to be active around dusk, so instead, I was frustrated to be kept awake. I’m not proud of any of this but at least they ended up in a great home. One of them was so shy and I didn’t understand why he wouldn’t come to me like the other one would. I didn’t know enough and was too self absorbed to be responsible for anyone else. So I gave them to my mom and this turned her into a cat lover.
That was a long time ago now.
Presley, named for Elvis, was gray and white, Cash was black and white, and named for the Man in Black, Johnny Cash. I don’t have any pictures from their kittenhood but I did steal these from my mom’s Facebook. A small part of me is a little sad that I wasn’t a better cat owner to them but it all worked out because they ended up in a great home and are loved and it made a huge impact on my mom and Don’s lives! It was discovered that one of them had specific dietary restrictions, and I wouldn’t have known what to do with that or been able to afford that so they needed someone besides me anyway.
They changed Presley’s name to Willy.
Here are a couple pictures of them.
Since then, my mom has begun to pride herself of being a crazy cat lady, and they now have three more cats and recently fostered one more. Here are some more pictures I stole from her Facebook of her cats.
Below is a picture of her foster cat, who she took in when someone decided they wanted her kitten instead of her and decided to get rid of her. How this person wasn’t too attached to her cat to do this, I’ll never understand.
Naturally, my mom is excited about our cats and loves to read their updates and see their pictures. She and Don are also happy to care for them when Rob and I go out of town.
They were our cat sitters when we went to Las Vegas for a few days last month. We were a little concerned going into this, because our cats aren’t around people often and tend to be afraid of people they don’t know, especially Sebastian.
Emilia is very social with everyone and in her eyes, all are welcome to come spend time with her and pet her. Hopefully they’ll throw some treats her way and she’ll be one happy cat. Jameson was shy at first but he came out of his shell & started hanging out with my mom and Don by the time we returned.
Our stay in Las Vegas was only three nights so it was a good trial run because pretty soon, they will be watching our cats for nearly three weeks while we are in Japan. I’m excited to go again but I’m dreading leaving our cats for that long! Especially Sebastian… it’s been such a long road to get him comfortable and earn his trust and it really worries me.
Our poor Jameson has had a time of it. If it isn’t one thing for this cat, it’s another! When we brought he & Sebastian home and tried to set up their first vet appointment, our regular vet was booked two weeks out so we took them to our back up vet for their exams. They sent them both home with a clean bill of health.
As time went on, Sebastian continued to grow, ate plenty and was putting on weight as expected. Sebastian and Jameson are brothers from the same litter so we expected them to grow at a similar rate to one another, but Jameson just wasn’t keeping up. As time wore on, Sebastian grew to be significantly bigger than Jameson, who was so skinny. We took them to the back up vet again and I mentioned how thin he was compared to Sebastian. The vet tech felt him over a little and said he was a little boney but he’s probably fine. So we went on our way.
Emilia and Sebastian would wrestle and play with toys. Sebastian loved playing with all of the toys available and spent hours entertaining himself with them. He & Emilia enjoyed chasing lasers, playing with balls, etc. Through all of this, my concern for Jameson increased, because he was very inactive and just watched the other cats having fun. I began to wonder why he was so lethargic… I think he WANTED to play, instead of just watching the others enjoy themselves.
We still couldn’t get him to gain weight. I was worried he wasn’t getting enough food and maybe the other cats weren’t letting him eat, so I decided I would start feeding him separately. I had him on the dining room table and gave him a treat and he tried to eat it. The desire was there but he would pick it up with his teeth, then drop it right back down onto the table. It didn’t make sense so I knew something had to be wrong with him.
I got him into the vet as soon as possible. We saw a different vet this day than our regular Dr. Mike, but I was happy to see this other vet because he has wonderful reviews online. He took a quick look over Jameson and knew exactly what was wrong with him: coccidia. He had parasites! Due to Jameson’s small size, he didn’t think they could do a blood draw and didn’t feel tests were even necessary. He prescribed us 10 days of oral medication, which I had to give to the kitten daily and he hated it. As soon as we got rid of the coccidia, Jameson was an entirely new kitten! His appetite was back and his energy levels increased so he started to play! We were so happy he was feeling better and it was something so easy to fix. I’m glad I noticed what was going on because he’d basically been going hungry. Poor guy.
At least that issue was solved.
Obviously, Jameson has always been smaller than the other cats. When it came to holding his own against Emilia, he really couldn’t do it so I started to worry about him while we were at work. Our one consolation is that he was small enough to fit in places the others couldn’t if he needed to hide. Anyway, one day, I finally decided I would separate him and leave him in the second bedroom with everything he could possibly need. I knew he wouldn’t love it but I thought he would adjust. I was trying to be a good cat mom and protect him but it backfired, because when I came home, he looked like this.
The two kittens definitely didn’t adjust to being separated for the day and they ran their paws under the door, as they were reaching for each other and crying. They hadn’t spent even an hour of their lives apart before this. When I let him out, I realized that Jameson had been so desperate to get out that he had spent the day rubbing his nose on the bottom of the door until it was raw. I was shocked and upset and full of guilt, maybe even a little embarrassed at my poor decision. Needless to say, I never did that again and went back to giving all three cats free roam.
The good news is that his little nose has since healed all the way and there’s no visibls scarring. It took a little time though!
A few weeks ago, Rob & I ran to the store and when we returned, we opened the front door and just heard loud noises, cats running across the hard wood floors and saw a flurry of fur. Jameson ran from the kitchen to the living room and I could tell he was tangled up in something. It took me a minute to realize that he was tangled in a fly strip! One had been hanging above the kitchen sink and must have fallen, and he had obviously been on the kitchen counter, like he isn’t supposed to be but regularly is. Fortunately, it was surprisingly easy to peel the fly strip off of him, however, one side of his body was covered in the sticky stuff. Awesome. This picture doesn’t even do it justice because it was all over his hind legs, tail and more.
We didn’t really know what to do so Rob called the vet to ask for advice and they said to give him a bath using the blue Dawn dish soap. That’s the stuff they use on animals caught in oil spills so this seemed like a good idea! I was worried that Jameson or one of the other cats would try to lick the toxic sticky stuff from the fly strip off of his body so I stayed home and distracted them with toys and treats to keep this from happening while Rob ran to buy some dish soap.
When he returned, we attempted the deed of giving Jameson a bath and it was a nightmare. I think he truly believed we were trying to drown him and fought us with everything he had in him. We moved as quickly as we could but were totally unsuccessful in removing the sticky mess from his fur and we both ended up bleeding in multiple spots on our body by the end of it. I’ve never seen an animal in such a panic! I asked the advice of people on one of the cat pages I follow and someone suggested olive oil. You just massage it into his fur and comb it out. It was gradual but it worked and it’s non-toxic so we were finally getting somewhere! Although, he was really oily for several days after that.
We don’t keep those toxic fly strips in the house anymore.
At least that problem was taken care of.
We try to responsible in what we feed our cats. We don’t let them have much salt, they eat their boiled chicken completely unseasoned, we avoid dry food for the most part. However, one day, I gave each of them a little taste of whipped cream. This may not be the healthiest idea for them, because cats are lactose intolerant, but I’ve also heard of plenty of people giving their cats a little taste and having no issues. Sebastian and Emilia had their tastes and the two of them were just fine afterward.
Jameson was a completely different story. He spent the rest of the night throwing up and couldn’t keep any food down for the next two or three days. For the first time, he wasn’t trying to gorge himself on everything he could get his teeth on. Right about the time I was getting really worried and considering taking him to the vet, he finally started to get back to normal. This was another embarrassing cat mom moment.
We’ve pretty much decided that if something can go wrong for a cat, Jameson will be that cat. We’ve realized that we really need to second guess everything for his sake, to keep him safe and healthy. No more scary moments around here!
Our little Emilia was battling a nasty ear infection when we adopted her, during which, we made several trips to see Dr. Mike. A month or so later (maybe even less than a month), we had to take her to see him again but this time, it was for her eye! I’m to blame for this and I felt terrible and was so embarrassed to take her into the vet, yet again. She had been picking on the kittens a lot, so I bought some Feliway, which is supposed to be a calming agent for cats. I sprayed it on the chaise part of our couch, because she likes to lay there. The directions say to give it 15 minutes before your cat comes near the sprayed area but I didn’t do a good job of keeping Emilia out of the area. I could tell right away she got some in her eyes. One eye seemed to work through it just fine but the other eye became totally inflamed! I gave the other eye a little time, in the hopes it would clear up like the first eye, to no avail. She kept squinting and sometimes, couldn’t keep it open at all. At this point, we were still finishing up the ear drops and Dr. Mike then prescribed Emilia two eye drops, so this was not a fun time in her life! Fortunately, the ear drops were only a couple times a week but the eye drops were daily.
Even though getting allll those drops was pure misery, I think that somewhere in the back of her mind, she knew it was for her own good. She still loves us.
Please excuse the background dialogue from the television. We are fans of The League, the show about a group of friends who are ruthless in their efforts to win their fantasy football league, but admittedly, much of the humor is very adult. This video won’t be the same without the music though! When I first filmed this, I watched it over and over again, and each time, it had me dyin’!
Poor Emilia. When we first adopted her, we were so excited to share her cuteness with the world, I think we briefly became stage parents, constantly filming her and taking pictures of her. We just wanted everyone to enjoy her!
In our 20’s, we were pretty broke. Like, really broke. We lived a paycheck to paycheck sort of life and sometimes, you couldn’t even really call it that because there were times, paycheck to paycheck didn’t cut it. There was definitely a time or two where we had to get help from family to pay our power bill. That being said, we both knew that someday, we’d get some animals but had no business doing so until we could afford them & all that went with them, including vet bills. Our 30’s have been kinder to us, we both have decent jobs & our financial situation is much improved!
Over the last couple of years, I would occasionally check out who was available for adoption on the local humane society web site & regularly made jokes about getting a pet but it never went beyond the joke.
Until May 8th!
I was sitting on the couch in our living room, doing something on the laptop… I can’t remember what but it was probably pet related because I said, “Let’s get a cat.” Much to my surprise, Rob said okay… Part of me wondered (& still wonders) if he was calling my bluff but I decided to embrace this opportunity and that day, we brought a cat into our lives! It was a new “first” for us, because obviously, this was our first pet together so that was really exciting, and after nearly 10 years together, we don’t have many “firsts” anymore.
We knew we wanted to adopt (adopt, don’t shop) so we looked at the humane society web site again, and saw some adorable options but went in completely open minded, with no specific breed, color, etc., in mind. The one thing I knew I wanted was an adult cat, knowing it can be challenging for them to find homes because so many people want kittens. Kittens are wonderful but so are grown up cats!There were a few cats that stood out to us, including Snickers, who was primarily white with some orange markings & much larger than his online picture led us to believe! There was also Angela, a sweet, solid black, four year old with a name I would have kept. Then Tony… just so sweet and friendly with black & white markings. I wish we could have adopted all of them and I hope they all found excellent homes. I feel guilty about any animals we don’t adopt, like I could potentially be allowing them to end up somewhere terrible by not choosing them. I think of Snickers sometimes, because he really didn’t show much personality when we met him but I think the poor cat was traumatized. I hope he is happy & loved, wherever he is.
As you can tell, I had a handful of cats on my mind, the three listed above, along with a gray tabby named Georgetta. Actually, I really wanted everyone in the room but had pretty much narrowed it down to those four! Indecisiveness is not usually an issue for me, but became one when it came to choosing a cat! I refused to even go into the room where the dogs stay! It was a simple decision for Rob though. We walked by Georgetta and she came right up to us & was so sweet & had the cutest little face! I’ve had tabby’s before & know from experience what wonderful personalities they have. Rob had never had a tabby but always heard great things about them & liked the ones he’s met in the past and the idea of adopting a tabby really appealed to him. We played with her through the little cage and she was just adorable. Rob was instantly sold on her and that helped us make a selection. The room was filling with people and Rob decided we needed to go apply for her adoption NOW so we left the room, arranged to meet & hopefully adopt her (first come, first serve basis for meeting) and we got there in time. When we had the chance to meet her outside her little cage, the cuteness and sweetness continued. She was “kneading” the air which, according the woman doing the introductions, is the sign of a happy cat. So we fell in love with her. It’s fortunate we moved so quickly on it, because before they even brought her out to meet us, other people were already showing interest in her. We won, though!
Once we decided to adopt her, we started discussing names. I think Rob wanted to take some time to give it some thought and talk about it but I’m impatient. The one thing we agreed on from the start is, Georgetta was not her name. It didn’t suit her. We kicked around a few options & I suggested Amelia. I threw it out and at first, it was a maybe for Rob but we ended up agreeing on it. He likes names related to Greek mythology, so he suggested names such as Athena. I do like the name Athena, but I didn’t think it was the right fit for her either. She was small and cute so she needed a soft name, so Amelia it was! I asked him if he liked it spelled with an E or an A better and he chose the E, so Amelia became Emilia. To be honest, I prefer the A spelling but that’s alright!
Since she came from the humane society, she’d already had some basic care, including treatment for ear mites, some of her shots & had been spayed. People don’t realize it but it’s cheaper to afford a cat from the humane society, coming with all these things already taken care of, than it is to get a cat elsewhere and then pay for these things individually. Since she was the first cat in our adulthood together, it was nice to have a list of things she’d already had done and a list of upcoming things she would need, simplifying everything for us. This was quite the learning opportunity! She was just on the verge of adulthood, her age being estimated at just over a year. I was planning on going for a cat who was around maybe 5 or so, but Emilia was meant to be ours so that happened instead.
To this day, the car is not Emilia’s favorite place to be. Naturally, she was a little scared on the car ride home from the humane society, with strangers, in a box, in a moving car heading who knows where, so she meowed the entire ride. Once we got home, we carried the box straight into our bathroom to let her out, curious as to how it was going to go. It could not have gone smoother! We opened the box, she popped her little head out, looked around curiously and climbed right out. She was affectionate and felt at home right from the start! It wasn’t flawless but she loved us & bonded with us pretty much right away. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect cat. They say to gradually let your new cat explore, allowing them access to only one room at a time, which is great advice, but she was so happy to be with us that we allowed her a little more freedom. We closed the bedroom doors but let her roam through the main part of our home and it all worked out.
The humane society said she was a stray who was surrendered. Maybe, but we think she’d been exposed to people because she is so social with humans and she’s been just fine living with us as an indoor cat. I wonder if someone decided they just didn’t want a cat after all or maybe something happened to her owner? Or maybe she was a stray who just happened to have a great personality? She meowed endlessly in the beginning and we would soon find out that she was suffering from an ear infection so maybe a previous owner couldn’t handle the constant meows?
Anyway, on May 8th, 2019, our lives changed forever!