Our life is ruled by our three fur babies. As all animal lovers know, every animal has a soul and personality unique to themselves. It is said, dogs have masters, but cats have servants. We happily serve Nunny Catch (named after a street and café south of Bath England), big brother Oliver, and Sadie, the baby.
Nunny is a rescue special-needs cat. We acquired her when she was three (although our vet says she was more likely five or six and had given birth to many litters). She is now eleven or twelve and shakes off her old lady ways occasionally to chase Oliver and Sadie around the house. She has arthritis and breathing issues that are controlled by a small amount of medication given every other day. Nunny is very small. She still has her cat skills and can jump to the top of the cat tree in the family room. Nunny is a love sponge. She likes to lay on the top back of chairs and sofas, so she is at the right height to be petted when someone passes by. She never gets enough. She sits on our lap whenever a lap appears. She taps me on the shoulder if I’m sitting to let me know it’s mealtime, sometime between three and four o’clock in the afternoon; or walks around and around the kitchen island meowing that it is dinnertime. She purrs so loudly she can be heard over the TV. In her mom role, she grooms the other two cats if they hold still long enough. She is rarely out of sight. She curls up in whichever room we are in so she can keep an eye on us. Nunny insists on going into the library/office at night. She taps me on the shoulder if I’m sitting, just as she does at mealtime, to remind me it is eight o’clock. Her internal clock is infallible. If I don’t take her in there she meows loudly and walks back and forth until she gets me to put her to bed and close the door. Occasionally one of the other cats joins her, but not often. She likes her quiet nights alone.
Oliver, also a rescue, was three when we brought him home a year or so after Nunny. He is now seven. It took him three years to let Ken touch him. He tolerated me but wouldn’t come on my lap or allow me to pet him for months after we got him. He is very suspicious and stays far away from company. If someone stays with us for a few days, he may make an appearance just to see what’s going on but disappears quickly. There are times we look high and low and cannot find him. He has a peculiar habit around mealtime. He comes to the kitchen when he knows I’m fixing their food. He’ll even stretch up at the cabinet like he’s reaching for his dish but when it is put down, he smells it, possibly tastes a bite, then shakes his right paw as if to say “this is not to my liking”, tosses his head and leaves the room. Oliver will eat his food only when no other cat is around late at night. Sometimes I feed him in another room by himself if I want to make sure he gets his food early. Oliver is also the only cat I’ve met who doesn’t like treats. We’ve tempted him with all kinds but he will not eat them. They will lay where we give them to him until one of the other cats eats them. He will lay on my lap late at night when Nunny is not around. He now loves to be petted – on his terms. He hates being picked up, makes his body rigid, and fights. Needless to say, he doesn’t get picked up very often. He usually responds when he is called so we don’t have to corral him. He loves to be admired and photographed. He poses like a prince.
Sadie is the charmer, the clown, the scamp. She was a kitten of a few months when we brought her home. Tiny and cute then, she is now, at the age of three, the biggest of them all. She loves people and is immediately everyone’s best friend when they come to visit. We have to close her in the library when guests come who don’t appreciate feline company. Sadie is everywhere all the time. Unlike the other two cats who do the cat thing and sleep most of the day, Sadie is busy, busy, busy all day long. She rarely stops. If you find her sleeping, it is a fluke. She climbs to the top of everything. She flies from chair to chair to table to piano to bookcase to sofa, never touching the ground. She plays with toys, bottle caps, coins, whatever she can find, shooting goals under the refrigerator, sofa and closet doors. She has broken lamps, pulled pictures askew on the walls and pulled books and bric-a-brac off shelves. I don’t know how she gets books off library shelves when they are wedged in but I know she works at it. Sometimes books are pulled into the middle of the room. She is also a thief. Well, that is harsh. She is a trader. Once when Sally was visiting, she took Sally’s keys from her purse, but she put a cloth toy mouse in its place. The keys she took back to the closet and put in my shoe. We had quite a time finding keys so Sally could go home. Another time I found a lipstick that was not mine on the floor in the bedroom. I called a friend who had visited earlier in the day to ask if she was missing a lipstick. Sure enough when she looked in her purse she found a cat toy and was missing a lipstick. I do not know how Sadie came by the idea of trading but now I caution women to close purses tightly. It is impossible to put purses where Sadie cannot reach them because she can get anywhere. She is also extremely good at disappearing. We have searched and searched at times and she stays well hidden until a treat is offered.
Our three darlings are our companions and entertainment. We love them because of their quirks not in spite of them. This is a short essay about the unique personalities of our cats. I can spend hours writing all kinds of stories about their antics. I’m sure you have stories about your loved pets also. Take some moments to write them down.