Sunday, July 27, 2008

My many cats.

Besi, my cat, is still missing. I cant focus on much else so I figured I would tell you the story of my many cats. I have a few. Four, as a matter of fact. Right now it is looking like I may have three *muttering a very bad word* I never intended to own four cats, I just happened. Really. Until I moved away from home I had never lived a day without cat. After a year of living catless with my boyfriend (we'll call him MB that for the sake of convenience) I decided it was time to start a campaign to get one. MB was not entirely adverse to the idea but had never owned cat before and had very little experience with them. We had two Rhodesian Ridgebacks that were adult dogs when I came into the family and as they had no previous exposure to cats we didn't know what to expect from them.

I have no idea how many of you, my readers, subscribe to the idea of haunted houses but I would have challenged any a skeptic to spend a night in our home before settling drawing a conclusion. Our house was full of bad energy and something I could only describe as a presence. Over the first year there were many mysterious occurrences of lights flickering, TVs going on or off suddenly and phones ringing without reason. I have watched enough episodes of the X-Files to be skeptical of any one "occurrence" but as whole, our home ranked pretty high on the creepy factor scale. Our Ridgebacks were protection trained and true to their breed, proud, strong, and fearless. But something in our house, unseen and unheard by us, would scare them enough to send them running from their "bedroom" and down the hall with their tails tucked between their legs. That alone was enough to scare me. We considered having the house "blessed" and I tried "smudging" a few times. I would never have guessed that a pint sized black kitten named Halle would be our absolution.

I found her at the SPCA. I had been looking at the dogs for a friend of mine when I decided to stop by the cat section to take a boo and spread a little love. I was about to walk out of the "cat room" when I thought I saw something. In the deep dark recess of a cage I had assumed was empty, I had seen a glint of light. Leaning down, I peered into the cage and found myself staring into they eyes of a very small and very black little kitten. I opened the cage and reached in to pick her up. Hot, limp and heavy in weight, like that of a sleeping baby, she barely stirred as I placed her in the crook of my arm. When she looked up at me, I found myself drawn in to the eyes of an old soul, deep and knowing. I simply knew this was my cat.

Bubs had left for a meeting in the city earlier that day and I had accidentally left my purse in his truck. I had no money and no bank card by which to pay for this kitten. Suddenly, I remembered that I had received a cheque in the mail from Boost (the nutrition drink) as a refund for a spoiled batch I had purchased. This cheque was nearly exactly the amount of the adoption fee. I raced home to pick it up and then to the bank to cash it (where, thank God they knew me enough to do so without i.d.) As I rushed back over to the SPCA, I was terrified that someone might have adopted this kitten while I was gone but was relieved to find her waiting for me when I returned.

After going through the adoption process and getting her packed away in a cardboard box, I started for home. It was right about then that it occurred to me that I had not asked, nor discussed my little purchase with MB. Whoops! I figured that a bit of Scarlet O'Hara "I wont think about that now..." attitude would suffice (as to not spoil my excitement) right up until I pulled in the drive to discover that MB had found his way home early! Cursing Ms. O'Hara, I gingerly picked up the box and walked in to the house. I had hoped that the kitted would be quiet long enough to give me chance to explain but, Murphy's Law, she started howling the moment I walked in the door. MB walked around the corner looking startled and alarmed. His eyes bounced between the crying box and my blank expressionless face. He finally settled on staring at me with a highly skeptical look. I gave him the cutest, coyest smile I could muster, topped it off with some big blue puppy dog eyes and told him, "Honey, we got a kitten!" Bat, bat, bat went my eyelashes.

MB had the sense to look dubious but gamely walked over to look into the box. The wee black kitten let out a soft and desperate meow as she looked back at him. Bubs never stood a chance. Picking her up, he gave me a look like, "Yah, alright, you won this time but don't try that again!" and proceeded to fall in love. We called her Halle.

By the time Halle was six months old we started to notice a significant change in the "creepy factor" of our home. Halle appeared to be able to see things in the house that we couldn't. Her eyes would track these thing as they moved about the room. Occasionally she would growl deep in her throat as they passed. Halle would also spend a lot of time in all of the closets of the house. While it is fairly common for cats to do so, what I found odd was that she never slept in them. She would sleep on the bed or on the top of a bookshelf but never in the closet. What she would do is sit in the deepest corner and "talk", letting out deep to high pitch meows, growls or a deep throaty sound that I find particularly haunting. Within a year, our house had lost all of its creepiness and we have had no more odd 'occurrences.'

Halle is now five and half years old and she still "talks" occasionally. She also bites- most of the time when you least expect it. I love her death but she is a grumpy, mean and lovable old bitch. Never affectionate as a young cat, she has softened with age but still barely tolerates more than a few minutes of love at a time. As I have been typing this, she has jumped up and settled into my lap. I am scared to move. If I do, she will growl and dig her claws into my leg. I have to pee....Did I mention that I really do love her. *Ouch!*

Our second cat, I went looking for. I wanted MB to know how sweet, loving and affectionate a cat can actually be. Once again I found her at the SPCA. I hate to admit it, but originally I wanted her because of her unique and beautiful markings. With beautiful light blue eyes, a creme and chocolate tabby body and silver tabby points on her feet, face and tail, she is remarkable looking. She does not bite. We call her LuLu. She is all stocked up in the beauty department but when it comes to brains, we'll just say that she is not the sharpest tool in the shed. She a brick short of a load. There is a bit too much yardage between the goal posts on this one. I cant say it is a fault, her simplicity makes her all the more adorable. I don't know who first noticed it but she actually has the word "toy" written in the tabby markings along her side. On the other side you can vaguely make out the word "cow". Unfortunately, they are both descriptive markings. LuLu is totally unique in body and personality and she has plenty of both.

The third cat I brought home was not planned. It was Besi, the girl whom we are currently missing. I try to provide my cats with the best food, health and loving care as possible and am a strong believer in spaying and neutering your pets. Over years of horse boarding, I have become hardened to the lifestyle of farm cats but when I saw Besi at a barn one day I just snapped. At only three months old, the resident tom cat was already trying to get her bred and I just couldn't stand the thought of this scrawny, skinny little kitten producing more neglected little kittens. I asked the farm owner if I could have this little kitten and they were all too happy to give her to me. I know that taking one kitten out of millions born every year on farms around the world would not make any difference in the grand scheme of thing but it didn't matter at the time.

Besi grew into a lean, athletic and long legged cat with a short sleek tabby coat and slinky way of moving. Large eyes and ears and sharp features give her a big cat look. She is an exceptional hunter. She is probably responsible for wiping out the resident mole, mouse and shrew population within 5 square miles of my home. As much as we tried, there was no stopping her. She is so instant about being outside that she will jump off the second story balcony or window if her locked in. Even though she is not in house as much as she is out, she is a very sweet and affectionate cat that will follow you around in the garden or for walks on the lawn. For the most part, she will only come into the house to sleep. We call her "Slow Moe" partially as a satire on her incredible athletic ability and partially because when she finally does come in, she is so tired that she appears to walk in slow motion.

My heart is sick with the thought that Besi is lost to us. Right now, I just PRAY that she comes home. I hope that she is safe and sound. I hate not knowing.

The last and final (I promise) cat I brought home is my Bitty. Her original name was Little Bit because she was so tiny when I bought her. The first week we had her, when she was just 6 weeks old, she had an impaction in her small intestine and had to have a surgery that cost a fair dime. Thus her name became Lotta Bit. She was an expensive little kitten but worth every penny. A steel blue color with a long and silky coat, my Bitty is a true beauty. I call her my "fetch" as she never leaves my side and refuses to let anyone else touch her. MB calls her "Little Freak" or "Monkey Face" because despite his efforts to always be gentle and loving towards her she still runs from him when he so much as sneezes. I cant explain "Monkey Face", he has this horrible notion that she has a funny shaped face. I don't see it all...but then I am blinded by love.

Each of our dear little kitties has a personality that is as unique and beautiful as their various color and shapes. I love them each to bits. Oh, please please please come home Besi girl! You are truly irreplaceable.


  1. I'm not a cat person but I truly hope Besi comes home. Horses and dogs are my addiction I cant image how unsettled you must feel. Hopefully she will be home soon.

    Barb Frocklage

  2. Okay I am going to start here - and work my way down.

    I hope she comes home but if she doesn't that doesn't mean the worst. Once we lost a cat out at my folks place (assumed the worst - coyotes) and 2 years later on a trail ride 5 miles from home I found our wayward cat - he'd been adopted by a nice retired couple. After a close inspection and the "name test" yes he still responded to "Rascal" - we decided to let them keep him. He was happy there and I could tell they needed the company. Funny thing was they saw him walking along the HWY ditch just up from our house and assumed he was dumped, so they picked him up (yeah I know a collar and tags would've helped here - but at that time it was more up to my folks than me and we lived in the dang woods, no one collared or tagged cats up there).

    So I hope that is the case with your kitty, if she doesn't return.

    Here is another thought - any abandoned cars or buildings in your area? May want to check and make sure she's not stuck in one. One time one of our cats accidentally got shut in our neighbors shop that he hardly ever used - if not for me wandering around the area listening - it would've been a bad ending for her.

    Ahhh and here another place to any new hay lately? Once time yet another missing cat of ours turned up trapped in our own barn in a corner under some hay. I heard her meowing and scratching and had to tare the barn and neatly stacked hay apart to get her out - but it was too late, after a trip to the vet they were unable to save her, it had been too hot in the hay and she'd been there too long without water.

    I was a sad little kid that day at 4-H practice, just rode around and cried the whole time.

    OH and another time (I don't recall us having a hard time keeping track of our cats - but that's how it sounds huh?) the cat I had in college, Mickey,disappeared and turned up at my aunts place. She had stopped by our place to drop off some furniture she bought us with a horse trailer in tow. Mickey, the adventurous cat that he was, snuck into the trailer while it was empty and got shut in. When my aunt got home he some how got out and i didn't figure it out until she started talked about this strange cat at her house that show how appeared. Put two and two together and figured out what happened - picked up Mickey the next day who was hiding in her shop scared to death. That cat was so glad to hear my voice - you should've seen the look on his face when he crawled out of his hiding spot.

  3. And one more thing - I totally believe in ghosts - whether they are left over energy or bad things, or souls stuck between places - it doesn't matter I totally believe they exist.

    I have seen things I cannot explain any other way (not little kid stuff either, no partying down at the graveyard high school crap, real adult objective stuff) - so yes I believe you and your feelings about your house.

  4. Barb- thank you!!! How the hell did you figure out how to post? lol

    Stephanie- Thank you very much for all of your advice. I have looked every where that I can think of. I think there is a really good chance that she either climbed in the back of my truck or into someone else car and took a ride. She has done that before (I only got a block before she crawled out of the back seat talking to me) but she has done it. I always have to inspect the repair mans truck before he leaves because the cats always end up climbing in. I doubt that someone picked her up because she is insane about being outside. She will pace the house for hours crying or jump out a window. I dont have any hay at home, thank God but I will remember that in the future. Thanks again for all of your ideas, I am going out now to check some sheds.

  5. Good luck again!

    Hey you just got me really thinking for you today - do you have any boarders at your house/barn?

    Any chance she could've jumped a ride with one?

    One time the same wayward cat Rascal rode all the way into town on top of the spare tire under my dad's truck.

    Maybe an ad in the local paper? Called the vets? shelters?

    I am sure you've thought of all this but now I am thinking & you've kicked me back into "find the kitty mode" that I had actually gotten quite good at when I was younger...

  6. Stephanie- your the best! I did bring a poster to the barn today and left a note asking people to keep an eye out for her. I have a post on craigslist, and the local humane society. She does have a tattoo and I checked with the vet office to make sure that the tattoo reg. had current info. I really dont see that there is much more we can do. My gut is telling me that she she will either find her own way home or she is gone. I hate this part of owning animals...especially cats.

  7. Interesting stories, you are a good writer! My mom's cat ran away (indoor cat, got outside) and she used a cat pyschic who helped her find her. She has used her before for a different cat with success, as well. Not sure if you believe in that kind of thing but it might be worth a try. Email me if you want her number. I wish you the best in finding Besi, I know how hard it is to "not know" and worry about them.

    Oh, that scary house! Wow. I couldn't have lived there, I'd have been gone! Those things terrify me. They say animals have a 6th sense. I think your little Halle had a sense for something. She is an amazing looking cat, too.

  8. Hey Chelsi how about contacting the SPCA you had said Besi had been tattooed but maybe they missed it. I just a feeling shes fine.