FOR THE RECORD
To begin is to go back in time when Pat and I were kids during the 1940 era.
Patsy had a cat named Sneezy Bug. Sneezy Bug was probably a calico cat. I remember the cat was white with different colored splotches & Sneezy Bug was a pretty cat. My cat was a gray tabby and I named him Muddy Mutt. I loved Muddy Mutt.
We had a lot of cats over the years but those two were our beloved ones.
LIFE HERE ON THE RIDGE
For the past several years Jimmy and I have had a lot of cats.
For a while we didn't have any cats then one day a pretty female calico came here crying for something to eat. She lived across the road at a neighbor's house. I fed her because I won't let any soul go hungry. Hunger is a terrible thing and I believe the cruelty of humans turning a blind eye, is a sin.
The cat went back home but returned again, crying for food. I fed her, of course. Later, a little girl from across the road was over here & she saw the cat and told me it belonged to her aunt who lived across the road. I told the little girl that the cat was hungry & I asked her if her aunt fed the cat. The child told me that her aunt threw food down for the dogs and the cat.
I was very angry with the owner because no cat will eat with dogs & fight a dog for food. I did tell the little girl that if her aunt wanted the cat she could come get her. The child passed along the message and the aunt came to get the cat. I had already formed an opinion of the aunt so I had no use for her as it related to her care of the cat.
A few days later the cat returned again crying for food. I had no patience for the owner who plainly was not feeding the cat. I brought the cat inside and fed her and I told Jimmy that she was my cat now. There was no way the owner was getting the cat back unless we had some kind of agreement that she would feed the cat. I didn't care that the cat was not legally mine. She was mine.
So, we called the cat Mama. She visited inside the house but she lived outside. She was a wonderful little kitty. The owner never came to check on her. I never talked to the woman again and as far as anything mattered, the cat was no longer hers.
After a while Mama was with kittens. One Sunday morning on Lou's birthday on March 25, 2001, mama cat had three little kittens. The first born kitten was the runt and she was a little female calico like her mama. The other was a white female with pretty tan spots and the third was a large white and black tom.
We named the little runt, Rosie Little Bit. The tan and white kitten was named Tan on The Head and the black and white Tom was named Tom.
We took Mama cat to the vet and had her spayed. When she returned home the kittens were so happy to see her. It was a happy-sad sight. Later, we had the kittens spayed and neutered. Then, Tan on The Head and big Tom were killed on the road.
Mama cat began to wander and she would come & go. After a while she never returned. We don't know what happened to her. Rosie Little Bit was the last of her family & she was a loner. She wandered, then she came home again.
Then, Lauren and I got a kitten for Jimmy because Tom had been killed and Jimmy was fond of Tom and Tom loved him. We got a gray and black tabby with bulls eye markings on his sides. He was a beautiful cat but he was quite aggressive. He grew into a beautiful tom cat. Jimmy loved him and named him Tiger. We got Tiger on 26 May 2002 when he was six weeks old. When he got old enough we had him neutered.
A stray mama cat went to Lee's house and had four kittens. Chester got one for Lauren but that was a disaster. The kitten disappeared then returned home in a sad condition. Lauren begged us to take the cat. Her name was Daisy. She was a gray female tabby. We took her and eventually had her spayed. She developed a hot spot or allergy on her back and she kept scratching it. Jimmy suggested I make her a little vest out of a sock. I cut off the sock and cut holes for her front legs and she wore a little vest sock until the sore got well. Then, one day, the poor little soul got killed on the road.
Daisy had a sister who was a Siamese mix. One day I took her before Lee moved the cats to a friend's house. I knew the cats would have a hard life there and I wanted the beautiful little Siamese mix. She was covered in fleas and I bathed her that night but the fleas stuck on. I promised her I would get flea drops for her the next day and I did. I named her Peach.
Peach is very temperamental. When she opens her mouth to hiss she resembles a cottonmouth snake. When I pick her up to hold her she wilts into my arms like a dish rag. Yet, she knows her mind and she is sassy. Peach and Daisy were sisters and they were born about May 2003. I got Peach on 1 July 2003. When Peach got old enough we had her spayed. Today Peach has turned almost gray from age. She is a little over thirteen years old.
Sometime later, Jimmy and I were walking on the road when a young man in a truck stopped beside us. On his shoulder was a little black Tortie kitten. The young man asked if we wanted a cat and we said, no, we already had cats. The man said he was moving to town and he didn't want to take the cat. I was afraid he would throw the cat out on the road. First, I held the kitty and I could feel its poor little bony rump. Then, we were carrying the kitten to the house as our own.
We fed the kitten and the little thing was so hungry. Her rump was poor and bony and once again, I hated people. We named her Punkin after a cat we had in Leachville many years ago. Punkin is mostly black with sable splotches. She is a Tortoise Shell. We had Punkin spayed when she got old enough and she got sick afterward and wouldn't eat. We think she caught something at the vet's office because he treated her afterward and didn't charge us for it. Punkin almost died but she survived and grew into a beautiful kitty cat. She lives inside with us and she is a bad kitty at night. We got Punkin on 9 October 2004. She was about two months old.
Then, on Christmas eve 2006, Tiger was killed on the road. I didn't think Jimmy would ever get over him. He is buried on the hill and Jimmy planted flowers and shrubs all around his grave. We call it Tiger's Garden.
Later, I went to the Humane Society in Jonesboro to find a kitten to fill the spot where Tiger used to be. I came home with an orange male Tabby. He was a licker. He licked me and we bonded though I was getting him for Jimmy. When Jimmy saw him he wasn't too interested because his heart
was raw for Tiger. I told Jimmy he had to name him because he was his cat. Jimmy said he looks like a Garfield to me. So, he named him Garfield. I tacked on Henry in front of Garfield. Henry Garfield was born 23 October 2006. I brought him home on 23 January 2007. When he got old enough we got him neutered. The vet didn't charge for the surgery because he was a rescue cat.
As time went on Garfield grew into a huge, fat cat. He had the most wonderful personality of any cat I ever met. Jimmy came to love him but I adored him. He became my cat. Then, Garfield began to lose weight and he developed diabetes. He was doing pretty well when suddenly he failed and to save him suffering we had to let him go. It was the most heart wrenching thing I have ever had to do regarding an animal. Garfield died 6 January 2014. Jimmy and I buried him on the hill beside Tiger, Now, it is Tiger and Garfield's Garden.
In July 2006 , when Patsy and J.W. were visiting us, Pat and I walked up to the church house to get a phone signal. When we got back to the house there was a big white tom cat sitting on the top of our truck under the carport. He was pure white, looked healthy and pretty. Where had he come from? I tried to find his owner but no one knew him or wanted him. We had yet another cat. I named him Snowball.
When Snowball gets mad his eyes take on a red luster. He is a large cat, all muscle and strong. After a while, we had him neutered. He is temperamental and aggressive if he is crossed. We estimated that Snowball was probably born about 2005, so he is about 11 years old. He and Peach sleep in Jimmy's spoon shop.
One day a fluffy old tom came up on the deck crying for food. He was a battle worn old tom that looked as though he had scrapped all his life. He had a huge fluffy tail. Yep, we fed him. He was hungry. We named him Fluffy Tail. Another cat …..... but we couldn't afford to have him neutered. The money just wasn't there. Fluffy Tail might be 10 years old but that is just a guess.
So, we had five cats. Punkin lives inside with us. Rosie Little Bit sleeps in the utility room. Peach and Snowball sleep in the spoon shop and Fluffy Tail has a bed under the door steps with a heat lamp over his straw bed. Jimmy put heat lamps over Peach and Snowball's beds in the shop. He put a heat lamp over Rosie Little Bit's bed in the utility room.
Last summer I saw a cat come up on the deck for food. She was scared and ran away but I saw her several times before she ran off. Then, one morning in June I heard a little sound that resembled a kitten's mew. I turned to find the source and there in the ivy beside the carport was a mama cat with four kittens. The kittens looked to be about four weeks old. I just groaned. What on earth were we going to do????
We immediately fed the mama and the kittens were old enough to eat a little soft food. The mama is a Tortie, black and splotched. When I saw her my heart cried. She was as near starvation as I have ever seen a cat to be. Again, I renewed my hatred for evil humans who threw her away and her expecting kittens. Her little rump was one bony structure. Her ribs were showing and she resembled skin stretched over bones. Yet, she found the strength to nurse her babies. Oh, how I hated the people who did that to her.
I was frantic about what to do. I wrote my friend in Randolph county who used to be over the humane
society and who is still affiliated with it. She contacted people here and got an appointment set up for
mama cat to be spayed when her milk dried. She arranged for Fluffy Tail to be neutered free of charge under the feral cat program. She sponsored one of the kittens and paid for it to be spayed. After a long haul of waiting and stretching pennies, we finally got mama cat and all the kittens spayed and neutered. We got their surgery through the Henry Wrinkles Foundation that spays and neuters for a low fee. One of the local vets did the surgery.
We gained the confidence of mama cat and she is a sweet, wonderful little cat. She ate good food probably for the first time in her life and the kittens have grown into pretty little things. I was not going to gain mama's confidence then trick her into going to a kill place. I wouldn't do it. I couldn't do it. Jimmy fell in love with the kittens. There are two twin black ones....females. I can't tell them apart. There is a red tabby male and a gray tabby female.
We named the gray tabby Spot, because she has black spots on her belly. We named the orange tabby Red. We named the black ones Black and Blackie but I don't know Black from Blackie. We named the mama cat, Mama. Mama cat is now fat and well fed.
There were five kittens in the beginning but something happened to one of them. I am afraid a possum or other animal killed the poor little soul. We never found it.
So, we have 10 cats now. We made mama cat and her kittens a bed from a big plastic tub and lined it with insulation board. We cut two big holes for doors and filled the house with straw and Jimmy put straw around their house too. We pushed the house under the deck below the steps and it is a good warm place for them.
Our kids got a little miffed with us for keeping the cats. However, that is beside the point.
That is my cat story.
I thought you might enjoy reading about it, or maybe not.