Excuse me for bragging, but I’m a remarkable cat. The proof is in the fact that I’ve adapted to so many new homes in my 10-plus years of life, and I’ve done it with grace…most of the time. Here’s a brief history:
I was adopted from a shelter, along with my littermate, Sam, when we were kittens. Sam’s appearance and personality were very different from mine from the outset. He’s a black cat and an in-your-face sort of pet. I am a brown/black/white tabby, as you can tell from my photo. As for personality, you turn on the water, and Sam’s right there, ready to bat at it. And when unfamiliar humans are around, he’s always been right there to greet them. I have always hid under the bed or behind the sofa.
The two of us didn’t fight, but we didn’t spend much time together either. Our owner was a lovely single woman who loved cats (except some chap named Oliver, which she had growing up and about which she declared, “He was the worst pet ever!”) She worked all day, five days a week, but she took good care of us and gave us attention when she was home. Sam got more attention because, as I mentioned, he was “in your face.” After a while, our owner met the love of her life, and they got married. But the love of her life had a female cat too, named Scout. Then there were three. We all got along reasonably well, but I usually hid out by myself, so there was no drama. And all five of us slept in the same bed. It was crowded (and sometimes the humans snored), but we felt loved and comforted.
What makes me and my feline roommates adaptable is that we moved to so many new locations and quickly got acclimated to all of them. There were condos, rental apartments, and later a brand new house. (It was a LEED Platinum house too, which was meaningless to us but apparently pleases the environmentalists.) Think about it: In each new place, we had to get used to the location of our litter boxes and our food and water bowls pretty quickly (especially the litter boxes). Did I mention that I’m pretty persnickety when it comes to my litter box?
Then, earlier this year, my owners got the cockamamie idea to move to San Francisco. It’s a lovely city, I’m told, but it would mean taking a very long plane ride in a cat carrier (I hate that thing!) and getting used to a whole new layout for my litter box and food and water bowls…again. I mean, I’m not getting any younger, and neither are my feline roommates! Despite these reservations, I started to anticipate the move.
The next thing I know, my owners are saying that the home they rented in SF will allow only two cats. And, for some reason, I am the cat that will not make the trip! I overheard my owner talking to her mother on the phone and explaining that I’m a loner and I don’t get enough attention because I’m usually away from the main action of the house. “Maude will be much better off in a one-cat home,” she said. I was dubious.
In the meantime, before the big transfer of custody day, I had dental surgery (don’t ask). I survived and was even able to eat solid food soon afterward.
Then, on April 7, I was put into my carrier and taken for a long ride to the suburbs. I don’t like the carrier, I don’t like the car, and I got carsick on the way. That’ll show her how upset I am over this move…for which I was not consulted. I wandered around, hesitantly exploring my new home. Clean litter box. Check. Bowls for food and water. Check. The same litter and food I’ve become used to. Check. So far so good. The new owners looked okay too, but time would tell. Then my former owner left, and I was on my own with these two strangers.
There was a lot of petting and belly-rubbing (my former owner showed the new ones just how I liked it), and that was good. When it got dark out, I found a comfortable hiding place in their master closet. My owners, satisfied that I was all set, I presume, went to bed. Once it was dark, I suddenly realized I missed my former owner, home, and even those two other cats. I left the closet and wandered around the house making all kinds of mournful sounds. I didn’t want my new owners to think that I could just be transferred over to new people and a new home without any objections! I know I kept them awake most of the night.
But here’s the remarkable part: I carried on like this for only one night. I found out that one or both of them were home most of the time, and when they were home, they petted me and talked to me, cleaned my litter box several times a day (and with only one me messing it up, that’s amazing), and gave me fresh food and water. They even bought me some toys to play with. And about a week later, when I decided to climb up into bed with them, they made room for me—squeezing themselves into two-thirds of a queen-size bed—and gave me much love and affection. I think I’m in heaven…cat heaven, that is, which is very different from human heaven.
Now it’s been 4 months, and I like it here. There are a few weird things, like the way my female owner calls me all these silly names, like Little One, Kitten Caboodle, Sweetie Pie, and Sweet Baby. It’s that last one I can’t figure out. Doesn’t she know I’m almost 11 years old? But she means well. And she does pet me and let me rest my paw and head on her arm (which must surely go numb after all that time) when we nap or go to bed at night. She also is diligent about scooping the litter box and providing fresh food and water.
Sometimes I like to shake things up a bit!
The male owner is good to me too, but most of the time I hear him complaining to her that he’s only chopped liver when she’s around. (Chopped liver sounds pretty good. Maybe they’ll feed me that too.) He also is the one to ambush me and force me into the carrier when we go to my new vet. I know it’s necessary, but I still hate it. They also get together to put drops in my ears at night. I struggled at first, then hid under the bed, but now I realize that it doesn’t hurt, so I sit still while he holds me and she squeezes the medicine into each ear. See? Another reason I’m so remarkable!
I do get into trouble once in a while. I’m not supposed to climb onto dressers, nightstands, and the kitchen table. But I still try.