Well, you’ve met my husband and kids, but have you met the rest of my family? They are all covered in a great amount of fur!
I keep saying I have a sign up somewhere at my house that says, “Strays Welcome Here”. I haven’t found it yet, but I know it’s there. Either that, or all the strays are sending out the message that a big softy lives here. Yep, that’s me, big softy.
We started out feeding this little gray and white cat that kept hanging around. He was so adorable, and I actually wanted to take him in, but he only wanted me for my food. So, I kept feeding him in the hopes that he might warm up to me. Well, he didn’t warm up to me so much as he did the little female stray that showed up on our porch on a cold November evening a few years ago.
Chessie, as I named her because she reminds me of the Cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland, wandered right into the house…and there she has remained. She is a very shy cat, and I’m pretty sure she was abused at some point before coming here. She showed up cold, scared, and without claws, and my softy heart melted. My vet thought since she was declawed, she was also spayed…she even saw the scar. But that’s a story for a little later…
Well, Chessie is, as we came to find out, a Bengal cat. These cats are a breed between a domestic cat and an Asian Leopard cat. She is the most beautiful cat I have ever seen. She is also very snobby and aristocratic. She talks, yes, she talks, and opens doors. I’m just waiting for her to start flushing the toilet…just kidding.
Shortly after Chessie came into our home, the little gray and white cat followed. He had been injured in a fight with another cat and had to be inside for over a month, and he just stayed. We named him Grayson. Grayson is a very large cat, and now that he is so pampered and loved on and fed, he is a very fat cat…and so adorable.
Our next addition was a little black cat who must have seen the sign on my front door. He got to us through the children. He is the most loving cat I’ve ever seen. He’s always bumping against us for a good petting or jumping in our laps. When the kids realized they could actually pet and hold this cat, they wanted him…and softy couldn’t say no. My son named our little black cat Punch. There’s a funny story behind that name…Wallace and Grommit…bunnies named Munch…my son hearing the name wrong…and Punch was born.
Here’s where Chessie being “spayed” comes into the picture. Punch was not neutered when we first got him. And clearly, Chessie was not spayed, because she started getting really fat. And a short time later, she had 5 little kittens. We had no intention of keeping them…3 cats is enough! Well, softy, that’s me, got attached, and so did my kiddos. And whether hubby will admit it or not, he did, too. So we added 5 more cats to the already full house. And here are their names (get ready…they are super original)…Moseley, because he looks like an old man, Whitey, because he’s white, Climby, because he likes to climb, Scrapper, because she likes to fight, and Baby, because, you guessed it, she’s the baby! I told you they were original! Hahaha!
So one would think with 8 cats (no, they don’t all live in my house, only Grayson), we would find a way to remove the “Strays Welcome Here” sign. Obviously not, because this past summer, a little puppy showed up in our yard. At the time, I thought it was an old dog on its death bed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an animal in worse shape. She was so skinny, I could see her ribs. She had fleas jumping all over her. She had huge bald spots and sores from the fleas and secondary infections. She was so bad off that she wouldn’t eat, even though she was clearly starving. Just to get her to drink water, I had to put it on my hand and stick it to her mouth. She was dying.
We took her to our vet to see what could be done. We got rid of the fleas, got antibiotics for the infections, and got all the vaccinations for a 14 week old dog! I couldn’t believe she was just a little puppy! We planned on helping this pup until a friend could arrange a transport for her to a new home…and she is still here today. After all the love and attention we put into saving her life, we couldn’t send her to live with someone else. So, my husband got the honor of naming our latest, and hopefully last, addition…Lady.
Almost one year later, Lady is no longer a bald, skinny pup. She is a shaggy, healthy, happy dog, and I hope she loves her home here with us as much as we love her…and all the rest of our furry family.