Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Being a Mom to "Fur Babies": Introducing The Cats

This is going to be the first of a series of posts that I plan to write about being a pet parent. Since we have such a zoo here, it only makes sense to introduce our pets and explain what life is like with each of them. 

I always had pets growing up. My parents had a dog before I was born and my mom has always had at least one dog at home. There were also two family cats. We got the first one when I was 8 and the second when I was around 14. In fact, the cat that we got when I was 14 was "my cat." His name is Merlin, but that devolved into just "Meow" (pronounced more like Mao, than the traditional Meow) due to his signature way of vocalizing. Ultimately my mom ended up keeping him because my zoo of a house would have been very traumatic for him. He gets to be a happier cat after each of my mom's beloved pets die of old age and he would be miserable here at our house.

This is a pretty old picture of Meow

Leaving for college was a little bit of a shock for me. It was the first time that I had never had a pet of any sort. I missed the snuggles and pets that a furry companion can offer. I missed watching them play. Of course while I was living in a dorm there was no feasible option to get a pet, so I settled for visiting my "babies" at home. A few years into the college experience, I moved in with one of my boyfriends and a few of his friends. One of those friends ended up adopting a kitten named Oscar. The next year that friend moved back into the dorms and we were left with Oscar. After my boyfriend and I broke up, I kept Oscar. Oscar is my first pet as an adult.He is an orange domestic short haired cat with stripes and some white markings. He is also full of personality and spunk. I have never met a cat with more of an attitude. He either loves you and wants to snuggle or he wants to hiss at you and bite you. There is absolutely nothing in-between. In spite of his personality "quirks" (or maybe because of them), Oscar has made himself a home in my heart and he quickly won over my husband as well.

Baby Oscar

Oscar's Christmas Portrait

I never really had any intentions of owning more than one cat. Oscar was a cat raised by himself, he had never met another cat (and hated dogs) and I just assumed that it wouldn't go very well. I ended up having to reevaluate  those opinions after I met Nathan. He was also the proud pet parent of a cat of his own. "Kitty" (Nathan didn't like the name that he had when he adopted him and apparently never got around to changing it)  is a big grey striped domestic short hair. In fact, Kitty and Oscar look a lot like they could be from the same litter. They are both rather large cats with similar markings, just in different colors. 

Kitty is a fairly typical cat. He generally speaking has a shy personality. He is terrified of strangers and will hide for hours. As I've gotten to know him over the years though, he has really blossomed into a sweet guy. He is still a little "stand-offish," but pretty much every day he'll come up to me for 15 or 20 minutes of pets. He absolutely loves to be pet and scratched, when he purrs it really sounds like a boat motor. Kitty is also the hunter of our two cats. He is an indoor cat, but during the summer we let him into our fenced in yard for several hours at a time (Oscar isn't allowed outside because he seems to have no normal sense of self-preservation). He loves it! He also brings back critters for me to freak out about and leaves them on the porch (or one time, on my sandals!). 

Kitty's Christmas Portrait

Now that you've met our cats, I hope you'll stay tuned for introductions to the rest of our zoo as well as some posts on taking care of them all. Do you have cats with unique personalities like ours?

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