Welcome Back to PEP! Today I’ve dropped in to tell you about how I got my cats. I saw this question on Quora and since all four cats that have been in my life have had pretty interesting beginnings, I thought I’d tell you about Sponge, Sparkle, Lucy and Lily.
Sponge and Sparkle are, unfortunately, no longer with us. Sponge crossed the Rainbow Bridge in February 2004 and Sparkle crossed the Rainbow Bridge, joining her in September 2011.
This is Sponge.
Sponge was a American Shorthaired Tabby. She’s a pretty cat, isn’t she? She actually has a very interesting start. I actually wasn’t around yet when she joined the family, I would come along a year and half later. My parents were living in Austin, TX, where I was born and spent the first year of my life. Austin had considerable rain that spring and my father volunteered on the crews that would clear flooded streets and the like. Apparently, he was on one such street and something came floating down the flooded street with an animal on it. He scooped it out and realized it was a kitten. He brought the kitten home to my Mom, saying it would be a new member of the family. Even though my father was the one that rescued her, she was my mom’s cat from the get go. She was named Sponge as she was soaking wet when she was found. She was always in my mom’s lap or at least in the same room with her, never far. My mom says that she would always lay in her lap, against her pregnant belly, as if listening to me in the womb and she was always protective of me. Her nickname was Mama Kitty and she was a lot like a second mother to me. She was always watching over me as a baby and even as a kid and teen, when I didn’t feel well, she would join me wherever I was, on the couch or in bed, and cuddle with me. She was a nurturing cat but not very cuddly, she only did that if my Mom or I didn’t feel well. She loved people food, especially ice cream. We didn’t let her have too much, of course, and she was always a skinny cat. But she adored peaches and cream ice cream. She was 16, just about to turn 17 the April of 2004 when she stopped eating and when we took her to the vet, it was discovered she had a bone tumor in her jaw. She lasted a few more weeks on wet food but inevitably, stopped being able to eat so we had to make the heartbreaking difficult decision to put her to sleep as her quality of life was not longer worth the pain she was in. I still miss my Mama Kitty.
This is Sparkle.
Sparkle was also a American shorthaired Tabby, though not actually related to Sponge. He loved sit in boxes or, such as the case pictured above, in my Barbie tent. If he fit, he sat. Sparkle was my baby. I got him when I was just turning five years old. He was part of a littler of a mostly feral cat of a friend of my mom’s. I didn’t even know I was getting a cat. We’d gone out to their house, which was common as my mom’s friend had a daughter a couple of years older than me and my mom asked me to go on out to the car. This was in the early 90s and out in rural area, no longer in Austin. When she joined me, she had a little kitten in her arms and said that he was mine and my responsibility. We learned quickly that cat carriers were necessary with him as he spent the car ride climbing under the seat and all over the backseat. When we got home, Sponge immediately saw him as her kitten and sat him down to give him a bath. He was my baby, letting me dress him up, (I was five okay) carry him around, cuddle him. My mom jokes that his feet didn’t touch the floor his first 6 weeks with us between me and Sponge. He was a chatterbox, talking all the time. He was often like my little brother, always wanting to be where I was. If I closed my door and he was on the other side, it didn’t take long for him to be meowing or knocking the beads I had on the door at the time to be let in. He was a lap cat, he could always be found in first my lap, then when I went to college, he took my mom’s lap. He gained his name as when I was naming him, again I was 5, his name had to start with an S to match Sponge’s. Sparkle wasn’t too fond of people food when he was younger. But as he got older, he gained a taste for it, especially, like his mama before him, ice cream. But he didn’t care what flavor. Unfortunately, in early 2011 when he was 16, he was diagnosed with kidney renal failure. He lasted a few more months, even a miraculous regaining of his sight, before his quality of life dwindled to the point it was time for him to the cross the Rainbow Bridge in September just after his 17th birthday and join Sponge. I still miss my Baby Kitty.
This is Lucy.
Gorgeous, isn’t she? Lucy is a purebred Tortoiseshell which is a long-haired cat. She also happens to have something very special. She is what is called a polydactyl cat. She has five toes on all four paws rather than the usual 4. Admittedly, this has led her to getting into cabinets she shouldn’t be in but she’s never been hurt. (Once we figured out this ease of hers, we take extra careful care to lock up anything that might be harmful to her) She is also a long lanky cat, as you can see in the picture. She is able to jump as high as I am, (5’7″) and easily keep her balance anywhere. We had been cat-less for the first time in my life after losing Sparkle. A friend of my mom’s called and acknowledged that it hadn’t been long since we’d lost Sparkle but would we be willing to meet this kitten of a friend of hers? The friend had always wanted a cat and finally got one as an adult only to realize that, oops, she’s badly allergic to them. The friend was afraid if we didn’t take her, she’d be taken to the shelter and the town I lived in has one limited space no-kill shelter. We agreed to at least meet her. We went with her to her friend’s house and sat in the living room. Lucy strutted in, in the usual clumsy kitten way but more-so due to her bigger paws with extra toes. As far as she was concerned, she had arrived and the party could start. She immediately began investigating my mom and I and she was so friendly and had such an attitude, we fell in love with her immediately. We took her home with us, with her sitting in my lap and climbing up my shoulders in the backseat. Now, Lucy loves both of us, just as Sparkle and Sponge did, but just as Sponge was my mom’s cat and Sparkle was mine, Lucy is my Mom’s cat. She has her times when I’m the preferred human but otherwise, she’s my mom’s cat. She is so like Lucy Ricardo in cat form, it’s funny, hence her name. I don’t remember what it was before. Lucy likes almost all people food, but especially anything Dairy and anything chicken. She can be on the other side of the house and will show up if one of use getting ice cream, even if we never said we were getting some. She can be a chatterbox at times but especially when we have ice cream and she hasn’t gotten a taste yet. She’s still with us, just passed her 7th birthday.
This is Lily.
She’s gorgeous as well, isn’t she? She is also a Tortoiseshell but she’s what is considered a diluted tortoiseshell. While Lucy has the coloring and markings of the pure tortoiseshell, Lily has the same markings but is gray and white instead of black and russet. Lily is also tiny. It doesn’t appear it in the picture as she is a chunky kitty and very fluffy but her legs are short. If she was shaved, she would suddenly be half of her size. She struggles to get to some places her sister can get to with ease(No, they’re not litter-mates), but is just as adorable. She also has the normal number of toes on each paw. We adopted Lily from the shelter in Arlington, TX but brought her back home to Tyler, TX. The way we found her is another friend, former coworker, of my mom’s volunteers at the shelter and had posted some pictures of animals needing homes. One of them was the cat above, though smaller as she was only a few months old, with, and I’m serious here, a pumpkin hat on. It was October of 2011. Not only was it impressive they’d gotten a cat to wear a hat long enough for that good of a picture but she was adorable and the same breed as Lucy who desperately needed a playmate. So my mom reached out. When we learned that Lily, at the time named Miss Einstein, was a rescue from the streets, had the sniffles, and was in quarantine with three days left before her time was up, we adopted her, sight virtually unseen. The friend adopted her for us, since we were in Tyler and she was in Arlington, that day and the next day we drove up to Arlington to pick her up. Lily is the cuddliest chatterbox. She’ll happily talk to you all day, half the time while cuddling in your lap or on your chest. We quickly figured out why she’d been named Miss Einstein as honestly, that cat is sometimes too smart for her own good. She is my cat just as Lucy is my mom’s cat. They both love each of us but have formed special attachment to one of us, like pets do. Lily doesn’t care much for people food, though that may change as she gets older like it did with Sparkle. But she is a tuna-holic. As we discovered when we opened the first can of tuna for a meal for us after bringing her home and she bowled me over to get the juice. Since then, we always make extra sure to get the can with water, no oil, and she and her sister get the juice with a piece of tuna every time a can is opened. I got a can with oil by accident once, it doesn’t taste as fresh as with the water anyway but the brand I buy were on the bottom shelf and I was in a hurry, and she let me know in no uncertain terms that was not tuna and was unacceptable. (Yes, our cats are pampered and spoiled. They’re members of our family) She is also still with us, having just passed her 7th birthday.
So, that is my cat pride. I’ll have to tell ya’ll about my dog pack sometime too, I’ve got BoBo, PePe, Angel and Astro to share.
P.S. Before I forget, I’ll update this space later today with the link to today’s Wednesday’s Weird Tales of the Unknown. Unfortunately, scheduling it like I did, I can’t get the link for ya’ll just yet. But it’s a story ya’ll haven’t read yet so you’ll definitely want to check it out.
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