Of course I'm talking about our cats and I've divided them into different categories, the Good, the Bad, the Infirmed, the Challenged and the Naughty.
The Good is Bruiser LaRue..
He arrived at the farm, still inside his very pregnant mother, she was tame so I knew someone had dumped her off to rid themselves of the responsibility. Five days later she came up to eat and her belly was gone, she ended up leading me to them, five tiny babies in the old hog house. I knew if I left them there, a tom cat would most likely kill them.
I took her and the kittens home and set up a nest box in the garden shed, she and the kittens were safe from marauding toms and anything else that might do them harm. Three of the kittens did not survive, two died in the garden shed and one was tragically run over in the driveway. My niece, Carri chose Appleton and that left Bruiser to re-home. He was a very shy kitten, wouldn't play, cringed when I picked him up so I set about to socialize him. Everyday I cuddled and played with Bruiser and one day when I came home, he ran to me, threw himself on the ground and rolled on his back for me to tickle his belly. That was the day I knew he already had his forever home, how could I give him away?
He's a big, fluffy teddy bear who gets along with everyone, each morning I see him walking side by side with one or two dogs and he is always ready for a cuddle by me when I'm feeding the horses. But don't mess with him, he has been known to body slam a dissenter.
The Bad is Stinky, a bully who terrorizes the other cats, except Bruiser, he has been on the receiving end of his wrath.
My Mom took Stinky in when she was living in Whiting but when he pitched onto her cat, she banished him to the basement. I didn't think that was any life for a cat so brought him home and neutered him, thinking farm life would be good for him. Perhaps he did not take the neutering in stride?
It didn't take long to see that he has a dark side, Stinky can be such a lover one minute and turn around and attack one of the cats the next.The dogs are law around here and have carte blanche to break up cat fights and they do so with gusto, rattling him between their front legs, getting in a bite or two, Stinky pays the price but that doesn't stop him. After the chase is over, all is forgiven and they lie down together - until next time.
The Infirmed is Clyde, life started out hard when he was abandoned by his mother, had his leg broke by his exuberant sister, Bonnie and accidentally poisoned by me, with the vet's help.
Despite this rough start, he has grown up a happy cat, he just doesn't know he's handicapped. He can climb into the cat tower, it just takes him longer and he might lose his balance and fall out before he reaches the top. But he perseveres and claims the King of the Mountain prize.
Clyde walks with the the gait of a drunken sailor and has a lot of 'falling dreams' while sleeping on the couch that come to fruition when he then launches himself onto the floor out of a sound sleep. His bobble head becomes more pronounced when he is under stress and my fluffy robe sends him into paroxysms of ecstasy when he climbs on my lap, stares into my eyes and kneads it slowly and deliberately, "Are you my Mum?"
The Challenged is the Ghost, who was born in a cornfield to her feral mother. I thought she was just too pretty to leave in the wild and trapped her but her feral roots ran deep. Even though she grew up in the house, she has never been as ease around anyone but me and lived most of her life upstairs in our bedroom, dashing downstairs to eat and use the litter box. When we have company, she is never seen, that's why she's the Ghost.
Todd, a young family member, spent a summer with us several years ago and Ghost grudgingly had to accepted him, but she made it clear the sooner he left, the better off we would all be. He set up his computer in the radio room and everyday Ghost ran downstairs, into the room, stopped, looked at Todd and continued on her way to the food. On her way back upstairs, she'd stop, look at Todd as though to say, "Are you STILL here??" then run upstairs.
"I may have to accept him but I don't have to like him!"
Ghost is really old, I'm guessing 16 or 17 and suffers from near blindness from hypertension. I wasn't sure what her future would hold but found out that cats are quite resilient - just don't move the furniture around! Ghost is like these Roomba automatic vacuum cleaners, when they bump into a wall or object, they reverse course. Everyone treads lightly when the Ghost is on the move, trying not to startle her or get in the way. It's almost like the Secret Service, "Head's up, 12 o'clock, the Ghost is heading north, move, move, move!"
As cute as Zoe is, she gets the moniker of The Naughty, she is the youngest and probably a bit spoiled, ya think?
She has always terrorized the Ghost, lying in wait on the computer chair, hiding around a hidden corner, crouching in the shadow of a stair step, attacking the Ghost when she least suspects it. When I hear a kerfuffle break out, my first response it to yell, then hunt down the perpetrator. Zoe is fast but she sometimes doesn't choose her hiding place well. I found her on the back of the toilet tank, behind Bruce's towel hanging from the wall rack, she was well hidden but her tail gave her away, she forgot to pull it up.
The Ghost is spending the winter downstairs so Zoe doesn't get too many licks in on her because I'm always watching. She has turned to tormenting Clyde but since they are buds, she is a bit more devious. Zoe tears through the house, working off excess energy and grazes him or jumps over him, working Clyde into a frazzle and causing his palsy to kick into high gear.
I've never had a cat that is so jealous of me, if Clyde is in my lap, she 'innocently' slides in beside him, knowing full well that will tick him off and he leaves. If I call to Ghost come up, Zoe appears out of nowhere and stakes her claim in my lap, just because she can.
After all, she is the cutest kitten in the world.