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home : blogs_old : quad-city creature blog February 7, 2016

Quad-City Creatures
By Heidi Dahms Foster, Prescott Valley, Arizona
A local blog all about pets and pet activities in the quad-city area.PV, Prescott and beyond.
Friday, April 15, 2011

Blog: Cats in the hat, the bed, in fact, all over the house

Heidi Dahms Foster

Photo by Heidi Dahms Foster
Squeaky would rather not be disturbed, thank you very much

I am not a cat person. I'm a dog person. I love those goofy, happy, yapping, furry and wonderful canine friends that add such richness to my days.

That said, my husband and I share our home with six, yes, six felines. I'm still shaking my head at how that happened, in between enjoying every day with these purring, hilarious critters.

Through the years, being an animal person overall, I acquired a cat or two, always rescues or given to me by friends.

Among them, our cat Timber, a Burmese, came to me when a young woman walked into my office one day and asked if I knew anyone who wanted a nice cat. The military had transferred her husband, and she had to give up her horse and her cat. I felt sorry for her, and said I'd take the cat. She brought Timber in, and wiping away tears, pushed her into my arms and ran out the door. Timber is now nearly 20, and still going strong, despite the fact that she's a walking bad hair day. I hope that young lady will read this and know her beloved kitty is fine.

Then I visited the Petsmart cat adoption room one day. Just looking. But I came home with "Faith," named because she was found in a church parking lot, near death after being hit by a car. The vets put her back together, but she lost an eye. She was all black with that one big yellow eye, and she used to hang out on top of the cat tree and survey her kingdom. I renamed her "Cyclops." We had Cyclops for more than 10 years before she died of age-related illness.

Eight or nine years ago, I visited Peggy, who writes a column for one of our local papers. While sitting on her couch, a very young cat climbed onto my neck and wouldn't leave. Peggy told me she was a stray that her mom thought about taking in. It took very little negotiation to bring "Squeaky," named for her "barely there" meow, home. What I didn't know at the time was that I was bringing home her three kittens. Yup, she was pregnant. She had her kittens and I kept one and gave two to a friend. The one I kept, a Siamese, I named Buster, until I discovered that Buster was a girl, and renamed her Hyacinth. She and Squeaky are inseparable, and they are little heat seeking missiles, finding us wherever we are in the house and snuggling up close. That's when they aren't "worshipping the fire god," laying upside down in front of the gas fireplace in our living room. We refer to them as "carpet otters."

We were pretty happy with what we had, when my husband's cousin called, frantic to find a home for a nice, neutered male cat that invited himself into their home via the doggy door. They tried to find his owners, because he obviously was well cared for, but no one came forward. They decided to keep him, naming him Oscar. Unfortunately, the cousin's son was highly allergic to Oscar, and they needed to find him a home. We picked him up, brought him home and dumped him into the middle of four females. This was not popular, either with Oscar or the females. Plenty of hissing and spitting went on for weeks, and Squeaky particularly tormented Oscar. Until one day, we were sitting in the kitchen, and we gave Oscar some catnip. One snout-full, and he turned into supercat. He took a five-foot, flying leap, landing right in the middle of Squeaky, who, shocked beyond belief, never bothered him again. Every now and then Oscar picks a small fight, more like a kitty snit, and then walks through the house yowling at the top of his lungs, as if to let everyone know he's top cat.

Moving right along with our happy houseful, we were not prepared for the call from our friend Tammy. Someone had dumped a box of kittens in the ditch near her house. She picked them up and found people to keep them overnight. In fact she found homes for two of the four. She called us to be on the lookout for more homes. We said we might be interested in one of the kittens, a cute little Tuxedo, black and white with big wide eyes. She called on the way, saying that the people who were keeping the two kittens hadn't fed them all night and they were crying and unhappy. Well, that was enough for me. I told Tammy to bring both kittens and we would foster them until we found a home for the other. You can guess "the rest of the story."

The kittens arrived, and when we brought out the food and water, they dove in, starved. Once satiated, their personalities began to emerge. The little Tuxedo, now named Dahlia, was cute enough. But it was as if the little male, a perfectly marked tabby, knew he needed to turn on some charm, and did he ever. He won me over with his personality in about five minutes. Dubbed Riley - because he's now living the life of - that boy has grown exponentially and is now the size of our grown cats! Dahlia is petite and shy, Riley is uncoordinated and very large! We have laughed ourselves silly at their antics, and they have forgiven us for their visit to the Humane Society spay/neuter clinic.

Riley absolutely loves our dogs, and they return the favor. He loves to curl up next to our 12-year-old dog and snooze with her.

So I can't really say I'm a dog person anymore. I've gone to the dogs, and the cats. And I'm enjoying every minute of it.

If you have a cat (or more) that reigns over your household, email and tell me about it. Send a photo and I'll include your kitty in a future blog.

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, April 16, 2011
Article comment by: Debby Taylor

I especially like the story of the one who climbed onto your neck!

Debby Taylor


Posted: Saturday, April 16, 2011
Article comment by: Debby Taylor

Heidi, you have some amazing stories. I know what it feels like to be won over by a cat. My husband rescued one from a dog attack. As she was recovering in our home, she became part of the family as she endeared herself to both of us.

Thanks for offering this blog!

Posted: Friday, April 15, 2011
Article comment by: Tammy Cease

Oh Heidi I love this blog and welcome to the world of cat fanciers!!!! They are like potato chips you can't have just one :)

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