Monday, March 30, 2009

Smitten by Mittens

Itty Bitty Mitty!

One big change in my life is that instead of taking care of one cat—Mittens, the half-Siamese—I now have three!

Adopting a Senior Kitty

First, let me tell you that I finally officially adopted Mittens. Yes, she's no longer a temp cat! She's got a permanent role—a starring one, mind you!—in my life. I'm thrilled. I can tell she is, too. She's fast asleep.

My friend Pixie, who used to be Mittens' guardian, told me that she no longer wanted to keep Mittens. And that if I returned Mittens to her, she'd just look for another home for her.

Of the three cats Pixie had, Mittens was always her least favorite.

Part of the reason, I suppose, is that Mittens used to belong to Pixie's ex-boyfriend's young daughter. The daughter went to live with her mom (the parents are divorced), who didn't want a cat. So she left Mittens with her dad, who was living with Pixie at the time. When Pixie broke up with him, he abandoned Mittens. (He himself simply disappeared, who knows where.)

Mittens’ Hard Luck Tale

I can certainly understand if Pixie doesn't have the best memories associated with Mittens. Under the circumstances, Pixie can be commended for spending hundreds of dollars on Mitten’s veterinary bills to cure her nasal fungal infection. Particularly since Pixie’s been very much strapped for cash. With all the turmoil in her life, she was having a hard time taking care of herself, let alone a sick cat. I helped out by boarding Mittens for free and providing all the care that she needed, including medicating her twice a day.

Another reason Pixie never cared much for Mittens is that she appeared to be a very needy cat. I suppose it’s because she’s been neglected most of her life. It’s surprising that she’s so affectionate even after being abused as a kitten.

According to Pixie, her ex-boyfriend’s daughter—who was a troubled little girl at the time—used to stuff Mittens in a pillowcase and swing her around.

No wonder Mittens is so skittish. She’s a scaredy little cat who spooks at her own shadow. And needy? Yes. I still remember meeting Mittens on Pixie’s bed. My buddy and I had just gone into Pixie’s bedroom to get something when Mittens sidled over to us, back arched, tail held high. Meowing non-stop, she proceeded to rub and head butt us for the next 20 minutes. As we stroked her per demand, her fur flew (boy, does she ever shed!) scattering all over the maroon red bedspread. We tried to make a break for it a number of times, but she managed to corral us back each time.

She’s a Brand New Cat

Well, I’m proud to say that today she’s a far different kitty. She’s recovered from her infection, gained weight (a tad too much!), she’s healthy, and no longer needy. Most of the time she sits on my bed with a look of smug contentment. She never accosts anyone with persistent head butting. In fact, if anyone tries to pat her too much, she’ll deliver a kung fu kick with her hind leg—just a little warning, still pulling the punches, so to speak—or give a little mock bite.

I also took her to the humane society to get microchipped. She has her own Home Again tag dangling from her Parisian chic black collar. Recently, I purchased a rhinestone letter “M” for her. She’s a styling kitty! At age 14, she’s young at heart.

The other two cats in my life now are Sammy—my new temp cat— and Lydia, a blind, albino cat, who’s here to stay for good. All the cats here are senior cats. Each with his or her unique tail and a tale to tell.

Have you ever adopted a senior cat? If so, how did that work out for you? Please feel free to comment if you care to share.

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