For many years I’ve longed after a cat for my own possession.
I’ve always liked cats, having fond memories of Pookie Flower, the not-so-brilliant Siamese that I grew up with. She wasn’t the friendliest of animals, but she had glamour. And mystery. Glamorous mystery. Plus, my mom ended up pulling kitty litter duty, so all my cat experiences are poop free.
I have, on several occasions, attempted to adopt a feline friend. I should note that Derrick, my beloved and long suffering husband, is not a cat person. The first cat we adopted was criminally insane. That cat would just climb onto curtains, couches, screen doors, pants, anything really. He would then perch there, on whatever it was, and um, meow. I chalked it up to feline neurotic-ness, but then he started peeing (at a very young age) on pretty much everything. He went to the farm.
Then there was the cat that I adopted that was a black, long haired snuggle bug. Friday, also known as Meow Meow (aren’t they all), was a purring machine. He did have a nasty habit of cuddling at night, purring lustily, and then biting you on the nose. He also would sneak up on you from behind and try to bite your legs off. Those cats! So funny with their neurotic behaviors. Hahaha!
I had a c-section and found his unexpected pounces to be rather painful, so he went to the farm again, to be watched diligently by my mother. He promptly was ran over.
I somehow manage to attract the crazy cats. The violent, slightly incontinent cats of the world seem to flock to me.
Recently I realized that the best way to get a “normal” feline was to have someone find one for me. My little sister is 23 and living with my “empty nest” parents. She regularly adopts animals. So far, she has brought a ball python and a beta fish into my parent’s home. She has also adopted three feral cats and a dog named Sherlock, who loves to fetch and jump in the pool but who, sadly, hates men. The cats and the dog are living at a house my parents had hoped to rent out. It’s my belief that they had better get cracking on finding a renter before my sister adopts a lama.
Anyway, I asked her, “Find me a loving, cuddly kitty that will put up with the boys.”Months passed. I forgot about my request. Then, yesterday, my baby sis called me. She had my cat. And, she had taken the liberty to bring it home with her, to my mother’s house.
My mother was overjoyed. She said, “JoAnn doesn’t need a cat!” and “I don’t want anymore kitty litter! Why can’t that cat go be an outside cat?!”
My sister, knowing how much I hate dirty cats, insisted that it stay indoors. However, there was a shortage of kitty litter at the farm, owing to the shortage of inside cats. To remedy this problem, my sister filled a cardboard box with soil and locked the kitten in the bathroom over night. In the morning, when my mother went to, ahem, use the facilities, there was dirt all over the floor. Cat prints along the toilet bowl rim, on the sink, on the, well, everywhere.
My mother was overjoyed. Again.
I went to pick up the children, who stayed at the farm while I had eye surgery and while there I noticed the thick, adorable tension between my mother and the kitten.
I interviewed my sister on the cat’s tendencies. She assured me that it had not climbed anything, nor peed on any furniture, nor attacked her in the dark. She told me it was a Maine Coon cat, which she knew to be curious and independent, and cuddly.
“Curious, independent and…Cuddly? No. You made the cuddly part up!” I said.
She started laughing, silent, shaking laughter. I had caught her being a cat-oil salesmen.
Then I asked her why they are called Maine Coon cats, and she said, “Oh, well, because they’re from Maine and they hunt raccoons”
“Are you sure it’s not because they’re from Maine and they have stripes like raccoons?” I queried.
More silent, shaking laughter. This girl was unreliable.
SOLD! I took the kitten. It was Derrick’s turn to be overjoyed.
On the way home, the minivan held a meeting on “What to name the Cat.” I was all for it’s original name, Cricket. The boys would not stand for it. Cricket would. not. stand.
They declared it was to be named Iron Man, and I declared it to be an impossible name for a girl cat, and they cried, and declared it to be Iron Man, and I almost gave up until I realized that it looked exactly close enough like Dr. Claw’s cat on the beloved cartoon “Inspector Gadget”.
So, we are now living with Dr. Claw, who spent the evening hiding under the bed and fighting with the dog. This morning it curled up in the sink and glared at me with disdain while I took a shower. Dr. Claw spent the entire day sleeping on my bed. She also fell off a windowsill and is currently, as I type, licking a fork I put in the sink. In short, Dr. Claw is acting like a marvelous, neurotic but not incontinent, cat. I’m super happy.
Here are some photos of Dr. Claw. I call this series, “Oil and Water, Cats and Cameras, Sun and Moon, Hot and Cold, Bananas and Carrots”.