I guess I'd say that I've always been destined to be a crazy cat lady. For as long as I can remember, I've loved felines, and have always had an abundance of them in my life. Growing up, my dad always had a lot of stray cats at his house, and so there were always new kittens to play with. I realize now that having a bunch of whore cats who constantly bred and released more feral cats into the area wasn't the smartest thing, but I didn't so much care when I was 7 years old.
When I was about 5, my grandmother made me a blanket... with cats on it. It is probably the ugliest blanket I've ever seen, and after almost 20 years of constant use, it's falling apart. To this day, I sleep with it every night and it hasn't been washed in about 12 years. It has a certain smell to it that I love and I can't bring myself to get rid of it.
Now, onto the cats.
I moved out of my family home when I was 18, but at the time, I lived with a boyfriend, and he HATED cats. Obviously, that didn't last. As soon as I moved into a new place with a super cool roommate, I knew I'd be getting a kitty of my own.
I took a trip to the mall one day, and perused through the pet store, which I did pretty frequently, being that I'm an animal lover. This time was different though... they had kittens. Cute kittens. Tiny kittens. In the last cage on the bottom row, there was this little tiny multi-colored furball that was jumping around and trying to attack the other kittens in her cage. I asked an employee if I could play with her, and within five minutes of meeting her sweet face, it was love. She was crazy, but lovable, and all mine. I bought her on the spot, and named her Lily.
She was so wild when she was a kitten. It was like having a toddler in the house - she would get into everything, knock shit over, and routinely wake me up at five in the morning to attack my feet under the covers. She would swan dive from our loft balcony to the couch in the living room, which resulted in one emergency trip to the vet before she decided to give up suicide.
Now Lily is almost 5 years old, and she's the queen of the house. She's large and in charge with her deluxe size reign of terror. She looks fat, but in all honestly, she's really just a big cat - she's got a large frame and really thick fur. Yes, I just used the excuse that my cat is "big boned."
After the lease was up in the house I was living when I bought Lily, I decided to stop paying for homes I'd never own, and buy a house. When my friend decided to move in, I was thrilled at the thought of having a roommate who was also a friend. Not long after living together, she decided she wanted to get a kitten. She had a friend of a friend who had rescued some abandoned kittens that needed good homes. Of course, I couldn't deny her the right to have her own furbaby, so I gladly obliged and told her I'd even go with her to choose one.
Apparently, I was a fucking idiot to think I was going to walk in this woman's home full of kittens and not come out with my own. When we came in the house, we sat down and played with the babes, and watching them crawl, run, and pounce on everything brought back sweet memories of the early days with Lily. This little black & white tuxedo kitten came over to where I was sitting, jumped up in my lap, and fell right asleep. That was it. It was all over. I ended up taking her home (along with my roommates kitten), and hoped and wished the Lily would love her.
Pheobe had some trouble adjusting to Lily, but that was mostly because she was locked in a room with her sister during the day while we were both at work. In the end, the roommate situation didn't work out, but Pheobe stayed with her mama and her and Lily became best friends. That was a little over 4 years ago, and she still loves to climb in my lap and sleep like she did when she was a kitten.
Then there's Bear, our little miracle baby. My co-workers boyfriend found Bear and his little sister by a dumpster at his work, and being that I'm a crazy-cat-lady, she called me. Right of the bat, I fell in love with him... and so did Sean. He was only two weeks old when we took him in, and he was so young and weak, he couldn't even eat on his own. I had to store and warm up kitty milk for him and bottle feed him every 2-3 hours, and hope that he would eat it.
After having him for about a week, we noticed that his head tilted to the left and that he couldn't quite stand (or walk) without falling over to his left side. He was also still pretty weak, despite all his feedings. We took him to our normal vet and she advised us to put him down because he was so sick and fragile, not to mention the fact that he could possibly have rabies. I was so in love with this little nugget already, that I couldn't bear to listen to her. There was no way in hell that I was giving up on this little guy... I just knew that he had more fight in him.
I made the decision to get another opinion from a different vet - she agreed that there was a chance that he had rabies, and there was a good chance that he wouldn't make it, but she was willing to work with us. She put him on antibiotics to battle his balance issue, and he was on his way to being healthy. He took a turn for the better in a short few weeks, and while he was walking in circles, he was at least walking. He consistently got better and learned to live with his disability.
Today, you wouldn't even know that he was so close to death. He is definitely a little "different," but he just seems like a quirky little cat. We're pretty sure that since we raised him since birth that either he thinks that we're cats... or that he's a human. He is the funniest cat ever, and you can just tell how much he loves us and really knows that we're his parents.
Our last kitty, Pearl, was a bit of a surprise. We were living in my childhood home at the time, which I rented out from my father. You know, the place where there was always a shit ton of stray cats around. Yeah, that house. So naturally, we had a few strays come around now and then, and we'd feed them accordingly. We had a couple regulars that would go from house to house on our street.
I was outside trying to coax one of the strays (we named her Cyclops, because she was blind in one eye) into letting me pet her one day, when this other cat came around through the woods behind the house. She was all white, with a slight pink in her ears, and she was gorgeous. She was really shy, and kept her distance from me. Thankfully, she was nice to Cyclops, and would start coming up to the driveway to eat with her.
Eventually, Cyclops came around and learned to trust me, and started letting me love on her when I brought her food. One day I was out back petting her, and out comes this mysterious white cat... with five little kittens following behind her. I knew that she was either pregnant or getting ready to have babies, cause her nipples were large, but I had no idea she'd let them follow her to me!
Of course, I freaked, and decided that I had to do something to help these babies out. I called out new vet (the one who helped us with Bear), and told them, "hey, I've got five kittens and a Mama Cat, and I need to get them checked out." She let me bring them all in that evening, and they were treated with de-worming drops, flea baths, and antibiotics for all their respiratory infections. Whew, what fun it was to give baths and medicine to 5 six week old kittens every single day. Keep in mind that we had a total of 9 cats in the house at this time, haha. The kittens were quarantined from the other cats, since they were sick and all.
Luckily, we found good homes for all the kittens after we treated them for a couple weeks. Unfortunately, no one wanted a mama kitty who was a little over a year old and who had just had kittens. After a while, we gave up trying to find her a home and decided to keep her. I am so, so, so happy with our choice to keep the Pearl cat - she is SO extremely lovable and she is the best cuddler I know. She is still a gorgeous cat, and it's hard to believe that she once wouldn't come near me.
So yeah. Those are the stories of our babies, and for the moment, we're happy with the four that we have. Obviously, I would bring in every cat I come across, but my stupid husband would surely divorce me.
My cats are everything to me, and they all have their own little personalities, just like kids. I imagine them all to have different voices and accents, and they all have their own catch phrases. Call me crazy, and I'll agree.