How did I end up with four cats? | For Animal Lovers

Mollie, Hazel and Morgan sharing the bed.

Mollie, Hazel and Morgan sharing the bed. All is good. Everyone gets along. Jake is on the lounge supervising the photo shoot.

The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

Mahatma Gandhi

My family has some unusual genes. Every family does. Our family doesn’t carry the stalker gene or the serial killer gene. We do carry the pet gene, as in lots of pets.

Not just my family but the beloved husband’s family too. Last count he had two grandchildren and 13 grand pets.

There are a few other noteworthy genes but this post isn’t about them. It’s about how you can end up with more pets in a sane rational way. (You have to keep reading to see how that turns out!)

I have had a pet since I was 5 years old. We started with a family dog. Moving on to a singing canary when I was 10.

But around age 13 I fell in love with cats. They suited me. Their potty manners meant I wasn’t required to walk them twice a day. You can put out food (at my convenience) to eat (at their convenience). Easy peasy!

When I was young, people didn’t neuter their pets so we had lots of cats. We started with one and bang she had kittens. We kept one kitten (finding good homes for the rest) and bang she had kittens. You can see where this is going, can’t you?

Unfortunately, not neutering also means that they don’t live long. The average age of a cat in my old neighborhood was about two years. That constant loss is painful for a young child.

We didn’t have any cats for a few years after a loved one died. That one was especially hard for me and I didn’t want to connect with something that would die so soon.

When I adopted again, I was working and that cat was spayed. She went outside but didn’t travel as an unneutered one does. She died of natural causes at age 14.

I replaced her with two cats. Working meant that any pet would be alone during the day. With two they would have company. This was the plan. The two I adopted didn’t like each other.

My girlfriend found a three-month-old cat in her yard. She stopped on her way to the shelter and of course that’s Jake, my 16-year-old grumpy cat. (Stopping at my house with an orphan cat is never a good idea.)

Now I had three cats. Jake got along with one of the other two, but I still had a prima donna that didn’t get along with anyone.

The two old cats passed leaving Jake all alone. (I think he was enjoying the single life — lounge chair to himself watching sports on the TV.)

I assumed he was lonely and adopted Mollie. She was 15 months old and already had a litter. She wasn’t spayed at the time of adoption. She was scheduled but was recovering from a respiratory illness when she went into heat. Oy vay!

Her caterwauling was incredibly loud (she was a horny pint-sized 6 pounds) and she kept showing her private parts to (already neutered) Jake. His response was to flatten his ears back and look at me like I should do something. He had no clue what to do.

I did. She was spayed the following week.

Jake, who was 6, wasn’t playful enough for Mollie so we adopted another cat closer to her age. That’s how Hazel joined us. I never expected to have three cats but it didn’t seem so crazy at the time.

Shortly after that, a young kitten showed up on our back door step (literally). He was playful and adorable but I found a good home for him and regretted it ever since. He was a wonderful cat.

We were a family of two people and three cats. All was good until I dropped off old towels at the shelter and came face to face with what I thought was an old special needs cat. She had one-eye and looked so sad. I agreed to adopt her no matter what condition she was in. (She would be the good deed in my life.)

She wasn’t old or special needs. She was six months and full of spunk. That’s how Morgan joined the household.

I can’t believe I have four cats. I had convinced the beloved husband that Hazel would replace Jake. With his diabetes I didn’t expect him to be so healthy so long. Not only do we have a replacement for Jake but a spare too.

There is harmony. Everyone gets along.

The beloved husband has happily picked up the chore of dropping off donations at the shelter. (He is a wise man.)

Do you think he wanders into the cat room when he goes there? Probably not. If he had his druthers, he would trade us all in for a nice slobbery dog.

Morgan as the new cat. She has since doubled her size.

Morgan as a young kitten. She has since doubled her size into a tall, lanky, model-thin cat.

41 thoughts on “How did I end up with four cats? | For Animal Lovers

  1. Oh Kate, I loved this…keep it for your collection…and look at the joyous response. Your funniest when you talk about Jake and Hazel like they were the Golden Girls..sorry Jake…poetic license. and one-eyed Morgan just looks as if he’s perpetually winking..like a sailor on leave.
    It says something about you…loving them so much.
    Just made me smile so much as I sit here, sleeplessly.

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  2. When I was a kid, we had a cat named Kitty. She hid under the house and gave birth to a batch of kittens. That night the mean tomcat up the hill killed them all. We kept a kitten from her next batch, Slim. It was a long time ago, so I don’t remember how many batches of kittens Kitty had, how many were killed by the mean tomcat, how many we kept, and how many we gave away. Despite all the death and mayhem, we did love our cats and kittens.

    We also had a dog named Puppily that belonged to the old man across the street but decided he wanted to be ours. We weren’t very creative with our names in those days.

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    • One of our mama cats went missing two days after giving birth. The mama cat two doors up had her kittens killed by other cats so she came to nurse ours. She was a good mama. Life was tough for cats then. My cats have it really good. They just worry about whether it’s dinnertime or not. We had all kinds of names for our critters. I had a rooster named Pepper but that’s another story.

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  3. I’ve had as many as five at a time. I thought, “What’s one more?” Well, the difference between five and four is like the way the richter scale measures earthquakes. But we managed to love them all.

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    • There wasn’t a lot of difference between one and two except for lumps in the litter. However, as the number increased I had to find different spots for each to eat in peace. That was a challenge. Oh yes, and astronomical increase in lumps in the litter boxes.

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  4. One of my favorite memories of growing up on the farm was the herds of cats we had – all named. My favorite was Shorty Pants, the Co-op Cat. For how he got his name read http://emjayandthem.com/2012/12/05/shorty-pants-the-co-op-cat/

    I would still love a cat but Hubbs is deathly allergic (like E.R. room can’t breathe allergic). If I hadn’t witnessed it in action I would have brought a kitty – or 2 – home long ago 🙂

    Your cats have it made !!
    MJ

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  5. I avoid PetCo on the weekends for the very reason Beloved Husband now drops your towels off at the shelter. I could easily come home with a kitty in my purse. Oregano used to volunteer at Tabby’s Place – a local cat sanctuary. I worried every Saturday that he would come home with a “surprise.” We’ve made a pact never to have the cats in the house outnumber the humans. So far, we’ve managed to keep that pact.

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    • We blew the equality pact years ago. We have a local PetCo. It wasn’t bad enough that they had adoptions on the weekend (and I couldn’t go then), now they have a permanent residence for 6 cats, all adorable. Very hard to pass it up. I do very bizarre walking patterns to avoid it. It’s odd because I love birds too and will spend time cooing at their parrots and fancy birds but I am never tempted to take one home. I probably know it wouldn’t end well with my crew.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I understand completely! If I lived alone we’d definitely have more pets! I’ve been wanting a cat to round out the menagerie, but I don’t think Zena could take it…and she’s definitely high maintenance! 🙂

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  7. You’re totally sane Kate 😉 Growing up we had two cats, two dogs, canaries, budgerigars, goldfish – it was quite the zoo 😀 Sometimes I think we should adopt a cat or a dog but hubby shoots that idea down because of his allergies…I do miss having cats especially.

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  8. Meow-riffic. I’ve got to admire the way you’ve ridden the river that began with your 1st. As ever, I feel like I’m there when i read you – you and your lovely circus. Love is…right?
    Until then.
    Dan

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  9. Loved this story. I often ask myself the same question as your title question. And now that they are on healthy canned food THREE times a day for the old man I’m keeping off insulin (keep fingers crossed), cat feeding has become a whole lotta work! But they have shiny coats!

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  10. I used to volunteer for a cat rescue…ended up with three of our cats that way. Happily the feral program doesn’t often lend itself to keeping a cat…with the exception of Annie. Seven cats isn’t that bad, right? Not to mention the two dogs.

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      • Some of our cats were easy with the dogs, and some were scared, but most have learned to just tell the dogs off and be done with it. We all settle in the living room in the evenings…very pastoral scene!

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  11. I suppose it’s probably a good thing that I have a dog (okay, two dogs) and that they are not cat-friendly, or I’d probably be covered up in cats. I totally agree that cats are a little less demanding on the maintenance side of things, although not by much.

    Of course, I never really expected to have a huge 100 lb dog, (it’s my son’s fault), but now, I can’t imagine my life without him. He is getting gray and slow, and creaks a bit, but he’s a keeper.

    I started off with a Pekingese puppy way back when I was about ten, and haven’t been without a dog since. My personal affinity is for Cocker Spaniels, but they require lots of grooming and are prone to a wide variety of digestive issues, plus tend to be a bit neurotic (or, at least, all three of mine were). Even so, I’ve managed to have three of them make my life happier. As well as several cats, hamsters, lizards, spiders, and other assorted dogs (my boys were adventurous, and loved critters). Nowadays, it’s just me and the big brute, and his trusty sidekick. Almost more than I can handle, but they sure are good company.

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    • Poundwise you win! Collectively my 4 together weigh less than your big guy. My husband loves cocker spaniels too. My first dog was a terrier mix (looked a little like a Jack Russel and was just as neurotic). He was a jumpy dog and hard to control (but not naughty). I like dogs too but until I retired I just didn’t have the time (or maybe the energy). Now the cats would be annoyed if I brought a dog home especially Jake.

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  12. Love this and you are a ‘cat’s best friend’ forever. I love cats but we only have THE one, Gibby, the Ragdoll. We live w/her. Our oldest grandson said, “Gran, cats are much better than dogs…they don’t have to be walked.” He has to walk their dog.
    Your cats are wonderful and it’s most obvious you are adored, as are they. Cat’s rule!

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