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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Cats I Have Known: Sarah

Sarah was our prettiest cat and far and away our stupidest.  She really was pretty, I mean calendar cat pretty.  White and black and fluffy.  If we went for a walk, she'd follow us.  I've never had a cat who did that before.  There's a reason cats don't go on walks with people the way dogs do.  Cats aren't good walkers.  She'd fall behind us, after she'd already gone far  enough we were afraid she wouldn't find her way back on her own, and we'd have to wait for her to catch up to us.  Then she'd tire out completely and we'd have to carry her the rest of the way.  Maybe we were the stupid ones.

We got Sarah when she was just past kitten-hood and took her to get her fixed, but the vet said there was no rush, that she wouldn't get pregnant before she was at least a year old.  Apparently, however, the vet had missed class or fallen asleep when the professor said cats usually don't get pregnant before they're a year old because Sarah was less than nine months when she became great with kittens, as the saying goes.

We were out of town when the miracle of childbirth occurred, and we returned to five new kittens and a wreck in the kitchen.  A potted succulent had been overturned in addition to other miscellaneous destruction.  Evidently, our other cat Mittens, when babies starting popping out of Sarah was like, "Damn!  This is crazy! Stuff is coming out of her!  And it's mewing!  I'm out of here before mewing stuff starts coming out of me!"  And he'd jumped on the kitchen counter in panic, trying to find an exit.

For a while after this we had seven cats.  Sarah, Mittens, and five kittens.  We did manage to find homes for all the kittens except one - Black Claw, who is living out her senior years with my daughter Catherine.  There's something that happens in the cat psyche when they live in a house where they outnumber the humans.  The cats revert to their basest instincts.  They turn feral.  So it was with our cats.  They forgot their house-training and refused to remember it.  In fact, their preferred place to pee was an expensive divan Nancy put in the living room.  It resulted with all the cats spending all their time outside.

Even pretty Sarah, with her calendar-cat looks, became an outdoor cat.  She remained affectionate however, and if she saw us walking, would follow us at a distance as far as she could before her feet wore out.  Black Claw remained with us the longest, and developed an affectionate relationship with our dog Zoe.  It is to early training from Black Claw we attribute Zoe's extreme respect for the rights of cats.  A few swipes from a cat's claws as a puppy, and you learn your lesson.

As for Sarah, she no longer follows us on walks.  She is buried in the back yard near the fence, waiting for us to follow her.

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