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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ferocious Feline

As a little girl my favorite animal was a cat.  My favorite part about going to my grandparents farm was seeing the cats and searching for the newest litter of kittens.  I always picked out the one that I wanted to take home and begged through each "no" my parents gave me.  However we did have our share of cats through the years.  Here is the run down of what I remember. 

Blacky- Blacky was a black (obviously) stray pregnant cat that showed up on our porch one night.  It was cold and she was hungry.  My brother and sister convinced my parents to take her in until she had the kittens. I have been told that at 4 years old I had a front row seat to the airing of "Blacky has Kitten's".   I don't remember what happened to Blacky and all of her kittens but I think we took them out to my grandparents farm. The only thing I remember is wanting a cat after Blacky and the kitten's that I helped deliver were gone.

Bear- Bear was a gray striped kitten.  Where we got Bear is lost in my mind but I remember being so happy to finally have a kitten!  Bear was named Bear because he stood up on his two hind feel like a bear when we were watching a movie about bears one night.  As a child, Bear was a logical name.  I don't think we had Bear very long.  He liked to pee all along the wall on the basement floor.  My parents soon had their fill of urine scrubbing and finally said it was time for Bear to go.  I remember grabbing my kitten and sitting in the burnt orange chair that squeaked when you rocked and crying.  Bear licked my tears.  Bear's new home was at a family friend's farm.  Every now and then we would stop to see Bear.  One day we stopped and they told us that Bear had crawled into a UPS van during a delivery.  To this day I don't know if that is true....

Samantha-  Finally in 8th grade my parents allowed me to bring home a kitten from my grandparents farm.  I had my kitten picked out-she was perfect.  A dark long haired calico kitten.  She was beautiful.  Samantha was temperamental but I loved her.  She was supposed to be a "basement only" cat, but she learned to open the basement door by consistently pulling at the bottom of the door with her paws. She let us know that she was not a basement cat.  She took up residence on one of the living room chairs and my parents bed.  Her hair was so long that she would get knots in it that I would have to cut out.  She wasn't a people person but she loved me. When I went to college my parents kept her for a year and then gave her away to a Mennonite family.  A few months later my dad called and said that he found out Samantha passed away in her sleep one morning.  I cried at the thought of my beautiful cat being gone but was happy she had been taken care of. 

Now we come to...

Tessa-  Tessa was rescued from the ARL soon after Eric and I were married.  We choose Tessa because she was quiet, calm, and reserved in the back of her cage.  Her "cell mate" was a male cat that was climbing up the front of the cage and meowing like crazy.  We looked past the cat of all evil and chose Tessa.  We liked the idea of her being a nice lap cat.  Boy did she fool us.  Tessa was a terror.  She clawed everything (until we got her declawed), she knocked every ornament off the Christmas tree, she hissed and snarled.  Eventually she came around and became our "lap cat".  However, when anyone else would come over, Tessa would revert back into her old ways.  She did not want anyone but us touching her.  She would snip at anyone who would try to pet her.  She has continued this way through the years. Tessa has earned nicknames from our friends...the devil cat...evil kitty...among other more inappropriate names.  Although they make fun of our spirited cat, we continue to love her.  Her purrs are loud, she snuggles, and keeps me warm at night. 

A month ago I had allergy testing done and it was finally medically stated that I was allergic to cats and that having a cat causes more sinus infections and headaches.  2 things I get very often.  I knew I had to say goodbye to Tessa, not just for my own sake but because my kids had started showing signs of allergies as well. 

We found a family that was interested in taking her in.  On Saturday morning we all said goodbye to Tessa.  We cried, kissed her, and cried some more.  I took the kids shopping with me so they wouldn't be home when Tessa left.  While picking out ornaments a text from Eric came through saying "she didn't take her". I quickly called Eric to get the full story.  Turns out Tessa had decided she was NOT moving out.  She hissed at the lady, snarled, and tried biting her.  She must have really put on a show because the lady left our house with no cat in her hands. 

All we can say is, "That's Tessa for ya."  Tessa lives here.  She sleeps on our school bags, likes jumping in the shower, bites our feet as we walk by, and purrs louder than any cat I have ever had.  Tessa is our cat.  She is determined to only be our cat.  We are defeated by our ferocious feline and neither of us want to stand up to her!

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