Cat Stories-The Cat That Started it All

This is the cat that started it all.  I don't know what her name was, or anything about her.  If I remember correctly, I was about 4-5 at the time, and had already been in several foster homes.  This picture has a note on the back that it was taken at a San Joaquin County facility. I remember this cat.  I remember really liking her, (she slept on my bed for a while, and that was nice because there was competition with the other kids) and then having her taken away because she supposedly had fleas.  I was heartbroken at the time.  Funny, the things you remember.  Anyway, she was the cat that started my lifelong love affair with cats and with rescuing cats.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cat Story- Mischa

I found Mischa behind the garbage bins of the apartment building I lived in when I was 17.

I had been modeling since I was about 14, and when I was 17, I moved out of my parent's home and started a licensed modeling and talent agency of my own, with a Hungarian woman I knew, Julianna. We shared an apartment with her two children. I'd gotten out of high school early, and had already spent a year in cosmetology school earning my license for that as well.

I didn't have a car at the time, so I used to ride the bus and take Mischa to work with me. I would tuck him into a big bag, and nobody would know. This was way before the current 'pocket pet' fad with all the fancy pooch-carriers. He would stay with me at work all day, and then ride the bus home with me. I modified a dog leash so that I could take him for walks. One time I got locked out of my office and it took a whole day to get the super to open the door, so I fed Mischa by pouring Catfood through the mail slot.

My roommates' children were badly behaved, and after (among other reasons) the second time they emptied his litterbox on my bed, I moved back home.

When I got a car, he loved to ride around with me. He'd sit on the dashboard with his paws on the wheel when I drove. One time I took him to the park with my fiance and I let him off the leash to play around the waterfalls. And then when I wasn't looking, he disappeared. I called and called for hours. I went home crying. And then went back. After hours of searching, I headed back to the last place I'd seen him, and just by chance looked up into the pine tree overhead. There he was. Not saying anything. Needless to say, I never took him to the park or let him off his leash again.

He was a beautiful grey Russian Blue cat. He was featured in many photoshoots, some of them mine, some not. My fiance used to tease me that I loved Mischa more than I loved him, and he may have been right.

My parent's house is pretty much out in the boonies, which means great fun for cats to roam and explore, but it also means there are some people who drive irresponsibly thinking the police won't be out there, and very soon after I moved back home Mischa was hit by a car. I buried him across the street in the fields. Now there is a house where I buried him.

Julianna, my previous Modelling and Talent Agency partner?  She ripped me off and disappeared.  I don't think of her often, but I still think of Mischa.

Cat Story- Bunny


After Pistachio died, my parents didn't let me have another cat for years. One night when I was 15, I went to my high-school football game, and as I was standing near the snack stand, I heard a little 'mew'. It was coming from a garbage can. I dug through all the garbage and wrappers and found several dead kittens. Then I came across Bunny. She was so little, and young- her eyes were barely open.

I was only a teenager, and didn't know the first thing about kitten-care, so I just tucked her into my jacket while I watched the game. When I got home I got a pie-pan out of the kitchen and put some dirt in it, and was very surprised when Bunny crawled over to it and peed. Just then, my mother came into the kitchen and said.. oh, no, no. But then she saw that Bunny had used the pie tin and said 'That's the smartest kitten I've ever seen'. Not too sure what to think of that, since it's doubtful she'd seen very many kittens before.

Didn't matter. What mattered is that she let me keep her. I don't know how she survived, since I didn't bottle feed her. I fed her what my mother told me to- raw eggs and milk. She didn't like that I chose 'Bunny' for a name, and insisted on calling her 'Casey Tibbs' for some reason. Oh, this is horrible- I just got the idea to Google 'Casey Tibbs', and found out he was some famous Rodeo guy that was born in the '20s. That makes no sense that she wanted to call my fluffy, grey, sweet girl kitten after a rodeo guy. Whatever. She really liked being petted, and she slept in my bed with her head on my pillow.

I had Bunny for about a year and a half. One day she started acting really weird, trying to crawl under my furniture and not wanting to be petted. I got my mom to take her to the vet, and in the car she peed on my fake suede skirt. Don't ask how I remember all these details, I just do. I remember she looked really sorry for having peed on me, and I felt bad for her. The vet couldn't figure out what was wrong. Over the years, my experience with vets has been that they can rarely figure out what is wrong with cats.

He gave her some shots, and some re-hydration and sent us home. The next day she seemed ok, but the day after she was acting weird again. I thought maybe giving her some Tylenol would help. This was before the internet. She died the next day. If the internet had existed, I could have looked it up and found out that Tylenol is toxic to cats. I've felt bad ever since, because I'll never know if she died because she was sick, or if it was because I gave her Tylenol.

Cat Story- Pistachio


Being that this is my first post, my first entry should probably be about the first cat I ever adopted.

I don't remember where I found Pistachio. I do know that I was about seven at the time, and that he was never allowed in the house because I am actually very allergic to cats among other things. At the time, my pediatrician had just suggested to my parents that I have my bedroom sealed off from the rest of the house because of that.

29 years later, I'm still head-over-heels about cats.

But anyways- Pistachio was a black kitten with a white mustache. I'd just read a book about some pirate cat that had rings in his ears named Pistachio, so I thought that was a great name. I only played with him outside. My mother did not like the name Pistachio, and insisted he be called some boring name I don't even remember.

I was on a weird bender of cutting off all my Barbie's hair (probably why years later I ended up going to cosmetology school and getting my license), and I got the great idea to give Pistachio's whiskers a haircut. I felt bad afterwards when I learned that cutting a cat's whiskers affects their equilibrium and puts them at a disadvantage navigating at night. I've never cut a pussers whiskers since!

About a year later, my dad woke me up one morning to tell me Pistachio had been hit by a car. I didn't believe him, and got him mad to the point where he took me to see the body. I don't think he was ever buried, which I find weird now.

I remember I cried a lot, and eventually my parents got mad and ordered me to stop, because it 'was just a cat'.