Small Animals, Big Personalities
(Note from Aldona - We are so happy to welcome Natalie to the CAFT family! She will be writing a blog series for us we're dubbing "Feline Fridays". So of course for her first blog post with us, she'll be introducing everyone to her kitties. Be on the lookout for her blog posts every couple of weeks. Welcome aboard, Natalie!)
We’ve probably all encountered a person in our lives, I know I have encountered several, who say, “Cats! They’re all the same, aren’t they?” I take that as a sure sign that the person in question has never owned or spent much time around these hilarious little goofballs. However, we cat enthusiasts know that couldn’t be further from the truth.
I’ve been around cats since birth and I volunteer at Harmony House for Cats in Chicago, so needless to say, I’ve met quite a few and am well aware of just how quirky and full-of-personality cats are, especially once you really get to know them. I am currently employed by two very enchanting yet vastly different cats, Betty and Marge.
Way back in June 2005, I was at a family party. I’d been living on my own for a year and was really jonesing for a cat. Coincidentally, the party I was at had a barn chock-full of kittens. Seriously, there were two or three litters' worth in there! I plucked a cute little calico for my sister, but none were grabbing me as being “the one”. Suddenly, this tiny, sassy little thing darted out from under a wooden pallet and lunged onto the back of another kitten. Much like the time my mom took me to PAWS to adopt a kitten for my 9th birthday and I saw a tiny tabby screaming and dangling off the side of the cage and said, “I want THAT one!”, I felt the same. She went home with me that day. Her name is Betty.
Betty is my quiet, introverted weirdo. She’s not one for entertaining house guests and will only really come out for someone she knows or maybe a single, chill guest. However, she is very co-dependent on me and basically, with the exception of her daily “me” time in one of her various hidey-holes, she is sitting on or near me at all times. She is very chatty and purrs like a motorcycle if I even look in her direction. She also knows her name and will come when I call her. She’s going to be thirteen in April, but you’d never know it. She is incredibly active and has a hearty case of the zoomies on a daily basis. While she’s very sweet and affectionate with me, she’s also the “bratty” one (aka “The Boss”) and will not hesitate to lay down the law, with me or her roommate, Marge.
By the end of 2015, that “I need another cat” feeling reared its head once
again. I’d poked around various sites and shelters and even applied for a one- eyed orange tabby, but someone beat me to him. I was pretty upset about it at
first, but then I decided that that just meant two cats would end up getting adopted instead of one.
A few months later, in February of 2016, I was perusing Craigslist and a fiercely adorable photo of a little orange tabby loaf from a foster in the suburbs popped up on my screen. The next day, I went through the process and was cleared for adoption- I hadn’t even met her yet! A few days later, I trekked out to the suburbs to pick her up and bring her to her new home. Oh boy, let me tell you how pleased Betty was about this new arrival! (Hint: she wasn’t at all pleased about this new kitten in *her* apartment!). Thankfully, Marge was pretty respectful of Betty’s boundaries, so the drama wasn’t too intense, though they definitely had their tiffs. Eventually, I think Betty just surrendered to the fact that Marge is there to stay and got over it. They chase each other around playfully, though I don’t think I will ever find them cuddling together (however, I will never give up hope!). I just consider them to be good frenemies. Although Betty would likely never admit it, I truly believe she’s glad that Marge is around.
Marge, though she can be a little shy at first, is definitely the more derpy, extroverted of the two. She is affectionate with me, but not quite on the level that Betty is and I wouldn’t consider Marge to be co-dependent. In with what I mentioned above about Betty being in charge, Marge is the submissive one. I think the balance really helps make their co-existence work. Marge is also very, very talkative- she has what seems like 100 different meows, though it’s probably really only about 10. My favorite is her raspy, post-sleep “granny meow”. She doesn’t purr, ever. I often joke with her that her “purring machine” is broken and needs to be repaired. Marge is a very quirky cat and I can say without hesitation that of all the cats I’ve ever known, she is by far the weirdest (in the best of ways and which makes her perfect addition to my household). If she was a kid in your class, she’d be the class clown. Her biggest claim to fame is that she loves water.
When I say she loves water, I mean she demands water to be *poured directly onto her* multiple times a day, or, every time I go into the kitchen. She will sit by the sink and scream and holler until I do it. And, if it’s “not enough” she will come back a minute or two later and scream for more. I first noticed this was a thing when she would come out of the bathtub completely soaked (my faucet had a constant drip). Eventually, she learned that water also came from the kitchen sink and now that is where she waits when she needs her water fix. She will loudly
and relentlessly demand her shower until I indulge her. Sometimes, she will meow so incessantly that Betty will come in from the other room, shout once or twice at her to be quiet, maybe pop her once in the head and then leave. It’s pretty entertaining to watch.
Though they each have their differences, they do have some things in common, as well; they each refuse to get a job, are spoiled rotten, have no regard for personal space, are immensely adorable, make me laugh constantly and I love them dearly with every fiber of my cat hair-covered heart.
*Speaking of love, Valentine’s Day is fast-approaching- are you leaving town to celebrate? Don’t forget to book your cat-sitter appointments!