Saturday, January 9, 2010


The Meowies are in fine form tonight. They don't want to stay out long because of the cold but still have some energy to burn so fur is flying, a certain amount of catly cursing is going on and I think someone just hocked a hairball on the carpet.

I woke up to nine of them sharing the bed with me this morning. I know, I know - that sounds like a lot of cats. It is a lot of cats but it works out.

We just started with two, the late Jackson and then-young Romeo; a feral mother showed up with kittens in the back yard and we tamed them but could never get her and she kept producing until she took off. So we have something like 12 tame and "fixed" and four or five I feed but haven't been able to tame. Oh, and the Big-headed males from the neighborhood who come around for wetfood and to flirt with the intact females.

Romeo, my 19-pound Flame Point Siamese, my once-timid Romy, now growls low in his chest when he sees those interlopers. Romy hasn't got the equipment to mate but he considers all of the yard and its residents to be his responsibility. He took one kitten to be his special charge when we first began adopting our windfall. Porter, black down to his paw-pads, bumped his tiny black nose against Romeo's big pink one and it was love.

Po is now grown but still bumps his nose against Romy's and curls up beside him to nap. Sometimes they look like the symbol for Yin and Yang; a black apostrophe curved into a white one.

My little troop have two big litter boxes in the laundry room that I clean often enough to wish cat excrement was a marketable commodity. I'd make bank on even a penny a pound - seriously.

They are ready for me to move to the bedroom. Romeo, Porter, Randy, Cabrillo, George and Trixie, Jerry, Icom, Carrot and Wink will come to the bed but Bill (aka Fuzzbutt), Lo Po (little Porter) and Bo Po (Baby Porter) will sleep wherever they feel most secure. They are the wildest of the group; only Bill likes being petted. LoPo and BoPo are solid black babies just like Porter and have the same curiosity about people that led Po to tame himself.

This morning I realized that cats really do smile. One of my big golden boys (Cab) was laying beside me, purring as I pet him, and I saw him in profile and saw his mouth curved up. I looked at some of the others who were nearby and purring; all had the upturned mouth. I watched them nap and walk and play through the day and saw the way they held their mouths during all of their activities - they definitely express emotion with more than just their eyes and tails.

I have always loved cats and feel very fortunate to have so many who love me back. It's a nice feeling to walk into the yard and have greetings chirped and moawed and miaowed and meowed to me as they leap and roll and trot to me. Most of them are shades of light orange down to red orange (6), then we have brown tabbies (2), black or black and white (4) and precious Wink who manages to be all colors with eyes that are a human hazel shade.

I have always heard that cats are solitary, that cats are not as loyal as dogs nor capable of the unconditional love that dogs show, that cats choose who they love.

I am actually hoping that is true; because if it is, I am a hell of a human.