Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I Promised...

When eldest son was a freshman in high school, he was leaving to go to church camp one summer when he and his girlfriend spotted our beagle (Betsy, no longer with us) mauling something in the yard. When they got to her, they found it was a kitten.

Clueless to this event, ES went to camp, and girlfriend took the kitten to the vet and home. A couple of days later, we get a phone call: "I have ES's cat and I found out my father is allergic, so I can't keep it."

What cat? The story came out. Being the animal people we are, we had her bring the kitten over and it promptly was religated to the upstairs bedrooms with the other two farm kittens my daughters had convinced us were not going to live another day unless they were brought into the house.

A few weeks go by, and we suddenly have yowling at the door to the upstairs bedrooms. I'm not talking a little meowing, no, I'm talking "I've gone into heat and if I don't get out of here and find a mate I'm going to scream my lungs out" yowling. Hubby had enough. In the middle of the night, on a cold fall day, out the door went the now not-so-little kitten. Peace decended on the house.

We'd see the kitten in the yard, and of course, we were still feeding her. The snow fell, and one day I was standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes when I had a cat stuck to the screen by all four feet. This was six feet off the ground! I called Hubby into the kitchen where he proceeded to shake his head in amazement that the cat was smart enough to get onto the air conditioner unit and jump clear up here, then hang on and meow to get in! He called to youngest daughter - who had become the most attached - and said she could go ahead and let the cat in. We'd get her fixed, and she could live inside. He admired her tenacity. YD said, "Oh, I don't have to go out, Dad, watch..."

She proceeded to go into the bathroom that stuck out at right angles to the kitchen. The windows didn't have screens, and rolled out from the bottom. When the light came on in the bathroom, that cat flew through the air, sideways! and landed on the little ledge of the window. As we watched, YD put her hand on the lever to roll the window out and that cat dropped to her paws, hanging off the edge of the frame as the window rolled out past her head, then climbed inside. Hubby said, "It looks like maybe she's done that a time or two!"

Of course, none of the kids would admit they'd been letting her in, but I would guess it was a strong possiblility, the way that cat seemed to know the routine.

This is Jammie, short for Jasmine (at the time, Aladdin was big and ES and girlfriend named her). She has only a stub of a tail, but we don't know if that's because of the mauling or if she was born that way, but she seems to be perfectly content not to have one, and believe me... when she's unhappy she can make that stub go just as expressively as any cat can with a long tail! We tease her and call her the "bunny" kitty, as she has a little pink nose like a bunny, white bunny feet and a bunny tail. She also has gotten a bit chubby over the years - as she barely gets off our bed. She thinks that is her territory and defends it. She has the littlest feet - and when she walks on you, I swear she has pointy feet, as they poke into you with all that weight not being distributed very far.

She hates yelling. If you raise your voice, even to call something meaningless into the next room, she will get in your face and yak at you - I'm sure she's telling you to cut it out, but it's hard to tell. At times, if Hubby and I are going at it, she will make herself a real nuisance trying to get us to shut up. Once she even tried, I swear, to put her head in my mouth! This is the old gal...