“No matter how much cats fight, there always seems to be plenty of kittens.”
– Abraham Lincoln
Abe certainly spoke the truth there. We have three cats. No, I’m not crazy. The first one came about three or four years ago after my wife found her in the parking lot at her job. She brought the black-and-white longhair home, and we named her Socks, as a tribute to Bill Clinton. Socks wasn’t much trouble, so we decided to get another cat, a kitten. It was an orange tabby, a male, and he meowed right back when you spoke to him. We named him Squeaker. I think we’d had Squeaker a week when we saw a grey cat outside one morning. “No,” I said. “We’ve got enough cats.” But it was rainy and cold that morning, and when I got out of the shower, I told Karen to bring him inside. This was Smokey, and he became the alpha cat.
Do they get along? Well, Smokey and Squeaker like to team up and chase Socks. Not very gallant. But Smokey will also attack Squeaker from time to time. (A note to old Abe: There’ll be no kittens from these three. None has the equipment anymore.)
Squeaker has always been my favorite. He’s the most affectionate – Karen would say the most needy. All three are inside cats – Smokey’s the only one who really tries to get out. That being said, about a year ago, Squeaker got outside and we couldn’t find him. We looked all afternoon and a bit more the next morning. With a heavy heart, I gave up and started the 25-mile commute to work, stopping for gas on the way. About an hour or so into the day, I did a walkabout at work and took a peak out the back window. I saw an orange blotch near the car. Surely that can’t be Squeaker, I thought. It was. I went out and coaxed him to me – the folks at work thought I was crazy. Got him inside, put together a makeshift box and some water and went out to get him some food at lunch time. He’d hitched a ride with me, stayed in the car when I got gas, and surfaced at the perfect time for me to see him. I called it “Take Your Cat to Work Day” and got him home safe and sound.
Here’s what I don’t understand. All three cats seem to have a watch in their stomach. I feed them at 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., and they’re always waiting for their food. Yesterday, the time changed. I’ve had a hard time being hungry, sleepy or rested at the right times. But at 6 last night, the cats were lining up for supper. Somehow they knew.
“Some people say that cats are sneaky, evil, and cruel. True, and they have many other fine qualities as well.” – Missy Dizick