I know it’s weird but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about some of the cats we had when I was growing up. We had lots of cats. We did live on a farm after all. We had dogs, too, but I always liked the cats better. Some of our cats I didn’t like, but for the most part, I’m a cat guy. Here’s a rundown of some of them (because I know you are just dying for the details):
- Columbus “Lumbus” (all black) — Lumbus was the first cat I can remember. My mom said he discovered the kitchen before his eyes were even open. He turned out to be our oldest cat ever. It wasn’t pretty when he got old and started losing teeth and control of himself. Mom finally took him to the vet and had him put to sleep. We buried him in the wind-row and marked the spot with a big log.
- Freckles (calico) — Freckles was very friendly. She had quite the motor. I liked her a lot. She disappeared one day. A few weeks later I discovered that she had gotten run over on I-35 near the overpass.
- Pastel (white with light and dark gray spots) — Pastel was dad’s cat. She came from a cat named Hooker at the Wichita Historical Museum where my dad use to work (as part of the Oakland Avenue Craftsmen). She was Dad’s shop cat. She would jump from my dad’s workbench into his arms. And, Pastel would pee in the toilet. Seriously. I witnessed it firsthand and, as far as I know, my parents never trained her to do it.
- Douglas (white with large gray spots) — Douglas was my all time favorite cat. He was a rumpy-riser manx. We got him from a family friend–Benson. Benson told us his mother and siblings had been killed by a coyote. He was so tiny that we had to feed him milk from a dropper. He grew up to be huge. Sadly, he got run over on 87th street. I vividly remember our neighbor Joanie picking his lifeless body off the dirt road as I watched from my second story bedroom window. It was pretty devastating for me as a kid.
- Shrimpy (gray and white tabby) — Shrimpy was a dimple-rumpy manx. Mom says he was bigger than Douglas.
- Toes (orange and white tabby) — He had extra ones on each foot. He was a really mean tomcat. He tore up all of our other cats. He lived in our hay loft and pooped everywhere. Every time I saw him I threw something at him. Rocks, sticks, basketballs, etc.
- Shorty — I don’t remember a whole lot about Shorty except he was a manx. Where my parents live it wasn’t uncommon to find abandoned cats on the side of the road. I think Shorty was one of those.
- Purrky (gray and white tabby) — I always get Purrky an Doodles mixed up. One of them was OK and one was really annoying — like meowing all the time, hanging on the screen door and trying to get in the house all the time. Both had lots of kittens.
- Doodles (gray and white tabby) — see above.
- Wacko (orange and white tabby) — I guess Wacko would sleep in the chicken barn on top of a pig at night. I don’t really remember.
- Pearl (white) — Pearl was bright white. She got some kind of cancer and died a few years ago.
- Gusto “Gus” (black and gray tabby) — Gus hated everyone.
- Buddy (black and white tabby) — Buddy’s shy, and is annoyed by the dog. When he makes an appearance, he can’t resist the cat magnet (your outstretched air-scratching hand).
So there you have it. My history with cats. I’m sure I missed some.