Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Cats & Kids


What if they could all choose where they wanted to live?

Sid adopted me about four months ago. He showed up. He stayed. My home has become a cat haven… When I moved into my condo over two years ago I inherited a mama cat & four six-week-old kittens. They were living on my patio. It was the perfect cat-lady-starter-kit on my door step. I found a home for one kitten, but that still left me with four. Everyone, Riley, Tobi and Tate, got sprayed at four months. Well, everyone except Neytiri (the mom). I couldn't catch her. Then, I watched in horror as she got pregnant. Again! Everyone got locked inside. No boys allowed.

Six babies were born exactly two months later. I loved & hugged on those babies every day. They were good therapy. All but Feisty found a new home. I was down to five cats. Finally Neytiri & Feisty were also spayed & everyone was free to go back outside. Suddenly, my Neytiri disappeared. I searched to no avail.

Then just before Christmas the condo HOA said I needed to bring all the cat food inside because they were afraid I was also feeding stray cats. I was thinking: of course I am. They’re all stray cats and you should be paying me to feed them.  I've cut down on the cat population by spaying six of your baby makers! Anyway, the food came inside, but the slider stayed open enough for my kitties to come in & out. That’s when I realized I had two other cats. Max. The biggest black cat I've ever seen. Not fat, big as in 44” from his nose to his tail. His body is over two feet long. I think he's part panther. Love that big guy. And the adorable green-eyed ginger kitty Sid.

The biggest shock was waking up to a raccoon, looking at me, at night. Yes. In my house. The slider it's now locked in a position that only a cat can fit through. Raccoon problem solved.

So back to Sid. I got him neutered. He got his shots. He became a permanent fixture on my couch.
A couple of weekend ago. My girlfriend & I hear a couple talking outside.
Woman: "Look. It's Joker. He's looking at me. He's inside that house. Joker. Come Joker. He's not coming to me. Why won’t he come? He’s just staring at me."
Man: "That cat is no good. Leave him. Come on. Good riddance."
Woman: "I can't believe he just left me. Oh well."
And that was that. Away they went.  We stepped into the living room. Sure enough. Sid, aka Joker, is sitting at the slider looking out. I ran outside to see if I could catch them, but they were gone. I never even saw them. I wanted them to know I didn’t “steal” their cat. The slider was ajar. They could see that. And Sid wasn’t about to leave. They haven't come for him. I guess he's really mine now.

Many of you know, I also take care of my neighbor kids. Since this happened, I’ve been thinking, I bet I'd have a few of them permanently living with me, if they, like cats, could just go where they wanted and stay; where they were loved and fed and cared for. But they can't. I'm glad they at least know they can come here and get hugs and love and food, if they're hungry. They know I care deeply about each of them.

There are children all around us, just like my kitties, who are starving for love and a safe place. That's one of the reasons why I support Childhelp. It’s also why Trish and I started Butterfly Dreams for survivors. When you buy my art, 10% of every sale will be donated to ending abuse. It's a win-win for you ~fine art and a worthy cause. Here’s the link: Michal Madison Art

Tobi, Tate, Riley, Feisty, Max, Sid and I send love and thank you for helping make a difference in the lives of children.

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