The Story - Part 2

BREAKING NEWS - Lock up your ladycats - Quill is a boy! We just got back from the vet and surprise, we got ourselves a healthy and handsome boy. I guess Eugene had a real paw in picking this little sweetie. Now back to the story (now edited for the correct pronouns)...

I knocked on the door of Kacie's house with hubby at my side. We were both filled with nervous energy. Kacie had emailed to say this little kitten was the pick of this small litter in her opinion. The first to be unafraid of her, the first to purr, and the natural ringleader.

Kacie opened the door and went upstairs to get the kitten. I thought I felt eyes on us, checking us out, but I pretended not to notice as I tried to make friends with the resident kitty.

Kacie headed down the stairs and there he was. I believe hubby and I both squealed in delight when we saw him. He looked a little like Fin we mentioned to Kacey, as we explained we recently lost our girl.

Kacie handed me the kitten. He gave me a good sniff and let out the tiniest of sweet squeaks. I was hooked. I petted him and he started to purr.

"You have my approval if this is the kitten you want!" Hubby said as he was already angling for the door and the carrier in the trunk.

I held him out to hubby, "Do you want to hold him too?" I asked. He took the kitten in his hands and I admired him from a distance.

Kacie was looking on and said "I can leave you two alone if you want to talk about it."

She was going to let me just have him, I thought. After all the trouble we had been going through - I could hardly believe it. I had wanted easy, and this was pretty darned easy. It was all just right. I told hubby to get the carrier.

Kacie told me he had been to the vet already and he was probably about 6 weeks old. His momma cat was a neighborhood stray with a big floofy tail. She gave us a sack of kibble and refused to accept any money for it, or the kitten. She just wanted the kitten to go to a good home, and she thought we would be that for this little one. I couldn't help but give her a huge hug - for being the person who saved kittens, and for just wanting to find them a happy home.

"What are we gonna call him?" Hubby asked on the way home.

For years after writing Fin's book I joked a new kitten's name would be Sequel. Sam said he thought Seek (or maybe he said Zeek) would be a good name. I said what about Quel or Quill? Fin was a part of a fish and Quill was a part of a bird. Then I thought of how it's a writing instrument and I was sold.

But wait, there's more! Part 3 coming soon! In the meantime, please enjoy!

Already getting ready for blogging.


The Story - Part 1

I know what a tease I am, just showing off some kitten tush and not telling the whole scoop. Here's The Story. At least the first part.

A couple of days after sweet Fin passed, I logged onto Petfinder and saw the perfect kitten named Buttercup. It seemed too soon though, and I hesitated till the next day to go to the shelter. I walked in and saw Buttercup and I was in love. I called the shelter person over to collect my kitten. She pointed out the "I'm Adopted" sign on the kitten's cage. I was devastated. I cried all the way home and the rest of the night too. 

A couple of days later I logged onto Petfinder again and saw a kitten named Megan. I could hear The Coalition of The Ones Who Came Before talking about how even I wouldn't be able to miss that sign. Let's face it, I was a mess and needed all the guidance I could get. Surely this was my kitten!

Everything about getting this kitten seemed difficult - the paperwork, the references, and the timing. I was going to meet the kitten, but others were interested too. I pictured sitting in a circle with a bunch of other people as we waited to see who the kitten would choose - I was planning on putting catnip and chicken in my pockets. I started to think it was all difficult for a reason. Maybe it just wasn't my kitten. I went to bed asking Cod that if a kitten was meant to be, to make it easy.

The next morning, I happened to click on Craigslist. The first listing said "Long Haired Kittens"... well that's easy I thought as I clicked on it. There she was. I squealed out loud. 

Holy Cod, what a cutie!! She was a rescue kitten with two siblings. I sent an email within a few minutes of the posting saying I wanted to meet her. I listed every phone number I had, and hit send. 

I waited. An hour went by and I was nearly beside myself. Then I thought to refresh my email. Victory! The rescuer (Kacie) was going to be home after 5pm, and I could come after 5pm. Saying I would be there at 5pm seemed rude, 5:15 seemed like a nutcase, so I named 5:30. 

Hubby and I acted casual as we decided maybe we should just stop and get a carrier - just in case. Might as well get everything else too we reasoned. Not that anything was certain, but it never hurt to be prepared. We arrived at 5:19.


Eugene Part 3

Here is the painting of my boy Eugene. 

Such a handsome boy.

He was an awesome hunter as I've said. So many times he would carry in all manner of beasts and drop them at my feet. Once he brought them to me, he was always nice enough to give me first crack at the morsel. Sometimes he would bring them still alive and leave so that I could kill them on my own.

So thoughtful. How many times I remember perching on a chair yelling "Get it out of here!!" Eugene was never a kitty to take back a present though. He would sit on the side lines - coaching and willing me to enjoy my meal. Despite my ungratefulness, he never was swayed from his mission.

I remember one night he brought home a HUGE rat - alive. He dropped it at my feet in the dining room, during dinner. My Mom and I took turns jumping on the dining chairs and screaming as the other tried to herd it outside.

Meanwhile my sister was arriving home from a date, and as they were saying their goodbyes they could see us through the window - leaping and screaming.  

"What's your family doing in there?" The date asked.

"No idea..." My Sister replied. I think it might have been their last date.

Eugene lived to be about 9 years old and died of Feline Leukemia. Back then I had never heard of it, and had even less of an idea there was a vaccine for it. Maybe there wasn't a vaccine before he needed it. He was the best boy. I loved him so, and I know he helped me find the kitties I've loved after him.


Sneak Peak Sunday

Nothing to see here... Except maybe kitten butt!!

Yep! That is tiny kitten haunch! The Coalition of The Ones Who Came Before were kind enough to help me find me The One Who'll Come After. Her name is Quill. She has two speeds - Kill and Chill.

Lots more details to follow, but I am going to finish off my Eugene story first. In the meantime though, just know that all this is going to be coming your way very soon.

You may now commence squealing.


Eugene Part 2

So I spoke last of my play-dough kitty. My little tuxie love bug Eugene, but Eugene lived a double-life, and was known to the world quite differently.

Eugene was an indoor-outdoor kitty. He was let out in the morning and returned home later each day. We trained him to come when called by singing "Here Kitty, Kitty!" whenever he ate, so when he heard his call in he came running. I always imagined him getting teased by the other kitties when he was called in for dinner.

It was surprising how much he liked to eat at home too, because he was a serious hunter. I think he thought he needed to feed the whole family. I guess he thought we would enjoy mice, birds, and rats. He even brought home a squirrel once. Always thinking of me, he would bring them right to me, sometimes already dispatched and sometimes still alive in case I wanted to kill them myself. I think he thought my shrill cries were delightful congratulations. 

He went missing once, and I was beside myself. Mom and I scoured the neighborhood to no avail. After a day we decided to start knocking on doors. As I described my Eugene, all the neighbors knew who I meant immediately.

"The tuxie? Oh he's your cat? We've lured him with milk for months before he would even let us pet him! He comes every morning and we give him milk - he prefers condensed milk - and we pet him whenever he lets us." Said the elderly couple two houses down.

"If he lets you pet him? Eugene?" I said, imagining my loving lap kitty.

"He comes onto my house at mid-morning and suns himself on my bed." Said the lady behind our house.

"In your house? On your bed! Seriously?" I said.

"Oh yes. He lets me pet him and everything now. One day he just wandered right in the house."

Similar stories were relayed by about four different houses. I could hardly believe it. They all thought of him as an amazing kitty who had graced them with his companionship. The same way I thought of him actually.

Eugene returned home after about four days. He had lost weight and was covered in mud. He never told me were he had been during those four days. I told him never to leave me again, and true to his meow, he returned home every night for the rest of his years.

I hope all the lost kitties find their way home soon. You know who you are (Arty Mouse). 



Where did I leave off in the story of my first kitty. Oh yeah, Eugene picked me to be his Mom. He'd already won over the decision-maker of my step-father by showing his fearless heart. He climbed that pant leg like he knew exactly what he needed to do. He won my heart the same way, by showing my he would protect me in the face of any adversity. He remained a kitten of his meow for his whole life. He would have fought anyone and anything to protect me.

I think Eugene got his name on the car ride home. Mom asked if I knew what I would call my new kitten and as I recall "Eugene." is what popped out. I have no idea why I thought of it. Well, that's not true, I thought of it because it fit him perfectly. He wasn't fancy but he was loyal and fearless.

I don't have any photos of him, but a family friend painted a painting of him. He was that kind of boy, worthy of art and song. I will try to take a picture of the painting soon and upload it for your viewing pleasure. For now I will tell you he had a classic tuxedo coat. Although it did look a little too small for him. His black jacket and pants were a bit high-water. 

He was a rough and tumble boy from the start, full of playful energy. When it was time for lovin he would lay in my lap and allow himself to be molded into any position. My Mom called him a play-dough kitty. It was like he became boneless.

As he grew into a full grown kitty he became a solid brick of fur-covered muscle. Although he was the biggest, baddest cat on the block he remained my play-dough boy at home. Eugene lived the life of a double agent. I'll tell you about his life outside the nest next, but his life in the house was full of snuggles.

He was the sweetest and toughest Momma's boy ever. Golly I loved that boy. I still just love a tuxie cat.



The Kitty Hunt of 2012 is beginning, well sort of. It has been jumble of close calls with no kitty yet. I am just taking it all in stride and assuming that the timing really wasn't right yet. You can't hurry love, and you can't hurry grief either.

I have full faith that the Ones Who Came Before are working it all out. When it's right, it'll just be right.

I do have a funny story from the search though.

Hubby and I went to the local shelter to look at the kitties. We were confused by the tagging system on the cages. Some had the familiar F and M - which I took as Female or Male. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for figuring it out till I saw others say S or N. Not a sex I was familiar with - I really thought there were only the two.

"Excuse me. How do you tell what the cat's sex is?" I asked the lady at the shelter.

She gave me a look somewhere between disgust and disdain. "We've been trained." She said.

Of course my inappropriate giggles kicked in. "I should hope so." I said. "I meant how can I tell what the cat's sex is? I don't understand the differences in the sexes."

This time the look told me she thought I was a sick crazy lady. I giggled harder. I imagined her, imagining me lifting kitties tails.

"No." I said, imagining being black-balled from getting a kitty. "I mean on the papers." Pointing to the sheet of paper on their cages. "I don't understand what the codes mean. What sex is N or S?"

"Oh!" She said, still slightly perturbed. "N is neutered and S is spayed."

So the good news is that I haven't been black-balled... yet. My frequent calls may get me banned yet. Might be time to break out the English accent to throw them off my tracks.


My First

Sometime around the age of six, I began to campaign for a kitty of my very own. The two cats in our home had clearly claimed my Mom as their person. We had a casual, but cool relationship. I longed for the special bond with a furry one that my Mom had.

My step-father was equally determined to not have any more cats. Two was enough, he said. He and I also had a cool relationship - actually it was closer to cold - ice cold.

Luckily, I had my Mom on my side. When she learned her friend's cat had kittens, she wrangled a casual dinner invitation for the family. I was beside myself in a kitten-pile of black-and-white tuxies. I was begging to take one home, but my step-father was still holding firm on "No".

I had my eye on a cute little lady, but Eugene had other plans.

Eugene sized up the real decision-maker, and made his move. He strolled right over to my step-father and began to meow loudly to be picked up. I think Eugene wanted to have a face-to-face discussion. My step-father ignored his request.

Eugene was not going to be denied. Eugene began to scale his pant leg like he was climbing Mount Everest. I felt sure this was going to push the option of getting a kitten even further to the "No" category.

"Look at the balls on this little chit!" My step-father said with some admiration as Eugene paused at his knee. Eugene stared up at him and fearlessly began his ascent again.

"Well, if you're gonna get one, it's gonna have to be this one."  He said, pointing at Eugene - now clinging at mid-thigh.

I was already snuggling the kitten I had selected close to my heart. I wasn't ready to cave, but Eugene knew he was my cat. Our eyes met, and he just knew what to do to convince me.

I swear there was a knowing glint in Eugene's eyes as he sunk his claws into my step-father's tender lap area.

"Yeah. I'll take him!" I said, as I plucked him from danger. "You're a good kitty!"

Eugene purred in agreement. 



It has been a week friends. Losing my kitty has been so hard, and I know many of you have had the same experiences with ones you've loved. I knew she was going to leave us for awhile. I think it did help me in some ways to prepare myself for her loss. I had prepared my mind and my heart as much as I could. I see now, how depressed I was over the last few months, knowing the loss was coming.

I expected to be sad, but then there are all the moments I didn't plan for. The first time my husband left the house and there was no singing. The first time I came home without a floofy belly to greet me. Realizing I could leave a glass of water by my bedside without fear of cat saliva. Brushing my teeth and being able to spit without worrying about hitting a cat head. Closing a door in my house, any door other than the hall closet where the Evil Dyson lives, without an angry serenade.

As sad as this week has been it has also been filled with very touching moments. Reading all the comments from all over the world has touched our hearts. Animal people are great people.

When I think about writing, I ask for the inspiration to write things that make others feel something, or think about something in a new way. Often it is through laughter, but what ever the tone in the end I want my words to mean something to my reader. As we read all those beautiful words sent by others, I realized I have touched people with my words. Sure they were spoken as my beloved cat, but they spoke to our  humanity.

I remember a literary agent read our book and her critique was that the book was just about my cat. She asked what was special about my cat - did she do anything special?

"Like cure cancer? No, she's just a housecat... She doesn't get out too much." I said, knowing that I would probably need to self-publish.

I didn't have the right answer then, but I do now... Of course she was special, but she was also no more special than the kitties in the lives of my readers. If you love them, all cats are special. All cats are perfectly imperfect when you love them.

I have had a few people ask me if I will get another pet - knowing how sad these moments are - and the answer is yes, of course. I would never trade all the joy and love that came before to avoid this pain. Pain is fleeting and it too has its lessons to teach me. My heart is still broken, but it's also open.


Reporting From

I took this picture awhile back and it looked like my girl - you can hardly see her - was walking on rainbows. There is a poem we animal lovers turn to for comfort at times like this about how beloved animals wait for us at a rainbow bridge till we meet again. At the bridge they are healthy and well again and are surrounded by other loved ones.

I imagine my girl in the heavens bossing around the very elements. She was prone to that on earth and with her new powers I think her reach will be limitless. The night she passed, a sudden thunder storm lit up the sky and the super moon was just getting back to size. I pictured her bossing the heavens around and it brought me joy.

I bet she's already met up with The Ones That Came Before - Eugene and Kirin. After a couple of hisses I bet they are getting along famously - forming a coalition to get things together in our lives.

I hear them telling me to dry up those tears, and they were less frequent today. We were so touched by all your kind words and feel the hugs of friends and lurkers from all over the world. Somehow knowing how many lives she touched eases our pain.

I think the coalition is searching for the perfect little furry being to carry out Fin's orders. My alarm clock has failed the last two mornings and I know she thinks I can't get up on my own. They'll pick "The One Who'll Come After" very carefully - full of sass, a sense of humor and lots of blogging potential.

Until the coalition sends The One Who'll Come After to us, I think I will take a few days off. Then I think I'd like to tell you some stories about Eugene and Kirin.



It is with the heaviest heart that I interrupt Scofflaw Week to report that our beloved Finny De Floof has left this world.

For those of you who don't know she was diagnosed with gastrointestinal lymphoma back in November.She was so sick at the time I never dreamed she would live this long, but my girl was a tiger.

She lived comfortably for the most part, with a few bad spells that she had always managed to pull out of. Each bad spell took it's toll though, and she grew progressively thinner and weaker. When she stopped eating on Sunday, even with the appetite enhancing pills, we knew the time was coming.

We waited till yesterday afternoon, just in case she was able to rally again. When I carried her out onto her beloved porch and she tucked her head into my chest - we knew the time had come. She was helped to the bridge by the kind vet who diagnosed her and her Dad beside her.

I knew my hysterical sobbing would only cause all of us more pain. I stayed behind so her spirit could find her way back to me. I'm sure it did too. I feel her all around me - oddly enough hovering around my water cup.

Thank you for being our friends and loving her as we did. She was a perfectly imperfect cat that we couldn't have loved more.



Scofflaw - Desk Set

No Cats on the Desk? What kind of a rule is that?

Look how comfy and cute I look up here. Sure I may mess up some paperwork with my lounging, but again I point to the fact of how cute I look. 

Sure I might get floof in the printer, but I'm only up here to defend you two. I will defend you to the death from the Evil Fax Machine. I'll shred anything that comes out of it's Evil Jaws.

I'm kinda spent I think I need a nap.... 

Could you turn out the light?.... 

Nice... Zzzzzzz.... 


Scofflaw Week - Replay

I thought I would replay some of the lawless posts from Scofflaw week. My girl is a true rule breaker. I love that rebellious essence of her kitty spirit. So without further ado...

I would hardly call "Don't Drink Out of Your Mom's Water Glass" a rule. I freely flout this rule on a daily basis.I find this rule to be counter productive in fact.

Firstly, if you don't want me to drink from it, why buy cups and glasses the fit a cat's head so nicely?

Secondly it's widely known that cat spit has healing powers, so really I'm just trying to keep you healthy Mom... but since you're squeamish, I'll try to do it when you're not looking.



The other day Mom came home from a buying trip at the local Petsmart and I just knew she had been up to no good. Along with the pleasant smells of a friendly pet shop I smelled the unpleasant aroma of kitten.

Upon interrogation Mom confessed that she had been kitten snuggling at the adoption event! Not just one kitten either - two. A tiny silver tabby boy AND a gray tabby girl!

Mom began to gush about how cute the little girl kitten was and that it looked so much like me. She said the adoption folks mentioned she was "a handful" and ran her brothers raged.

Dad refused to partake and this is why he remains my favorite.

Mom said that during the cuddle the kitten jumped from her arms and right into her purse in the shopping cart. She asked if I didn't think it was a sign that the kitten wanted to come live with us?

Um, no. I think that kitten was trying to flee the corporal cuddle-fest and landed in her purse by chance. Sure I think there is a chance that kitten was angling for a great home. Any kitten can see that Mom is a push-over. Good on you little kitten, but this house is remaining a one-cat sanctuary.