Cats in My Life

Cats are warm and furry and pleasant to pet.  They will sit by you and keep you company, jump up on your lap, you can play with them, yet they are very independent.  They're just like people, and at the same time very much different.  Most of all, they purr. 

This lovely cat doll by Tonya makes me smile. I have to say, I would love to have that doll :) it is so full of love!  This doll really made me want to tell you about my three cats...

I wanted to have a cat since I was a child. My father grew up with cats, but back then it was not something special, pretty much almost every household had a cat.  He used to tell me funny stories about cats in their family, cats that came and went, one replacing the other.  Unfortunately, my mother did not like cats at all, and she was very much against getting one. Ultimately she won, since her vote was backed up by the fact that there was no litter and canned cat food available in the 1980's USSR.

When we moved to the United States, dad and I have finally won our quiet battle.  My mom agreed to tolerate a presence of a kitten in our apartment fas long as she did not have to have anything to do with it. Soon after one of my co-workers was giving kittens up to a good home and I brought home a tiny furry creature that we named Boris.  Two weeks later my mom was tending to it as if it was a baby - she had a total change of heart.  

This is a picture of us about a year later in 1995 (please, no comments on my hair - it was way cool back then!) 

Boris lived with us for two years.  He grew up into a magnificent Main Coone and we got a request to sell him which we, of course, refused.  Boris disappeared a week later.  We looked for him everywhere but got no luck.  I prefer to think that he got kidnapped and lived a good life.  Other options were just too sad.

About a year later I was in Brooklyn, NY getting ready to get in my car and drive home to Maryland, when I saw a tiny grey kitten in a pet shop window.  I had to have that kitten.  There really was nothing special about it but I paid way too much money for this Russian Blue half-breed and brought it home. 

My mom said it looked like a rat and I could see where she was coming from.  We named this kitten Basil.  Pretty soon it got to be quite handsome. Needless to say, my mom fell in love with him and so did everyone else.  Basil still lives with my parents - he chose my father over me when I was moving in with my future husband.

I got married and eventually my husband and I bought our first house.  Pretty soon after that we decided to get a cat.  Over almost a year we visited numerous shelters, pet stores, and breeders but could not pick a kitten. 

Once we walked into a room crowded with many cages at an animal shelter.  Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a black cat that lay indifferently in a cage in the bottom row in the furthest corner of the room.  I walked over and immediately the cat got up and started purring loudly.  I asked to hold him.  He was captured as a stray, very weak and thin, but he was perfect to me.  Three days later we brought him home. 

We named him Hamlet and he truly was a prince.  He was the smartest and most well-trained cat I have ever met.  I could only wonder who his former owners were and how he got lost... Hamlet became and remained a member of our family for seven years and even my mother-in-law (who is not at all a cat person) liked him!

I do not have a cat now.  Hamlet has passed away and for a long while it seemed impossible to replace him with another cat.  And when I thought I was finally ready, my son's allergologist shot the whole idea down. We were very upset, but kids' health wins over pets… 

Maybe some day our luck will change, my son's allergies will improve and we will be able to welcome another tiny furball into our house.  Until then my kids and I will have to play with Basil while visiting my parents, look at pictures of Hamlet (though my son was too young to remember him) and play with wonderful cat toys.