I often refer to my cats in my posts, so I thought it would be a good idea to introduce them. Over the past 25 years, I have had a total of 5 cats. Three have since passed on and we’re currently down to two.
Kiggy (1989 – 2005)
Kiggy was my first pet. I always wanted a cat but I grew up in rental apartments where pets were not allowed. Eventually, I wore my mom down and she let me sneak Kiggy in to the house.
I adopted her from a rescue organization operated from a woman’s apartment. Kiggy was one of many kittens tumbling in a playpen in the woman’s living room. Kiggy stole my heart with her quietness and charm.
Kiggy lived to be 16 years old. She traveled often with me in the beginning. I took her everywhere with me and she was a brave soul who was not afraid of anything, especially the vet.
When Kiggy was an only cat, she used to howl when I left the house begging me to come back. When we adopted Michi she was content to stay at home. In her later years, she used to howl at night as she became disoriented. She would calm down when we called out to her. I think she was in the beginning stages of dementia.
Kiggy loved afghan blankets and would knead and howl away. The howling was a common theme, now that I think about it. Kiggy also loved odd food including watermelon, peanut butter and yogurt.
Michi (1991 – 2006)
We rescued Michi when Kiggy was two years old. Michi’s mom was a stray whom we had been feeding outside. One day she stopped showing up to eat but returned a few days later, much thinner. We realized later that she had been pregnant.
We never found out what had happened to the kittens. She soon became pregnant again and disappeared again. This time when she returned we followed her to a neighbor’s garage. She paced outside meowing plaintively. We asked the neighbor if we could look inside and they readily agreed. She jumped inside a box where we found 6 newborn kittens, among them a tiny white kitten who would become our Michi.
We helped her raise the kittens in our backyard in a cardboard box lined with a soft towel. The kittens grew into cute little critters. There were four orange tabbies, one tortoishell, and Michi who looked like a cross between her mom, a calico and a Birman.
We spayed the mom, found homes for the five and kept Michi. We mostly kept Michi because she and Kiggy got along so well. Michi was a beautiful cat with stunning blue eyes and soft, silky fur. She talked incessantly which was likely due to her Siamese heritage.
Although Michi was an indoor cat, she never seemed to forget her first 8 weeks as an outdoor cat with her litter mates. She was quite the escape artist, breaking through screens, darting out doors and hopping fences. We had quite the challenge keeping her indoors.
Michi and Kiggy got along well throughout their lives. Michi never seemed to get over Kiggy’s death and died 11 months later.
Lucian (1999 – 2014)
In the summer of 1999, we took a road trip up to Canada. On the way back, we visited with some friends who had a new kitten. Some people get baby pangs when they hold an infant, I get new kitty pangs when I hold a kitten. When we arrived back home, I begged Dave to let us add a third cat to the household. He reluctantly agreed.
This time we decided to adopt from an animal shelter. Since Kiggy and Michi were my cats, Dave got to pick out the new member of the family. He has a knack for it, I must admit. Lucian stole the show when not only did he allow himself to be flipped over on his back for “footies up” but he licked Dave’s neck. Lucian was only 6 weeks old at the time and we needed to wait until he was old enough to be neutered. It was a hard waiting two weeks, but it was with great joy that we got to pick him up and bring him home.
Lucian is a striking cat. People often ask what breed he is, thinking that he is a pure bred cat. He’s just a beautiful silver tabby. Lucian has silky, soft fur and is often amenable to a tummy rub. Lucian is now nine years old which is considered middle-aged to senior. We hope he lives to be 20+. He has taken to bringing us prey in the last year. Luckily, as an indoor cat his prey consists of small stuffed animals in the shape of mice, rats and gophers. We usually hear him crying in another room before he appears with a toy in his mouth before he drops it at our feet. We praise him mightily for the gift.
Lucian was diagnosed in 2008 with Feline Asthma. He began coughing that spring. Initially we thought he had a hairball, but when nothing materialized we took him to our vet. Lucian uses an inhaler (Flovent) with a special cat spacer (Aerokat) to help him with his daily dose. He’s doing well with the inhaler as long as he gets plenty of treats afterwards.
Update – February 2014
Lucian lived a happy and healthy life until February 2014. He took a sudden downturn when he was diagnosed with acute pancreatitis which ended up being pancreatic cancer. He was able to live his last week at home, being hand fed and loved. When the pain medication stopped working, we opted to have him euthanized at home surrounded by all who loved him. He brought us much joy and he is sorely missed. I am glad we were able to give him a gentle passing and hope if there is an afterlife that we may see him again. I am grateful for the time we had with him.
Liv Tiger (1999 – )
Liv is Lucian’s sister and littermate. Shortly after we adopted Lucian, we found that kittens and senior cats don’t mix well. Lucian was full of energy and play and attacked Kiggy and Michi non-stop. Upon the advice of the shelter, we adopted another kitten. When I went to the shelter to pick one out, I saw Liv. When I found out she was his sister, I opted to adopt her. When I brought her home to see him, he immediately attacked her in that cute kitten way. She wasn’t so sure but soon re-bonded with him. Liv helped keep Lucian entertained so that Kiggy and Michi had an easier time accepting them both.
Liv is a very timid cat. She is very loving towards us, but is terribly frightened of guests. She immediately hides and will not come out until they leave. The only other person she likes is my friend, Jill. Liv has a very strange quirk in that she will always come when we sing the theme song to the “Family Guy” TV show. She actually likes any singing, but that song in particular.
Wayne (2006 – )
When Kiggy died in 2005, we were deeply saddened. When Michi died the following year, the loss was more palpable. She had a striking, outgoing personality and the house seemed so empty without her. We went from four cats to two within one year. Lucian went through a depression and kept to himself more. We jointly decided that it was time now to add another cat to the household.
We found Wayne at the Mission Viejo Animal Shelter. He was the first kitten we saw that day. We kept looking just to make sure, but quickly came back to adopt him. He was readily accepted by Lucian and Liv. The transition was much easier than introducing Lucian and Liv to Kiggy and Michi. Maybe it is because he’s another tabby. Maybe it’s because he’s so sweet and easygoing. Maybe it’s because they missed Kiggy and Michi. We’ll never know, but we’re grateful.
Wayne is a huge cat. He had big paws as a kitten and he grew into them. He’s 18 pounds and measures 34 inches from toes to nose. Luckily, he’s a gentle giant who always backs down in a skirmish. He will let us clip his nails, brush his teeth and carry him like a baby. The only thing that is a challenge is getting him into the carrier when we take him to the vet. It’s a two-person job. At the vet, he’s a lamb who complies with all poking and prodding.