Today’s Cat Friends is a guest post from my awesome Twitter friend, Madonna Monster! :) Let’s meet David and Rocco!
Shortly after my Yoda passed (http://madonna816.blogspot.com/2011/07/painful-journey.html), I found myself in my local PetSmart, looking for a gift for a friend’s pup. I couldn’t help but peek in on the kitties up for adoption. What a saw through the plexiglas instantly had me in tears. A tiny black kitten, all curled up. After a couple of minutes, he raised his head & I saw the white spot on his chest, just like my Yoda. I crumbled and all I could think of was holding that kitten. They were having open adoption hours later in the day so I called up my partner (who is now my wife) & asked her to meet me, because I knew I’d be a mess. Mind you, I was NOT ready to adopt. I was still grieving for my Yoda & crying several times a day. In my heart, I was looking for some kind of comfort from that kitten. Michelle, my wife, had other ideas.
So there we were. I was sitting on the floor, inside the cat room, holding that kitten & sobbing. I don’t remember much, beyond feeling pain. Then, Michelle piped up & said she wanted to take the kitten I was holding, along with the other tuxedo kitten that had been making a racket & zooming around the place. This seemed unacceptable to me. I felt like I was betraying Yoda. I was crying & pleading my case, but even the lady from the shelter was now trying to convince me, saying Yoda would want me to rescue them.
It’s now 4.5 years later &, as I type, the crazy, mouthy kitten, now a crazy, mouthy cat named David, is perched on my leg. The kitten I drenched with tears, now named Rocco, is curled up in his bed, just a few feet from me. At the time, the adoption definitely made my grieving process harder (I still find myself crying for my Yodie Bird), but I also can’t imagine life without David & Rocco.
BTW, when we adopted them, their names were Dave & Otto. Being a huge Madonna fan, their names were quickly changed to the names of Madonna’s sons.
Rocco, for the most part, is an angel. He sleeps about 22.5 hours a day (at least it seems that way). We make a huge deal of it when he walks into the room & we start cheering “Rocco’s awake! YAY!” He LOVES the home grown catnip that my best friend, Jay, sends us once or twice a year, along with the laser pointer, his chirping bird, and the strings on our hoodies. When we adopted him, he was the smaller of the 2, but he now dwarfs David. He tolerates being picked up & can’t wait to get down. However, he does love affection. We call him the stealth hugger, because he likes to sneak up on you, give you a head-butt & run away. He wants to be chased into the bathroom, where he flops on HIS mat (aka the bath mat) & rolls around, letting you pet, scratch & smooch him. Over the last year, he’s also started finding his voice, as small and high pitched as it is. It’s funny & heartwarming, all at once. He’s so big, thumps when he walks, is a loud jumper (like he’s going to crash through the floor), yet has the softest meow. He sounds like he’s straining to even make a noise. It tugs so hard on my heart.
Rocco, when awake, also runs to the door to greet me. The dog doesn’t even do that. The myth that cats are aloof is just that. Cat lovers know the truth. They are regal & want to be treated well, but they deserve it! They are also loving & sweet.
As for David, he is the exact opposite. I hardly know where to begin. He is definitely the boss (except for when Rocco has had enough of being pestered & kicks his butt. Thankfully it’s not daily & there has never been any blood *knock wood*). David is my shadow. My mouthy, bossy shadow. If I’m sitting, he’s either on me, or next to me. If I leave the room, he follows. He even yells at me the entire time I’m taking a shower.
David’s favorite toy is a polar fleece ‘string’ on the end of a plastic stick. He will drag it from room to room, demanding that we play with him. First we hear the plastic being dragged across the floor &, before we can say “oh crap,” the guttural meowing begins, with the toy still in his mouth. If you ignore him, it gets dropped in your lap & he’ll start pawing at your face.
But the biggest frustration is the kitchen counter. I love to cook. Having 2 cats & a dog, it’s nearly impossible to avoid pet hair, but the idea of offering food that could be tainted is something that gives me anxiety every time I step foot into the kitchen. The cats are allowed everywhere, as they should be, except the kitchen counter. Rocco, God Bless Him, has figured it out. David, on the other hand, not so much. Daily, we do battle with the squirt bottle. The problem appears to be, not only does he feel entitled, he actually likes to be squirted. He’ll run away, but immediately return, & if he thinks I haven’t noticed his paws on the counter quickly enough, he yells at me, often with his tongue sticking out. I have never known a cat to stick their tongue out at you, while screaming at you, until David. We often call him The Punk, but he’s the cutest punk in the world!
Beyond our kitchen counter battle, I’m putty in his paws and he knows it. If I nap, he’s right there with me. If I bend over, he jumps on my back. The other day, while getting ready to go out, he made himself quite comfortable on my back. Being a “crazy cat lady,” I never want to disturb him, but it was starting to hurt (and I needed to leave) so I decided to start walking to see if he’d get down on his own. I need to mention that I have a bad hip & a pretty pronounced limp. Being bent over, the limp was even more pronounced so I thought for sure he’d jump down. The little bugger stayed on my back through three room & only jumped down when Michelle started to film us, because he didn’t like the bright light from the phone. http://youtu.be/yb67GjbnZ7A
I adore these two…so much so, it was painful to whittle down the amount of photos to submit. They bring us so much joy, we can’t imagine life without them. They are warm, safe, well fed, comfortable & endlessly loved so I can only imagine that they wouldn’t want life to be any other way, either.
The sad reality is that black cats are the hardest to adopt out. I don’t just know this as a statistic. I am a volunteer at a shelter in NH, that often has special, lower adoption fees for black/tuxedo cats (and dogs), because there still exists a stigma around them, in much the same way that there is a stigma around certain breeds of dog. I have personally shared my life with three tuxedos, spent time with black cats that lived with family members, and cared for them in the shelter. If anything, they have a tendency to be sweeter than any other type of cat. The stigma is silly & stems from mythology & superstitions. If you ever get the chance to adopt, and I hope that you do, because we’re overrun (spay & neuter, too…PLEASE), by all means adopt from your heart, but please don’t pass up black cats out of fear. Seriously, look at these faces!