So it’s World Cat Day today — who know? If you’ve known me for any length of time, you’ll know that cats have been a part of my life since I was a baby. So, to celebrate, let’s look back on the cats that have tolerated my presence over the years.
Starting in the 70’s, we have Misty, who was a little black cat that lived with us in Germany and for the first couple of years in Minnesota. She was turned into an indoor/outdoor cat and went missing.
Concurrently, we had Shadow, whom we acquired in 1978 or 1979, when we had moved back to Minnesota. She was a lanky, white-and-grey holstein. She was kind of aloof. She was eventually given away, but not before she gave birth to Bandit (grey, given to neighbors), Spots (white/grey holstein, we kept her), and Little Misty (all white, died before 8 weeks of age).
After the original Misty was gone, we also adopted a pair of male tabbies, Sunny and Stormy. Stormy, an outdoor cat, disappeared after my dad and mom split. When my mom left the house in Maple Grove, Sunny and Shadow were given to the Humane Society. Spots came with Paul and I to our dad’s new place.
After my dad/stepmom moved, I got Spook for my 12th birthday. She was a great-natured little tabby and definitely in the All-Time Top Five. She eventually passed away in the late 90’s, not long after I graduated college. 1998, most likely.
During the time in that house, Patches came along, too. He was another white/grey holstein, and was one of the chillest cats I’ve ever had. He lived to be 21 and had to be put down not long after I got out of the army. That was a tough day.
During college, I had plans to move from the dorms into an apartment. It was at that time, I adopted Tony, who was this green-eyed dude, white with big orange tabby blobs all over him. Great cat. The plans for the apartment fell through and my mom wound up taking him in.
After college, I was without a personal cat — my mom, whom I lived with briefly, still had Spots, Tony, and her other tabby, Lynx.
When I moved to Philly, I was without any cats. That sucked. I wound up adopting Mooch, a tuxedo cat, and she was far and away the greatest cat I’ve ever had. Smart, friendly, laid back — everything you’d want in a cat. In 2009, she was diagnosed with metastatic spinal cancer and had to be put down. I was a wreck for a long time. A year into my stay in Philly, I adopted Pixel, a white-and-calico girl, to be a companion for Mooch. They got along swimmingly.
After Philly and back in Minneapolis, Carolyn and I got together. She brought her cat, Roxy, with her. Roxy is far and away the most bad-assed cat in the history of cats. She was this lanky little black-and-white holstein, and she ruled the roost. Tough, smart, sassy, and entirely devoted to Carolyn. When C and I split up, she took Roxy and Pixel with her, and I took Mooch.
While living in Uptown, Mooch was obviously lonely, so I adopted Scout (pictured above), a half-Siamese mutt. As a kitten, he turned out to be a complete asshole of a cat, and there were a couple of times he nearly went back to the rescue shelter. He’s blossomed into a sweetheart of a cat, and he’s currently a total daddy’s boy (but sleeps in Kate’s hair whenever the opportunity presents itself).
Mooch and Scout never quite clicked and with Mooch slowing down, Scout’s rough brand of play seemed to be stressing her out. So I got Calvin, a black-and-white holstein, on a whim. As cats go, he’s kind of annoying — super affectionate, not really bright, but he and Scout get along swimmingly. So that solved that problem.
So now I’ve got three cats — Mooch, Scout, and Calvin. Then I meet Kate, who has two cats, Happy and Vinnie. A year later, we move in together, and we have five cats. Oy.
Then Mooch died. Down to four.
A year later, we moved to the suburbs from the city. We wound up taking in Kate’s brother’s cat, Max, a big black tomcat, who was pretty chill, but had some issues. We wound up giving him to a no-kill shelter just this year.
So we’re back down to four. Happy’s slowing down a lot, given that he’s fifteen years old, and Calvin’s starting to look a little ragged (he had a ton of health problems as a kitten).
That’s eighteen cats over the course of my life. Holy shit.