CATIA IS MIA
We had the most amazing orange tabby cat for almost 7 years. He came to us as a stray in our old neighborhood. When we finally decided that we were claiming him and put a collar on him, he came home the very next day with a busted-up-super-swollen foot that required a trip to the vet - welcome to the joys of pet ownership and vet bills. :) But he was ours - and we were happy.
Initially we didn't have a cat/doggy door - so we would just open the bedroom window to let him in and out. Somehow we developed a system that when he was ready to go outside he would knock juggling balls off the dresser. If we were too lazy to get up and open the window by the time the 3rd ball dropped - watch out - anything else on the dresser was being swatted to the ground.
At first (okay - for at least the first 5 years) I was always panicking that he was gone. I would cry to Mark that he was gone (for real this time) and Mark would go outside and give a few whistles and a few moments later - Catia would come leaping over the fence and be home.
When we moved to our current neighborhood - we really tried to make him into an indoor cat.
The first few days in the new house he was okay - but then he got stir crazy...and he climbed on top of the counter, on to the fridge, onto the top cupboards and knocked over one of those decorative olive-oil-pepper glass jars from a height of about 14 feet...which likely made quite the CRASH when it slammed onto the kitchen floor and cracked - leaving a very potent olive oil and pepper and garlic stench in the kitchen - and a nice chip in the floor (which is still there and makes me smile when i see it). So after that incident we decided he was meant to try his luck outside - and he fared well.
It wasn't long before the neighbors knew him - and most of them loved him. (Perhaps not the neighbors that worked in their flower beds since Catia was never much of a litter box cat....which we didn't mind!). I loved pulling into the driveway and he would come scampering from a neighbor's yard to greet me.
|Introducing Catia to our brand new puppy, Chai|
He occasionally would go on sprees of bringing us 'gifts'. There was one week where I would come home and either find feathers scattered everywhere - or a bird flying around the house that must have gotten free after being brought in the doggy/kitty door. My all time favorite was when I arrived home to find a beautiful orange and purple bird that I first feared was someone's pet, perched on a window...but after a little research - I learned that Catia had brought me a male painted bunting - very cool - and a great little venture into the bird watching world right from my living room. I'm fairly certain avid bird watchers would be jealous of my close encounter.
|The Painted Bunting (which I did manage to let out the door - and I think he lived happily ever after (despite the few little puncture marks from dear ol' Kitty)|
One of the first nights that Brianne was home, Catia brought a baby bunny into her room (and I may have started screaming at 2am when i saw the fluffy bunny tail) - but that was a 'gift' for the new baby - he was a thoughtful cat to welcome her home with a gift.
The cat and dogs got along rather well - until the kids came along. Apparently the dogs were bored and lacking attention so they took to chasing the cat - thus the cat spent the past few years in the front of the house - avoiding the monster pugs.
Neighborhood WalksOne of my favorite things about Catia was that he would join us for our neighborhood walks. He would stay near by - trodding along the sidewalk with us, or stalking thru the neighbor's bushes - but always keeping pretty close.
Since the kids were greeted by Catia practically every time we entered and exited the house - I credit him with helping Brianne learn to sign and say "cat".
He was such a great pet - so much easier to care for than our monster pugs. When we went on vacation we would ask a neighbor to check in on him...but really we just needed to leave out a bunch of food and water and he was fine (and probably spent a major portion of his time with a nearby neighbor who took him in as his own from time to time!).
My Dad and Catia
The true test and proof that he was an amazing cat - is this picture of my dad petting Catia. My dad is NOT a cat person - but he thought Catia was okay.
True story: when I was younger, we had a barn cat. She stayed out in the barn and was fed - but rarely pet or paid attention to. I remember taking her to get her yearly shots with my dad. While I waited in the car with the dogs, my dad took the cat in. A few moments passed, and then he came back to the car and asked "what's the cat's name?". I can still giggle at the fact that my dad had no idea that her name was Crystal and was stumped as he tried to fill out the vaccination paperwork. To say the least - he is not a cat person, but he thought Catia was alright (I'd go as far as saying he liked him, even though he might not admit it!).
While Catia had some serious street smarts to last as long as he did.....over a month ago he vanished and we haven't seen him since. For a while we maintained hope that he would reappear, having simply been off visiting a neighbor or on a big cat adventure. When the neighbor that often took him in came knocking on our door to ask if we had seen him - I knew Catia was really gone for good. Every time I'd pull in the driveway a sad pang would shoot thru me when he didn't come to greet me. I was out for a walk a few weeks after he disappeared - and I spotted a painted bunting - the orange and purple bird that he brought home once - and I teared up and smiled, thinking it was Catia's way of saying goodbye - and I knew then that he really wasn't coming back.
Farewell Catia - you were the best kitty cat we ever could have hoped for!