The day after New Year’s is normally spent nursing a severe headache and relieving cotton mouth after a wild night of drinking and debauchery. This year, I cleaned my house.
I’m not a neat freak, but I have enough cat and dog hair floating around my house to create several other cats and dogs. I’m an animal lover. I’ll admit it. I have six cats indoors, two feral cats outdoors and three pugs. This wasn’t how I imagined my life. I’d pictured a couple of cats and a couple of dogs at the most. Somehow, I’ve managed to inherit more than my fair share of the animal kingdom along the way.
The majority of my kitty family are rescues. Isis and Halloween were given to me by a friend who had a litter of kittens to give away. Isis was a poor choice of names since I’m fairly certain I’m on an FBI watch list. When I caught the little terrorist spraying my walls with urine for the second time (yes, she is female), it was the end of her stay inside my cozy home. Now she’s an outdoors cat. Her sister, Halloween, belonged to my ex-husband. When he threatened to offload her to a shelter, I agreed to take her in. Luckily, she’s the sweet baby of the pair.
Nanu was given to me by a friend who was moving to Florida. She loves men and sleeping on my bed, has long hair and is very grouchy. If you pet her the wrong way, you’ll get the claw. However, she’s sweet as pie when you brush her hair.
Juju is my green-eyed, charcoal beauty from the Humane Society. She makes sure that all cats in the household receive a bath every day. Although most of my cats are indoors, my ex-boyfriend accidentally let her out one time. She was gone for three days. I’d given up hope of seeing her again when she returned. Of course, this was after I’d adopted two kittens.
Beast and Daphne were adopted from the local shelter when I thought I’d lost Juju. Beast is large, orange and a big scaredy-cat. His favorite place is in my lap or lounging on the couch with the dogs. I’m fairly certain he thinks he’s a pug. He’s certainly as large as they are. Daphne loves drinking water from my bathroom faucet. She’ll curl up inside the sink, waiting for me to visit the bathroom. If I don’t turn on the water, she’ll grab my arm with her paw as if to say, hey, wait a minute, you forgot something!
Persephone might be mentally deficient. The lights are on, but no one is home with that baby. She’s my indoor feral cat. The only time I see her is when she’s running away.
Hades is a sweet, black cat who showed up on my doorstep this past fall. I started feeding her and built her and Isis two little homes to sleep in, complete with incandescent lighting and insulation to keep them warm. She’ll let me pick her up for a few minutes, but not much more than that.
As for the dogs, my pug, Nifty is thirteen years old and could care less whether I pay attention to him or not. But when we go to the dog park, he becomes as joyful as a puppy. Nifty loves socializing. Just not at home. I’m certain that if someone wanted to take him away, he’d go willingly.
My other pug, Ramses, is twelve years old and built like a tank. His father was a rescue dog, so his heritage is questionable. Ramses is a lover and fierce protector. I worry about taking him out in public because he’s ready to bite someone if he thinks there’s danger.
Nina, my little girl pug, belonged to my father. She has problems with her back legs and doesn’t know when she’s going to the bathroom. This was not a good situation until I discovered doggie diapers. Now she sports some great, colored panties while my carpets and sanity are spared.
The first half hour of every day is dedicated to getting everyone fed and cared for, whether I’m walking the dogs, cleaning litter or feeding them all. But when I sit down with my coffee, Ramses often snuggles against my leg while Beast crawls onto my lap purring with contentment.
I may be a crazy animal lover, but I wouldn’t change a thing.