Monday, May 28, 2012

Roof Top Perch

If I am going to be honest about this post I must admit I have never been a fan of having a cat in the house.  Growing up we always had a few barn cats around the place, but, my mother made sure we did not turn them into pets.  Mom dislikes cats more than anyone I know and some of that has surely rubbed off on me.  

When my first husband and I moved into our first place, his sole possessions were a battered suitcase of clothes and a lop-eared cat.  Over the course of the  thirty-seven years we were married I would guess we had almost half that many cats come and go.  It seemed they met some tragic fate or just disappeared to be quickly replaced by a new stray.  

I kept them fed, saw to their shots and allowed them to curl in my lap for petting during my TV time and even enjoyed having my feet warmed by those that slept at the foot of the bed, but I never became emotionally attached to any of them.  


When we downsized to a small condo our daughter took our cat to live with her, and I thought I had seen the last of the cats.  Not so.  Shortly after my husband passed away my daughter boomeranged and asked to move back home.  She brought her husband and child with her but not the cat I was happy to learn.  That didn't last long because Santa left a black tortoiseshell kitten at our house a few months later.  

After the Old Salt and I decided to get married, my daughter and her family moved into a place of their own.  Of course, their new apartment didn't allow pets so they left the cat with me.  That was over five years ago and I have become that feline's human.  In fact, Velvet choose me to be her human from the get-go. She is a  little Diva who thinks nothing of charging a dog four times her size and does not tolerate most humans. I am convinced however, that she loves me and I slowly began to reciprocate those feelings for her. 

Boo in his favorite napping place 
The Old Salt had always been a dog person and had no experience with cats.  The fact that Velvet quickly added him to her dislike list didn't help.  However, the Old Salt has a favorite author named John D. Mac Donald who wrote a book entitled "The House Guest" about life with his cats.  In this book Mr. Mac Donald stated the optimum number of cats to have in one household was two.  The Old Salt took him at his word, so, it wasn't long before a visit to our vets office had us returning home with a gray tabby kitten.  Boo had been rescued from a barn and had a "Please adopt me" sign on his cage in the Vet's lobby.

Then we took pity on a family that were being relocated to South America and adopted their  pair of sister cats adding Midnight and Pork Chop to our small condo.  Those girls were the biggest handful I have ever dealt with and they kept our household in a state of distress for quite some time.  If you think having a two year old child in your house is challenging try caring for a pair of spanish speaking (or is that understanding) sisters who only want to eat table food, were not litter box trained, had no respect for boundaries and were terrified of being around other cats. 

Pork Chop

Before long Midnight grieved herself into a serious liver disorder and lost over half of her body weight.  Twice daily feedings with a syringe became a permanent way of life and slowly over a period of six months her health was restored and our menagerie began to co-exist but not always peaceably, until another health issue took Midnight from us this past spring.

 Our cats are as different as possible from each other.  Even though we have a cat door onto our patio Pork-chop never uses it.  Boo will go out for short naps in the sun.  Velvet, however,  likes to be outdoors and quickly learns how to circumvent any obstacle we create to prevent her escaping from our fenced patio to roam the neighborhood.  

About a week ago Velvet did not return for her usual afternoon siesta in the middle of our bed.  She failed to show up at the sound of the treat box being shaken in the kitchen for the first time in memory.  By bedtime she still had not come home and one worried Old Salt  went checking our all of her known haunts with no success.  Finally, she made her way home to repeat the process again, and again over the next several days.   Her odd behavior certainly had us worried.  We even considered locking her in the house when she showed up for lunch on the fourth day.  We resisted using that tactic and she was soon gone again.  

I was a little later than usual going out to water my flower beds that night.  As I was working my way around the inside of the patio fence I kept hearing this soft meowing over the noise of the garden hose.  

Finally, I looked up to find Velvet, sitting like a queen on her throne, surveying her domain from the rooftop of our townhouse.  That is where she has been most of her waking hours ever since.  It took another day to figure out how she was getting up there and we still have not found a way to keep her from climbing up to the roof.  At least we now know where to look for her and she seems to like being up there and so far no damage has occurred, so I guess we have to accept we have the only roof perching feline in the neighborhood.  

Linking to Cats on Tuesday 


  1. Castles were always built on the highest hill, and your little queen has found her castle up there on your roof. Too cute.

  2. Great post. I love the way that cats won you over in the end :O) I have four and I can't imagine my home without them. Tortoiseshell cats (or naughty tortes as they're known), are renowned for being the psychos of the cat world! I have one too!

  3. I was like you many years ago when somebody gave me kitten for my birthday. I actually was afraid of cats. But cats are clever and in no time she won my heart and shared my life for 20 years ! Ever since we always had cats, couldn't think to live without them !

  4. I always had cats - grew up with them and had them most all of my life. Our last cat has been gone just about 2 years now, and with all the traveling we do, we have decided not to get another one. But I do miss them...this was a lovely story!

  5. I LOVE cats. Right now we have four of them. We actually asked one of our kids to move back home to care for them while we are gone. As you know, we are gone a lot. That Velvet is a cutie.
    Did you know that almost all Torties are female? Also a lot of them are polydactyl. Does Velvet have any extra toes?

  6. A neighborhood stray decided to adopt us a couple of months ago... My husband always chased off stray animals because he knows my heart is weak for them..but for some reason he welcomed her and fed her until we felt she was comfortable wih meeting her three new siblings..2 Beagles and a husband went to the store and built her a fortress and gave up his spare room to accommodate our new baby... In no time did she claim her new home and I love the fact that she keeps all our dogs in check...she definitely took on the mother roll quite fast and makes a great house keeper! She loves to snuggle with me at night and at 3 am sharp she is ready to play... I don't sleep much but she is happy isn't that all that matters!! :)

  7. That is a lovely post!
    My first cat was a terrible cat. she always bites, srcatched and hisses to all of us. When she died I thought I would never again have a cat.....until Luzie came into my life.Luzie was a stray and gave here birth to four cute kitten. Now the house and garden is full of kitties.The most are straycats which we adopted.


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