Until one has loved an animal, part of the soul remains unawakened

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Until one has loved an animal, part of the soul remains unawakened

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Happy Cat Lady

Happy Cat Lady

Nov 4, 2009

Gypsy Magic 1988-9

First, there was lovable Gypsy, also known as Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. Born Halloween of ’88, I adopted her on Xavier’s birthday, the thirteenth of December.  Gypsy had thick, black-satin fur, and she was built stocky like a brick shit-house; the perfect witch’s cat. 

The woman I got her from wouldn’t let me take her unless I took her sister too. Different as night and day, they definitely were not twins. Raven, also known as She, of Whom Hell Hath No Fury,  was a black cat, too. Sleek, slim and pointy, as though descended from a Siamese, she was the meanest cat in the whole wide world!  If you tried to pet her or pick her up, she growled and swatted at your hand. Haughty, beautiful, and hateful, the evil queen in Disney’s Snow White movie had nothing on her. She was unmercifully cruel with her sister. 

Obviously Gypsy became my favorite, but Raven wouldn’t  let her near me. If I paid any attention to her, Raven would corner Gypsy and growl at her.  I figured they would have to work it out their dominance issues, and at first, didn’t interfere. But I grew tired of Raven’s nastiness and decided to lean things more in Gypsy’s favor, so that she would become the Alpha female. I began feeding her lots of extra food. Since she was more muscluar, I thought she would simply grow bigger and stronger than Raven and it would just happen by default. I also  got Raven neutered, with the plan to have Gypsy done later. 

Shortly after that Raven decided not to stay with us anymore. Or on a cosmic level, that is the way one could look at it.


One lovely spring day, as she sat in the bedroom window looking out the screen, the window suddenly fell shut. It happened so fast, I couldn’t save her. Caught between the closed window and the screen, she clawed through that screen in a flash and was gone.  Who knows where? We never saw her again. Perhaps adopted by some unsuspecting souls in the neighborhood, she became the bane of their existence.  It was almost a case of Good Riddance.  I never before had a cat that treated me as though she personally despised me.


I couldn’t just let her go unsought, though.  I did miss her!  So, I made up some posters and plastered them all over the neighborhood.  LOST, BLACK CAT, YELLOW EYES, ANSWERS TO RAVEN (etc.).  About the time I gave up on ever seeing her again, a little old lady called me on the phone in response to our ad campaign.  She said her son had found my cat.

“I’m pretty sure she is yours based on the description in your flyer, about six months old, female; looks like she might have some Siamese in her. That last was not something I had mentioned in the ads.


“Great!” I said, “If you’ll give me directions to your place, I’ll be right over to take her home.

“Oh, that won’t be necessary.” She said. “My son will bring the kitty to your place.  He’s already got her out in his car.” We live on Sylvania drive, not far from you. The way she described her neighborhood, I wasn't sure I could find it, anyway. It was getting dark out and I wasn’t feeling like driving through unfamiliar territory. Her street name seemed so unfamiliar to me. I wondered how Raven got there. So, I gladly gave her instructions to our apartment.  

A short time later her Sonny-boy arrived.  A linebacker for any NFL football team would never have gotten past this guy!  He was BIG!  There,  contentedly purring, nestled in his huge ham-hock arms was my little black shiny Raven.

                “Gosh!  She looks so tiny!  She must have lost weight.” as I gathered her into my welcoming embrace.  “Thanks so much for bringing her home!.  I can’t believe she’s actually purring!”  I was thrilled that she seemed so glad to see me. Maybe her sojourn in the outside world had taught her to appreciate us and coming home. I knew Gypsy was now bigger than her sister and the Top Cat problem would be solved. Maybe we could settle down into a peaceful cat household.

I came back into the living room and with a happy smile, announced to my family,  “Look!  I’ve got Raven!”
              
My husband glanced up and said, “That’s not Raven!”

“Of course, it is” I responded, a little surprised at his attitude.

“No!” He stated, “That cat can’t be Raven.  It’s letting you hold it without trying to rip your face off! Raven never purred before,either! And...” He added,”that cat is just too small to be Raven.”

I began to think he was right. Just then, Gypsy, who had been enjoying her freedom ever since her sister’s disappearance, came traipsing happily into the room.  The kitty in my arms suddenly leaped down to greet her, nose to nose.  No growling or spitting occurred. That made me really suspicious.

“Besides,” with a rueful grin, he said “That kitty is a boy!”

The obvious signs of masculinity swung beneath the tail.  “How could I have been so stupid as to not check that? We’ve been duped!” I shreiked, ran to the door and looked out on the empty parking lot. The Hulk had gone!

That’s how Magic came into our lives. That night he slept with Gypsy on the pillow by my head. He was even more lovable than Gypsy and they adored each other. Magic was sleek and long and tall.  He was the Abe Lincoln of cats!  When he stretched himself out, he could reach the top of the kitchen counter and watch me chop onions on my cutting board.  He was the sweetest cat there ever was!  I think we got a good trade.


After that, Gypsy decided to become the grouchy one and wouldn’t let people pick her up without growling at them. But I knew she was faking it, as she would also purr, at the same time. She loved to be petted and taken for rides in the car. We often stopped at the Burger King to buy french fries for her. She sat on my shoulder by the front window as I ordered and paid for the french fries. Then, when they were handed into us, she would greedily try to swipe them out of my hand. This always gave the Burger King employee a laugh.


Gypsy had big round golden eyes that reminded me of the old-fashioned head lamps on locomotives. Magic’s eyes were a deep orange. As they grew older, their eyes began to change color until they were indistinguishible. Gypsy had a full round head. Magic’s head was long and triangular.  Between the two of them, they produced five adorable little copies of themselves.  I found homes for them all. Magic was the perfect Daddy Cat.  He got right into the box with Gypsy and bathed the kittens every opportunity he could. Gypsy, like most new mother’s seemed to appreciate the father’s participation. She was a gentle momcat. When she began to wean her kittens, Magic let them nurse on him. I mean literally, nurse on his tiny little male nipples.