Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The most unforgettable cat ever......

has also got to be included if I'm talking about our pets. When my daughter was approaching 4, she wanted a kitty. I already had a dog, a toy Manchester terrier that thought she was a child....but she was a one person dog and that one person was me. She didn't want to have much to do with anyone else and when I wasn't home, she would hide under the bed and stay there until I came home. Don't think she was hiding because she was afraid....not at all. That dog thought she was a German Shepherd. She hid because she was bored with everyone else in the house except me. But this is about the cat.

I happened to stop at a garage sale about 2 miles from my house and in a tall cardboard box was what was left of a litter of kittens. Mom was an Angora and Dad was a charmer.....love 'em and leave 'em type....a Siamese. I glanced into the box and there were two left. They both were white but one had the bluest eyes I'd ever seen. I picked her up and she snuggled up under my chin and began to nurse on the collar of my blouse, her little paws kneading the material as she purred contentedly. I couldn't resist and so I brought her home. My daughter was delighted and promptly named her after our babysitter, Tina.

My dog was not impressed in the least. Tina loved her though and never stopped loving her as long as she lived. Once in a while they would play but they never fought. When my dog died (at 15) Tina went from room to room mournfully meowing. It was heartbreaking as it was obvious that she missed her K9 friend. She kept that up for over a week. Tina acted more like a dog than a cat. I'm not trying to be mean here....I'm just stating a fact. Most cats are aloof and independent but Tina would actually come when you called her. She would come in response to her name, as well as kitty, kitty kitty. She is pictured with this post sitting in her favorite place, the warm cable box. We lived in a subdivision in the outskirts of town and so she "went outside" to go potty. She never had a litter box until she was very old and I got her one to use because it was so bitterly cold outside that last winter and she was 17 by then.

Tina would stretch out her body and take her paw and jiggle the doorknob. This is how we knew she wanted outside. If she wanted a drink of water, she would jump on the bathroom countertop and meow until you turned on the faucet, then she would drink from it. When we moved and took up residence on a paved road with much more traffic I was always afraid that she would get hit by a car. A car just tipped her tail and broke it as she was running across the street one day. She was always proud to walk around with that tail straight up in the air like an exclamation point but for about 2 months until it healed, her tail was bent over half way up so it looked like an inverted capitol L. I honestly think she felt humiliated looking like that. It taught her a lesson though and after that she always sat and waited until no cars were coming before she would cross.

Everyone loved Tina. Even people who usually hated cats loved Tina. She had the best personality of any cat I've ever been around. However, one day my kids had found a tiny kitten, an itty bitty yellow striped ball of fluff. Of course they brought it home and wanted to keep it. I may have consented but our sweet, angelic, loveable Tina instantly turned into a demon, the likes of which I'd never seen. Emitting low guttural growls, ears flattened back against her head, tail swishing rapidly from side to side as she spit and hissed like a cat straight out of Hades, she backed the kitten into a corner. The tiny kitten spit, spat and hissed right back at her with its back arched. It was ridiculously funny but yet I had to be cautious. Tina still had her claws and I could tell she meant business. The tiny kitten had to go. Once out of the house, Tina morphed back into her original sweet purring self, as she cleaned her whiskers and eyed me knowingly.

One time Tina disappeared and I feared the worse. She had been spayed so I knew it wasn't that. I feared she may have been hit by a car. We looked and looked for her....my daughter was a weeping mess. After about a week or so, I heard the familiar thump she made when she jumped on the door, wanting inside. I couldn't believe it as I whipped open the door and there she was. Our snow white cat was dark gray, she was so filthy.....but she was ok. She was hungry as a bear though. I think she had gotten locked in the neighbor's shed.

Tina lived to be a little over 17. She had a heart attack and went quickly. She still holds a special place in our hearts. I wish I could tell you all the stories I have about her, but there just isn't enough blog space. If you're ever going to get a cat, my wish for you is that you find one as great as Tina.


Jeffrey Beesler said...

It sounds like you got a lot of good years out of Tina! What an amazing cat. Thanks for sharing, and it's a pleasure to meet you post-AZ!

Joy Des Jardins said...

You certainly had some wonderful years with Tina. She was a very special cat...and was very lucky to have you too. Thanks for sharing Tina's Tale with us.

Jamie said...

Oh, I love Tina now. She sounds so wonderful, and obviously loved you through and through. I have never had a white cat, but always wanted one. Maybe someday.

How are you Val? Is your weather finally cooperating? It's Thursday again and as usual, I am tired this morning.

Have a great day. xo Hugs. :)