After Janie died, I put out the word to friends that I had an "open headcount" for a cat and figured one would come along when the time was right. A week later, a co-worker told me her parents had kittens that needed a home. I took the little guy below. He was very cute and affectionate but too rambunctious for Mokie's taste. Mokie spent a good part of his time hissing and batting at Kam or actually pinning him down and biting him but nothing phased Kam or slowed him down.
Kam is also frequently called "Kambug! Stop that!" Here are a few adorable photos from his early kittenhood!
Both Mokie and Janie were strays, found by my friend Maureen on Memorial Day weekend, one year apart.
Mokie, the Mama's Boy, came to live with me in May 1996. I love him to death. He is a snuggler and a chatterbox. He's long-legged, lean, and very elegant.
Janie | May 1997 - September 11, 2007
My petite little Jane-Jane with the tiny face came a year later in 1997. I called her "Density Cat" -- she was 2/3 Mokie's size, but she weighed just as much. When you picked her up, you'd think "how can something so small be so heavy?" She also had a love of my sweaty gym bras...evidence is below right.
A few stories about my cute little girl...
Janie got her money's worth out of her Nine Lives while she lived with me.
The first night she was with me I closed her up in the spare room to keep her separated from Mokie. When I checked on her in the morning, I discovered she had pried the loose heating duct cover away from the wall and planted herself right by the open hole. I slowly inched toward her, speaking in a very soothing whisper, so as not to alarm her. Didn't work. She went head first down the hole, scratching all the way down three floors to the basement. I totally freaked and Mokie's tail puffed out three times its usual size.
I ran to the basement and could hear her tiny meow coming from a narrow place where the duct bends horizontally across the basement ceiling. I called my friends up the street and the handy-man half of the pair came with his tools. When he pulled the ductwork apart, all we saw was her upside-down head and one arm. He pulled her out like a midwife would. She was fine, but completely FILTHY, and shortly thereafter, the ductwork throughout the house was given a more thorough cleaning by a paid professional.
There were many other less dramatic adventures. Once she took two turns in the dryer before I realized, "Hey, what's that thunking sound? I didn't throw any tennis shoes in there." Yikes! I yanked open the door, and she flew out so I had immediate confirmation she wasn't paralyzed.
After arriving in our neighborhood as a stray dumped from a car in church parking lot, Janie was an indoor-only cat who only made one trip into the wilds after that. After a morning of shopping, I pulled into the driveway and a gray and white tabby ran up my front steps. My first thought was "wow, that cat looks a lot like Janie," then my second thought was, "Oh crap, that IS Janie." She hid in the backyard honeysuckle jungle for several hours until she got hungry and the treats I offered seemed more enticing than greenery.
Another time I arrived home after being away 15 hours and heard a faint "mew" coming from my dresser. That morning I had left the sock drawer open and Mokie crawled in because he loves any open container. I left him there while I got ready for work. On my way out, I quickly shut the drawer, unaware that Janie had crawled in after Mokie got out. When I liberated her, she was hungry and happy to be free; I was happy she hadn't used the sock drawer as a litter box. After the second "misplaced" cat incident, I made it a practice to visually account for each animal before leaving the house.
In August 2007 Janie began limping on her right hind leg. She had broken three toes on a front paw several years before (I wasn't home so how she did it is still a mystery) and I assumed she had done it again. I had her to the regular vet where X-rays showed no broken bones or fractures so we went home with pain medicine. But time passed and she didn't seem to be improving. Then, two weeks after the initial problem, she stopped eating and drinking and I was afraid she would dehydrate and die before we definitively diagnosed her leg problem and determined if it could be treated.
A visit to a specialist finally pinpointed the cause as a tumor in her knee. Further X-rays revealed a large tumor in her lung and another small one nearby. Less than three weeks after I first saw her limp, she could only move around with great difficulty and spent most of her time hiding in the dark closet. Her prognosis was not good -- even with removal of the existing tumors, more were likely to appear in a short time. I made the decision not to prolong her pain and put her to sleep today, September 11, 2007.
She was a very sweet-natured little girl but not a lap-sitter...she loved her catnip, a good wrestle with a ribbon, and attacking receding water as it escaped down the bathtub drain. She would meow at me when I stayed up too late but would never meow when her food bowl was empty... she just sat next to it silently staring until I noticed her. And she never bit or clawed even once in ten years (if only Mokie could learn that one!)