This is my first Feline Friday entry. Feline Fridays is the brainchild of Steven of http://sepintx.blogspot.com/.
I think this is how it works: Steven posts a Feline Friday blog entry (his cat is Pickle) and in the following week, the other players post an entry of their cat, and Steven does a follow-up entry linking to all the entries for the week.
If you know me, you know how stupid I am for my cats (not a cat lover as a general rule, though!). My first cat was Conrad Cornelius O’Donnell O’Dell Grieves Norris, Esq. His mom was Gentle Mary Grieves. Gentle was NOT gentle. She was a feral manx that my sister adopted. Once, when she got scared by a knock on the front door, she clawed her way up my body, leaving long tears in my leg, and ended up on the top of the living room curtains. But she was mean, even when she hadn’t been spooked. But Conrad (Connie for short), was a lover. More on him in another entry.
Fritz was my next cat. Just Fritz, no big long name. He was a tuxedo cat and half Maine Coone. He was a one person cat. Though I had him for ages, some of my friends never saw him except in photos. He took off and hid whenever people were over. I adored Fritz. He was nearly 20 pounds when he was in his prime, with long white and black fur. His face was all black except for a little white moustache, out of which sprouted the longest whiskers you’d ever seen. When he was about 15, I started to stress out about his dying, and my not having anyone to meet me when I came home. I thought that if I waited until he died to get another cat that I might not ever get another cat. But I was worried that if I brought a strange cat into the house, he might kill it. True!
But as fate, or luck, or divine intervention, might have it, a strange peach colored pregnant cat made friends with my brother (who doesn’t like cats). She moved in. And she gave birth to a small litter of dilute calico kittens under his and his wife’s bed. I decided to take one of these kittens home and see how Fritz would handle it. I didn’t particularly care for ‘who would become Mew Ling’ when I first met her. She was yowly and bratty. She did do something that endeared her to me though. I would kneel on the floor, and she would run and hide between my legs (something she does to this day, even though she’s ginormous now). I got third pick, and she was the one that was left, so I decided to take her home. Because she was constantly mewling and talking, and because I love China, I decided to call her Mew Ling.
And surprisingly, Fritz was okay with her. She fit right in. Only I didn’t care much for her at first. She was feisty and grabby and she had the sharpest little claws that she didn’t hestitate to try to bury in my hand. It took me awhile, but I grew to love her. And she and Fritz became very good friends. He even started to play with toys, which he hadn’t done in years. (Funny story….I would hear him in another room hitting balls around and chasing them, I’d try to watch him play, but if he caught sight of me, he’d immediately walk away, or sit down and lick a paw, as if to say “No way, I wasn’t playing!) Fritz lived for three more years. When he died, I was heartbroken. He’d been with me my entire adult life. Mew Ling missed him, too. She’d look for him in the places he’d normally be. She’d sit and look out the window and whine. I don’t know how I would have gotten through the hardest part of missing Fritz without her. And she has been such a comfort to me in subsequent times of loss as well. She’s not snuggly, and I like that about her. She’s always near me, but rarely wants to sit on my lap. And when I’m sad, she seems to know that, and stays even closer.
This is one of my favorite pictures of her. I took it when she was about 12 weeks old and still had her blue eyes. I took it with a 35mm camera. This is a digital camera photo of the original 35mm print…
This was nearly five years ago. Mew Ling will celebrate her sixth birthday in February! (But she’s still my baby….)