Sunday, September 07, 2014

Cat Savers

Me and Bobby in front of our old Philco TV - 1953

I love cats. Unfortunately, my husband does not.  So all these years of marital bliss, we never once had a cat occupy our home.  

The only cat as a pet I ever had was a gray tiger stripped tomcat named "Bobby."  I was around twelve years old when Bobby came into my life.  He was a kitten my father found in the plant where he worked building trailers.

My brother John hugging MY cat, Bobby, Christmas Day 1953 - Bobby tolerated others' attention but he was MY cat - I knew it and he knew it

He was named after my first boyhood, homoerotic crush, Bobby Murdaugh.  If you're out there Bobby Murdaugh speak up now or forever hold your silence.

My brother Isaac and Bobby - as you can see Bobby is just tolerating being held by Isaac
I had Bobby for a few years until one day when I came home from school and there was no Bobby.  I asked my Mother if she had seen Bobby.  She said oh so matter of factly, "Oh, your Father turned him into the ASPCA.  He was peeing on the door."  Uh, oh . . . . okay . . . . I guess.  You see, my father at time could be a very cruel and cold man.  This was one of those times.  No father-son talk before he 

Bobby in my linoleum floored bedroom - he was my buddy

unceremoniously took my first and only pet away from me to his certain doom.  No "I'm sorry son, it had to be done."  Nope, just returning home one day and No More Bobby.  That was Pop.  Over the years I came to realize that whenever we had a pet that didn't have my father as the focus of his or her ultimate fealty, that pet was gone.  He did the same thing with one of my Mother's favorite black cats. 

Since that time I haven't had a pet.  When Bill and I got together fifty years ago one of my first suggestions was that we get a cat as a pet.  Bill wouldn't have it.  Bill grew up torturing cats.  When he was a teenager he thought there was nothing funnier than tying a tin can on a cat's tail and watch the cat run away in a panic.  That was the worst of the "torture" he would tell me anyway.  So having a cat was out of the picture for our domestic relationship.  We got a dog (Pomeranian) instead.  Bill said "They were just like cats."  Well, actually they aren't but we did have a succession of very loved Pomeranian dogs (five altogether) until Bill put a stop to that after the last one died in 1998.  He grew so attached to our dogs that he couldn't bear another loss.  So from 1998 to the present, Casa Tipton-Kelly has been pet less.

I still love cats.  These days I get my cat fix by reading my friend's and relatives who rescue cats.  My blogger friend Jon in Texas takes care of a dozen or so cats his Cat Lady neighbor oh so ungraciously dumped on him.  Bless you Jon.

Scruff (the newest addition to Jon's household) and his Resident Cat Scratch

My lifetime friend Larry and his family rescue cats (his wife and daughter both work at a local ASPCA) who are otherwise unadoptable.  Bless you Larry and your family.

Larry and Kerouac, one of his dozen or so "house cats". Kerouac was a malnourished kitten, near death,  when rescued by Larry son Darryl.

Then there is my blogger friend Ray of Raybeard.  Ray lives in England and takes care of the cats in his neighborhood.  Bless you Ray.

Ray's cats - comfortable and secure in Ray's home in England (I wonder if they meow with an English accent?)

I have been following my niece's Facebook postings (she is my brother Isaac's daughter) of her ongoing cat rescues.  I am in awe of these folks who are so unselfish that they put no limited on their time or finances to care for some of our unfortunate feline friends.  And it is not without noting than none of my friends are that financially well off to take care of these cats but they find a way.  

Recently my niece Dawn has been posting about "Atlas", a kitten she found near death.  Dawn is determined to bring this cat back to health and a happy life.  Folks, there are two kinds of people in this world.  People who care about critters like cats and those who don't.  I am proud to say some of m
y friends are those who care.

Whenever I get down and morose, I think of my generous, unselfish and altruistic friends who have devoted their lives to make the lives of a few more domestic felines better.  Bless all of you.


Jon said...

Another great post, Ron, and I can relate to it on every level. I heartily applaud anyone who is kind enough to rescue and care for animals in need. I never thought I would be doing it - - until my neighbor moved and abandoned 14 cats. The cats were starving and the man from the local (so-called) "Animal Control" told me that all captured cats are immediately killed. There's no way I would let any cat starve or be killed.. I've spent the past two years caring for cats and finding them good homes. It's a long and tedious process - - and I will admit that there are times when the cats eat better than I do.......

I adopted two kittens, whom I keep indoors - along with my 8-year-old cat Scratch. And I still have seven cats residing in my yard who need homes. I'll gladly send some of them to you - - you can keep them hidden and we won't tell Bill........ (*smile*)

Actually, most people who hate cats don't really know anything about them. Cats are extremely affectionate and intelligent. If you give them love, they return it fully.

It sounds like our fathers were very much alike. My Dad got rid of every childhood pet that I ever had - - quickly and with no apologies. He would simply dump them out somewhere in the wilderness. I remember one Christmas when I was five. I got a Chihuahua, because I always wanted one. The little dog had an "accident" (bowel movement) under the Christmas tree and my father nearly beat it to death. Fortunately a kind neighbor man took the dog and gave it a fantastic home. That was one happy ending.

My father hated cats - - but, ironically he loved my cat Scratch. I got Scratch as a kitten, two months before my father died. Dad was in his 80's then and he loved Scratch. He used to buy it toys and food and other things. I couldn't believe it. My father was the most violent person I ever knew, but he really mellowed in his old age.

Sorry for the long comment.
By the way, the photo of you with your cat Bobby is so cute.

Ur-spo said...

I had two cats who lived as a couple x 15 years or so. Thye were good pets. I miss them.

Ron said...

Dr. Spo,
Someday I will have my cats again.

Ron said...

Cats and I understand each other. I've always been able to bond with cats. My only fear is that in my old age, if I'm living alone, I may turn out to be one of those "Cat People" who collect cats. I hope not but I do love cats. I would save all of them if I could.

Jack said...

I always had dogs and one day I found a kitten on the side of the road and took him home. At the time I had a Great Dane and wasn't intending on keeping the cat. I hid him in my room and the next day tried to sneak him out of the house to give to the Animal Welfare Association when halfway down the stairs the dog saw the cat and the cat saw the dog. It startled me so much that I let go of the cat and let the two animals "have at it". They turned out to be the best of friends, played, slept and ate together. Of course it was comical to see a 120 lb dog and a 8 lb cat sleeping together on the sofa but they did. I just wish I had some pictures but back then I didn't take pictures like I do now. I'll always have sweet memories on both.
If in the future you do get a cat, just get as many as you can afford and are able to physically take care of. They'll all love you in their own special way.

Raybeard said...

I got a shock as I scrolled this post down, Ron - and you know why. I feel particularly esteemed to having been mentioned here, and just as I was being appalled at the callous treatment your parents gave when it ought to have been clear how much you valued your dear little Bobby - and others. That conduct would have cut me so deeply that I'd be storing up resentment against them for ever.
I'd find it hard to forgive Bill too, though on a slightly lesser scale. At least when I was a kid I looked on pets as toys whose 'duty' it was to keep me entertained and amused whenever I wanted it. I cringe now when I think how I used to wake our pets up whenever they were sleeping, even though my mum pleaded with me to leave them alone, just because I insisted on playing. But I don't want to dwell on that. I like to think I'm making up for it now.
I had to skip over your post relating to the little starved black kitten. If I read it I'd have nightmares.

As to Blackso (now probably 16 years old) and Noodles (maybe around 10/11), Blackso only gives a raspy croak, if any sound comes out at all - but Noodles does indeed have an English accent when he greets me every morning with a healthy 'mieow' demanding his breakfast - and half a dozen other times during the day.
These two (along with 5 or 6 other daily visitors through the window) have determined my daily timetable for many years now - though it's mainly Blackso I'm worried about, who still goes out to the front of the house, a busy road, and keeps sleeping under parked cars, as he did again only yesterday. His behaviour been threatening to give me a heart attack for longer than I can remember. What's worse is that he'll stay out front when he can come in anytime the back way, but he won't - whereas Noodles sensibly only wanders about at the back among neighbours' gardens. And Blackso is so trusting of everyone else too, most of whom stop and pet him. He just doesn't realise what a hostile world it can be. He's always on my mind whenever I'm out for several hours like when I go to the cinema, spending half my energies fretting that he's okay. But that's what loving cats does to one!
I long to read that you've at last got a pussy for yourself. The solace they give one can't be measured.
Anyway, enough of that - at least for now.

Btw: I've given you an answer to your 'Headhunters' enquiry on my last posting.

Travel said...

I love cats, Jay is very allergic to them.

Bob said...

I have always had pets, from childhood to adulthood.

Since meeting Carlos we have had eleven cats, seven in the house at one time. Now we just have three, Tuxedo, MaxGoldberg and Consuelo Roca-Jones, and three seems almost like none. We've also had two dogs over the years, with Ozzo our only dog now.

i could not live in a house without pets.

nitewrit said...


My two daughters work for the SPCA, which here is a no-kill shelter. My wife once worked for the Humane Association. Right now we are trying to catch a cat hanging around Darryl's place, that is, Darryl is trying to catch it for us. It is a cute black and white cat. It had a home with some people, but they moved from the neighborhood and just threw the cat out along the road. We will take it in if Darryl can catch it.


the dogs' mother said...

We are allergic to cats. That does not stop us from getting into trouble... The whole neighborhood adopted Hobo who we discovered meowing at our slider as I had left the dogs' outdoor bowl empty. Laurie took him to the vet. Bonnie let him take over her garage and then house. He surveyed his neighborhood from Hobo Rock in our front planter. We were not allowed in the house without paying tribute in ear scritches and belly rubs.

Ron said...

the dog's mother,
I am so glad I have blog followers who appreciate the value of our critters who we have domesticated and trust us. To fail on that trust they give us is to me unpardonable. Bless you and your neighbors for taking care of Hobo. Coincidentally, my friend Larry also took in a cat they named "Hobo." He died recently but during his stay with Larry and his family he was a welcomed addition.

Ron said...

I will never understand people who have an animal for a pet then just toss it aside when they find that pet inconvenient. To me they're lacking humanity. I have zero respect for them and no compassion for them when misfortune happens to them.

Ron said...

If it wasn't for Bill threatening to leave me, we would probably be in the same situation with house pets of cats and dogs. I know the day will come again when I will have a Pomeranian buddy and several cats. They will be my companions into old age.

Ron said...

My brother Isaac is allergic to cats (he is Dawn's father) but she convinced him to take one of her rescue cats. Her name is Ditto and she is now Isaac's faithful companion. They're a perfect match for each other. I am so happy for both of them.

Ron said...

I have reminded Bill more than once how cruel he was when he was a kid and use to tie tin cans on a cat's tail. Of course he wouldn't do that now, he knows better.
My Mother wasn't cruel like my father but she always went along with whatever decision he made. Even though I was very close to my Mother that was the one thing I faulted her one. My father mellowed somewhat during his later years and wasn't as cruel, although at times he was still indifferent to the suffering of animals. I do think I had a positive influence on him.

I'll look for your answer on "Headhunters". I always value your opinion Ray.


Ron said...


I love all animals. I truly believe there lurks a soul behind those soulful eyes they look at you with. I've always believed the measure of one's character is how they treat animals. Especially animals we have domesticated. I have absolutely no empathy for those who abuse animals. None at all.

Ron said...

I can't find your answer to my "Headhunters" inquiry. Where is it?

pat888 said...

Ron - I always enjoyed kittens and cats when I was young. We'd get one from my uncle and aunt's farm. The last cat we had was simply called "Pussycat". A stray black cat who was pregnant and was looking for a home. We were able to give the kittens away to neighbours. Pussycat was very friendly with other cats in the neighbourhood including some of her young. When we moved Pussycat went missing. I went back to the old neighbourhood quite a ways away and found her and brought her back to our new place. But again she disappeared.

Tho I had cats while growing up - later in life when asked by my neighbours to feed their two cats while they were away I found it difficult to breath in their house while performing the task. Where I am now are a couple of very friendly cats - altho I think they sometimes use my plants as a washroom.

But if ever I'm walking down the street and one is sitting or laying on the sidewalk I try to walk around it - it's nice to see a cat so trusting.


Amanda said...

You forgot about Anne-Marie and Todd! They have 4 lovely kitties.

Ron said...

You're right Nadege! I think most of my friend are cat lovers.


Ron said...

Cats have always given me a feeling of serenity. It sounds like you're allergic to cats like my brother Isaac is. I'm not allergic to cats thank goodness. Someday I hope to have one or two again.

Raybeard said...

It's there, Ron, following your comment under my recent 'Two films....' blog. Very strange if you still can't see it, but in case it is unfathomably so -