Cats I Have Known

July 5, 2012

Mamakat’s Writing Workshop asked us this week to share a story about an animal you rescued. This story is an old one, but I thought it was a perfect fit for the prompt. Because Readers, I’m a cat lady. For more fun, head on over to MamaKat!

I hadn’t planned on talking about Cats I Have Known on this blog. This blog has nothing to do with cats–unless I have a nifty little recipe for Tabby Fricassee–and yet, I’m going to talk about cats.

But now that I think of it, Tabby Fricassee doesn’t sound too bad, because that’s what I’m ready to do with Harryboy.*

Harryboy was Awesome Stepkid R.’s consolation prize for enduring a move to a new city with his new Evil Stepmonster. R. was at an awkward stage and didn’t make friends easily; he was peevish and lonely those first few months. A dog was out of the question; I am highly allergic. I’d grown up with cats, and R. had a cat at his bio-Mom’s house, so we decided a cat was just the thing.

We chose Harryboy (true name: Harry Potter) at our local shelter and brought him home and, true to form, he put a smile on R.’s face. And I liked Harryboy fine until it became increasingly apparent to me that Harryboy thought he was a dog. He fetched. He met you as soon as you hit the door, running in excited little circles. He constantly begged for a warm lap and a scratch. He howled when the doorbell rang. He snuggled as close as possible to my butt as I was sleeping. In short: Harryboy was a needy little bastard.

Harryboy has never let me forget that he was my first baby, before I had babies. He’s gentle and tolerant of the girls, but the minute he gets me alone–BAMMO! That fuzz-faced lothario is practically humping my leg, crying for lovin.’

As if I didn’t get enough of that from my husband.

In fact, I think if Harryboy were a little higher on the evolutionary chain, he’d be on the phone with the Russian Mafia, plotting Hubs’ tragic and accidental demise. Harryboy has a jealousy problem. He is also a vindictive little shit.

The first time we left Harryboy for a weekend (yes, the neighbor kid came in and took care of his needs) he pissed in Hubs’ gym bag. In fact, he pisses on things a few times a year, just to show us who is boss. And those things are always things that my husband happens to own. He won’t touch an object that belongs to Miss D. or Miss M. or me. But hubs’ property? That shit’s got latrine written all over it.

But actually, I shouldn’t be so shocked that Harryboy is high maintenance. Growing up, we owned a cornucopia of cats, and they were all freakshows.

There was ScatCat, a huge beastazoid stray, who my parents had to get rid of because, riddled with *displacement rage*, he repeatedly tried to eat me once I began crawling.

Notice the affection my sister seems to have here for ScatCat. Coincidence? I think not.

My mother told Daddy to take him to the humane society, but instead, my father drove ScatCat out to a lovely little forest, several hours away, and hucked him into the wild. **Please, no animal activist lectures, here. This was 1970 and sure, it wasn’t the right thing to do, but ScatCat was so mean that nobody would have adopted his ass anyways.**

Alas, ScatCat had a wicked sense of direction. He showed up, battle-scarred and highly pissed, on our North Dakota porch a month later. So off to the shelter he went.

Lest you think that I was poor, helpless prey to all cats that crossed my path, I give you Crystal. We took Crystal after a neighbor found a litter of kittens in a field.

I’m pretty sure Crystal rued the day she fell into our hands. I didn’t have any friends that year and had far too much time to fritter away.

And there was poor Baxter, the cat I wheedled away from an old boyfriend. This boyfriend just plain couldn’t remember to buy cat food on a regular basis. So every few weeks, when Baxter was starving and there was no feline nourishment around, said boyfriend would make a peanut butter sandwich, hurl it into the center of the room and watch the carnage. Baxter was, when I got him, so old that he only had a tooth or two. And very, very, dire Kittycat Halitosis.

He was friendly, so visitors would approach him, but as soon as they got a whiff of the Bax-Man, they’d recoil and say, “Whadda Hell He Get Into?”

For a brief while, in my single years, there was Wallace, the cat with the death wish. Wallace, that suicidal whackjob, could not stop chewing electrical cords. He K.O.’ed 3 MacIntosh computer systems in a 6 month span. Needless to say, Wallace needed help, and I needed to quit worrying about extensive fire damage.

My favorite cat, growing up, was Shoelaces. Everyone loved Shoelaces. He was the George Clooney of felines; handsome, suave, charming. He flirted like he’d been born doing it–just look at him, sassing Gramma Rhetta.

That cat could work a grammar school playground like nobody’s business. Several times a week, Shoelaces would follow me to school, like Mary and her proverbial lamb. He’d shmooze his way around the schoolyard, and kids would obediently rummage in their lunchboxes, giving him the choicest morsels. Alas, one day, he disappeared on one of his forays, but for YEARS afterwards, neighborhood kids continued to ask, “Hey, has Shoelaces shown up yet?”

I miss him still, and although I know he isn’t with us anymore, I half expect him to someday saunter up the sidewalk, twinkle in his eye, as if to say, “I’d tell ya where I been, kid, but you’d never believe it.”

*Harryboy went to the Litter Box in the Sky this past year, so I feel a little guilty about dissing him in this post, but he was a temperamental little pecker.

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer July 5, 2012 at 9:07 am

I’ve never been much of a cat person, but I’m not really an animal person at all. Or a people person.


TKW July 5, 2012 at 10:33 am


You could maybe be a hamster person. All ours does is sleep. :)


BigLittleWolf July 5, 2012 at 9:09 am

Beastazoid strays! Kitch, you crack me up! (You have indeed had your share of adventures, you Cool Cat, You.)

I must say, these felines look very patient in these assorted loving and mischievous arms… good thing they have nine lives.

(We also rescued cats when I was a kid, or rather, they would show up, live with us for three or four years, and then disappear… such quirky characters… but we were happy to have them while they stayed.)


TKW July 5, 2012 at 10:34 am


I’m not sure whether Crystal looked patient or just completely resigned. I tortured that poor thing.


Andie July 5, 2012 at 10:43 am

What great shots you have of all those characters. They can become such unique members of our families!


Contemporary Troubadour July 5, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Oh indeed, the cats you have known :). They’re great company, even with their idiosyncrasies. I love the shot of Gramma Rhetta, by the way — she is totally giving it back Shoelaces.


TKW July 5, 2012 at 8:06 pm


I love that photo for the exact same reason. Kitty Sass vs Gramma Sass.


katrina Kenison July 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I will never ever have another cat and am truly not a cat person. And yet I loved reading this post, and even loved hearing about each and every one of your cats. Which means, I guess, that I’ll read anything you write about!


TKW July 5, 2012 at 8:16 pm


Most cats are placid little guys, but we had freakshow circus over here. But as Nora Ephron’s mom said, “it’s all copy.” :)


Papa Guy July 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Ah, What a wonderful bit of writing about my favorite companions. I am sure that if Jesse and Moe could read, they would get as big a kick out of the story as I did. And by the way, Moe meets me at the door every day and wants to snuggle. he’s my boy..


TKW July 6, 2012 at 8:39 am

Papa Guy,

Cats are kind of like children. Some are snugglers, some are hard to catch!


suzicate July 6, 2012 at 4:37 am

Loved this post! I think we owned Harry Boy’s twin…bet they’re both kicking ass in the litter box in the sky now!


TKW July 6, 2012 at 8:40 am


I wonder who’s stuff Harryboy is pissing on up there? :)


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes July 6, 2012 at 4:54 am

Ah cats, I just adore them. Sadly my parents would never get me one because we lived next to a very busy road. But when I moved out getting a cat was the first thing we did.
First there was Lucy. A stray who we saved from a delinquent neighborhood teenager. Sadly she died after 6 months. Then we got our present cat, his Highness Atilla, also know as His Blackness. Let’s just say he has a lot of “character”…


TKW July 6, 2012 at 8:41 am


With a name like Atilla, what else did you expect? Love it!


idiosyncratic eye July 6, 2012 at 5:17 am

Yep, this just confirms my view of cats! ;)


Maggie S. July 6, 2012 at 5:36 am

We just got a cat from the shelter he is more of a HarryBoy. While I’m aware that his personality is no all that objectionable, I am tired of his pissing and nagging. He can hold a meow for a good ten seconds. Meooooooooooooooooow ow ow.

He’s for everyone else in the house.


TKW July 6, 2012 at 8:42 am

Maggie S.,

If he can hold the meow, I am betting he’s got some Siamese in him. Wallace (the suicidal cat) was part Siamese and he could meow like that too! Drove me barmy.


Sherri July 6, 2012 at 6:06 am

I’ve always had cats, but… now hubby is terribly allergic to them. Miss my cats….


Liz July 6, 2012 at 6:37 am

AH! So more evidence as to why I love you so much in spite of the fact that recipes make me break out in hives: you’re a cat lady!!!!!!!!
As soon as I got out from under my parents (who are THE MOST anti-animal people you’ve ever met), I got myself a cat. Shakespeare. Then, I got myself a second. Gypsy. Then, a third. Tequila. When Hubby and I started getting serious, I layed it out: “You take me, you take the cats.” Eventually, he adjusted, and even grew to loooovvvveee one of them, especially. But once Ben came along, crawling all over the cat fur, and started with all sorts of allergic reactions (the same ones I had had all along but chose to endure), we had to make a choice. We spent 7 months finding three homes for the cats (no one, to my heartbreak, would take them all). It still gnaws at me: how are they all doing?


TKW July 6, 2012 at 8:43 am


It’s hard to lose a pet, no matter the method. I hope they’re meowing it up happily somewhere.


Dawn July 6, 2012 at 4:32 pm

I had to do the same thing, find 2 homes for my two cats when I got married. He had a dog and a cat, I had two cats. My cats beat up his dog and cat every day. I found my guys homes, but separately, sadly. I guess after 22 years they’re probably together in kitty heaven now, but I have always wondered how they were.


Bridget @ Le. Rheims July 6, 2012 at 9:46 am

And I thought we’d had some crazy cats. lmao Stopping by from Mama Kat’s


TKW July 6, 2012 at 6:15 pm


We always managed to have cats with “issues.” Not unlike the owner.


Elizabeth July 6, 2012 at 11:26 am

Love it. We have a cat that desperately wants to be ours. He’s so friendly and cute. He lives on my front doorstep and I nearly trip over him when I leave the house. He eyes the greyhound through the glass door out back and correctly determines that said hound would rather sleep than chase him. He’s my kind of cat. Except I’m pretty allergic and my dear cat-loving daughter is extremely allergic. So front stoop cat he remains.

Writing this out reminds me that I have no idea if he is a he. Hmmm.


TKW July 6, 2012 at 6:17 pm


Knowing you and Michael and what you cook, I’d be a savvy cat and hang around, too. :)


Dawn July 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Years ago…many years…I was dating a guy with a cat. I liked the cat well enough, but every time I stayed overnight the cat would pee on my clothes. The guy and I didn’t make it. Wonder why.


TKW July 6, 2012 at 6:18 pm


Ooooh, you had a jealous one! They only piss on precious territory. :)


Arnebya July 7, 2012 at 8:33 am

I’ve always been a cat person (though we had cats and dogs growing up). My husband is allergic to both, the big baby. I keep telling him to keep his inhaler, Epi pen and Primatene Mist on-hand to build up some kind of tolerance so I can get a cat. If he truly loved me he’d jeopardize his health to show it, right? Anyway, under the guise of “she needs shots”, my mother took my cat, Skunky, to an alley in 1982 and let her out because she simply didn’t want pets any longer. It was 3-5 years later before she finally fessed up that Skunky didn’t simply get out of her carrier and run down the highway.


Click Here July 8, 2012 at 6:04 pm

A FREE system that generates money online?


Built in Cupboards July 9, 2012 at 1:02 am

It is truly a great and useful piece of information. I am happy that you simply shared this helpful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.


Jenna July 9, 2012 at 9:40 am

Having grown up with cats, all these descriptions of cat personalities brought a smile to my face. I miss those furry-faced critters, even if they did chew stuff up and use the bathtub as their personal toilet.


Heather July 9, 2012 at 7:46 pm

This had me laughing ’til I cried! My sister used to dress up all of our cats, and our rabbits… Thankfully she left the dog alone! I saw her in so many of your photos. I had forgotten those memories existed – thanks for bringing them back to me :) xo


back pain cure July 9, 2012 at 9:22 pm

It’s perfect time to make a few plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I’ve learn this publish and if I may I want to counsel you few fascinating things or tips. Maybe you can write next articles relating to this article. I desire to learn more things about it!


zeus father July 10, 2012 at 8:00 am

I am not positive the place you’re getting your information, but good topic. I must spend some time learning much more or working out more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this info for my mission.


Cheap Seo Services July 12, 2012 at 3:34 am

IrJwUu I truly appreciate this blog article. Really Cool.


how to get rid of hemorrhoids July 13, 2012 at 5:54 am

Thanks , I have just been searching for info approximately this subject for a while and yours is the greatest I’ve came upon so far. However, what concerning the bottom line? Are you sure in regards to the supply?|What i don’t realize is if truth be told how you are not actually a lot more smartly-favored than you may be now. You’re so intelligent.


silver account July 13, 2012 at 8:57 am

This bulk came in handy for terrorising one or two of the neighbouring cats, I’m afraid. Once, when I tried to intervene with bare hands in a cat fight, she bit me very hard indeed.


my url July 14, 2012 at 7:24 pm

1K6JWM2 1K6JWM2 1K6JWM2 342805 1K6JWM2


www July 15, 2012 at 7:06 pm



Article Submission July 15, 2012 at 10:07 pm

2NWE6b Looking forward to reading more. Great blog post.Really thank you! Great.


Zebra Zoologist July 16, 2012 at 6:01 pm

nice page you should write a weekly newsletter :)


Tiffany July 18, 2012 at 5:10 am

I love how Harry targets your husband. That’s hilarious.


The Meaning of Me July 24, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Hello. I’ve only recently found your blog and started reading, but I had to stop in and say I loved this post. A lifelong non-cat person, I now live with three of the most spoiled felines on the planet. Long story. This was great fun. Also enjoyed your line about “Tabby Fricassee,” mostly because I could not for the life of me remember what a fricassee was today and had to go look it up. Thanks for the great post!


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: