Why is it that everyone that comes to my house says “I hate cats, but this cat is pretty cool!”?
Usually, it’s Missy that is being complimented, but Chance has had his fair share of appreciation by cat haters as well. Come to think of it, quite a few of the cats I have lived with have earned this remark from time to time. I’m told I have a “Kitty Aura” or something. My cats just aren’t normal cats.
Missy, the striped kitty to the left, is the perfect example of a non-normal cat. I don’t even think she’s all cat. In fact, I’m quite positive that she is also part lapdog, ferret or crow, monkey, social butterfly, nascar driver, nurse/nanny, alarm clock and waitress. Oh… and princess… There is definitely some royalty in there.
When I got Missy she was small enough to hide under a washcloth. She also fit perfectly in my flip flops and frequently drove them around the house. Yes. I said drove. Having all hardwood floors made for a perfect kitty-flop racetrack. Missy would put her front paws and head into my flip flop, lean on her kitty elbows and use her back legs to propel herself at high speeds throughout the house, tail straight up in the air like one of those antenna/flag thingies you see on a bumper-car at 6 Flags. This action was also performed in Coca-Cola fridge pack boxes…. you know the ones, the long skinny boxes that have the perforated section to make it easy to put the whole box in the fridge without having to take all the cans out of the box… Great Kitty Racecars. Races in these boxes however, usually resulted in many head on collisions with … with… well… everything… due to the lack of a front window. Didn’t stop Miss Kitty though. A Kitty Racer never quits!
Missy even came with accessories, just like any good action figure should! A penguin and a string of beads. A who? Yeah. Penguins and Beads. The penguin was for snuggling of course, and the beads were for… WEARING. Not chasing or pouncing… Wearing. Drape a string of beads over Missy’s back or loosely around her neck and she will happily prance about the house like a little Princess, showing them off to anyone who’s looking and being VERY CAREFUL not to drop them. She’ll even cry and try to get them back on if they do happen to fall off. She looks quite lovely in my chainmaille jewelry. I’ve been thinking about making her a lightweight set of kitty armor….after all, when Cody’s mobile… she’s gonna need it! haha!
Missy has a home made Kitty Tower, thanks to my husband, Aaron’s, never ending creativity. (You should see her cedar “litter-box” box!) Missy’s Tower has 4 branches and a walled platform on the top that gives her the ability to scratch her head on the ceiling if she chooses. A lesser cat tower would have crumbled under Missy’s wear and tear. This thing is made of heavy duty wood and carpet and has been under constant attack for the past 4 years. Missy navigates this thing like a monkey on caffeine. She swings from branch to branch using her tail as a stabilizer, hangs upside down by her claws and runs straight up the side of it like it’s lying flat. Aaron had to build the base extra wide to compensate for her swinging from it like Tarzan. And my poor walls have taken an unbelievable amount of abuse from the tower rocking and slamming into them.
The Tower is currently located in the hallway just outside the bathroom door. (due to space constraints lol) This gives Missy the perfect opportunity to ambush anyone coming out of the bathroom, which she does with extreme enjoyment. The 4th Tower branch puts Missy right at head level which gives Missy the ability to stick her face right in your face as you come through the doorway… to which she will great you with big, black “Puss-In-Boots” eyes and a demanding… “MOW???” (Which in this instance means… “Hello… I’m right here in your face… you can’t possibly walk past me without a good head scratch can you?… start with the ears please…”) Failure to pet the kitty at this point will reward you with a swift, firm (yet claw-less), whomp on the back of the head as you pass by. “Thanks for nuthin!”
Missy is NOT a shy kitty. She happily greets anyone that walks through my door with fierce leg rubbing and purring, or curious stalking and more often than not hopping directly into our guests lap upon the moment they sit down to touch their nose with hers, sniff them, and greet them with a very matter-of-fact… “MOW??” (Which in this instance means… ” I don’t know or care who you are but you are in MY castle… while you are here you will obey my every whim starting with a good back scratching….”)
Missy knows her name, understands “no”, “yes” and comes when called. Sometimes it may take her a moment to come, but she ALWAYS answers me… “MOW!!!!” ( “I’ll be right there!!! I’ve got a bug!!!!…. I just need to make sure he’s gonna stay right there on the wall until I get back…okay I think he’s stopped moving…. yeah…. we’re good here….ok… I’m coming!!!!”) and will be there as soon as she finishes whatever she is doing. The ONLY time Missy does not answer me when I call her is when she is deep in sleep.
When I got laid off in December of 2008, Missy became my gentle alarm clock. Daily, without missing a beat, if I was still in bed (I was pregnant at the time), Missy would make an appearance beside me at EXACTLY 8 AM. She would never get in the bed, but she would go to my side of the bed and reach up and tap on me or the mattress if I was out of reach and quietly call to me… “mow?….. mow?….(are you awake? it’s morning…are you getting up?)” If I got up Missy would go back to whatever she was doing. If I did not get up, she would lie beside the bed and wait quietly until I did. When I’m not feeling well she lies with me on the couch and follows me throughout the house talking me to. When Cody’s upset, she tells me about it, and talks to him. When Cody was born, my Mom was in town and one day she was sitting at the table holding him and he wouldn’t stop crying. Missy started crying too, and stood up on her hind legs next to my Mom. She put one paw on the arm of the chair for balance, and with the other paw she started gently patting my Mom on the arm and talking to her as if she were trying to comfort her because the baby was crying. She kept looking at Cody, and then at my Mom with this look of pure Kitty Concern. She was so calm. Just like a little bedside attendant.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at our house this past November… and Missy introduced us all to her latest talent. Waitress! About half way through the meal, Missy came over to the table, stood up on her back legs, placed one paw on the edge of the table for balance, used the other to kind of point around at us at the table and again with those big, black “Puss-In-Boots” eyes, she “Mow’d” a few times at us all…. and my neighbor’s girlfriend translated for us in the most perfect little kitty voice…. “How’s it going over here….My name is Missy, I’ll be your waitress for the evening…. can I get you anything? Need a refill over there? How’s the potatoes? Everything hot enough?”
Talk about “Kodak Moment”….. where’s the hidden camera when you need one?
While I love, equally, each and every kitty that I have lived with, Missy has definitely shown the most unusual personality. Each of my cats have their own special traits, and I’ll write another day about another one of them. Missy got first dibs, well… cuz she was in my face and demanded the attention 🙂