Some of the Austen Authors decided to take some time to talk about our pets this month, and I’m very excited about that. I am not afraid of the stereotype of a romance writer, much less a fan fiction romance writer writing about her pets, because A: I think we’ve proven that those stereotypes don’t actually apply (Austen Authors are a diverse bunch) and B: because I’m not going to drone on and on about ‘Snooki-Woogums’ hairballs for 8 pages. (No, No, don’t thank me. No thanks are needed. I’m a professional)
I’m blessed with two kitty boys, and hearing that April was going to be pet month, they actually posed for a picture!
May I present Hobbes and CowCat.
We got Hobbes as a little kitten. One of my sister’s friends had adopted him and never realized the work or money that went into having a cat. The kitten developed worms and fleas, and was banished to the woman’s basement. This was too cruel, so I took the little darling and went straight to the vet. Once there I thought I’d be super-clever naming an orange tiger-striped cat ‘Hobbes’, but the receptionist just kinda rolled her eyes and asked me if I spelled it with a ‘bes’ at the end.
Hobbes is my cat, as much as he belongs to anyone. He enjoys sitting with me when I play video games and will often demand my attention for snuggles and love. His passion is hunting, as the lack of mice in our home can attest. We live in a heavily wooded area and prior to Hobbes I believe we could have been registered as a mouse sanctuary. His latest trick has been just leaving the heads of his prey for me to find. I suspect he’d like them mounted on tiny poles, but that’s not going to happen. Sorry Hobbes.
CowCat has a much more complicated story: We had a dog named Puppy* who was also a rescue. He came to us (literally) as a little baby and lived for 10 years before dying of cancer. The night we lost Puppy, I had gone to bed and after midnight one of my sons knocked on my door and said, “We need you.” Nothing bolts you out of bed faster than those 3 words from your child, so they brought me to the back door and there was a Black & White cat with very distinctive markings at my door. I had seen him in the neighborhood a couple times over the summer, so I figured he was a local cat who had accidentally gotten locked out for the night. It was December and in the low 20s, so I let him in. I knew my husband had to get up early for a school function with my other son, and for 6 hours, it’d do no harm to have a guest cat. My hope was that a neighbor would do the same, should it happen to my cat.
In the morning he was gone, but that night he came back. And over the following weeks and months he kept coming back, and I started to wonder if he actually had another home he was going too. He was neutered, so at some point he was someone’s cat, but he clearly wasn’t been cared for now.
Then in February he barfed up a belly full of worms on my bed, so I took him straight to the vet, who listened to my story, vaccinated him, wormed him and advised me to keep him. Which we did. The vet guessed that he was between one and two years old, which made him about the same age as Hobbes. My theory is that Hobbes found him and told him of the vacancy at my house.
CowCat however, is not a terribly monogamous cat. Over the summer, since I was still trying to find out where this cat had come from (I certainly didn’t want to be stealing someone’s pet) I talked to my neighbors about him. They all asked the same question “Is this your cat?” and I explained that no, maybe, I’m not quite sure. None of my neighbors knew where CowCat had come from, but they all also thought they were adopting him. He had two other names (‘Oreo’ and ‘Black Nose’) and was eating at all three houses. I had a slightly stronger claim, because mine was the only house he was actually entering. I offered the cat to the neighbors, but they all assured me that I was welcomed to him.
This past winter CowCat stayed indoors almost the whole time there was snow on the ground (and in New York, that’s a long time) but I won’t be surprised if he goes back to his wondering ways come summer.
So that’s my cat stories. Hopefully they weren’t too painful. What are yours?
*Okay, you might have noticed that I have as little bit of trouble coming up with names. Luckily, with JAFF, that’s not too much of a problem.