Since I'm new here and don't currently have a cat, I wanted to tell the stories of some of the cats I've shared my life with. I'm sorry that it's a little long, but once I get started, it's hard to do them justice without going into a few little stories about them.
Kitty and Furry were brother and sister, we got them as kittens in 1992. Kitty was the soft, cuddly one. Furry was the courser, tough, exploring kind (though very loving also). My brother and I were very lucky, in that the kitten we chose ended up suiting our personality. I chose and named Furry, my brother, Kitty. Very original names for children of 4 (me) and 6 years of age.
Furry was, what I believe I've seen mentioned on here as, my soul cat. He loved being outdoors, but if I was sick he would spend the whole day inside with me. We could go for walks together, he loved cuddling, and would drool in your ear if you carried him on your shoulder. He was a hunter, catching mostly wild rabbits (and their fleas!). He was also great at getting in the way. Reading a book? He would sit on the book, or the pen, your hand, your face etc. Whatever it would take to get your attention. He slept on my bed at night, and most nights I'd wake up around 2am with no pillow and Furry sprawled out over it. At 11 years of age, he came home one day with a serious injury. All of the ligaments in his hind leg were torn. Corrective or am-putative surgery was necessary, unfortunately my parents chose to put him down (money reasons I believe). I was heartbroken. He's been gone 11 1/2 years now, but I still miss him a great deal.
Kitty was a very different cat to her brother. She was the lounge-around type and was a dead weight on you if you had her on your lap. She was the sort of cat that was always trying to fit into things, baskets, boxes, bags, tubs, prams, bowls. She was a "if it fits, I sits" cat. She was very patient with us, allowing us to dress her up and push her around in a toy pram. She was also an extremely lucky cat. Partially deaf, a close call with one car broke the tip of her tail, and being run over by my mum only resulted in some bruising. One day she went missing for a week and we lost all hope, she came back dragging her hind legs and crawled up the stairs to the second story of our house just to get a drink from the shower. The diagnosis was snake bite and she was very lucky to even be alive. After that, she slowed down a lot, she had little strength in her hind end for jumping/running, and the snake bite caused heart failure that eventually resulted in her final vet visit at 13 years.
Our third and last cat, was Sparks. We got her as a young kitten about 4 years after Kitty and Furry (1996-ish). She followed a family to church one day and was still outside waiting after the service, much pleading resulted in us taking her home. She was timid, but an elegant cat. Within a week of having her she got cat flu which my mum nursed her through. She often hid from the other cats but all three did get along. She was the cat that you found under things or over things. She was very fond of high perches, up behind the bookcase, or on the piano she would sit, still as a statue, with her big eyes gleaming. She was also the dangerous ankle tackler at the bottom of the stairs! After Furry passed she came out of her shell to assert herself as the dominant cat over Kitty. It was funny but cruel at the same time. Kitty would be sleeping peacefully, Sparks would fly onto her and give her a quick beating, running away before Kitty even knew what was happening. After Kitty passed, Sparks thrived as a solo cat, with more confidence. She was playful and had frequent crazy-cat time running to and fro.
When she was 14 I accidentally closed the sliding door on her belly as she was running through, I believe this caused a chain of expensive events (I was just at the age where I could make and pay for vet visits myself). Firstly she became lethargic and stopped eating. The vet diagnosed a digestive infection and offered overnight care. I declined in an attempt to save money, I thought I could get her to eat. The following day, she had not eaten and was worse so I took her back to stay. They kept her 2 nights and after I got her back the only thing I could get her to eat was tiny reheated pieces of bbq chicken (not the best thing). I realised how sick she was at this point as I had to give her tablets, it was really easy and for a day or two I thought I might lose her. About 4-5 days after her return, she got worse again. This time it was a respiratory infection, so we got more treatment for that and I continued to feed her regular small meals by hand. Another 4 or so days after that, I noticed she was walking a little funny, that evening her entire front leg had swollen up like a balloon. Yet another vet visit revealed that she'd cut her paw pad (probably on a tin can that was in the kitchen sink when she went to sneak water from there) and due to her already compromised state, it got severely infected. About a week later, she was starting to come good again (giving her tablets was an epic battle) so we took one last vet visit for a check-up. The vet was very pleased with her progress and it was funny because she jumped off the exam table, walked over to the door and pawed at the door handle (something I'd never seen her do before in her life). She was ready to go home. Beyond that, she lived another 4 years, which most of us didn't expect. I really wanted to be there for her at the end, and ease her suffering, but I wasn't living at home for her last year and I didn't make the decision in time.
There you have it, a not-so-brief history of my catty life. Growing up with 2-3 cats has left me quite missing feline company. But I hope they brought at least a smile to your face from their stories the way they always have mine
4-6: Kitty in things