It’s `2330 and I’m wide awake. No one’s fault but my own this time. I stupidly binged on 6 cans of soda today. I’m trying to go to bed and can’t figure out why my heart feels like it’s going to jump out of my chest, then it hit me. You’re overdosing on caffeine dipshit! Generally I’ll have one or two cans in a day, today I had 6. 6!! Unacceptable. Why did I do that to myself? Partly because I was too lazy to get up and get water when I had soda in my office, partly because I just wanted more, and partly because I’ve been so stressed at work I feel better when I sugar it up.
So here I sit, late at night, unable to sleep. Me and two of the cats. The third is sleeping on her boys bed. That’s Maleficent’s favorite spot, anywhere Cameron is.
I love the story of how she found us. It was the 5th of January, Brian and I had just celebrated one year together and we were living together in an apartment in Stuart. I was chilling on the couch watching college football with the sliders to the patio open and we had all the other doors open as well. Beautiful weather in South Florida. I thought I had heard a cat crying, looked at Earl (the cat we had) sitting on the patio but he was fine. A few minutes later Brian came walking down the hallway saying he was going outside to rescue a kitten. “WTF? A Cat? Where?” “On Cameron’s Windowsill. It’s been crying for a while.” It was nice to know I wasn’t totally losing my mind. We went outside and sure enough there it was. It ran off at first and into a drainage canal under the road, not very far in so I took my chances and reached in there. I picked her up, and after a few scratches, brought her inside. We put her in the guest bathroom where she ate a whole ramekin of kitty kibble and drank 2 bowls of water while I sat on the floor with her. She then came up to me for a short headbutt and scritch then jumped in the tub and curled up.
We let her be for the afternoon, while we decided what to do with this cat. We had a very old dog and a cat already. That night we put her out in the patio with a small litter box, some more kibble, and a cat bed with an extra blanket. Even though it was January it barely got into the 60’s. (South Florida Winter doesn’t start until the end of February. It’s a long three days!) Anyway…When we woke up the next morning “Kitty” as she was affectionately called, was still there. She had ate more kibble, but not all of it, and used the litter box. After another short debate and some Google Searching later, we found a vet open on weekends.
She was not microchipped, didn’t appear to have any fleas (although the oral treatment was given just in case!), and tested negative for FIV and Fe-Leu. The decision was made. She was ours. We brought her home where she spent the day curled up in my lap sleeping, then the night in Cameron’s Room. She has the gorgeous yellow eyes, and her ears curl out a bit so we named her Maleficent, but we call her Miffy for short. She has spent every night in Cams bed. When she first found us she would not let Brian or I give her a scritch on the head without being yelled and swatted at. Cameron however could do whatever to this cat and she would not care. He could pick her up and carry her around his room and she would let him. If we attempted she would have a hissy fit. She’d lay there on his bed while he read books to her and talked to her about wrestling and cars.
Now that she is a bit older, she’ll come up to us and allow us to pet her. She’ll even ask for it with a small mew and headbutt. Never long though. Just enough to tell us she’s okay with us being her human’s too. When Cameron isn’t home and spends nights at my parents house, she yells at his bedroom door until we open it and let her in. She’ll spend some time mewing for him, then settles in the middle of the bed like a sphinx on watch. She still will lay there and let him read to her, and talk to her about sports cars and engines. That is her boy. She picked him. And it’s been amazing to watch the whole dynamic develop.
Even as our menagerie has grown, she has separated herself from the other animals and sticks with Cameron. She lets the other animals know where she is in the pack, and generally they all stay out of Cameron’s Room. It’s like Cam and Miffy’s room.
When we got Miffy, as I said, we had an old dog and a cat. About a year after we got Miffy, our dog passed away. She was with Brian for more than a decade. That was tough for him. And we had a cat. A Grey Mainecoon named The Duke of Earl Grey Tea, I have since expanded his name to His Royal Highness The Duke of Earl Grey Tea Monster Man. He’s an old man now. Brian rescued him from the pound many years before he met me. Earl is one of the best cats too, he’s so chill and demanding of attention. Sometimes it’s frustrating, but he’s the best cat ever.
A while after Daisy (our dog) passed away we had adopted another dog, his name was Luke Skywalker, however he was only with us for about a year before we had to surrender him. He snapped at Earl and Miffy frequently to the point where they hung out on the top bunk in Cams room. It wasn’t fair to them so we found him a new home.
After a few months we decided to try again to adopt a dog so we went to the Humane Society. At first I was unsure because this one black dog was very loud and growly. She was a scary pit, but the volunteer who was helping us told us that she was far from that and was only growling, snarling and barking because the other dogs were. After some convincing from her we decided to do a quiet meet and greet. For me, it was instant love. She was so good when taking treats from my hand, knew some basic tricks (sit and down) and was very food motivated. Brian was on the fence. He was looking for another Daisy. There will never be another Daisy. She was such a great tempered (although a scaredy cat) lovable girl. Once I reminded Brian we weren’t going to find a girl like that, but we can train her to be, he relented. Then we found out that she had been in that shelter for a few months, was used in a local fighting ring to have slews of puppies, and was at risk of being put down, it was a no brainer. Her adoption fee was sponsored by a local non-profit and we brought her home. We changed her name to Minnie, and over time it developed into Minerva Minnie Pig Wiggle Butt. She’s such a good girl, a great snuggler, and a great protector. If anyone is in our yard and comes to the door she goes full on Pit with her hair standing up, groweling, snarling, the works. That stops the moment we bring the person into the house. She then wants pets.
After Minnie we said no more animals. We now had a dog, two cats, and three birds. Our house isn’t huge.
The Humane Society in the next county was having a free adoption weekend. Brian said he wanted to go look for either a senior dog or a senior cat. We figured we could give an old pupper or kitty some great last few days/weeks/months whatever they had left. Unfortunately they didn’t have any senior dogs, and most of their dogs had already been adopted (YAY!) but they had several cats. Only a few senior cats though. They didn’t seem to click with us. There was this kitten though, that would reach his paw out to Brian and I whenever we walked by. I was adamant, No Kittens! Even though he was almost a year old, he was still a Kitten! Again, the volunteer helping us twisted our arms to doing a meet and greet with him. He stood on his hind legs and reached up as if asking to be picked up. I picked him up like a baby and he started purring. That was it. He was coming home. The other sign, his name worked with the theme of the other animals names. He came with the name Sebastian. (If you haven’t figured it out, they’re all named after Disney characters.) Over time Sebastian’s name has grown as well. He is Sebastian Hades Houdini Stradivarius Mistoffelees. He earned all of those names. As a kittens do, he liked to get into trouble. He liked to play with the bathroom door and slammed it at 2AM waking us out of a dead sleep thinking someone had just slammed our front door. He walked on our TV Remote at 4AM on a separate occasion and turned it on, which happened to turn onto the SiFi channel during some cheesy horror movie just as some girl screamed....loudly. (Hades) While we were preparing to evacuate for a hurricane he was in a carrier with Earl. He somehow wriggled himself OUT OF THE CARRIER! Luckily the front door was still closed and after some chasing, coaxing, and snatching, we got him back into the carrier. (Houdini) He continued to cause minor trouble and be a pill - picking on the other cats, jumping on the birds cages, and just getting into all around kitten trouble (Stradivarius - because Mama’s gonna turn him into violin strings) And after rewatching CATS (the stage version, not the horrible movie) we noticed that he looks like Mr. Mistoffelees, so we through that in there too.
We have two birds as well, their stories aren’t that exciting. Buzz Lightyear is a Cockatiel and he was given to me by an ex-boyfriend’s mother who was the third owner. She claimed she could not keep him becuase she worked from home and he was too loud. He’s very loud. But adorable. When I got him he would say Pretty Pretty Bird and What are you doing. Well, that increased to Cameron What are you doing and Cameron come here. (Cam was a toddler when we got him). I also taught him a few Boatswins whistles I learned to copy while on Active Duty. We also hold conversations.
Belle’s story isn’t that exciting. Our other cockatiel had died so we bought a parakeet from the pet store. What’s unique and beautiful about Belle is she’s all yellow with red eyes. Basically she is the albino version of a bird. I had one like her when I was a young child and had called her Sunshine. Belle fits because A) Disney Name and B) she’s beautiful!
I’m not sure how this entry turned into me writing about how we got all of our animals and how wonderful they all are in their own special ways. It’s taken about an hour to write (and I’m still wide awake, although it no longer feels like my heart is going to jump out of my chest.)
Maybe now I can try to relax with some meditation and get some sleep.
Maybe next time I’ll write a legit update. Maybe not.
I’ve decided I’m just going to write. I miss writing. And rambling writing is how some of my best work got started.
We’ll see what happens.