Friday, September 25, 2020

The Garden Kitty

My life before my family

My name is Sadie.  It wasn’t always Sadie.  The truth is I don’t remember what it was before, and it doesn’t really matter.  I became “Sadie” when I met my family, and that is where my life truly began to have meaning.

I came to my family as a stray in May of 2019.  My human mom, Jen, is a gardener.  She had so many flowers, and I liked to sit in the shade under her lilac tree.  I was drawn to the house by the smell of other cats and stuck around for the plants and wildlife: birds, squirrels, ducks, and so many bugs.  When Jen first saw me, she thought I belonged to a neighbor.  She still called to me and sat down on the step to pet me.  I think she’s one of those people who just pets cats, no matter who they belong to, if anyone.  I went to her right away.  She tried to pick me up, but I don’t like to be held, so she just kept petting me.  She eventually had to go back inside, and I just waited on her patio and in her garden.

The next day I was still waiting when Jen came home from work.  She came to me right away and then brought me some food.  I was really hungry and gulped down most of it immediately.  Jen started to cry, then she got angry.  She said to her mother that she couldn’t believe anyone would just abandon such a sweet cat like me.  Jen and her mother discussed what to do with me.  They already had three people, two cats, and a dog in a small apartment; they couldn’t really take in another cat, even someone as small as me.

I left at one point for a while, and I guess Jen was relieved, thinking I had a home and went there.  I heard her saying this later after I had returned.  When I returned, I stayed there.  They put a box with a towel in it inside Jen’s mini greenhouse so I had a soft place to sleep that was protected from the rain.  Luckily, the weather was not too hot or not too cold.  It did get a bit chilly one night, but the greenhouse kept me warm.  I slept in my box and they would feed me and bring me water regularly.  During the day, I liked to sit in the garden and watch the squirrels, birds, and ducks.  It was the only life I knew at that time, and I liked it.

After living in the greenhouse for a few days, Jen told me that she had waited long enough.  She came outside to sit with me as she usually did.  She then scooped me up and took me inside the house.  She told me I had to stay in the basement until I could get checked by a vet because of the other cats.  They brought my box, my food bowl, and my water bowl to the basement with me, and I was glad they did.  I could tell it was cold that night, so I was glad I had someplace warm to stay.

Me in the basement

The basement was an interesting place.  There were plenty of boxes to climb on and lots of plastic storage totes with writing on them.  The very next day, Jen put me in a cage and took me to see someone they called “the vet.” This vet was a nice lady, except she kept wanting to look in my ears and prick me with needles.  I still didn’t have a name yet, so I was simply called “kitty,” and I would always come running to Jen whenever she called “kitty kitty.” The vet said I had fleas and ear mites but was otherwise healthy.  She called me feisty when I got grouchy with her and said I was very lucky to find Jen.  She figured I was about a year old, though Jen didn’t think I was quite that old.  Jen spent a lot of money to have me checked.  She said that wherever I came from, I was part of their family now because, obviously, I wasn’t taken care of very well before.

I had to stay in the basement a little longer because of the fleas and ear mites.  My ears bothered me a lot, and unfortunately, they still do sometimes over a year later, but I felt so much better after a couple days.  When enough time had passed, Jen told me it was time to leave the basement and took me upstairs.  I didn’t like it at first.  The other cats were new to me, and the dog was really big.  I hissed and tried to get back into the basement at first.  Jen wouldn’t let me as long as she was there.  I stayed close to her and looked around.  There was a cat house with two perches and a balcony.  The top perch had food bowls on it.  There were a lot of toys.  So many toys!  And there was a second floor that had plenty of places to hide.

Sleeping on Jordan

It didn’t take me long to start exploring.  I realized that the other pets kept their distance if I didn’t want them close to me.  The dog mostly ignored me, which was okay with me since she seemed so big.  I soon discovered that Jen’s husband, Jordan, would scratch my head if I came to him.  I started hanging out with him when Jen was at work or if he was up late.  The black cat didn’t like that because I guess that was his person, but I liked to sleep on Jordan’s chest while he watched TV.

Loki, age 15

I soon began to fit in with my new family.  Loki, the oldest cat, is pretty chill and usually just likes to be left alone.  He looks a lot like me: grey with grey stripes, only he isn’t as fluffy.  He is a big cat, and I like to annoy him sometimes.  He will smack me if he’s had enough, and sometimes I get in trouble with the humans because I like to ambush him.  They say he is too old for roughhousing, but I’ve seen him tackle the other cat.  He was born in the wild and bottle-fed, so he is really comfortable with humans and lets them pick him up as if he were a human baby.  I’ve even seen him stand up on his hind legs to get Jen to pick him up.  She calls him her baby, and he loves it.  I heard her say more than once that he was named Loki because he was a troublemaker.  He must have mellowed out as he got older, though he sometimes does things that even I would never do, like dump people’s drinks.  Most of the time, he usually just minds his own business and watches everyone else from the couch.

DiNozzo, age 8

DiNozzo is the black cat, and he is still a mystery to me.  He gets in trouble a lot for attacking me.  I heard them say he used to do that with the dog in the beginning, which is probably why the dog looks at him like he’s crazy.  Sometimes I catch him sniffing me when I’m sleeping, but if he sees me look at him, he gives me a smack.  Sometimes I smack him back because he’s a jerk.  Jen will usually step in before it comes to that.  She says she can tell by his body language before he attacks.  DiNozzo was adopted through a rescue when he was six months old and must have had some trauma before that.  He also seems to be very claustrophobic and will scream if he is put in a cage.  I’ve only seen this once, and it was scary.

Misha, age 9

Misha is the dog’s name, and I’ve heard the humans say she is a Border Collie/Labrador mix.  She’s really smart.  She actually understands some of the human talk!  They’ll say “Milk-Bone” and she’ll get excited.  I don’t know what that means, but it’s especially important to her and has something to do with the top of the refrigerator.  I understand some things too, but I’m not going to start behaving like a crazy dog.  She is really patient with and respectful of us cats, except for our food and litter.  Jen had to put up a latch to keep the door to our litter area partially closed because Misha kept eating our poop!  And people love these disgusting animals?  Gross!  Misha also will steal our food if she can reach it.  Other than that, she seems okay.  She and Loki seem to be best buds and hang out a lot together.  I like to attack her tail sometimes because it’s so fluffy.  DiNozzo likes to headbutt her, but she doesn’t seem to trust him.  I heard Jen say that’s because he used to do that and then smack her.  I still think that cat is crazy.

As for me, in the beginning, they disagreed on what to call me.  Jordan wanted to name me Freya, but Jen said she didn’t want any more Norse god names.  She said she thought I should be named “Sadie” after the character Sadie Adler in the game Red Dead Redemption 2, a game that Jen loved (and still loves) very much.  She said I fit the character pretty well: in need of rescuing but able to take care of myself.  She said later that my name fits me perfectly, considering the character, because sometimes I can be a little crazy, and Sadie Adler was a little crazy at times, too.

I have been Sadie for over a year now and am absolutely loving my life.  The food, the toys, the comfortable places to sleep.  Even with their flaws, I absolutely love my family.  They took me in when they didn’t have to and took good care of me.  I have plenty more stories to tell about the past year, and I’m sure I’ll have plenty more to tell in the future.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into my past and will follow me as I go through life with Jen (my mom), Jordan (my dad), and my siblings: Loki, DiNozzo, and Misha.  Some people might think that living in the wild sounds exciting, but, let me tell you, I can’t imagine it being better than the wonderful life I have right now.

Enjoying my new life!

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