My Yellow Umbrella

by. jen halvorson

Crazy Cat Lady

Jennifer Halvorson

16 Jul, 2015

It's true. I love cats. Does that make me a "Crazy Cat Lady"? No.

But... because I talk to my cats like they are people, miss them when I am away, and have more pictures on my phone of my cats than my kids...  that probably does makes me a "Crazy Cat Lady." 

I have often thought, if I did not have kids and a Ben... how many cats would I have? Well, I am guessing it would be 7 or 8, assuming I had the space for them. It is not entirely my fault. Cats find me. Seriously. They just show up. Chatfield does has a bit of a cat problem. There are feral cats in some areas and they are not nice, happy, house cats like mine. I don't love hissing and scratching and would not allow any animal around my kids that I thought would harm them.  I love the nice ones. The cats that purr loudly and meow/talk to me.  Over the years, I have helped to find several cats a person to love. 

I do not really mind or notice the cat hair. I know it's gross to most of you, but for me it's like my wedding ring - it's almost always on me. So, I guess I am use to it. Lint removers work fine (or duck tape), if I am going somewhere nice. 

It really irks me when people act like it's weird to love cats. Is it weird to love dogs? No. No, it's not. Many of my friends have dogs. Do I judge them? No. Because, I get it. It is wonderful to love a pet. My cats make me happy. They are sweet and funny, and weird!  So, read on to meet my furry friends.

Tiko - Pictured. Tiko is 14+ years old. He and his brother Dezi were my first 2 cats. I was given them on my 21st birthday from a friend. I was about to graduate from college and was not sure where my life was heading. These two sweet kitties were with me through breakups and moving across states, twice. They even lived with me in a loft in my dad's plumbing shop for a year while I saved and paid off my college loans. As I found myself and became an independent women, Dezi and Tiko were with me. Both of them were orange with white bellies. Dezi is in "mommy's heaven" now, according to my kids. {So nice that I have my own personal heaven, huh?} And Mr. Tiko is the old, moody cat that lays in the middle of everything and gets mad when the kids bump him. He is so noisy. I mean loud and very chatty. Yes, he talks to me and I know that sounds ridiculous, but it's true. "MEH" "REH" ... "REHH"... If you do not believe me, ask him a question. "Tiko how are you?" "Meh. Mehh."  He is answering you alright and I am pretty sure he is saying, "pet me. please." It's really funny. Ben hates him the most of all the cats. Tiko often lays on the top step of our stairs. He runs down the stairs when ever any person is going down, because he thinks you might be feeding him some cat food. He does this even if the food is still full. It's weird. It's like he is worried about running out. He is really fat. Did I mention that? Anyways, Ben goes in to work REALLY early and gets up earlier than he needs to because he is ALWAYS early, for everything. Ben insists that Tiko is trying to trip him, when he goes down the stairs in the mornings to get dressed, etc. It's always dark in the house and the cat starts running down at the same time Ben is walking down. {I told Tiko about the life insurance policy, so...} 

Mini Moo - She is all black, long haired and lean, has a tail that is about 2-3 inches longer than it should be. She is my princess. Mini has no claws - front or back and yet, she has caught mice, birds and even snake once. She wants to be a huntress but I prefer her to be inside. I adopted Mini Moo from WI. Her brother "Mitts" was the first and last cat that my brother Bobby and his dog-loving wife Alissa ever owned. Mitts was a gift to Alissa (who is a TRUE animal lover) and upon meeting him (Mitts), my mom and I both fell in love. He was a handsome, sweet, kitty with lots of energy that had a bad habit of peeing all over my brothers house. They ended up finding a new dog-free home for him after a year of dealing with his icky habit. Before the bad habit started, he was a sweet kitty and both my mom and I adopted kittens from the same owner.  Mitts and Tazi Moo (my mom's cat who is actually just 'Tazi' but I call her Tazi Moo, since they are sisters!) are long-haired, beautiful and grey in color. They were clearly the most pretty, beautiful, cute, adorable kittens in the litter. When Mini Moo arrived she was, well, only a mother could love her. She had ears way to big for her body, a tail she could hardly carry because it was so long, long hair, big eyes and looked like she needed a snack desperately. Tiko and Dezi were scared to death of her. She was the little black monster upstairs for a couple days, until they all adjusted. I though it was hilarious. Leah was a newborn when we got Mini. She would climb in to the basinet and cozy up to Leah all the time. I have many great pictures. Mini Moo is 5 years old and because we don't know her birthday, we choose to celebrate on May 10th which is also my (WONDERFUL!!!) mother-in-law's birthday.

Gilbert (aka Gilly) - Gilbert was adopted about 2 years ago from my friends Jason, Alesha & kids. They had recently moved in to a "farm home" and wanted some outdoor cats. These cats were had access to a heated garage and we loved (and kindly tormented) by some sweet young boys! When I heard that Alesha (a non-cat person, until now!) had kitties, I insisted that we meet them. There were many weeks that past where I mentioned to Ben that we would be visiting the kittens soon and would likely adopt one, before he changed his stern "NO!" to a "you know Jen, I am not crazy about this," which for me was a YES! Of the 5 kittens they had, 2 were clearly claimed by the boys and one sweet little white with orange spotted won me over. There was something about the way he stuck is tongue out just a little when he was being pet and loved, with his eyes closed that melted my heart. I wanted to name him Lenny, but Mary Kate aka #1 named him Gilbert and it stuck. Everyone was calling him Gilbert or Gilly, including myself after 2-3 days and I realized that I would probably not be able to name another pet ever. Well, until all my kids were out of the house. GIlbert was THE BEST kitten ever! He was basically Leah's baby (age 3 at the time) and he loved (still does love) her so much. Gilly tolerated her dressing him up, putting him in baby strollers, her smothering and rarely ran away. It was clear that this cat was meant to me ours. In fact, Ben even commented that "at least he is cool." Samuel was born when Gilbert was months old. Gilly loved (still loves) Sam so much. He was warm and cuddly. I have some very good pictures of Gilbert loving on Sammers (Shh! do not tell Ben!). To this day, Gilly loves to snuggle during the night with anyone (minus Ben) that is warm and allows. He is really sweet and a great cat. He has developed a bit of a belly and likes to sneak outside, but Gilbert does not go far. In fact, he is always in our yard. I think.

Pokie - Pokie adopted me. I swear. And yes, I know it is "illegal" to have more than 2 or maybe it is 3 house cats here in Chatfield (STUPID RULE!). Anyways, Pokie showed up in March or April of 2014. At the time, we had 3 cats, 4 daughters and a baby son. Life was nuts. I was super depressed, and well, we did not need another 'thing' added to our plates. But this sweet cat showed up. Oddly enough, when you feed an outdoor, hungry cat... he comes back. Weird, I know. Night after night, Pokie would show up. I would walk (fitbit) up and down the driveway, because I could not leave the house... kids were awake (not listening) and Ben had to get up early for work (so they were my responsibility = awesome. not!) Pokie was so scared that he would not let me near him. The annoying loud children that could not listen and stay back or better yet, inside did not help my case. But I kept trying. Over the summer Pokie allowed me to get closer and closer. I touched him a couple times, but he would jump and run off. It's impossible to catch a cat that does not want to be caught. So, I just kept at it. Then one nice fall day, it happened. I basically just grabbed him and talked to him and he relaxed, purring loudly and begging for more attention. Within a couple days, he would allow the kids to pet him too and was just the sweetest guy. I took him to the vet and had all the shots and everything done, so that I knew he was safe and made him a nice little home on our deck. Pokie has two pellets in his head/face, one is right by his eye. The vet and I are pretty sure that he was shot by a bird-shot, what ever that gun/ammunition is called. This poor kitty was shot at. I just can't imagine someone not loving him, because he is so sweet. As it grew cold, I started letting him in the house to see how the other cats and he would respond. Ben was not aware initially of this, but around Christmas when he was begging to come inside, Ben realized what I had been up to. One day right around new years I let him in and he has been and indoor/outdoor cat since. The neighbor lady HATES him because he roams around and she doesn't want cats in her yard. It is pretty frustrating because she use to like me, but now she does not seem to care for me at all. It is impossible to keep him inside.  Ben was not at all excited about Pokie adopting us, but he seems to have forgiven me. Pokie loves to hunt and has brought us mice, gophers, baby gophers, a squirrel and a couple birds. We think he is about 2, so we celebrate his birthday on June 13th which is also Gilbert's birthday. We don't actually have a party for the cats. That would be really silly. ha.

These cats are pretty entertaining and a very happy, therapeutic part of my life. So what if I baby talk them and have written WAY more about my cats than my kits. It's not hurting anyone, right?