Taylor the Wonder Cat

So indulge me once again in my nostalgic/milestone mood as I approach my fifth wedding anniversary. It's also the fifth anniversary of something else - my becoming a "parent" for the first time.

I know you're going - you don't have children Beth, what are you talking about? I'm talking about becoming a kitty parent of course! So, here we go, storytime!

I moved into our house two months before our wedding so I could start getting things settled and what not. And, as much as I wanted to and as much as she was my cat, I just knew in my heart I couldn't take Cleo away from the only home she'd ever known. Not to mention she was already getting older and she was just as much my mom's cat as she was mine (I've said before that Cleo pretty much has always been a "girl's" cat and just tolerates my dad). So, it was hard for me, but I left her behind.

So, I moved out and started adjusting to my new home. Fortunately I wasn't there completely alone, Ali had been living there to keep it from being empty and to help clean it out since so much of Auntie Helen's stuff was still there and such. But her and I did have different schedules and sometimes I was there alone and it would be kind of lonely at times. So after barely a month of being there, I started thinking about getting my own cat.

Nate and I discussed adopting a cat just as soon as we got married since we both grew up with cats and loved cats. But we had thought we'd wait until after the wedding and honeymoon and all of that.

Then two things happened -
1. Ali and I babysat their family cat for a weekend while my in-laws had their house painted. It helped me see both how a cat would work in our house and also that I truly missed having one around.
2. I started looking at Petfinder.org in my free time and found a cat through an organization called Cause for Paws and I fell in love.

I found out that Cause for Paws was having an adoption event at a Petco not far from us and that the cat I wanted was going to be there. So, I went over to check her out.

And of course, she was even cuter in person. She was this tiny ball of fur, she was about six months old at the time and so sweet. I called Nate who was working on his car and said "I'm going to do this, we are adopting this cat." He agreed, though I'll never know if it was because he was distracted from working on the car or not! I signed the papers and bought all the supplies I'd need for her - the organization was kind enough to give out coupon books to anyone who adopted that day - and then discussed with her foster mom when I could come and get her. She was working on healing from a tiny eye infection, so the foster mom said "let's wait a few days and then you can come and get her." This was fine since Missy hadn't quite gone home yet from our house!

A couple of days later however, Missy went home, and the foster mom called and said my kitty's eye had cleared up and we set up a time for me to pick her up.

She had already been given the name Taylor and we noticed she did respond pretty well to it from the first day we had her at our house. So, we decided to keep the name. Later when I'd put up pictures of her on Facebook and such, I'd say "This is Taylor the Wonder Cat".

The first few days were a little tough - she cried a lot at night and had anxiety about me leaving the house, I'm sure because it was a new environment and at her foster home, she had other cats around and they were confined to one room for the most part. And then just as we got her more or less settled, I had to lock her up during the day for a few days when I was gone because of Nate's family coming in and out and preparing for a garage sale to get rid of the rest of Helen's things.

For the most part though she was so sweet and seemed pretty happy! She had the nicest little purr and she would lick us as a sign of affection (something she still does). She absolutely loved playing with toys, especially ones with string or rope.

When we got back from our honeymoon we made the decision to have her declawed - something I wish I had not done looking back, though that's a story for another day.

As time went on, she started having a few issues that we still deal with - namely that she sometimes urinates outside of her litter box. I realize that would be enough to make some people get rid of a cat, but we love her and we have figured out ways to contain it to certain areas when it does happen. We think she was taken away from her mother too soon and a number of other things that leads to that happening sometimes. Fortunately it's not a frequent occurance by any means and there's a great product that cleans it up very well if it does.

We got Pippin with the intention of her being a friend for Taylor - Nate was going back to work full time and we thought she'd enjoy it. Of course, it took quite awhile to get them acclimated to each other and for the most part I think she just tolerates Pippin, but I do think they keep each other company when we're not around. Taylor is defintely the "queen bee" out of the two of them, even though Pippin is big enough to totally whip her butt.

Nate is Taylor's favorite person. Before we got Pippin, this used to bug me a little bit, but it turns out, I'm Pippin's favorite person, so it just kind of works. And Taylor has moments she likes to be with me. Mostly in the morning while I'm eating my breakfast, I sit on the couch and check my email and Taylor likes to curl up on my lap.

I love her so much, issues and all, I wouldn't change a thing really. And when/if we have children someday, Taylor will always be my first "baby" in my mind!

The wonder cat in all her glory


Gina said...

What an awesome post! I will always remember the fun times Taylor and I had while you two were on your honeymoon. It also cracks me up that she tolerates Steve doing the kitty dance with her.

simplicity said...

Ah how sweet Beth! I didn't know the story! :)

Jes said...

I adore your kitties! And I don't say that about many cats!