I came late to cats. My first one was a sweet little female tabby I called Freckles. She was about six months old when I got her from the shelter. She was shy but loving.
She came from a litter that people in a trailer park were unable to place after their unspayed female kitty had kittens. She and her brother were the last of the litter, and the negligent owners of their mother dumped them at the shelter.
Her brother was my first choice, a short-haired grey. The animal control officer dissuaded me from taking him because he had behavior issues. Wisely, as an inexperienced person when it came to cats, I took his sister instead.
When I brought Freckles home for the first time, I sat in the recliner, put her on my chest, and she immediately began purring. I promptly fell asleep. When I woke up, she was still on my chest, purring! Such a sweet kitty!
I had her a short time before I decided she needed a companion. I selected an orange tabby from the same shelter. His story comes next. Louie was five years old when I got him, and apparently hadn’t been around kittens. Freckles “attacked” him when he rested, and he always got that “What happened?” look on his face, but was very gentle with her.
When Freckles reached an age where her veterinarian felt she was old enough to spay, I took her in. The operation went without problems, but Freckles had recovery problems that necessitated keeping her at the clinic over night.
In the morning, I had a call from the clinic: Freckles died during the night. What?! It was true. An autopsy revealed no organic cause for her death, but I think her issue was stress. At the shelter, she could hear and smell dogs in the other part of the room. Weeks of that surely was stressful to a young kitten with no experience with dogs. Dogs and cats now are in separate rooms.
At the clinic after her operation, she was put in a cage that was surrounded by dogs again. Was that what caused her death? I wonder and think maybe so.
This is the only photo I have of Freckles.
Louie immediately took over the house when I brought him home from the shelter. He started in the kitchen, opening all the cabinet doors and examining the inside. He continued his evaluation of all the cabinets in the apartment before he settled down for a little kitty food.
Louie was named after Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong because he was a cool cat! He is featured in many videos on my YouTube channel . This video shows Louie in his glory and with an appropriate jazz soundtrack. I made it on Powerpoint for the children of a German friend.
Louie was a neutered male when I got him, so I know he was someone’s pet at some point. The 22 months I had him, I always wondered how anyone could lose such a perfect kitty and never try to find him. He didn’t have a collar or a microchip when picked up. No one ever came to claim him, and he was close to being euthanized. (The current shelter policy is not to kill.) What a tragedy that would have been!
Louie was huge and weighed slightly more than my two current kitties, Andy and Dougy, together! He was full of personality, a sweet-natured cat around people and a tiger around other cats except Freckles. He was an indoor/outdoor cat when I got him, so remained one after I brought him home.
His last day, he didn’t eat. I hadn’t noticed anything wrong with him up till then. I tried to arrange an after hours trip to the veterinarian’s, but his veterinarian was at one of his kid’s sports events and the emergency veterinarian was on a call out in the country. I made a desperation video, thinking I could email it to his veterinarian or something…I didn’t know. It’s still on YouTube, but I’ve never been able to watch it….
My favorite image of Louie was made by a New Zealand friend on an ordinary photo of Louie I took while he slept on my computer chair. This is Louie as Captain Me-Ow, cat super hero!
To give you a sense of how big Louie was, I include this photo taken after he jumped in my lap, a habit he had that lead to me putting a pillow in my lap “just in case”!