…in cat hell
Welcome to Cats of Pigspittle. I’m not starting this blog because the world needs another cat blog. I’m starting it because I need some sanity. I’m starting it because for the first time in my cat-filled life, I’m in cat hell.
I grew up with cats. Lots of them. It started with Puddy, a stray mama cat my dad brought home from his job at a small, regional airport surrounded by corn fields. I think Puddy was mom to Nightmare, a black cat I cherished and who was part of our household for at least a decade.Our cat genealogy was complicated. I don’t remember Puddy dying and I don’t remember when Joey, a long-haired calico female, came into our lives. I do remember that we had dozens of cats, birthed by Puddy and Joey, throughout my first 18 years. They walked into and out of our lives. Kittens were born in drawers and closets and on beds, and then they were everywhere. At one point, we had a dozen cats and kittens in our home. And then they were gone, given away to neighbors and classmates who would take them.
I don’t remember having issues with the cat world. Ours were mostly outdoors, coming in to eat and sleep and cuddle. As an adult, this was the case too—with the exception of one obese kitty, Babu, who could not contort herself to groom properly, and Kobe, a silver tabby that began a spraying frenzy as soon as his best friend, Finnegan the dog, started declining in health. In sum, for more than 50 years, I lived in a mostly heavenly cat symbiosis.
Which brings us to today. To make a long story short—because this is a blog and I’ll have plenty of opportunities later to go into greater detail—we have five cats, all strays who arrived at our door at various ages and circumstances, and they are challenging everything I thought I knew about cats. Vertical pee, horizontal pee, aggression and insecurity, fighting and chasing and fighting, living on top of the refrigerator (I had no idea this was a thing) and under beds, and whittling down the door frame with claws, and stressing out me and husband every day.
This is cat hell. If we didn’t love them so much, maybe it would just be purgatory. (Purgatory is kinda the halfway mark to hell, right?) But we do love them. Especially Scout, our kitty whose eyes were removed when she was just two months old. And Waffles, who we love because he loves Scout as much as we do. There’s Sisu, who looks like he’s going to claw your eyes out but who is, in reality, a sweet, fluffy bear cat and the best cuddler. Dru (named after Drusilla from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), part cat/part vampire (we thought, because we only saw her at night) who likes to climb into the front seat of the car and turn on the blinkers. And finally, Bob the Cat (aka Smiling Bob, Shoeless Bob, Sheriff Bob), whose enormous cheeks and champion purrs dared me to not fall in love.
Do I love them too much? Possibly. But really, there isn’t enough love in the world so how can anyone love too much? In cat hell, love is redemption. Love is everything. I’m putting a lot of weight on this theory and I hope you’ll join me in exploring it. Thanks for being here for the start.