Saturday, June 11, 2011

Cats Who We’ve Lived With…

Since Laurie and I have been together 33+ years now, we’ve been allowed to live with a number of cats.  We learned long ago that cats rule and we are just kept around to feed them and to admire their intelligence and good looks.

This is Max… He allowed Laurie to take me in despite the fact that I was much older than she and I was working in the retail business.  He loved people & was a very sweet cat.  Max liked to be with his people and at night he would sleep under the covers between us.  It was definitely his house!  Max was a Burmese and he was the only purebred cat we’ve been allowed to live with… 

Fluffy was our second cat.  She adopted us when Laurie visited a no-kill shelter in the northern suburbs of Chicago.  Laurie was looking for a short-haired cat that loved sitting on your lap & as she passed Fluffy’s cage, she put her little paw out and grabbed Laurie’s hand… So Laurie took her out of the cage and Fluffy jumped into her lap.  A true lap sitter if ever there was one!  So instead, she settled for a long-haired lap sitter!  (Cat’s pick you, you don’t pick them!)

Fluffy’s favorite treat was corn on the cob…Yes!   She’d eat it right off the cob!  Not just the butter and salt either…  It was the funniest thing to watch!   She’d make these little growling noises and wouldn’t stop till all the corn was off the cob!  We’ve never seen anything like it since, with any of our other cats…

This is Lhasa.  I found her in our back yard on a spring day.  She obviously wasn’t used to being outdoors and given that fact, she allowed us to give her our house to live in.  She was a very sick cat when we found her, but after a number of visits to the vet, she was all well again!  She let us stay in the house as her caretakers.  I guess we passed the test.

Lhasa loved laps, although not quite as much as Fluffy did.  She always had this regal look…with those piercing blue eyes…and she acted like royalty too!  She almost only drank out of a running faucet.  She would follow Laurie into the bathroom each morning & jump on to the vanity so she could get a fresh drink of running water.  She was Laurie’s little shadow! 

Lhasa’s favorite treat was ‘buttered popcorn’. (Not corn on the cob...but close)  She begged for it whenever we made it!  That was the only treat she liked other than catnip.  She was a very sweet little girl!

This is Hank, affectionately called Hank the Tank.  He was a big boy, long enough to put his front paws on the dining room table and look over the top to see if it was worth his effort to jump up… He also topped out at 27 lbs, hence his nickname…

He was the only cat we had that would ‘sort of’ walk on a leash.  He loved to go outside and would get really excited when we put his harness on him!  We would walk around for a bit …then Hank would lie down & have us “drag him” up & down our driveway.  He just liked the feel of the rough concrete on his fur.  He would actually meow until we dragged him some more!  When he had enough, he would get up & walk back into the house or just lay there in the sun.  Hank was a very odd boy… but he was probably the most interesting cat we’ve been privileged to live with. 

This was Hank's favorite easy chair.  It had accompanied him when he took over our home after being forced to leave his lair at my mother’s home in Michigan. 

We already had two cats, Fluffy & Lhasa, when Henry, (aka Hank) arrived.  Even though Hank was so much bigger than Fluffy, she stilled ruled the house!  Fluffy would whack Hank as she passed him, just for good measure!  Once in a while, he’d reach out and whack her too…knocking her head over paws.  She’d just get up and keep walking like nothing had happened.  It was so funny to watch them all interact!

Here both Lhasa and Hank are helping me pay the bills and sort out some miscellaneous paperwork.  They considered my efforts a waste of time as I should have been totally focused on their pleasure.  Hello!?! Of course I should!

Hank really liked the morning paper…not!  He would get up on Laurie’s lap just to make it more difficult for her to check out what was going on in the world.  If he stayed too long, her legs would get numb and maybe then, she would put down that paper and pay homage to Hank!

This is Buddy…trying to fit his 17 lbs. and large frame into a standard cat bed. 

After Hank died at the age of 16…the house felt so empty.  So Laurie went out to search for another cat who might be willing to adopt us.  Our local feed store told her about a cat that is always being passed up for adoption because he was 4 ½ years old.  So she went to see Buddy and she fell in love right away!  He took over our home in a matter of hours and he allowed Laurie to sleep right next to him.  

Here Buddy is checking over my paperwork after another hard day at the office earning just enough money to keep him living in the style to which he was accustomed.  You may notice that I tried to mirror his stoic look for this photo in order to please him…

Buddy was a very entertaining boy.  He did his best to make us laugh!  He was great at picking up on house guests that hated or feared cats!  He’d go right to them and jump on their laps!  He was a hoot!  We miss him a lot. 
The final irony…?  A couple of months after Buddy went to that scratching post in the sky, we went to visit some friends at their home.  They have a nice cat who let us pet him and tell him just how handsome he is… Laurie started sniffling and coughing…plus a little difficulty breathing.  Guess what?!  After all of these years, we discover that she’s allergic to cats!  Whether or not we allow ourselves to be adopted by another cat is directly related to just how much Laurie is willing to suffer…

Note: This blog was co-authored by Laurie, my better half!


  1. Great shots of your kids. I can't even imagine how funny it would be to see a cat eating corn off the cob.

  2. I used to have a cat that ate corn on the cob. He drug one out of the trash and finished what hadn't been eaten one day .. then I started preparing one for him every time I made it for us. Hank the Tank has all the characteristics of a Maine Coone. Looks and personality, especially with that walk on the leash "thing". Loved reading about all the cats.