I have two kitties, Artio and Mikki, that we got from my parents. These kitties have been with my parents since they were little (Mikki was a full on kitten, Artio was probably about 6 months when we got her). So why do Dan and I have them now? It’s kind of a long story, but I’ll try to be quick.
We all have huge hearts for animals. If there are animals that need love, we don’t turn them down. About a year ago now, my mom went out the front door, and a tiny little kitten (that looked like it was starving) came straight up to her and started mewing. This little kitten had three brothers and sisters that were with her, and they were all very tiny and hungry. My sister spent most of the morning running after the kittens, and didn’t give up until she had all four of them. The kittens then took up residency in the powder room. They all needed a LOT of flea removal work (which was completed successfully) and definitely needed food. My family got them all healthy and in good shape. However, they couldn’t keep all four, it would just be too much work because they already had the two kitties I have now (and I think they may have still had a bunny too). Christine, my sister, found someone to adopt one of the kitties, gave one of the kitties to my grandparents, and then they kept two of them. Ginger was the runt of the litter and the one that was brave enough to approach my mom to get the four of them saved. Scout is Ginger’s brother, and he is a very brave kitty that loves attention (and follows around the vacuum cleaner to figure out what it is while it’s running).
Mikki loved to play, so when Christine told me they got kittens, I thought she’d love to play with them! That was not the case. Mikki retreated to living only upstairs, and wouldn’t come down for anything. The kittens would pick on her too. As a result, she blew up into a rugby ball with a tail… it was very sad. She wouldn’t play either (which she loves to do) because the kittens would instantly hear her having fun and run up to play.
Then they got Little Guy. My dad found him, and several of his siblings, at work. Little Guy had such bad eye infections he couldn’t open his eyes, and one of Dad’s coworkers took him to the vet to get medicine. However, the medicine had to be administered multiple times a day, which the coworker couldn’t do… so Dad brought him home for Mom and Christine to give him the eye drops. Eventually, he became a member of the family. He is now a very sweet little kitty, kind of skittish, but if you play with him he will eventually warm up to you!
Unfortunately for Mikki, Scout and Little Guy became buds and decided that their favorite game would be “attack Mikki.” So, now there were cat fights happening multiple times a day, and Mikki REALLY wouldn’t come down.
Then, Artio got diagnosed as a major diabetic. With five kitties, it was extremely difficult to monitor the food that Artio was eating, especially overnight, and track how much water she was drinking. Diabetic kitties are also extremely expensive to care for, and my family’s finances are a little tight (especially with five kitties). So, I offered to take Artio. However, I couldn’t take Artio and leave Mikki because Mikki only liked Artio. I didn’t want to make Mikki any more miserable than she already was, so we took her too! Now we have two kitties!
Artio is a beautiful black cat, that we are pretty sure is part Bombay cat. She has most of the characteristics of the Bombay cat, right down to the “distinctive sound.” However, since we got her as a stray, we will probably never know for sure. Artio is about eleven years old, and the sweetest cat you will ever meet. We have her diabetes under control now, so no more insulin shots! But the food we have to buy to keep it under control is expensive. Both cats eat the same food, because it’s easier that way. They primarily eat canned food, because it only contains meat, but they do get some kibble. We get Fancy Feast Classic, which is the only one we can find that is 100% meat products, which tends to be about sixty cents a can… They each eat a little over one can a day. Their kibble is special diabetic kibble, which is $40 for a 10 pound bag. Luckily, the bag last for a while, because they only get one tablespoon a day. No, we aren’t starving them; the vet approved of their diet!
Mikki is a beautiful Russian Blue! Unfortunately, she is still overweight… but she is only overweight now, not morbidly obese!!! This took a lot of work. She still needs to lose at least half a pound, probably closer to a pound, but she looks like a cat again. She’s sweet, but also a major pain. Russian Blues have major personalities and a lot of energy. Mikki is about eight, and still plays like a kitten. She also adores Dan, which means she follows him everywhere. She always has to know where her people are, and be able to see them, so when we go to bed (we shut the door because the dander bothers me) she freaks out. Now, being followed around by a kitty sounds adorable, right? Well, if that was all she did then yes, it would be. However, she likes to “help,” which means being your eyes for the project, weighing down your supplies so they don’t run away, and removing evil tools from the job site (and sometimes your hand). She’s a pain, but she is really adorable and loving. My family got Mikki from one of Christine’s high school teachers. Christine had babysat for the family a few times, and then we babysat Mikki at our house when they went on a vacation… when they got back, it turned out their son was extremely allergic to her, so they asked if we wanted her. She was so tiny! This was about eight years ago or so. Yes, we have an eight year old kitten.
It’s pretty much impossible to not fall in love with Artio. She is brave, and likes to make sure any of our guests have gotten their fill of cat pets and belly rubs in… just don’t ring the doorbell. She also has only ever swatted at me with claws once, and it was because I made the mistake of trying to pet her while she had fresh catnip. She never bites, and never scratches (unless it’s an accident because her back claws don’t fully retract)… and she loves belly rubs, is an instant lap cat (at least, when it isn’t too hot in the house), head bumps you constantly to say she loves you, stands up and taps you with her paw if you haven’t noticed she wants your love, and is basically the most adorable kitty ever!
Mikki isn’t quite as sweet as Artio… but still loveable. Mikki also isn’t brave. The minute she realizes strangers are around, she is GONEEEEEEEEE! She likes pets, most of the time, but will nip at you if you try to pet her when she is hyper. She does bite, sometimes it’s actually hard (not enough to break the skin, but it hurts), and sometimes for no reason. Both Dan and I have also had blood drawn while playing with her, well, and sometimes not, because she won’t hesitate to scratch… grrr. She also hates phones, so those need to stay away from her too, or you get teeth marks! But when she is behaving, she is absolutely adorable and sweet. She loves to sit on laps (or next to), and will clean anything she cares about, including the same spot on your arm until you swear you might start bleeding. If you’ve never been licked by a cat, and you’re wondering what it feels like, go get some medium grit sand paper and drag it across your arm… no, I’m not kidding, that really is what it feels like.
I love my kitties to pieces, and they are both very happy at our house. It took them a while to adjust to the smaller house (ours is half the size of my parents’ place), but they still have plenty of space to play and run around. They’re also both in very good health, so we should have them for many years to come!