My legs fell asleep an hour ago.
I haven't moved because it would disturb my cranky, old cat Brandy. She just turned 15 (she's a New Year's kitten!), and her kidneys, liver, heart, and thyroid are compromised, plus she's always cold. So when my kitty finds a comfortable spot to nap — bonus if it's next to me — I let her be.
Okay fine, I'm afraid she'll attack me. She may be old, but she's mean. That's a big reason why I love her.
Confession: I'm that cat person. For those of you who haven't been clued in by my regular proclamations of thanks to "The Great Kitten in the Sky" (I counted 13 xoJane articles in which I've written that), I'm telling you now so that in case you can't stand this stuff, you can click away to another post and spare yourself the next-level cat-loving ridiculousness you're about to witness. It's cool, we can still be pals, I just want to offer a warning. (But really, wasn't the title of this post enough of a warning?)
Now that we have that out of the way...
HELLO FELLOW FELINE FANATICS!
Welcome to Louise's den of unapologetic cat hair!
Before I continue with the bombardment, I have to give a shout out to "Jackie Paper" who requested this post. Let it never be said that I don't read your comments.
When I responded yes, that I would write up a cat piece, this was Jackie's response:
We're in good company, cat people.
Cats have always been a huge part of my life. Growing up, I can't remember a time when we didn't have a cat in our home. When my family first immigrated to the US, two cats showed up on our doorstep. They were a white cat we called Snow White and a calico my mom affectionately called wu zou maau or "dirty cat". They stayed with us until they went to that great cat box in the sky.
After them I was basically raised by three cats named Mew, Angel, and Sammy. Mew was a scrappy brown and grey cat who my mom nursed back to health after finding her with the skin literally hanging off her thin, alley cat body (she'd been mauled by another creature). She lived with us for over 12 years. Heartbreakingly, tumors first took her little kitty voice, leaving her with a determined croak, then eventually took her life.
Angel and Sammy lived until they were nearly 20, strutting around the house before each of them in turn curled up in my mom's arms and slipped off into the kitty beyond.
Sweet criminy, this was supposed to be a fun post, and I'm getting all weepy. Quick, cats, here:
Since Sammy and Angel's passing, my mom has never been able to turn away a cat that comes to her in need. Above are the four cats that live with her now — Baby, Whiskey, Mama, and Tiptoes. Whiskey and Tiptoes are Mama's grown kittens, we suspect Baby might be Mama's too.
Mama showed up at my mom's doorstep, sussed her out, then promptly showed up a few days later with her kittens in tow. Mom found homes for all but Whiskey and Tiptoes. Not pictured are my mom's "project cats" — the cats that are too nervous to come in from the backyard full time — Mr. Goldie and Harry. She feeds them, talks to them, takes them to the vet, and has made a little "Cat Wonderland" for them in her garage for when it gets cold.
My mom is why I am the way I am. Since moving out of her house, I've always found myself with a cat. From Gracie the three-legged wonder cat, to Fish the teeny-tiny kitty whose time on this earth was far too short, every cat has stolen a little piece of my tuna-soaked heart.
Then came my darling Brandy and my dear Tailsy. For those of you who might remember, Tailsy came to me while I was living in Honolulu. Abandoned by my apartment's previous owner, Tailsy was a cheerful little black cat who decided she liked me. Tailsy is the cat I foolishly let remain a mostly outdoor/sometimes indoor cat before she disappeared for a year.
MIRACULOUSLY she came back to me (I will never forgive myself for that year), after which she was only allowed supervised visits outdoors. Sadly, her health did not allow her to move to Japan with Brandy and me, but she continues to happily live in Hawai'i with friends who have a sunny, enclosed patio for her to rule.
Now Brandy, Mr. Louise, and I make up our weird little family in Hong Kong.
Mr. Louise is a definitely a Cat Guy, so life with us is unabashedly cat-centric. Last Christmas we decided to forgo gifts for each other and just pool what tiny bit of extra money we had in order to get Brandy the most excellent heated cat bed we could find. ZERO REGRETS. Nothing has made us happier than seeing our old kitty warm and snuggly in that bed.
This past Christmas, we decided to give Brandy her "big gift" — a cat condo that is taller than I am. It definitely looks absurd in our tiny studio apartment, but whatever, it makes all of us happy.
Do you spy that turntable cat scratcher in the bottom lefthand corner of the picture? That's one of Brandy's scratchers. Made by SUCK UK, it was an impulse buy that Mr. Louise might have been more excited about than even me.
But not more excited than Brandy!
Of course Brandy is not the only beneficiary of our cat obsession. Our home is decked out in cat decor. Some of you may remember "Chicken-Kitty Commons" from my Japan apartment. Never fear, the Commons made the move to Hong Kong, and its new incarnation makes my little "office corner" purr-fect.
My favorite part of "Chicken-Kitty Commons" might be this print I got in Yanaka AKA "Cat Town" in Japan. I suspect it will inform the cat tattoo or "cattoo" I get, when s.e. and I FINALLY embark on the Great Cattoo Adventure we've been talking about since last year.
Cats and ghosts, would you expect anything less from me?
And don't you worry, my desk is not devoid of cat junk. Behold: these goofy cat figures I got from a Japanese vending machine, the Fancy Feast playing cards that my ex-boss also gave me, the "Brandy Pen" I made for my husband when he got into grad school, and the pin featuring Leon the Munchkin Cat, the star of a cat cafe in Yokohama.
Even our light switches have a feline touch. I couldn't resist adding these fuzzy, cat wall decals to all our light switches. And yes, that's a Brandy keychain. Another gift I made for my husband, actually the first gift I ever gave him.
But what about cat clothes Louise? Don't you proudly wear your cat pride on your sleeve?
You bet I do.
Mr. Louise gave me this sweater, it's from a store called 6ixty 8ight. Unfortunately, I think it's only found in Hong Kong and China. Hisss.
But you can get these knee socks from Sock It To Me in the US! In fact, their site boasts "Free shipping everywhere" for "orders totaling $25 or more".
Are your toes cold like Brandy's? You can warm them up with these soft and toasty kitty slippers from Snoozies that have survived cat barf, coffee spills, and a couple years of me complaining about being FREEZING whenever the temperature dips below 70 degrees.
Socks, slippers, and sweaters are all well and good. But what every cat lady needs is a good cat dress. This picture is a couple years old, but I still wear this dress with pride. Those "Chat Noir" socks can also be found on Sock It To Me.
And you know that ex-boss I keep mentioning? The one who gave me the ornaments and the playing cards? She recently sent me this Hello Kitty hat. (If I look like crap in this picture, it's because I was SO SICK, and needed Hello Kitty powers to heal me.)
Have we reached peak cat insanity yet? Probably. I have the tendency to wear out even the most avowed cat lover.
Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into my kooky cat life, xoCatLovers. I know we just recently had another pet post by Marci, but if you are so inclined to gab about your cat some more or share a picture in the comments, I don't think any of us would object.
If nothing else I hope you now understand the restraint it takes for me to not insert a photo of Brandy into every post I write. Like I'm going to do right now:
Brandy and I wish your kitties satisfying naps and yummy vittles (as well as your dogs and rabbits and horses and lizards and birds and hamsters and...and...and...). And since I don't quite know how to stop rambling on about cats and cat stuff, I'll end this post with my favorite picture of Brandy.