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Weird but True

Bonding with Stormy

The picture above is the first picture I ever took of Stormy. My grand kitty. That's right, I went there. Some people have grandchildren—I have grand cats.

Four of them to be exact. Though I was forced by my husband to give up two of them. The twins.

Leaving me with just Stormy and Raphael—otherwise known as the rare camel cat. Because ever since the little spazz went mobile, I always find him in the kitchen, impatiently awaiting his water dish to be filled.

But that's not really here nor there.

This is about Stormy.

Born with a genetic mutation in her front legs that made them curve, a little bit of a bob tail, and huge frigging eyes and ears—I remember how proud my Siamese, Gale (whom was named after an aunt that died as a teen) was to have finally had her litter.

I think she got tired of being called a puffer-up-cat (my odd nickname for her when she was pregnant because one day she was all skinny and sleek and the next... it was like she swallowed a blow fish or something). I can't begin to count how many times she tried to groom herself and simply rolled across the floor until she came to a stop after bumping into something.

My husband gave her to me as a birthday present the first year that we were married. I remember him coming in from work and waking me up by placing this big blue-eyed fluffy fur ball on my face and then telling me not to make her mean as he walked away.

Like I would ever make her mean.

I mean I trained her to do verbal commands when he made me mad and I wanted to do something mean to him.

So I would pick her up and smile, look at him and say, "Gale, if you loved mommy, you would do something horrible to daddy." And then she would trot off to pee or something in his shoes.

I woke up many a time during those few years after hearing my husband cursing because his shoes had an unwelcoming surprise in them.

Stormy and Raphael both remind me of her.

Both are lovers. Mommy's little darlings.

I've already told Tim that if our house ever caught on fire then I would save the cats and he would be on his own. It may sound mean, but he feels the same way about his computer and cellphone.

Nuff said right.

Anyways, Stormy and Raphael were born in a littler of nine. But only four survived.

And due to Stormy's disability, the first six to eight months she was alive were spent being carried around, either in my arms or on my shoulder. The two of us even began a new tradition.

Movie nights.

She liked Jaws. The new Star Trek movies were one of the first things she ever saw as a kitten.

In fact, the first time she decided to get up out of my lap and move around on her own—I swear this is true—we had just finished watching the Star Trek movies and she somehow managed to give me the "live long and prosper" sign before hopping off.

I was so shocked that I called my dad babbling.

He just laughed. He and mom always do when I tell them something new about Stormy.

We both got super jazzed over the latest Jurassic Park movies.

So much so that she decided to be a raptor for a little while after watching the raptor Blue.

She mimicked the growling/purring sounds. The chirping. Even the walk. The one shown in the first movie in the scene with the kids hiding in the kitchen.

The clawed toe tap.

And her hiss and pounce are something to truly fear. Especially since she likes to practice them when someone is sick and delirious from a fever.

I should know—she got me the last time that I had a temp of 104.

She's also studied birds.

So much so that one time she hopped up on the arm of the couch while I was on the computer and waited for me to look at her before she gave me a sober nod, as if to say, "today is the day," and then hopped up onto the back of the chair.

Curious to see where she was going with this, I set my computer aside and watched her start flapping her little front legs as if they were wings.

Needless to say, she was upset that she didn't manage to take off like the birds do. She spent some time being a little goober, chewing on her older brother's ear until he finally pulled free, ran off, and climbed the curtain.

Not long after that I found out she had a new talent. She needed a bit of a jump start—literally—but still managed to finally catch Raphael by climbing the curtains using her back feet.

After that she developed a bit of a habit of hanging upside down for a few minutes like a bat. Gale and I would simply shake our heads.

In June of 2018, Gale had to be put to sleep because of organ failure at the age of nine. And barely a month or so after her, I then lost another one of my babies.

The oldest one: Meow-meow, whom I'd had since I was 18. I just turned 35 then so she was pretty old.

Now I'm down to three boys and, of course, Stormy. Two of my boys are rescue cats.

The (now) oldest one is named Little-man. I got him when Gale was barely a year old, during a really bad winter. He had been abused, one of his ears partially cut off by his previous owners, who then drove him to a different neighborhood and abandoned him to die of starvation.

If not for my younger cousin Amy, he would have died. As it was by the time I got him, I could literally feel and see his ribs through his fur.

And the second I had him home, he started to explore. I watched in amusement as Gale puffed herself up and tried to pick a fight with him, only to have him walk away and ignore her.

She was the alpha cat of the house at that point, and he was a stranger to her. A possible challenger.

The second that he walked off though, I remember her turning her head very slowly towards me and glaring at me as if to say, "What. Did. You. Do?"

The second rescue cat is Raphael and Stormy's sire. He was handed to me when my husband came home from work, handing me this... little, scared, black... blob?

Shadow was small enough to fit in the palm of my hand. He wasn't weaned, wasn't litter box trained. And he was injured from being tossed out of a moving car.

My husband snatched him up before he could be run over and decided to bring him home.

You would never think it from looking at him today, because he was so small, but today, he's a big boy at nine years old—fully grown, a father, and weighs 15 pounds.

His old injury still hurts him from time to time, but he can at least walk normally now.

And as for Stormy—I think she's waiting for the next movie night to learn something new.

God help us. ^_^

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