Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Angel: My Furry Family, Part One

I live with the two sweetest kitties in the world. I know others of you out there think that YOUR cats are the sweetest and the cutest and you are also right. I think I could probably win the naughtiest kitty category, though.

Angel Joy and Tara Grace are my family. They are my children and my friends. They enrich my life with laughter and tenderness and furry hugs. I thought I'd give each of them her own introduction and since I met Angel first, I thought I'd introduce her first.

Angel came into my life a week after Abigail (aka the Antique Kitty) passed ever so gently from this life at almost 22 years of age. I had planned to live empty for a bit but life had other plans. A friend of mine "E", who is a magnet for abandoned and wounded animals, was walking her dog when Angel - who was covered in cow manure and very sick with giardia - quite literally insisted on being rescued. At the time she was still very weak and all sugar. Who would have known the heart of creative mischief that burned under that sweet little face? Given the area where I lived at the time, we just assumed that Angel was yet another throw-away - something painfully common in an area where most people can't afford to spay their animals and the local vets did their best to prevent a spay-neuter van from operating. There were a horrifying number of stray and feral cats. Over time, though, it became clear to me that Angel was probably not one of them. She probably let her curiosity, which, alas, is not mixed with good sense, get her into trouble that almost killed her.

Angel is curiosity on four legs. She wants to know and see and do everything. She is the most creatively naughty kitty you can imagine. A friend of mine who is an artist hung some of the paintings in my house. She did it the "artists's way - not on a nail but on a long wire. Yesterday as I looked over from my desk, I saw one of them swinging wildly as Angel sat totally absorbed in her new game. Unfortunately I didn't get a picture. When we first moved into my little house, I woke up to an odd noise one morning only to find Angel proudly rolling the stopper from the kitchen sink around the bedroom floor. Another morning she had managed to bring her food bowl (which has a rubber bottom) over the kitchen jamb, across the living room and up onto a small throw rug outside my bedroom door. She's very fond of knocking things down from high places. I collect rocks and I have had three of them on top of my TV. Mini-monkey's newest game is pushing them off.

Angel loves to play and considers pretty much anything to be a toy. She will come whimpering out of the kitchen from time to time with anything from a piece of plastic from some package that I have torn open and foolishly left on the counter, to a plastic spoon, to.... pretty much anything. She carries them out like another kitty would bring a mouse and presents them to me for play. Her favorite toys are little felt balls that mostly end up under the refrigerator. My friend Dan now retrieves them every week. This week - and again I was too slow with the camera to get a picture - she came to me proudly dragging a little dust brush that's almost as big as she is. Angel loves people and would LOVE to go outside. People coming into my front door have to climb over a little gate I had to put up to keep her from getting out. She absolutely adores the man who brings my groceries. I think she would run away with him if I'd let her. She is an adventurer and since I'm cruel and don't let her go outside, she has to create her own adventures. I guess I can't blame her. I just wish sometimes that she was a little less gifted at thinking up naughty, destructive, maddening things to do... but then she wouldn't be the enchanting spirit that she is, so I guess I will just enjoy her as she is. As I type this she is about to swing the paintings again and is not at all happy that I am screaming "NOOOOO!" at her. I'm such a kill joy.

"E" ( the person who rescued Angel and brought her into my life) took care of her and Tara Grace when I was briefly without a home before I moved into my little house. "E" has 12 rescued animals of her own. When she returned my girls to me, she said she finally understood what I was saying about Angel. She said having Angel around was like having another eleven cats to care for. Angel is always into something that's there to get into or inventing something new to get into. She surely keeps me on my toes.

The other side of Angel (the part that makes her name fit) is her consummate sweetness. Angel gives the very best hugs there are. She will come curl up in my arms for ten or twenty minutes at a time, purring as loud as can be, kneading and rumbling. For all her antics and creative mischief, Angel is really pure love. She makes everybody laugh. I wouldn't trade her for a dozen well behaved cats. Well, not most days, anyway.

Tomorrow, I'll introduce you to Tara Grace...


Unknown said...

I LOVE that Cat photo looking out the window! When I moved to Arizona in early December, we had a Cat who visited my neighbor below me. After a time she determined he was not well cared for and I believe she took him to ASPCA. He was a naughty Cat for biting my hand. But I'm told this was him wanting to play! My late Cousin had two cats--one that was deaf named "Beethoven" and a silky black coat Cat named "Scorpio". Glad you chose to readopt! And thanks ever so much for visiting my Blog!

Minnesotablue said...

Cats are such wonderful companions. We have had KiKi for about a year now and it is such a warm feeling knowing that when we come home someone is now waiting to greet us.

Linda Murphy said...

Angel is so adorable and I love that last picture-so cute. She does sound like a handful, but all of the kitty hugs and love, not to mention that face probably help a bit.

And that "E" sounds like an amazing person to rescue animals and provide homes. Hats off!

Jeni said...

We have two cats here now - Gracie, who is a black calico furball and Nina, an orange shorthair who is always into something too -often Nina's antics involve tormenting Gracie. (Gracie is 16,a bit senile now and Nina is not quite a year old and she LOVES to chase Gracie around the house which then just thoroughly ticks Gracie off as she just wants to be left alone to sleep.) Loved your pictures of Angel -and your description of her devilish ways too. Such a pretty cat she is.

Dianne said...

I am loving Angel! and I think she and Siren would adore each other although the idea of the what the two of them could come up with is scary ;)

Looking forward to Tara Grace tomorrow.

hats off to "E" - she is a hero!

Raven said...

Thanks everyone. Nothing pleases a mother more than hearing her "kids" praised. Now I'm off to give Tara Grace her day in the sun.

Oh - I think Angel has been reading her own publicity. This morning when I walked into the bathroom I found the drain stopper thing from the kitchen sink on the floor.

Michael - Beethoven and Scorpio sound wonderful. Great names.

Glad Kiki is there for you minnesotablue. I know what you mean. Years ago, my first cat, Katrina would meet me at the door. Does feel good.

Snoopmurph... she does give the best hugs... kind of atones for the mischief.

jeni - Gracie and Nina sound sweet. Angel was like that with Tara Grace when she first came in. You could almost hear her thinking "play with me, play with me..." and Tara Grace would just run and hide.

Dianne... Siren and Angel could probably destroy the world if they teamed up. And have us laughing while they did it.

Cindy said...

All that mischief in one so cute. Love the photo in the window. You have some very special feline friends.

Raven said...

Hi Cindy... they really are special. They keep me laughing - Angel with her antics and Tara Grace with her lectures. (I swear she's channeling your grandmother.)

I Love You,
Aunt Kathie