Since it's Friday, I ain't got no job, and I ain't got shit to do, and since we have made the lunatic decision to start this blogging thing again, I thought I'd introduce you to the current generation at The Southern Casa la Brilliant.
Meet Eli and Sam.
Eli (tabby bicolor, left) came to live with us in July 2013, after Jenny died. This makes him the last cat-tie to my old life. Poor Eli has had a tough time of it, and suffers from some PTSD as a result. He was found as a stray, spent time in two foster homes, and then we adopted him in the middle of Mr. B's chemotherapy. He spent the better part of two weeks under the bed in a room where Mr. B. was pretty much living, as wiped out on chemo as he was.
Eli bonded with Mr. B. well before he bonded with me, and it was Eli who knew that something was Very Wrong with Mr. B. two hours before I did. I wonder to this day if things might have been different if I'd checked why on September 22, 2013, Eli did not want to eat his breakfast in the bedroom.
This was Eli's first 2-1/2 years with me: New home where New Cat Daddy was sick. Then something was wrong with New Cat Daddy and men came in with scary equipment and took New Cat Daddy out of the house, and he never came back. Then New Cat Mommy cried a lot, but at least he had Maggie, who he learned quickly to love, and she loved him back. And things were quiet for a while, but then Maggie got sick and died and Cat Mommy cried a lot again. Eli was very lonely, so Cat Mommy brought in a new kitty, and he was fun so things were better for about six months. But then Men With Big Shoes came in and changed things upstairs, making a lot of noise. Then a few more months of quiet, then the Men With Big Shoes came back and closed off the kitchen, and two months later THE KITCHEN WAS ALL DIFFERENT, and that was very scary to a traumatized kitty.
Then, after a few more months, Cat Mommy started putting stuff in boxes, and then he and Sammy stayed two nights at the vet, and then Mommy put them in carriers, but instead of going to the vet, they were in the car for 11 hours, and when they came out, they were in this strange place where all their stuff was there, but it was DIFFERENT, and that was very scary to a traumatized cat.
It is now 2-1/2 years later, and Eli is finally starting to feel a bit more secure, despite having to have a mast cell tumor removed from his ear last December, which required tests and surgery for him and a radical cash-ectomy from me. He misses his sunny windowsill, but he enjoys the screened porch in the new house. He's learned how to purr, he now enjoys being held (but not picked up). He is very bonded to me now, and has separation anxiety and other anxieties which manifest as occasional peeing accidents. He is very sweet, very sensitive, and very nurturing with....
Sammy chose me. I was not ready for another cat after Maggie, who had been my baby for 13 years. I had been looking at another cat, and Sammy reached out his paw and swatted me on the arm. I'd always had a thing where I wanted a Russian Blue kitty, and he sure looked like one. Eli had needed another cat-buddy, so he and Sammy bonded quickly.
Two vets have told me that he IS a Russian Blue, and aside from wrong eye color, he has all the physical traits, plus the Blue tendency to play fetch. For hours. It took me a few months to warm up to him, because I was intensely grieving Maggie, whose illness had been very traumatic. He was only five months old, which means that he had all the kitten-badness, and he was driving me insane. But he is a very confident, self-assured little cat, and bonded with his new brudda, and over time, his utter silliness and adorableness won me over.
Sammy is a bit of a bully, though. He is very territorial and bullies Eli relentlessly, including redirected aggression when there is another cat in the yard, and nonrecognition aggression after Eli came home from surgery. Eli, being somewhat gender-fluid, is like a long-suffering mother, and spoils him. In some ways, they are like Maggie and Jenny were, except that Jenny, also a shy, timid cat, couldn't stand Maggie, and Eli adores Sammy, for all that Sammy drives him crazy.
And that, here in our no-longer-new life in North Carolina, is our little family.