This page is dedicated to my three wonderful cats. My life would not be what it is without them, and I am thankful for them every single day.
They each came into my life in a unique way, and these are their stories…
I brought Nia (pronounced n-eye-uh) home when she was about 5 months old.
Out of the blue, someone had dropped off a pregnant cat at a friend of mine’s house, while he and his family were out.
He set up a bed and feeding station for her in his shed, where another stray also frequented, and we all waited in anticipation for her to give birt
The kittens arrived! Some were black and white, and some (like their mother) were brown tabbies, with big emerald green eyes.
I’d had no experience with cats at the time, other than the ones that lived outdoors at my dad’s house.
But every time I would go over to this friend’s house, which was often, we would hang out in the shed and play with the kittens for hours.
The two that were left were both tabbies, one about half the size of the other.
Now, there are perks to living in the middle of nowhere surrounded by cornfields, but there are also disadvantages.
Coyotes were pretty prevalent in the area, and one day all of the cats disappeared.
A few days later they showed back up, each a few hours later than the previous one. But both of the kittens had been badly wounded.
She was the smallest one, and wasn’t as good at hunting as the others.
Her sister could be seen quite often with either a mouse or small bird between her big paws. Whereas, Nia could be observed sitting by the food dish until it was filled.
She would curl up on my lap when I came over, and fall asleep. The only reason I hadn’t taken her home was because the house I was living in did not allow pets.
But, as I was saying, she and her sister came back in pretty rough shape.
Nia had a giant wound on her neck, and her sister had wounded her eye.
Her sister recovered quickly, and even though we were worried Nia may not make it, she also began to heal eventually.
And Nia’s mother had another litter with the other stray that hung around in the shed. (Please, spay and neuter your pets. Find out more here.)
One day, devastatingly, some of the younger kittens were picked off by coyotes. This led Nia, her mom, and her sister to disappear again.
Right then I promised myself I would take her home as soon as she showed back up. Regardless of the “no-pet” rule.
She was by far the smallest, and the worst hunter of the three.
So, a few days went by. They cautiously came back from hiding, and I did exactly what I promised I would do.
Having no clue what I was doing, and knowing nothing about cats, other than the fact that they need a litter box, and some food and water, I put her in the car and brought her home.
Nia’s presence sparked a deep fascination within me.
Ever since the day I brought her home, I have been obsessed with learning as much about cats as possible.
Learning about their behavior, instincts, their ancestors, anatomy, and their natural dietary needs.
Learning about what makes cats tick.
It has become my passion, and a massive part of my life, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
The human-cat bond is completely unique, and can be a very precious, healing relationship.
I am forever grateful that Nia brought that into my life.
There is nothing like the unconditional love of an animal, and my goal is to help as many people experience that as possible.
I talk about the difficulties I had with Nia scratching my furniture in my posts:
My boyfriend used to work as a security guard at an abandoned GM plant, back when we lived in Michigan.
As with most places like that in the city, there was a feral cat colony that lived there.
He was used to seeing the big rough-and-tumble tom cats with facial scars, and the beat up feral females.
She would come and visit him every day, begging for scraps, and laying on top of his car.
He had mentioned her to me briefly, and talked about what a nice, loving cat she was, and that one of the other security guards had taken to feeding her, along with the feral cats.
I’m at home, and I get a call from my boyfriend.
He says “Lauren, we have to help this cat, she has big bloody wounds on her back and will probably die if we don’t do something. I need you to come get her.”
Luckily, our apartment was only about a mile away from his work, so I got there quickly to pick her up.
But, even so, she had gone into hiding. We spent at least an hour looking for her.
Eventually we found her, brought her home, and quarantined her in our spare bedroom upstairs.
The wounds turned out to be abscesses. One on each side of her hindquarters.
We were so broke, we couldn’t afford to take her to the vet.
But, by some miracle, and with the invaluable advice I found on the internet, I was able to heal the abscesses with Epsom salt dissolved in warm water, an e-collar, lots of bandages, and triple antibiotic ointment.
Unfortunately, poor Ellie also fell victim to multiple flea baths, once her wounds had healed.
She loves to cuddle, roll around, and she is extremely vocal.
Nia did not see what we saw in her.
Ellie was displaying extreme territorial aggression. (Some is to be expected when cats first meet each other, but this was bad, and persistent.)
I go into detail about the aggression, length of time it took, and introduction methods in my posts. So, I won’t do that here.
I had some major learning experiences after Ellie arrived. I think we all did.
She led me down the long and complex road of inter-cat aggression.
Today, Ellie and Nia are very good friends. They play together, sit by each other, and even occasionally sleep with one another.
Doja is the newest addition to our furry little feline family.
Last October, a small ginger kitten was roaming around the neighborhood.
He was probably around 6 or so months old, and could be seen either prowling around the bushes in the neighbors’ yards, or lounging in the middle of the road.
(Thank goodness it’s a side road that most people drive relatively slowly on.)
One day, he decided to follow my nextdoor neighbor, after she had gotten off the school bus and was walking home.
He cried, and cried at her. (We later realized that this desperate cry was an attempt to solicit food.)
The neighbor decided to stop by my house on her way home, unsure of what to do about the crying kitten following her around.
After a short examination, I found that he had fleas pretty bad (I live in Florida, it’s inevitable for outdoor animals without protection to have fleas.) but he was otherwise pretty healthy looking.
So, we decided to set out looking for his guardian.
I knocked on the neighbors’ doors, and went to the animal shelter to have him checked for a microchip.
It turned out that no one on my street knew who his people were, and he had no microchip.
So, I brought him back and let him loose in the front yard, hoping he would wander back to his home, wherever that was.
The mosquitoes were horrendous. (Another lovely attribute of Florida.)
He had decided to camp out in my yard, and the bugs were completely swarming him.
My conscience nagged at me, and I couldn’t just leave him out there to suffer, and get chewed alive.
So, decided to temporarily bring him into our lanai, while I kept looking for his family.
I was determined to find out what was going on with this sweet little cuddly ginger kitten.
So, I decided to venture out farther, and walked a few streets down.
I came across a young woman sitting on her porch, to whom I described what the kitten looked like, and how he had ended up at my house.
As luck would have it, she had seen him! She told me that he belonged to the family at the end of the road.
I thanked her, and continued down the road. As I neared the house at the end, the situation became apparent.
There was a little girl around the age of four outside on the porch, along with a young cat surrounded by adorable, fuzzy little kittens that were just learning to walk.
The little girl talked to me for a while, as I asked her a few times where her parents were. (She was just too excited, making sure she told me every single kitten’s name 🙂 )
Eventually, I got her to go inside in search of her dad. But, instead, a boy around the age of sixteen or seventeen came out.
He was very nice, and listened as I described the kitten.
The teenager informed me that the cat’s name was Doja, and that he was indeed their cat, but he kept running away.
He also said that he liked to follow them to the bus stop, which explained why he had followed the neighbor home after she had gotten off the bus.
I asked the boy what he wanted me to do, and told him I would be happy to bring Doja back to their house.
The boy looked down at the young kittens on the porch and said,
“Well, as you can see we have quite a few cats as it is… I mean, if you can give him a good home….”
His head tilted to the side, and he shrugged.
“He’ll just run away again if you bring him back. But my sister and I might want to come down and visit him.”
I gave the kid my address and phone number, and assured him that Doja would be there, should he change his mind.
I haven’t seen the kid since.
And although there have been many challenges that have come with bringing an extremely energetic and lively kitten into our home…
(In my posts, I go into detail about the behavior modification I’ve had to implement since bringing Doja in, and introducing him to Ellie and Nia.)
Now that he’s a part of the family, I can’t imagine it any other way.