Saturday, September 09, 2006

If It Weren't For Romeo

I'm gonna let the mom tell our story, 'cause it's long, and I'm still recovering from the heat, and she can tell it better.

Ok, thanks Petey.

None of us in this house; and I do mean all of us; would be where we are now if it weren't for a goofy little cat named Romeo. Romeo was the runt in a litter of three kittens, and looked just like his mama, Miss Kitty. He had long legs, a long neck and pale green eyes .The ex brought him home in a box cryin' and carryin' on the whole way. That set his personality from then on. Romeo was very wary and cautious of most people, especially men.

When he was about 10 months old he somehow managed to get his long striped tail broken and had to have it amputated, he was left with a cute little stump that he held up and puffed out at all times; while they were at it we had them neuter him also. I made my ex take him since Romeo hated him anyway. He was mad at us all for 3 days.

During his first 3 years we moved around alot and he hated it every time. I'd have to say he used up 5 or 6 lives in all of his excursions. Romeo was about 1 year old and I was moving to Memphis,TN. I had loaded up my car and stopped at my mom's to say bye. When I returned to the car Romeo was nowhere to be seen. I nearly died, he had climbed inside the dashboard of my car. Being on a time constraint; I hit the road with a cat in the dashboard. Somewhere around Lamar,CO he finally came out.

About a year later we were moving back from Memphis; and with the impeccable timing that only a cat can possess. Romeo managed to climb up a large elm and get on a three story building and wouldn't or couldn't come down. Now, I had the truck packed and rounded up the other cats. I called to Romeo and he answered with a pathetic "Mew" from way up high on the neighboring roof. So, I knocked on the door of the third floor apartment and asked if I could stand on their balcony railin' and fetch my cat. They looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Sure why not". Yes I know it was very dangerous and I admit I would have been scared if I hadn't been so focused on getting Romeo down.

Not all of his climbing expeditions went badly. I once watched him climb 25' up a cottonwood tree and stick his head in a hole above a branch and pull out a starling. He had plucked it off of its' nest, and climbed back down the tree with this dead bird in his mouth. He was a master bird killer, and never ate one of them. He only killed for sport. I just stood there and watched in awe.

Fast forward to May 1997; I was a single working mom about ready to give up on finding a decent man. Well, I met a guy at work and brought him over to my parents house and gave him the "Romeo Test". If the cat liked him, then I knew he was worth the effort. Sure enough, Romeo came right up to him and rubbed his face on my future husbands' legs. I immediately found a house to rent and had him move in with us. We were married 2 years later. My boys call him daddy. I'm very lucky to have him.

My sister-in-laws kids rescued a fuzzy orange kitten and carried him around like a baby. When they got evicted they couldn't take Punkin with them; so he ended up with us. Punkin was skinny, sickly and unneutered. But very feisty, a real fighter; who didn't have a clue how to win a cat fight. He thought that since he was bigger than Romeo he could win. He was wrong, and lost every fight he picked with Romeo. This went on for about 2 years. Punkin pickin' a fight, Romeo kickin' the crap out of him. Punkin is still a major pain in the butt.

Not wanting anymore expensive vet bills from them fighting; I went to the Denver Dumb Friends League and found him a personal punching bag. I know that sounds mean, but Luna is a few bricks short of a full load and really doesn't mind too much. And when she does, she's big enough that she can defend herself (she outweighs him by about a pound) and has extremely long and sharp claws and teeth and knows how to use them. Luna's great, she has a marshmallow belly and loves to have it rubbed.

Two years later we went out to visit my parents. A cat family had adopted them and had kittens. Born under a house and still quite feral, The Elusive Sooner, came to live with us in the summer of 2000.

Thinking our cat family was complete, the next three years went by in a blissful blur. Birthdays and holidays came and went. Then in October of 2001, Romeo went in for a teeth cleaning and the V-E-T thought something didn't look right. They ran some tests and in November; just before Thanksgiving, we found out that Romeo had cancer and only had a few months to live.

On the eve of Thanksgiving 2001 we were laying in bed and heard meowing coming from outside and when I got up to go to the bathroom I could here it coming from underneath the house. The next day we went to the in-laws and had dinner, before we left we put out some food and water, but forgot to leave the porch light on. So, fumbling around in the darkness for the keys, gave this starving waif of a cat (yeah, right, 14lbs of skin and bones) the opportunity to rush up and go in just as the door is opened, and make himself at home. The next morning we put him out and go shopping. Upon our return that afternoon, we open the door to go in and this same underprivledged cat rushes in and announces that he is going to stay. Petronious the Arbiter was looking for his Door Into Summer and I guess he found it.

Two months later, we lost our dear Romeo. The pain of coming home every evening to a house without Romeo was too much to bear. So, we packed up all that we owned and moved out here to Oklahoma. I suppose the only reason that we didn't move any sooner was that I had promised Romeo that he would never have to move again.

It's nice here and the cats have more space and their own room and all; but something was missing. The hubby, the kids and I were out one day; shopping for fishes for the fish tank and as we were getting out of the truck; one of the kids called to me and said that there were kittens here that had no tails like Romeo's. Naturally, I had to look see and picked out one who had long legs and a bobbed-tail like Romeo's. I carried him into the store and showed him the fishes and told him how lucky he was that we came along and rescued him and he just purred all happy like. Thus, Happy-Go-Lucky.

It takes two 2o pound cats to make up for the love that Romeo gave us in his little 12 pound body.


Blogger Hot(M)BC said...

Aw, that's a furry nice story bout Romeo. He was a wonderful kitty. Fanks for sharing his story and Petroniuses wif us.

Sat Sep 09, 10:13:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Derby said...

How how sweet you were to not move Romeo. He was one adventurous kittie. We are happy that your kitties founded good homes.

P.S. Mum likes your 'test the guy' method too.

Sun Sep 10, 12:48:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Smeagol & Strider (Mystery & Gizmo too!) said...

Thanks for sharin' Romeo's story (and how efurrybody else came to live with you, too).

Wed Sep 13, 04:47:00 PM 2006  
Blogger one of us said...

That's a wonderful story. We loved it and so did Mom ~Merlin, Shadow, Ko KO

Sat Sep 16, 10:49:00 PM 2006  
Blogger Fat Eric said...

Ohhh, Romeo sounds like such a great cat. I am sorry you don't have him any more, but how great of you to take in all those other kitties and give them a great home.

Fri Sep 22, 05:31:00 PM 2006  

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