Friday, September 12, 2014
So, I think we have inadvertently given Cupid a little bit of a bad rap.Granted, she is a cat which means that she is prone to be a bit demanding and to give a bit of attitude (or as we call it CATTITUDE) if she doesn't get her way. But the reality is, is that for a cat, Cupid really is a pretty good kitty.
I wanted to share a little bit of the back story on her. Before we even had the pugs, we had a cat named Eightball, or 8 for short (named after the billiards ball since she was all black with a smudge of white under her chin). Well, Eight lived about as long as her name indicated. Eight had an abrupt end to her life. Eight was on allergy shots and one day Eight decided that she was not only going to not get another allergy shot. And beyond that, she saw the cues leading up to her next shot and she literally went out of her mind. She attacked every one and every thing in her field of vision. It was a horrible and terrifying experience and for hours on end she behaved like a vicious feral cat that had never known the love of a person. It sadly ended in a call to animal control and euthanasia.
That is how Cupid came in to our lives. It was early February of 2000 when we lost Eight the Great. It was the first time since living in our home (at the time in Maryland) that the house was empty. And if I am being honest, I had a hard time coming home to an empty nest. So, we went to the pound and we were looking around at all the kitties that were awaiting a new forever home. We saw a beautiful stripped kitty with golden eyes and thought she would fill the hole in our hearts that Eight had left us with. She looked so fancy we had even given her a name. Ritz. Well, the process at this Human Society at the time was that you put an application on the pet you are seeking and they review it, have a phone interview then do a home visit and if you passed, you could pick up your new family member. This process generally took about a week to complete. So, we put our application down (and were the first in line to do so) so we knew that it was only a matter of time before we could bring home adorable Ritz.
Well, it had only been a day or two into the process and I decided to go visit Ritz at the pound. It was Valentine's Day and I wanted to share some new parent love with the new addition. I showed up all bright eyed and excited to see her. I bounced happily to the kennel she was in and it was like Ritz had taken over where Eight left off! Now she was a very distressed and angry kitty. I am sure that being stuck in her predicament made matters worse for her but the sad reality is that there was no way I could take home a cat that was being so aggressive. I panicked. I spoke to the staff there and explained my situation. Fortunately, they understood. And they were sympathetic to my needs and concerns. They just wanted me to find the perfect match. (Or purrfect match!)
They pointed me to a few others cats that they had experience with as being really mellow. And one sweetie that had just come in that morning. That one was named Vanilla (that was her pound name) but her previous owners called her Pepper. Pepper/Vanilla was 2. She came to them that day with her 11 year old cat sibling. They both had been brought in because the family had just had a new baby and Pepper would not stay out of the baby's crib. She loved that baby and the baby smell so much that she just could not stay away. Well, cat loving baby did not agree with the family's wishes. So both cats were brought to the kennel to find new homes. However, after a few hours the 11 year old was not doing so hot and the Human Society did not think that they would be able to find her a new home, so the family came back and picked up the 11 year old cat but left 2 year old Pepper/Vanilla there.
Pepper/Vanilla was a calico cat who, as soon as you brought out of the cage, immediately flipped onto her back and exposed her very white underbelly and gently demanded that you to pet her exceptionally soft snow white fur. As soon as you pet her tummy she would drool on you and knead your arm with here soft pink paws. This cat was a joy! (We even jokingly gave her the "Indian" name of "soft bunny fur")
"I'll take her!" I exclaimed. I spoke to the staff there. They agreed that this would be a better match. Instead of the required phone interview and home check, they interviewed me there live and in person and allowed me to forego the home inspection. (I guess I gave good answers.) And I was allowed to bring home the charming and beautiful Pepper/Vanilla on the most memorable of all Valentine's Days! Thus, no other name would be more fitting than Cupid for this most loving and heartwarming kitty. (We did not like the name Pepper nor Vanilla and while we are not really about renaming our pets if they have already come to us with a known name, we knew that neither of those names fit her personality.)
That was about 14 years ago. Cupid, 2 at the time is now 16. Not 100% free of her own medical issues but everything with her is pretty manageable and we are exceptionally grateful that she has been an accepting, resilient, engaging and affectionate girl over the years. She originated as an only child but shortly gained a bunny brother named Lou C. and then the pugs came along (first the boys as puppies then Luna as a teenager). And while she didn't exactly welcome any of them with open arms, she has always maintained her good nature. Sure, she has needed to remind everyone from time to time that she was "here first" and is the "boss cat" over all things furry or not. She is typically very mild mannered and only on rare occasion does she feel the need to exert her cat domination. She may hiss and bap every once in a while but it's rarely, if ever, completely unwarranted. She usually has a pretty good reason and mostly it is justifiable.
Cupid came with 2 notes about her both of which were spot on. One, she needed a hooded litter box and two, it was noted that she "plays with anything." No words have been more truthfully spoken than those two tidbits. It did not also warn, however, that she would enjoy eating 1/2 of a five dollar bill or that she played fetch with a feather duster. Unless I saw it, anyway, I probably would not have even believed it.
So, it's not her birthday or anything special, but after re-reading the post about how she had a hissy fit at Reagan's birthday party (and a couple of other posts where we've somewhat sold her short), I kind of felt like we had been unfair contributors to Cupid getting a bad rap and I kind of wanted to clean that up. She may be a cat but she is also an honorary pug in our book and while not perfect, I am not sure we have done her justice and I want to try to right that ship on her behalf. It's only fair. We have been told by more than a few people (and not even cat people) that they would get a cat only if they could be guaranteed that the turned out to be like Cupid. And that, to me, says it all.
#JusticeForCupid #NoMoreBadCatRaps #Cupid'sAPugToo