Monday, March 2, 2009

Running A Cat House

In a fiberart group I am in, We are making books and a house as our frontcover. We determine what we want our dream houses to look like. They could be realistic, fantasy or what ever we decided we wanted our home to be. Then each month we work in round robin fashion and make a page that goes into each dream house with a little info on how or why it came to be.

The page is made up of hand dyed fabric, peltex, acryllic paint and machine quilted. The eyes and the window is painted with glow in the dark paint. The black on the side will be the book hinges and I reserved some to the bottom and will decide on adding a title there. I'm also thinking of changing the collar and medallion out when I find something else I would rather see on the cat.

Here's is my story behind the cat house:

When I was growing up, we lived in a small rural town in ND. Wheat is the main product produced and our house was on the edge of town near a grain elevator. I had a cat named Tuffy, who I adored and he would always sleep with me. He was
my pride and joy. Then one day he went hunting for mice. At the elevator they would put out poison for mice. Tuffy came home and started howling and eventually his limbs became paralyzed and he died an agonizing death before my eyes. We weren't allowed to have any more cats after that which saddened me. Instead we had a dog, but it wasn't the same cuddly feeling. It was my sister's dog and it obeyed her. Even when she got mad at me for something, she told her dog to pee on my bed. Wouldn't you know it, the dog did!!! I was mad and never really grew a liking to dogs. I DREAMED of the day that I
would one day be able to have a cat again.

After I grew up, got married and my kids were starting school, I watchedoutside of our house and saw some kitties playing across the street in an abandoned tire garage. They looked like they were part Siamese and were so cute. I had WISHED that we could catch one, but they were wild and never had a chance. Then one day some months later, I heard
something underneath the floor in our back bedroom. We had an area that was rotted away in our mobil home, due to water damage from the washer in the next room. I pulled up the carpet and there were four little siamese kittens playing, but they were wild and scared, so we left food out and one by one, they came up into the bedroom and each time I moved the dish further away until we had captured all 4. It took a little while to tame them and we kept 2 and gave 2 away. We named them Yoda and Dumpling.

Then came the day my husband got orders to be stationed in England. With the country not having a rabies case, they wanted to keep it that way and animals would have to be in quarantine for 6 months. We couldn't bare to see our cats locked up like that, so Rog's parents said they would take care of them, so we had them flown from ND to Ohio. Five years later we came
back to the states. We didn't have the heart to take the cats back when they were the love of their lives. Company for his mom when she was bed ridden and then companionships for his dad when she passed away. The cats lived to be 21 and 22 years old.

Instead, we decided we would get another cat after we had renovated the home we were living in. My daughter WISHED that we would get a Calico. Then one day about two weeks later when my daughter and I were working, we heard a cat crying on the front porch. We opened the front door and in runs this little calico kitten!!! Just where did she come from? She made a couple of laps around the house and seemed to approve and found a place to sleep on a mattress we had laying on the floor. Although we weren't quite ready for her, we welcomed her and named her Chessie.

A couple of years later, we moved out to the country and I WISHED we had more cats! Before we knew it, a female came to us pregnant! (By this time I am learning to not wish too hard) My husband named her Spot. Go figure, she was pure gray and not a spot on her. lol I had been off to a quilting retreat so the name stuck. At the same time we had just gotten Alex and Zeke from the shelter. (An orange and white short hair and a long haired orange) Then Spot miscarried two kittens and two weeks later had two, Tikki (a black and gray tabby) and Tucker.(A tuxedo) Alex didn't get along with the others, so a friend fell in love with him and WISHED that she could have him.

One by one they started to dwindle. Spot and Zeke were killed on the road and Tucker vanished and we wonder if he hadn't gotten in a tangle with a coyote. We only had Tikki left and WISHED she wasn't so lonely. I missed Spot as she was my favorite and shortly after, my son gave me Shadow a pure gray just like her that had been a very hungry stray half grown cat.
That same day that Zeke was killed, my friend had found 3 kittens that had been dumped off, she couldn't find homes and the animal shelter wouldn't take them, so Herky, Swiffer and Zack came to stay. A gray and white, a pure black one and a black and gray tabby. I was hoping there was another orange long haired cat but there wasn't. (Sigh, I know, careful what I wish for) Rog missed Tucker our tuxedo cat. Oh dear, he must have WISHED too! As Fritzie became the newest member of the pride! (She was in fact a tuxedo)

In the woods, I would see a couple of orange long haired cats. They were feral, but I couldn't stand to see them go hungry and nearly a year later, when my son came to get Shadow, the more frequent the one orange and white long haired cat came and before long, I was petting him and he finally made his way into our heart and house. We named him Aslan. So the story ends here at this point and I have a feeling that this DREAM of having cats will never be over, as it seems it is a reoccurring one. lol Now with 6 cats in our house, we feel we are at the limit but there seems to be a waiting list. Every night I watch by the tree where I have put out cat food and there is an orange cat, a honey colored cat, a long haired orange and white (possibly Aslan's sister or brother), a black and white, a white cat with black and gray tabby markings, a light gray cat, a dark gray one eyed, one eared cat we named Jack, all come to our outdoor BBQ cat grill. I think that they all see that our house is in the shape of a
cat god with neon lights flashing all awaiting to see the "Vacancy" and diner sign.

They say that wishes and dreams do come true and I can honestly believe them.
My book represents my CAT HOUSE.
NOTE: I had no idea when I posted this, until I happened to look at the date! It's quite ironic as March 2nd was the date my first cat, Tuffy was born in 1963! A coincidence? or meant to be?


Michelle said...

This is wonderful, Wanda. Cats are so special ... as only a true cat person could understand ... and I love that you have touched so many feline lives. You are a gem!

Sweet Somethings by Lois said...

Hi Wanda!
What a wonderful story. I too am a cat woman. Dogs are ok but are definately in the same class as a dog. We have 2 cats, Oscar Baby Fat Cat and Oscar Handsome Fellow Big Guy. Both came via my daughter who left them with us when she left us for her hubby. LOL. My son and his wife rescued a beautiful Siamese a few years ago while camping. It took them a week of coaxing to get her to to come near them. There were a few cat-mills operating in the area and we think she was an escapee. Anyway, long story shortened, they took her home, named her Skyler and a few months later she presented them with 6 chocolate sealpoint and 1 solid black kitten. They had no problem finding homes for the litter. And all these years later Skyler rules the roost in their household.
I believe that God puts cat rescuers where they are needed and I think that you are one of them.
You are a very special breed.
Take care.

Dena said...

Loved your story!! I am a cat lover too. You can see my special kitty on my blog if you get a chance to take a peek. Am bookmarking your blog so I can check back often.

Barb's Blurbs said...

Love the tales (tails?) of your kitties...I have a list at least that long. Right now we have 3 mostly indoor kitties, ranging in age from about 11 to 20. The girls won't tolerate anyone else so I think we are going to have to wait until they are gone to get any new ones. When we go to the pet store for food for the old guy we always stop and visit with the kitties up for adoption and I wish I could bring them all home!

Patty Skypants said...

This saga brings tears to my eyes!! I have ALWAYS loved your kittehs and I'm so glad that I can now see them on your wonderful blog! The book cover is PUURRRRRRfect! Unfortunately, now Bhu wants to have his OWN book cover! "Me needs book cover too! Me iz impawtant kitteh in ur life." Well, yes indeed, you truly are Bhu. xxoo Patty

mandapanda said...

I loved reading your story!! I love cats too, they're the great loves of my life, besides reptiles, and I have 5 in my home at the moment. 3 are my own and 2 are foster cats from CAA, Capricorn Animal Aid, in Australia. You can head to my blog for more info if you'd like, as there's too much I'd love to tell you and I just can't write it all down! lol

mandapanda said...

Thank you for the quilt info!! I might just do as you suggested with the spray!! And yes, in Australia we call it wadding! Strange huh? Did you read that I also now have another kitten?! That now makes 6 in the house! lol
Thank you again! Manda. xx

Judy Alexander said...

Love your book cover especially all of the detail. Great colors!

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...


Your story is wonderful. The cat book is amazing. I love how you painted it. I prefer little dogs but I do find cats really cute too. :)
Can't wait to see the pages that the others will make for the book.

Vintage Soul said...

Love your sweet cats story. They are pretty special creatures.