Here’s my entry for Ailsa’s Travel Theme challenge this week: Animals.
I have two cats: Sissi and Pixie.
Well, we’ve always had cats in the Philippines before. So many of them I’ve lost count but they were all semi-feral cats, they were all in and out of the house. In many countries, cats are free to roam around so it came as a surprise to me when I got my own because they are indoor cats.
Here is a background how I got my cats. When we bought our second house, there were so many plug-ins around. The seller said not to remove them otherwise I will have a problem with mice. Well it didn’t prevent them from coming. After a year of paying Orkin, I thought they didn’t work very well either. That’s when my aunt suggested we get a mouser. She said we will always have mice if we don’t get a cat because the location of our house used to be a cornfield.
My co-worker’s mother-in-law had a couple of cats who were not spade and she was more than happy to give me a kitty. She was so white when I first got her but as she grew older, she turned gray except for her white socks. I didn’t know what to do with her as I’ve never been that close to a cat despite having several when I was a child.
I named her Sissi because I just returned from our tour of Germany when she was given to me and she reminded me of Princess Sissi. If she had been a person, she’d be a very regal lady, a real princess in so many ways.
We started the wrong way. I tried to give her a bath every week which she hated until she got too strong for me and I couldn’t do it anymore. In trying to defy nature, I thought if I did it she’d turned to water like a duck. In short it didn’t work.
When I first got her I locked her out of my bedroom but she would cry constantly and would jump on the door knob trying to open the door. Eventually I accepted the fact that cats are made to be with humans. She followed me everywhere. When I would run around the yard she’d try the same thing although she didn’t like the grass blades touching her belly and then like a child she’d cry. Mom and I felt so bad for her as we thought she’s lonely with just humans around.
So one day Mom suggested we get her a playmate. This time we adopted one from a shelter in Lansing, Michigan. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her photo online. We drove four hours each way to pick her up. In fact it was in October 2003, we got Sissi in July the same year.
The shelter was a small cottage owned by a lady who chain-smoked. She had cats everywhere – there must be around 60 of them. The house just smelled of cats. She was in a cat tree staring blankly in the window. She was so small I could put her on my palm and she didn’t move from her perch. Boy, but did she cry when we finally took her home. She didn’t stop crying from Lansing to Chicago and we had to make a couple of stops as she reeked of smoke and whatever. I brought with me some cat wet towels and wiped her several times but it didn’t help. The moment we reached home I gave her a bath. Unlike Sissi, this one was not afraid of water. I guess she didn’t like her smell either.
We called her Pixie because of her colors. Even as a kitten, she was already beautiful but got plenty of character. Having come from a shelter, she was street smart. Despite her diminutive size, she could climb any barrier you put in her way. I tried to lock her in our guest room to give time to Sissi to get adjusted to her presence but she cried and cried all night. On the fourth day we just let her loose.
Sissi wasn’t too happy at first. She kept smelling her behind but in the end she won her over. They are now very close to each other and they get along very well. Oftentimes, they would bathe each other but Pixie loves to eat and Sissi would just let her have her way.
Pixie has grown to be a tramp but just the perfect lap cat. When you call Sissi, Pixie would be ahead of her in a minute. When you throw them scraps of cheese which they like, Pixie could have as many while Sissi could hardly have one before Pixie takes it away from her.
Sissi and Pixie are very quiet cats. The only time they’d talk is when they are hungry or they get locked out or in a room accidentally but their meow is so soft that most of the times you could hardly hear it.
They hate dogs even if the dog is smaller than them. So they are just as happy being indoor than encounter their mortal enemy outside.
As to their original mission, Pixie turned out to be the mouser; Sissi is most likely to run away at the sight of one.