It's crazy that I've been blogging for almost six months now and I haven't introduced two members of our household! My calico is named Camilla. She is 10(!) this month, and I've had her for just over eight years. I got her from the Humane Society in Colorado Springs - which is a bit funny because she's the only cat I've ever had that didn't come from a farm, and I actually *paid* a fee to get her - she is worth every bit of it, too.
When I was going to pick out a cat, I had a short list of names that I liked, one of which was Camilla. (Remember Gonzo's chicken from the Muppets?) I walked around and looked at all the cats, and Camilla - which was her actual name - stood up and pressed her little black nose against the glass, meowing. It was all over in that second. I looked at a few others, but she was it for me.
I brought her home, and she hid under my bed for about a week! Thankfully she came out to eat, use the litter box, and explore while I was gone. Turns out she's a very sweet but super fraidy cat, and I'm lucky to have her.
She didn't care so much for our move from Colorado Springs, as new things are not her favorite, and she also wasn't too sure about our move to the house where Hubs and I now live. Plus, a few months after we got here, HE moved IN. (We got married, you know!) I think her ability to cope was somewhat helped along by the fact that him being here means that there is meat in the house all the time. :>)
Fast forward to August of 2005. Hubs called me at work and asked me to pick up some milk replacer at the vet - he'd taken in some abandoned kittens. They were probably about 2.5-3 weeks old, two white and one tabby. We'd recently seen the movie "Napoleon Dynamite" and so the white ones were named Napoleon and Kip while the tabby was Pedro.
We bottle fed those fluff balls for about a month before taking them to the barn. We'd had some trial runs ("day care" we called it) but after Labor Day weekend, I tucked them into the barn for the night and went home. Back then, I went to the farm twice a day to feed cats, usually stopping on my way to work in the morning and then going back late afternoon/evening. That Tuesday morning, I went early so I could give the little ones bottles. By this point, we'd figured out that "Napoleon" was a girl, and so we shortened it to "Nappy".
When I got to the barn, the big cats met me but no little ones. I finally found Nappy's hiding spot and she was so scared she was trembling. The other two were gone, and I still don't know what happened, but I sure cried as I brought Nappy back home that morning. Much to Camilla's (and Hubs's - and my mother's) dismay, she's been a fixture in our family ever since.
Nappy has mitten paws or, well, thumbs. Hubs and I have shared many a joke about that over the few years we've had her. Camilla is the brains while Nappy is the opposable thumbs, that sort of thing. I also tease Hubs about being her mama cat since he's the one that agreed to take them in, and I say she's his cat. (He strongly disagrees.)
Perhaps the best, most amusing thing is the Goose's love for kitties and especially Nappy. I suppose it's due in part to Camilla's high-strung-ed-ness (did I just make up a word?) and Nappy's more easygoing personality that makes her not care so much about the baby goose rolling over her, thumping her, grabbing handfuls of fur, etc. In fact, Goose's first actual word that she actually connected with a thing was "Nap" - and I don't mean her daytime siestas.
In fact, Goose's beloved stuffed animals are a take off of Nappy. When she was just learning to talk, she referred to everything she loved as "Nappy". Her papa and I needed a way to distinguish the striped cat from the polar bear, so they became "Nappy Cat" and "Nappy Bear". None of which would make sense nor have come about without the thumbed kitty herself.