Spring 1991 I went to our local SPCA looking for an orange tiger cat. I had been catless since graduating college a little over a year before. The current boyfriend came with me and pointed out a yowling kitten who was hanging on the side of her cage. "Hey this one has an orange leg." Nope I wanted and orange tom cat, cheaper to fix. I walked over to the cage and right away the kitten claws were in my sweater through the bars. She was not letting me get away. So papers were completed and the crazy kitten came home.
I had never had a cat with this coloration - tortishell with tabby stripes, a Torbie they say. I had no idea at the time, but it is well know that these little girl cats come with a very chatty "Torbie-tude." One of our vets said they are the crabby little old ladies of the cat world, and in fact one of Carly's nicknames was Crabby Patty.
As a kitten Carly never walked, she was either running, climbing or asleep. Even when sleeping she seemed to rest with one eye open. This was not a cat you could sneak up on.
Early in her life I almost lost her. My tiny apartment back yard seemed secure enough so I'd let her go outside for bits of time and one evening she didn't come back. She was gone with nothing but a flea collar on. I had written her name and my phone number inside of the flea collar, but other than that she was just a stray cat now.
Our search efforts were in vain, until about 4 months later when a phone call came. Turns out Carly had been living an alternate hippie lifestyle about 10 blocks away and was now know as Daisy. The people who had taken her in never thought to look inside her collar until she began to outgrow it months later.
Carly picked up some street skills during her time living as "Daisy." Over the years she had come to be know as "The O.C." as in The Original Cat. She preferred to be the only cat in our house. Little did I know her preference to be the queen would drive her to murder! Oh she was a clever one, her paws were never bloodied, but other cats were in danger in our house.
First there was Pepper a sweet innocent "Nermal" type. One morning I found his little body in our side yard limp and lifeless. Weeks later I came home to an awful sight my big grey tabby Grady had been attacked by two dogs in my backyard. Turns out they were also responsible for the death of Pepper. Where was Carly in all this? Carly spent her days sleeping on the roof well out of danger. Those dogs? - Hired killers I say!
Once again Carly was the only cat, but life changed again. Divorce. I left the house and yard that Carly loved and left her with my soon to be ex. The ex moved his girlfriend in and her cat, who mysteriously disappeared in a matter of weeks - go figure :o).
I had acquired two kittens (Huey and Bianca) after leaving the house and Carly behind. More than a year later I got a call to come get my cat or she was headed for the pound. Carly and I were reunited once again. Well on my way to being a crazy cat lady I decided three cats was not enough and added a rabbit to the mix.
Carly laid low for several years. I think she was gaslighting Bianca. Bianca was an odd eyed white beauty with a personality disorder. Carly knew how to push her buttons. Over the years Bianca became so badly behaved that she became our "garage kitty." I'll never know exactly what happened, but Bianca went missing and was found later curled up on the front porch. She looked peaceful, but was indeed dead with not a scratch on her. Carly seemed pleased. The rabbit was next in a matter of months.
Huey was a big dopey Black and White cat who greeted everyone at the door. Our little family met a wonderful man who had his own cat Xeno. Next came marriage and we all moved in together. Xeno was 3 years older than Carly with failing eyesight and poor hearing. I don't know if Xeno ever knew there were two other cats in the house. Carly decided to live in the basement at first. Huey avoided Xeno and it seemed like everyone was happy. Poor Huey got sick, some sort of cancer. I tried to treat it for a while, but he was miserable. I don't think I can blame Carly for Huey's illness, but she sure was happy to have him gone.
Carly came out of the basement and Xeno still did not notice her. Carly would arch her back and hiss at Xeno as he calmed walked by her. She didn't know what to think. Surely this ultra cool cat was some sort of ninja! Xeno was a large smokey black cat with a siamese face and yowl. Eventually age got the better of Xeno and he passed at the ripe old age of 21.
For a couple of weeks after Carly found herself all alone in the house she would walk by Xeno's bed and hiss. Carly finally discovered she had cleared the building and came out of the basement for good. Now that the house was clear she was going to take on the yard. At 7 pounds and shrinking Carly had a big cat voice and the spunk to put up a good act. We did not let her fight the neighborhood cats or the friend's dogs who only wanted to cuddle up to her or play. Lucky Carly Kitty she got to live out her last years as the queen of the castle, eating all of the tuna she could keep down.
Our dear friend Jane watched over Carly while we took our summer trip to the beach. Jane made up a little song to sing to Carly:
Carly is a pretty kitty
She’s a pretty kitty, Carly kitty.
Carly doesn’t have a kidney.
It’s a bummer not to have a kidney.
Carly has a bunch of tumors.
It’s a bummer to have lots of tumors.
Carly says it sucks to get old.
It really sucks to get old Carly kitty.
We will miss you Carly kitty.
We will truly miss you Carly kitty.
Carly is a pretty kitty.
She’s a pretty kitty, Carly kitty.
Isn't that the sweetest?? I loved it. I had heard it before without the "we will miss you" part. Carly loved it too, just like an old crabby sarcastic lady would!
Oh, and "Hi" ICLWers . . . Really it's not always like this, but my cat just died and I'd rather not think about how long we have waited for an adoptive placement or the 4 babies we have lost. And back to the emotional discussion hubby and I had. Hubby said he has not differentiated waiting for this child from waiting for a successful pregnancy or delivery. He said he's been waiting for four years already :o(. I guess I forgot while I was "doing" this or that treatment, he's been waiting for our baby. And so we continue to wait.