TBT: Today is a grand holiday of fun and mischief, and I hope all of you have a wonderful time with little kids in costumes coming around tonight. They don't come through this neighborhood anymore. Mostly, for me, it is a day of remembrance. You see, today is the 19th anniversary of Skeeter's Gotcha Day and the 18th anniversary of LC's Gotcha Day.
I got Skeeter on this day in 1992 on a whim. There was an old fashioned pet store on the back street of my town, and I stopped by on the way home from work. The place was a renovator's nightmare. The same day in 1993, I got LC. at the same place. It was a lot calmer then.
When I started cat-blogging in 2006, both of them were elderly, but it was a new exciting adventure for us. Skeeter went over the Bridge in December 2008. LC followed him in January 2010. But I kept a cat diary many years of them and before them. Please recall that this is what was written In a diary, before I blogged. though it IS what I blogged later. I hope that makes sense.
I think I will copy the first Halloween days of our blog to remember this date...
(From The Big Thing's Cat Diary, 1992)
heard of the enjoyment that some other cats have gotten from having a
playmate, I decided to get a playmate for my adult cat Tinkerbelle in
Fall 1992. I had in mind finding a female Siamese (my family had female
Siamese cats when I was young, and I seem to get along better with
female cats than males), but I ended up with an orange male kitten!
Halloween Day, I passed a pet store I hadn't noticed previously. Upon
entering, I was assailed by commotion, noise, and a multitude of workers
busily engaged in renovating the entire shop. As I turned to leave,
the owner told me they were quite open for business and asked what I was
looking for. It turned out that the only kitten available was an
orange tabby male. What a sight! The poor thing had been alone in a
small cage and engulfed in dust, noise, and strange people for over a
week. He clung to me and cried; my heart went out to him and I brought
purr-fect! My Halloween cat was orange and was born (as near as can be
determined) on the 4th of July. It took two days before he would come
anywhere near me, but by getting down on hands and knees (closer to eye
level), I eventually got to scratch him on the head. Talk about a
complete change! After that, I couldn't get him away from me for weeks!
I learned that any approach from above panicked him, especially
combined with a reaching out (and down) of hands. I concluded that he
was abused by humans as a kitten and feared hands! The noise and dust
from the pet shop renovation seemed to have him permanently afraid of
sudden noises. It seems that, even when I buy a kitten, it has been
psychologically harmed. From that rough beginning, we have become
His name took some time to discover. I worked on
his orange/white color, his Halloween adoption date and his 4th of July
birthdate. I finally decided that he hung around me like a mosquito, so
I named him Skeeter.
Tinkerbelle did not take to Skeeter as I did. Poor little Skeeter
wanted nothing more than to become friends with Tinker, but she would
bat him and drive him away. He put up with that for months before he
gave up trying to curl up next to her or eat out of the same food bowl.
He was happiest when draped over my shoulder like a bag of sugar,
purring away. While Tinker was my companion from our times of troubles,
Skeeter became my favorite cat. He is so friendly and affectionate.
When we are outside together, he wants to stay nearby.
became a dedicated lap cat! If I sit down for a minute, he is there to
hop up and curl up on my lap. He will even leave a heated waterbed in
preference for my lap and some scratching. Sometimes his eyes roll up
from the pleasure of being scratched around the head. One time, I think
he actually passed out from it.
There’s a little bit of a
saber-tooth cat gene in Skeeter. His upper fangs extend beyond his
lower jaw! It is so cool to rub my finger along his jaw and feel the
tooth points. It’s a good thing he’s not a “biter”! He has got to be
the friendliest, easy-going, person-oriented cat ever. And so handsome
with his symmetrical white boots and chest. Too bad he is so afraid of
strangers and noise; he’d have been a non-purebred ribbon-winner at any
(From The Big Thing's Cat Diary, 1993)
LC came to me on Halloween 1993. I decided that the reason Tinkerbelle
and Skeeter didn't play together was because of Tinker's age and
solitary habits. I took a chance and decided to get a playmate for
Skeeter since he was still young. Going back to the same pet store
where I got Skeeter, I found two kittens in a cage: One was an utterly
cute and friendly calico, while the other was aloof and tried to hide.
You guessed it, I ended up with the aloof one! It took two of us to
unhook her claws from the screen cage and get her into a box (the calico
was already promised to another customer). LC is a “tuxedo” female.
As with Skeeter, it took 2 days to get her to come near me, but she is
not as oriented to me as Skeeter is. Partly, that's because she
fulfilled expectations of being a playmate to Skeeter!
is a cat's cat! She and Skeeter hit it off at once and have become
nearly inseparable. Skeeter is her "big brother". They play together
constantly; he lets her bunnykick to her heart's content (she doesn't
seem to hurt him very much) and she is just feisty enough to make up for
his advantage in size and weight. She doesn't care to be held like
Skeeter does, but she has learned that I have magic fingers that please
Her name comes from her black/white markings. She
has a strong resemblance to a cow (so I thought of Elsie from Borden's).
From "Elsie", came the letters "LC", which in turn stands for "Little
I had to do quite a lot for her health those first few
months. Her black cowl extends below her eyes, so I didn't suspect at
first that the beautiful black color inside her ears was the result of a
serious ear mite infestation. It took several visits to the vet and
drops/cleaning by me twice a day for weeks before that
cleared up. Possibly as a result, she then developed an infection in
both eyes. Her eyelids would seal shut from dried "stuff" every time
she slept. I didn't notice that until I realized she was moving around
uncertainly and finding her food by smell rather than sight (her black
face and very dark eyes make it hard to tell when her eyes are open).
The poor little thing was going around blind until I got home each
evening and dabbed her eyelids clean with water each day. It took over a
week of antibiotics before the problem cleared up! After that,
she turned out to have worms, which meant that Tinker and Skeeter
certainly had gotten them as well. I had to dose the bunch of them!
a good start for a pretty kitty, but she got over it all. The vet
receptionist calls her "Lucky Cat" because the vet said that most people
would have returned her to the pet store, which would have been the end
LC is a frog-hunter, for some odd reason. She loves
them as toys and as food. Skeeter will go sniff one of her frogs
sometimes, but they aren’t warm-blooded and he can’t seem to see them as
alive if they don’t move. LC knows, though. She loves live baitfish,
too. She didn’t learn it from another cat; it’s all her own discovery!
has a weakness for being scratched under the chin. She’s quite
affectionate as long as she is not being held, which she will not
The present... That's the original stories of Skeeter and LC, my original blogging cats. I think of them many days, but mostly this day. They each had their own Bridge Days, but Halloween was their common Gotcha Day and I always try to remember THIS day for that reason.
Skeeter was "the cat of my life". I couldn't imagine him dying... But he did. To this day almost 3 years later, I cannot read of any cat going over the Bridge and not cry for him. He wasn't my first cat, and I cherished the ones who came before. I loved LC, but she was HIS cat by my deliberate actions. It was months after Skeeter left us that she came on my lap for the first times.