Thursday, November 1, 2012

Santa Claws & Rico

Originally written on August 24, 2011

About two weeks after Snowball's disappearance, my Mom and I decided to adopt two new cats from the animal shelter. Some time ago we even thought of one day to promise to adopt an adult cat because they need homes too. You would always hear the sad story of adults being harder to adopt compared to kittens/puppies. I didn't want to be one of those people, especially know that after a short while, those adults would be put down to sleep all because no one wants to take them home, despite being healthy or home-trained. Once the decision was made, mom and I went to the animal shelter and we checked out all the cats...and I even found an all white one that looked just like Snowball...only except the cat was named Blizzard and it was a HE! Nope, not her. The heart sank because I was also on a lookout for her in case someone thought to bring her in. We've decided on a kitten and an adult cat so we looked and looked- first was the kitten. There were a few potentials and I was looking at the top cages, oohing and awwing, but I kept feeling this paw holding on to my hand and licking it! I looked down and there were a few more kittens in the bottom cage, wanting my attention. This one cat just kept licking me, holding on to my hand and already I was bitten by the love bug...but I had more cats to look at and I didn't want to make that final decision just yet. I checked his collar for his ID number, making a mental note. We looked at more cats, adults as well, until Mom stopped dead in her tracks staring into an adult cat's face- it looked just like her own childhood cat Misty with the same colorings. Mom was bitten by the love bug. We took note of the adult cat's ID and brought it to the people who then had us wait (ugh!) for a good hour or so while they dealt with other costumers before us and then eventually taking our two new cats to have them checked out, be given a little chip to ID them in case anybody brought them in as missing. We already knew what their names will be. Mom really liked the name Santa Claws as a play of Santa Claus, she thought it was cute and it was in her mind for quite some time so the name was set. I picked Rico after Penquins of Madagascar because he was my favorite penquin. Rico the Penquin didn't talk much (he couldn't really, only can make out a word or two but other than that it's rambling) plus he also stores all the Penquins' needs for their adventures or everyday use in his stomach- he would barf it up for anyone who needed something.

Santa Claws was two, she turned 3 in June, the same month we adopted her and Rico. Rico was 2 months old when we adopted him and was a stray, his original name was Champ, probably given by the animal shelter. Santa Claws, her orignial name was Spice and that's the name she will never be called, probably stirs up bad memories for her. We discovered by just feeling her body alone that she had been through hell with her previous owners. Her skin under the fur feels like it's been through the ringer with bumps and whiplashes. One time I was rubbing her tummy and her ribs felt weird, not like what ribs should feel like. I had Ingrid feel them and with her knowledge of these kinds of things as well as owning a past-abused dog herself, she knew that Santa's ribs were self-healed. My mom even noticed that Santa's tail is not quite right- probably been stepped on and I don't mind by accidental purposes. That first week we got her, I innocently walked into the bathroom and found Santa in the bathroom's sink which I thought was so cute! But I saw the look in her eyes and I have never seen that look before in a cat's eyes- her pupils, instead of being oval with sharp pointed ends, they were circles. I've learned that their eyes get like that when they get TERRIFIED. She was TERRIFIED...but I comforted her, she had no reason to feel terrified, she's in a good home. It took a good two weeks before she started to venture out of Mom's closet more to explore. Now, it's been two months later and there's such a big change in Santa. I think she now knows that she's in a good home and she's here to stay. Santa did take me and Ingrid in but was wary with my mom; we all assumed that it could be because of the previous owner...Mom thinks it's because of her dark hair but I think that's not the case: I have dark hair and Santa is fine with me. I think, and Ingrid thinks this as well, that Santa was afraid of Mom due to Mom's overweight gain. I think the previous owner was an overweight person so Santa's afraid. But these days, and I'm glad to say, Santa has been warming up to my mother. Ironically, Santa does love Mom's room a lot- she's in there a lot of times- she'll visit my room and hang out for a while but a good 80% of the time she would be found in mom's room! I believe that by Christmas time of this year, Santa will be my Mom's best friend, glue to her hip.

Rico is a great little guy but he can be, pardon my french, a little shit. Quite a number of times he has peed in my beanbag- not happy about that and I had to shove that thing into the washing machine! Now I cover my beanbag with throw pillows to keep him from using it as his own little litter box. He has also peed in my clean clothes in the laundry basket that were waiting for me to put away (you can blame my procastination on that one) but it really upset me because he was a type of cat that would use the laundry basket full of clothes as a sleeping bed, not a litter box! (Snowball used to use the laundry as a bed, Missy occasionally too) So I had to redo my clothes, not once but twice! At different times of course...Rico also can poop out some real good stinkers. My girls (Snowball, Missy, and Santa Claws) have done stinkers before that would drift to a room, but Rico's, oh man, that can cover the WHOLE HOUSE!!!! I'm not kidding! So whenever he does his business, one of us would be sure to quickly go in there to cover it with baking soda to kill the smell. How can such a little thing can creat such a BIG smell? That baffles me! Harri LOVES Rico, I think Harri thinks of Rico as HIS kitten, we even went as far as saying that Harri is Rico's father- Harri has been known to give Rico the "I" tooth to keep him in line, to behave himself whenever Rico gets really hyper and doesn't know when to quit it. They also have slept together, even cuddled a few times! Wow. Harri also lets Rico get away with murder when it comes to attacking his tail or his nose or whatever, but I do believe that Harri knows that Rico is very young and means no harm but he does get carried away. Harri is also very protective of Rico- whenever he sees Santa lurking by, he's quick to stand by his little buddy.

But I love my little boy and I love my little girl. Sure they are not Snowball but I do see Snowball, and Missy, in their characters. I think of Rico as Snowball, Jr. most of all while Santa reminds me a lot of Missy but with a little Snowball thrown in. But most important, both Santa and Rico are themselves, they are their own person in fur coats.

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