Happy Birthday to my Boys

Sunday, October 25, 2009
It's a bit late but today I'm celebrating a birthday. Two in fact. Nope, not mine nor the Admiral's. It's for my cats. I'm sure some of you non-pet owners out there are rolling your eyes thinking the Captain has finally lost it; she's sniffed too much catnip and she's walked right off the plank. Don't worry, I don't go crazy and dress up my kittehs in party hats and invite their "friends" over for tuna-flavoured cake and ice cream. All I do is show them some extra love, let them get away with a few things they wouldn't normally get away with and for a treat, they share a can of tuna.

Here are my boys. Don't they look adorable? And that's pretty much how they always look when they're sleeping. Anubis ('Nubi') curls up while crazy Nero stretches out on his back, legs akimbo.

Nubi was the first cat I ever welcomed into my home once I was out on my own. This year he turns 11 which, according to this website, means he's 60 (or is he 12?). Holy bejeebus. He's still got a lot of energy for someone so old. And to be fair, I didn't chose him, he chose me. Here's the story of how we came to be family: back in '99 I was living with a friend, her husband, and their three cats after graduating from university. One night, my friend was kept up by the sound of a cat meowing outside our townhouse all night long. By morning it had stopped and she figured whoever owned it had let the cat back inside. We got up, ate breakfast and decided to head out to the gym. We made our way to her minivan and she opened the driver's door. From under the car beside her came a supersonic grey flash that shot into the warmth of the van. When we got over the shock we looked down and curled up on the passenger side (right in front of me) was the cutest little kitten you had ever seen. And the loudest. I couldn't get over how powerful his purr was for something so tiny. We ended up forgetting about the gym and bringing the little fellow inside where it didn't take much convincing for my friend's husband to agree to let me keep him. I quickly named him Anubis - I was going though an Egyptology phase at the time and his face (as a kitten) looked oddly similar to that of the jackyl headed god Anubis. Ever since that day, he's slept in, on or under my bed pretty much every night and loves to snuggle under the covers. Definately not a lap cat (unlike his bigger, younger brother), he loves people food especially porkchops and chedder cheese.

Nero's story is quite a bit different. In 2001, I moved out of my friend's place and into an apartment on my own once again. A lot less space for little Nubs to run around in but perfect for just the two of us. After a couple of months on our own, I came home to a very sick looking Nubi. His eyes were all black and watery, his meow was tortured and horrific. We instantly went to see the kitteh doctor who had no clue what was going on other than he had lost 1/4 of his body weight. Fortunately, they kept him overnight and the vet on call had seen a similar case in a dog a few weeks earlier. It turns out my baby boy had laryngitis. Whew. That we could deal with. When I explained the recent changes to our living arrangements, the vet smiled. He's lonely, she said. Chances are he was wandering around the apartment meowing, thinking he had been abandoned once again and was bored with no one to interact with (cat or human). Solution? Get him a playmate. Enter Nero.

The daughter of a coworker owned a farm where her cat had had a litter of kittens a while ago and wanted to give them away rather than put them down (hello! get your pets spayed and neutered!). Perfect timing once again. She showed up at my apartment with the tiniest little ball of long orange fur sitting in her palm. I was stunned by how tiny he was. And his hair was soooo long. The poor little fellow was scared of his wits thanks to the drive into the city without a cat carrier, a personality trait that he has maintained to this day. Nero and Nubi got on famously from the moment I set the newest addition to our family on the floor. He took a little longer to name as I really wanted something to capture his personality. It soon became obvious that he was just a wee bit on the crazy side. Combined with his fire-coloured fur, Nero seemed like an appropriate choice. He quickly outsized his older adopted brother both in length, height, and definately in weight (massive is the word I use to describe him). A true farm cat, Nero has massive paws that seem to contain every single pound of his bulk in their little toes. Especially when he stands on your boobs in the middle of the night waiting for some attention. Even with me, he's skittish when you put your hands towards his head (makes me wonder what happened before he got to my place) but once he realizes you're not going to beat him senseless, he's a definate lap cat who loves to have his belly rubbed and likes to be held like a baby (yes, he's bizarre). This year Nero turned 8 (or is it 9?) which means he's 50-ish.

Nero arrived around the beginning of July, Nubi was October 12. Generally, they get a communal can of tuna in October around Thanksgiving for both their birthdays. I don't know how I missed it this year but there you go. My little furry family. Happy birthday boys.


Wandering Coyote said...

What great post! I love it! I really enjoyed reading the stories. I do something similar with Juno on the anniversary of when I adopted her, so no, you are not crazy! Where would we be without our kittehs?

Heather said...

Cat birthdays are an excellent excuse to have cake. I think you and the Admiral should indulge!

sp said...

Happy Birthday to your kitties. What great stories of how they came into your life. They look so content.

We do a similar celebration for our kitties when their birthdays come up as well.

mister anchovy said...

Nice cats!

Milla said...

Happy birthday!! Oh I just love these stories!

And I agree with Heather ;)

tweetey30 said...

That is a great contribution to your boys.. Hope they enjoyed there tuna..

SME said...

Awww, what great stories and pics. They seem to be living like an emperor and a god, so you named them well! Happy birthdays, guys!

Sophie turned three last month, which I think makes her a little older then me in bunny years.
Richard's folks have a 22-year-old cat (also a Sophie) who's as spry and limber as a kitten when she wants to be. Cats absolutely amaze me sometimes.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Happy birthday, kittehs! Mine's is February 28 and yes she gets a little gift every year.

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