I wish I had individual pictures, but alas I lost my camera along with everything else. So, I'm going to start with the one who kind of started it all, Stevie or as I call her little lady, or also mama. As I tell these stories you'll see that they all have nicknames.
When Derek and I moved to our apartment in Erie, where I lived until I left, our neighbors had a broken down white van in their driveway. You know the kind ladies, the kind of van you run away from in a dark alley. Anyway, lots of stray cat activity went on in our backyard and under that van. I was still smoking cigs at the time, and I will never forget the first time I saw Stevie. She was in my yard, she couldn't have been more than a year old, maybe less. I called out to her, and it was the cutest thing ever to see her running up the stairs. It must have been her first time. She was not shy at all. She came right to me, and I was totally charmed. She was going back and fourth between me and my neighbors, trying to charm her way into a home. She has this cute hoarse meow, like she had a few too many cigs herself. I would always hear her meow when I would step outside, and she would meow all the way up the stairs, as if she was saying, "wait, don't go inside, I'm on my way" At the time Dylan was the only cat I had, and so I started the arduous task of begging Derek to let me bring her inside. It was not easy, but I was not giving up, it was going to happen. Derek has no patience for me talking, so I just talked, and talked, and bugged and cried until he agreed.
When we first brought her in, she hissed at Dylan and hid under the couch. I was worried that she wouldn't like living inside, but a mere two or three hours later, she was sleeping on the couch and thinking furniture was the best invention ever! She and Dylan became fast friends, and were up until his death. By the second day it was as if she had always been part of the family. She had no interest or desire to ever be outside again.
A few weeks after we adopted her, we noticed that she had put on a few pounds, and at first chalked it up to more food, less running around the neighborhood. However, much to Derek's chagrin, it became obvious she was pregnant. What did we expect, there were tons of stray cats in my old neighborhood. I was stoked, Derek was pissed.
When she had her babies, I was right there with her. Animal was the first born. She was the best mom I've ever seen. She took to her babies, and she was loving and sweet from the jump.
Stevie loves her belly rubbed. Most cats I've known are iffy about belly rubs, but Stevie flops down at your feet and demands rubs with her hoarse meow. She loves crunchy cat food, and is unbelievably picky about wet food. She loves cat nip. She is also the BIGGEST FLIRT you will ever meet in your life. She LOVES men. Once Derek moved out of Erie, my house became a man free zone, and so when someone like an internet guy comes over, look out, you are getting loved and also expect to be covered in Stevie fur, cause she's rubbing your leg relentlessly.
I am so grateful that Stevie adopted me. I think Dylan was lonely, and they bonded quickly, and she brought so much Joy to my life herself and through her babies.
Towards the end of Dylan's life, I know that she provided him with much love and also body heat. She would always sleep next to him, and if any of the "youngsters" were too rambunctious around Dylan, she would swat them away. Seeing that friendship was really special.
|Stevie AKA Little Lady AKA Mama|
I wish everyone could meet Stevie.
As anyone reading my blog knows, I have started a GoFundMe campaign to try to help get my babies back. I am overwhelmed by the donations and support. It's helping me to keep fighting. It's a battle to not succumb to my depression, but the support and generosity are keeping that flicker of hope alive.
This was painful, but yet amazing to write about her. I want to talk about them endlessly, I want to write books and books about how amazing my cats are, and how they saved me not the other way around. So, thanks for reading, and walking down memory lane.