Sanna's Bag

“I never seem to have what I need when I need it. I’m going to make a belt-bag that’s bigger on the inside than on the outside, and just carry everything with me.”

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Lo these many years ago

We almost never get brand-new kitties.  Most of our cats have been second-hand.  Years ago we took in a cat from a friend who was a biker, and who said, "If that cat doesn't stop peeing on my stuff I'm going to have to use him for target practice."  Thus we acquired Bosco Benvenutti, the polar cat.  He had been discovered as a kitten in Denali Park in Alaska by the biker's sister.  He subsequently spend several years with her as an indoor-outdoor cat in a rough neighborhood of Washington DC (I think of those as his war years.) She moved to finer digs where she couldn't keep cats, so her brother took the old boy in.  And then he came to us.

I thought of Bosco as an old peasant who knew that we didn't want him peeing on things, but couldn't see any reason to stop.  But, whenever we fed him, he would first rub his face against our feet in gratitude.  And as a lap cat, he was superb, purring like a small diesel engine and gazing at us with adoring eyes, saying in his own cat fashion, "Thank you for not hurting me.  Thank you for feeding me and taking care of me. Thank you for warmth and safety and kindness."

So we lived with his nasty habits, putting clear Contact paper on the walls and furniture, and using quantities of Nature's Miracle pet deodorizer. The first year we had him, he felt impelled to spray the Christmas tree early and often.  Cat urine dissolves the paint off Christmas tree ornaments.  From then on, as long as Bosco lived with us, we put the tree too high for him to pee on.  End of that problem.  He sometimes sat and gazed wistfully up at it, but we were able to arrange it so he couldn't get his tail end high enough unless he stood on his front paws.  And he never tried that.

But we had all those perfectly good, if nasty, ornaments.  So I put on my rubber gloves, got a bucket of hot water with bleach, and scrubbed them clean.  The paint slipped off like the skin off blanched peaches. Then I had a bunch of clear glass ornaments.  Feeling crafty, I sprayed them white with a rattle can, then took black paint and put faces on them.  I now have a host of quirky little faces peering through the branches of my Christmas tree.

Bosco has finally gone to that great lap in the sky, but whenever I decorate for Christmas, I think of him.


  • At 10:35 AM , Blogger Rose L said...

    Yes, those of us who love cats will often put up with things. When people left boxes of kittens on my front porch, I would get their first set of shots, have them fixed (do not want more boxes) and find good homes. I would tell the parents that if they could not keep the cat, return it to me. Only 1 ever came back.

  • At 5:52 PM , Blogger Timothy Young said...

    That's a very sweet story.
    Bravo for recycling the ornaments Perhaps there's a market for cat spray as an organic paint remover. On second thought, perhaps not.

  • At 5:16 AM , Blogger Saren Johnson said...

    Good kitty memories.

  • At 7:33 AM , Blogger Galad said...

    How lucky that kitty was to find such a good home. I always figure that if we give a cat a home, it is ours to deal with whatever comes. Speaking of which, I need to get more odor neutralizer :-)

    Christmas trees can be such a wonderful walk down memory lane as you hang the ornaments.

  • At 2:10 PM , Blogger Willow said...

    Sweet(?)memories of a feisty old cat. Love your simile :)

  • At 5:00 AM , Blogger Donna Lee said...

    It's been almost 2 years that we've been cat free (after 30 years of having cats!) and I must say I miss having them around. This past weekend, I swear I felt the flump of a cat jumping on the bed in the early morning hours. It woke me from a sound sleep but of course, no cat was there. I think it's one of my friends nudging me to remind me of how much I loved them and how very often I miss them.

  • At 1:18 PM , Anonymous tlbw said...

    Donna Lee, even with 4 resident living cats, the ghost cats still jump onto the bed some nights.
    Roxie, I remember Bosco well. I have only ladies right now; they are less prone to pee on things. Even if you get a male neutered in a timely manner (ie as soon as possible!) they still tend toward this behavior, as you well know.

  • At 8:46 PM , OpenID heideho said...

    You are such a kind and accomodating cat host. I love you all the more after reading this. Bosco was lucky to have found his way to you, however twisted the road was. Your faces are avante garde and the story is priceless.


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