there were five cats that came in from a private "cat rescue" who was having trouble with landlords over the 150 cats in a one bedroom apartment. we took 5 senior cats..covered in lice, ringworm, fleas and all with very sore mouths. they were jacob, pops, hester, mae and boo.
pops and jacob were simply velcro cats...they always had to be touching you.
jacob was FIV positive and lived for riding around on your shoulders. he could leap across the room and land square on top of you. this was because he had excellent landing gear and would sink his claws deep into your skin to hold on.
pops was the icky drooling one, he also was FIV positive...he always had a slimey waterfall of drool dripping down from his mouth. but good lord that cat was so sweet. he sat on the counter, staring you wiith such adoration in his eyes as he reached out to touch you somewhere.
hester and mae were just nice, gentle cats. they were polite and not as in your face as pops and jacobs but they loved affection none the less. they just both had a bit more dignity when seeking it out than our love starved boys.
the cats ranged in age from boo at 12 to pops at 15...all of them died within the first three of years except boo...i think she was just too mean.
she was so angry and utterly pissed right off. i don't know if it was just her temperment or if it was because she was de-clawed. but if there was a more ill tempered cat who had absolutely no use for stupid humans...well, i never met one.
i think it was three full years before i ever touched her without wiping blood off of me. and boo would purposely put herself right under my nose so every time i fell for her tricks.
she was like suzie...she liked being bad..it made her happy for some odd reason. maybe she was getting even for someone cutting off her toes but she sure enjoyed making me pay.
finally, a couple of years ago...boo and i became friends. i was allowed to touch her kindly once or twice and then i was to withdraw my hand. from then on she quit biting me...her whacking at me with her feet became sort of a game. i would be late for work and digging around in my sock drawer and she would lay leaning over and watching while whacking me with her feet.
and she whacked hard...it was like a mini punch...ker-thump, you felt the force of her blow.
but she enjoyed beating me up, she thought it was all in good fun.
i have always had a soft spot for animals rescued from rescuers...i can deal with the fact that the ignorant world at large hurt them, neglected them, caused them pain..but i can't wrap my brain around them suffering the same in rescue.
the plague cats (and the americats and the forgotten feline cats) remind me to watch my own limits. to make sure that i am really doing them some kind of favor. they keep themselves forever as the saints guardians to ensure that ones who come after are always safe from me causing them harm.
the passing of boo is the passing on an era, in a few more months, she would have been seventeen....the plague cats have always had a presence at saints, almost since the day we started.
i just wanted to tell their story, lest i ever fall and forget.
they were all very good cats...i will always remember you.