OK, time for introductions. I'll start with the "Cats" of the title. (I'm cultivating my "dotty old lady with cats" persona.) They're my pets, my companion animals, my sweet little furry darlings (see parenthetical above). I've pretty much always had cats since being on my own, and am of the mind that kitties enhance a home. I'm very partial to black cats (who religiously spend Halloween in the basement) and my cats are Felinus Indoorinus. When I first moved here (Wisconsin) we had a black cat named Ra. We got him when my youngest twolegged baby was about six months old. At the age of about 13 he developed that boykitty feline bladder problem and we had to have him ....helped across the Rainbow Bridge. The Husband (for whom I'm trying to create a new and better designation: he's absolutely a wonder!) and my oldest son went in with him to the vet's office. I and youngest waited in the reception area. The Lovely Daughter stayed home and knitted a little square for under Ra's head and when we got home we buried him in an antique basket with his head on the square and his favorite toys.
Some time later I was at work (English Department, Undergraduate Majors' Office) and one of the TAs came in asking if anyone wanted a cat. She was preggers, said she (!) and she had a little black kitten. The kitten, Othello by name (of course) was wild and energetic and she was worried about introducing him to an infant. I took my sons over to see him - need I say more? Othello came home with us. It was true, he WAS energetic. Bouncing-off-the-walls-literally energetic. We loved him. He was Felinus Indoorinus too, but he was FAST and he could teleport from sleeping in the back bedroom to out the door in the time it took me to slide a hand out to bring in the mail. He took to wearing a figure-8 harness so we'd have something to grab other than a portion of his anatomy, and he still was sometimes successful in making a break.
The kids grew up, moved out, and Othello became my pal, my buddy. In time he became stone-deaf and, by the vet's description, senile. He was adorable, and kept me especially good company in the period when the Husband was spending a lot of time out east caring for his elderly parents. However - the day came when, the day before we were slated to go out of town for a week, and for the first time in his life, he wandered into the study where I was working on the computer, went into the corner of the room and "used his litterbox"....but of course that was NOT his box. I could tell that he thought it was, though - and I knew we couldn't leave him alone so disoriented (Lovely Daughter comes over daily to care for any feline siblings). So the next morning our Kind and Friendly Vet came over....I gave myself errands to run....and at the age of 19 (nineteen!) he slipped over the Rainbow Bridge hardly even waking from his morning nap. When I got home, he was buried - also in an antique basket, nearby his predecessor.
A month later, when Husband was again out of town, Lovely Daughter came over saying "Mom, c'mon, we're going to the Shelter." NOTE: we have a very fine no-kill shelter. We found there a little black kitty. She was tiny, and had been brought to the Shelter with a littermate (they thought) and seven kittens; both mothers were nursing the whole litter, so they didn't know which was born to whom. (Awwwww.) The kittens, of course, had been adopted almost immediately. I don't remember what they were calling her - but "Evangeline" she became. A tiny little kitty with a very long tail. They let me adopt her as an "adult" (cheaper) although I'd guess she was really only about a year old. They also usually require a visit from all family members before letting a pet to go to its new home....but being as I was an old lady, there was only one other person in the household (although out of town) - and our previous cat had lived over 19 years, they allowed as how I was probably a safe bet.
She's not tiny with a long tail any more. She's definitely large-ish and she grew longer as well as rounder so her tail is, if anything, rather short. The Husband says she's my Familiar; I say we're powerful bonded. She is MY kitty, my treasure, my precious. (See parenthetical above.) Not much of a lapcat except on rare occasions, she prefers to wedge herself in behind me on the couch or in my computer chair. She sleeps between my feet at night, knows that dinner is when the Oprah show is over (messes her up on weekends) and is spoiled. Pampered, Cherished. Coddled. I like to say "It's a wonder anyone can even get into the house, with a cat that spoiled." She's pretty hefty, incredibly soft and silky, and when she runs (such as into the kitchen) she has "mommywobbles". Oh, and she has a large white patch between her hind legs which we call "her naughty spot" and a very attractive white locket under her chin.
Best of all? I told her, upon bringing her home, that she is a Knitter's Cat and therefore must be impervious to the blandishments and siren call of any yarn she happens upon - and so she is! Bless her Sacred Aegyptian Heart.
Bonus: A fact about me: I'm an inveterate tea drinker. WITH caffeine. And rubber cream (oh, ok, "liquid non-dairy creamer"). Coffee? Only iced, in the summer - or that incredible thick sweet creamy Thai coffee they sell iced with Pad Thai &c.