The Cat House

Carlene Carmen, South Carolina, United States

We moved into a nice 3-bed, 2-bath home from living in a 3-bed, 2-bath trailer that we enjoyed but were renting. (Both were in the same town.) Our gracious landlords decided to downgrade to a small home near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, from Conway, South Carolina, where we rented from them. It was a nice trailer home with a screened porch for our feathered friend, a blue parakeet we named MoMo. But they were selling the property so we looked for a house in 2014.

We found a suitable one with a big shed in the back, with a 1-acre lot, and we got it. A couple months after settling in, a grayish, older female cat strolls in our carport with her litter of three of the cutest kittens: Two were light gray-and-white striped, long-haired, furry powder puffs; and one was a short-fur type with darker gray stripes. We took them in, and they got to our hearts. We were able to get two males neutered but one of the furry males ran away from us later on. I named the other light gray striped cat with long fur Powder Puff. My husband named the short-fur gray striped cat Tank or Tanker. He looked like a tank! His muzzle was like the muzzle shape of a mountain lion. But Tank was the gentle giant of them all.

We took in another gray striped young female cat a year later, who took to Tank like bait on a hook. She fell in love with Tank. We later called her Sheba (she looked like a Sheba). Powder Puff stayed around but later ran off; I didn’t know what happened to him. Then, before Christmas 2015, somehow Tanker never showed up at our door ever again. I was devastated not being able to find him anywhere. But his mommy, who we named Grey-Grey, stayed around with us and is still here with us. She had her last litter the next spring 2016, then we got her spayed. But she blessed us with her next son, who has an all-black coat, black tail, white paws, and white chest with white fur under the jaw (which most people call tuxedo cats). We named him Boots (or Bootsie), and he’s still with us today. He’s an outside cat like the others but now he has a neighborhood territory to explore, but comes back when he wants and stays as long as he wants. Sometimes he stays overnight, but not every night. We got him neutered too, got his rabies shot, and keep up to date for his health. He’s been a blessing to us, and he knows I love him dearly. He took to Sheba, too, but sometimes lets her know “Enough of being a pest,” which she can be. His mom Grey-Grey is still with us too. We think she’s about 5 years, 6 months old by now. She loves getting brushed, too.

We also took in two other young cats from two different litters: One has an all-white coat with black spots on his back like a clown’s buttons. We named him Spots (or Spotsie). The other one is a female calico we called Phoebe (she looks like a Phoebe!)

Call us the Cat People or the Cat House or Cat Hotel, but we were blessed with all these cats who either were born here or just happened to roam on into our lives. Maybe it was a blessing from above.