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The Sassy Sandpiper: Deliberately a Crazier Cat Lady

Thomas | Sassy Sandpiper | Cats

The Sassy Sandpiper confesses that cats ARE like potato chips or chocolate – you can’t stop at one.

By M.R. Wilson, Columnist, TB Reporter

If Fate brought Boa to the doorstep (bearing her six-kitten cargo), it was my borderline irrational love for animals in overdrive that added more felines to the household. Some would say I crossed that borderline quite some time ago.

It’s been two years since I wrote my first column, “Accidentally a Crazy Cat Lady.” (Click here for column.) Honoring this anniversary, here is an update…and a confession.

Maybe it was the grief of saying good-bye to my 13-year-old greyhound Lady Jane late in the summer of 2014 that moved me to linger at the cat adoption center of a local pet supermarket. It was Christmastime. My heart still ached. An orangey kitten pushed tiny paws through the cage bars. Another splotched black, white, and tan, roused up hopefully. My good sense dissolved. “I’m not taking the ginger and leaving the calico…”

Thus a happy clerk patted Killian and Marigold into their carry-me-home box (snug fit).

I never anticipated the uproar their arrival would cause among the established residents.

The hierarchy collapsed in fits of growls, screams, wicked claws-bared punches and chases to the tops of bookcases and under furniture. The elder cats declared all-out war amongst themselves, dominance up for grabs between males Bruiser and Pixel. Killian was so little I carried her to bed with me, protecting her against nocturnal attacks.

The discord among Boa and “the six-pack” saddened me. I blamed myself for destroying a peaceful home. What was I thinking?

Very little thinking went on. This was a random act of compassion.

Order reigned, eventually. Pixel wrested dominance from Bruiser. The girl-cats remained ambiguous as to their social standings, but gave a wide berth to Alpha, the smallest and feistiest. Mama Cat Boa recovered from her “adjustment disorder” (How would you like to have your six grown children living under the same roof?) and even the eldest cat, Evi, learned to tolerate all the foolishness and moved from her garage asylum back into the house.

Three tranquil years passed before Boston bounced onto the scene a few days before last summer’s solar eclipse. Pure black except for the constellation of dwarf white “stars” on his tummy. Full fuzzy face. A fluffy tail that now rivals the fanciest ostrich quill pen you could imagine. He’s gorgeous and he knows it.

Thankfully, the family accepted Boston quickly, largely because of big brother Ohm taking him under his guardianship. Ohm is the Buddha Cat – calm, patient, and tolerant of kitten rowdiness. The “Lealman Cat Sanctuary” was officially maxed out. No room at the inn. (There is room in the “out” for Peaches, the red tabby community cat. His is another story.)

In December came a friend’s frantic plea for a young gray kitty rescued at Joe’s Creek Greenway Park.

After a two-second inner debate, I found the pet taxi box and drove to the park.

“Are you the cat lady?” the ranger asked.

“Thomas” knew I couldn’t have been anyone else.

Thomas | M.R. Wilson | Sassy Sandpiper

Photos of Thomas courtesy of M.R. Wilson.

M.R. Wilson | Sassy Sandpiper | Pets | Cats | Animals | Tampabay News

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