One time, Mary and I saw a stray cat walking around the neighborhood, took her in, and later discovered that our new arrival was pregnant. Judy, a brown-pointed tabby, had five kittens: a gray tabby, an orange tabby, a tortoiseshell, and two medium haired calicos: Tuffy, a muted calico, and Li’l Linda, a bright-colored calico.
(Sadly, I can’t seem to find pictures of them, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.)
The care of a long- or medium-hair cat requires that the cat be brushed at least once a day, sometimes more, or their hair gets matted and tangled and, if it gets very bad, needs to be shaved off. Which is fine, if you can get the cat to sit still long enough to be brushed. Which, unfortunately, we weren’t able to do with Tuffy and Linda. They were born apparently believing that humans had cooties so badly that the mere touch of a person would infect them with whatever they had, which frequently was love and concern, and any time we approached either of them they took off in a hurry. It became almost a game: if they were sitting somewhere and we needed the seat, we’d walk up to them saying "I’m gonna give you attention!" You could almost see the fear in their eyes a split second before they took off for under the bed…
On a couple of occasions, they got so badly matted that we had to take them to the vet and have them "buzzed" like the cat above. It was usually preceded by a cat rodeo where we would chase the cat around the house until she ran into the carrier, after which we’d close the door and take the little darling "bye-bye car."
They never did quite get the hang of being friendly with us, and we weren’t disposed toward forcing ourselves on them. But we loved them anyway and miss them now that they’re gone.
Christine Bialczak runs Simply 6 Minutes.