When I was 4 years old, a black cat strayed into our garage. I vaguely remembered that I was helping my mother dry the dishes when I spotted the feline. We couldn't get it to leave, so we ended up having that cat for five years. We dubbed her Blackie. That began my lifelong love of cats.
My younger brother was just a few months old when we acquired her, and there was a story that when he was a toddler, he somehow tossed Blackie on the other side of the basement stairs telling her to "eat her livers."
When Blackie moved on (she just disappeared one day, she didn't die on us), my folks actually agreed to let us have another kitten. So we went to a friend of the family's whose cat had kittens. We chose a long-haired gray one we aptly named Fluffy. Although we only had Fluffy for a little more than five years (she got hit by a car; we lived pretty close to a highway), we kept quite a few of her descendants. There was a calico cat I named E; yes, it was after the vowel; a white cat named Molitor, Molly for short; a brother and sister team of Ferris and Cameron (Ferris was a female cat); 13, a black cat; a couple of black-and-white cats named Socks and on and on.
But after an incident involving a curious 2-year-old neighbor girl and over-protective mother cats (who are normally docile, and one was the above-named Ferris), my mother declared no more cats. And my family has been cat-free ever since.
In my first few months of living in Duluth after I graduated college, I took in a kitten that was wandering around the stairwell of the duplex I lived in with a couple of roommates. She was an active cat that was named Koshka (Russian for female cat), and she tended to scratch and chew on items belonging to my roommates (much to their dismay). Koshka and I lived together with both my uncle and other roommates until I couldn't keep her anymore. Luckily, my friend Dave took her in, and she kept him great company until she died at roughly 15 years old. She mellowed with her old age but still kept Dave entertained.
Since I can't have cats in my apartment, I have to resort to other means to get my kitten/cat fix. There is Ross' cat, a black, fluffy cat named Teddy. My friends have cats that I can visit. And now I decided to volunteer at the Marshall Pet Rescue when I have some free time. So far, my volunteering has consisted of just playing with the cats. There's a couple of energetic kittens among the group, Cinco and Ocho. I tend to call them 5 and 8 when I see them. For my birthday on Monday, I was entertained by their flying leaps as they tried to catch a toy on a stick.
And I stumbled upon a page on Facebook where a man in Washington state fosters kittens and their mothers for a shelter over there. He's fostered 42 groups of cats and kittens in the last few years. Each group of kittens is named after characters in a movie (ie. the Ghostbuster kittens), scientists, the folks on "Mythbusters" and this last batch is named after characters from "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." So there's an Arthur, the only boy in the group; Alice, the mother cat; Gail and Emily, who look like their mom, and Trillian, this really adorable floofball who I wish I could adopt (if I only lived in Washington state). Once these kittens get adopted, their new owners may or may not start a Facebook page of their own. I'm having high hopes for Trillian though. I really want to keep up on the antics and cuteness of that kitten.