One Year With the Spaz

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Sound asleep, minutes after coming home.

Yeah, I like to mark occasions. It’s been one year since we brought home little Olivia from Lange Foundation rescue.

Alright, you got me, it was the second time she came home with us.  The first time was on Easter Day, when we agreed to foster a Mama and kittens in our home so Lange would have more room to rescue even more kittens from local shelters.

From the two families available for us to foster, Olivia was in her cage with three tiny fluff-ball kittens. She rolled onto her back, batted her eyes at me and reached out a front paw.  I was not yet aware that her powers of manipulation exceeded far beyond that first enticement.

After 2 weeks in our home office, we brought the kittens and Olivia back to the rescue. They had colds and needed to be treated there, and also we didn’t want our own house pets to come down with that nastiness.

We left them. I felt awful and empty. To help ease the pain, we watched the season finale of “Fringe”. That did not help. Seen and I had chosen to name our fosters after the characters on the show, so every time Olivia talked to Walter, I pictured our little cat versions of Olivia and Walter alone at the rescue.

Olivia today

Seen and I continued our weekly volunteer trips to Lange, spending extra time with our former foster charges. Olivia was a bit aggressive, as cats with her coat coloring tend to be. She was playfully territorial. All the kittens in her adoption room were chased, tackled and cleaned by her, no matter who their mother was.  Generally, the biological mother was warned off with a hiss, a slap and a chase from our Olivia.

I knew that her rambunctious spirit would detract any potential adopters. Olivia was friendly, but not a cuddly lap cat. Olivia had also managed to wiggle her adorable self into my heart. I missed her at our apartment.

Based on all that, I told the Lange staff “We would like to take Olivia home.” They happily agreed.

Over the past year, Ms. Olivia, who is now referred to as (ahem) Liver Toes, Liver Bottom, Spaz, Karma, Butthead, Punkin Head, Peabuddy and Sweet Olive, has taken over our home. I’d like to say that she is the alpha cat for just the other two cats in the house, but she pretty much controls Seen and I as well.

She is a weirdo who:

  • loves to have 1/4 of an ice cube tossed around like a ball, which she chases. Then holds in her mouth while running around and yelling.
  • attacks the bedding, even when there are no other toys, toes or cats present and freaks herself out if she rolls over too fast
  • grabs the mouse toy between her paws and rubs it alllll over her face, around and over and down her face for 5 minutes at a time
  • convinces Seen to give her treats with a little, teeny, short, high pitched “Mew” as if she were the most pathetic thing ever
  • hops on the other cats, biting their neck with a light nip that never hurts but does irritate them to no end
  • cleans everybody, even Seen, to the point of obsession. We think she’s a little OCD
  • lies spread eagle, on her back, limbs relaxed to the maximum
  • has required her own floating shelf so she can see the entire room
  • MUST be in the bathroom with you no matter what, likes to watch the water run when you flush
  • cackles at the crows
  • cries at the door when Seen leaves her, but will get very happy and run to me when I let her know she’s not alone
  • must have been an indoor/outdoor kitty before she went to the shelter because she meows at the door for about 2 minutes every single time before she uses the litter box, like she must announce the fact that she has to go
  • Lap time is rare, but when it happens, so sweet…
Um…Comfortable Olive?

So there is my Ode to Liver Bottom. Adopting her was the best decision we made last year. We are so glad she’s part of our family of odd felines. If you get a chance, adopt a shelter cat. It is, after all Adopt a Shelter Cat Month!

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