HOW DO YOU SPELL TROUBLE?
Jim and I posted his picture on Face Book and on Next Door and taped flyers to lamp posts. We walked the neighborhood every day calling for him. Jim searched the woods behind our house. After 19 days I was beginning to lose hope. By now it was December and the temperatures were below freezing.
|Can you believe this cutie causes so much trouble?
So, here we had a kitten and my husband and I knew nothing about caring for a young cat. We had adopted Ozzie as an adolescent. In no time, we learned that this kitten was a handful. She'd sneak into closets or the pantry and get accidently trapped inside, scratch furniture and audio speakers, bite our toes, leap three feet up to the top of the refrigerator door to swat my hand, and the list goes on.
The worst thing was, Lizzie didn't know anything about litter boxes (which surprised me because I though all cats no matter how young knew where to potty). She did her business wherever she wanted. A gal at Pet Smart advised me to place three litter boxes by Lizzie's favorite bathroom spots, and every few days gradually move them closer to the designated litter box area and then leave just one. (This worked:)
Now look at her face. Who can believe something so cute can be such a rascal? We call her Little Bit, You With The Face, and A-lizzabet. Sometimes, Sweetheart. The most-fitting name is Trouble. A year later she nibbles floral arrangements (silk and real flowers), tries to catch paper coming out of the printer, shreds window sheers, steals guitar picks, and uses my husband's favorite chair as a scratching post.
Lizzie's latest habits include banging on the bedroom door during the middle of the night or walking on my back as I sleep. The famous cat whisperer, Jackson Galaxy would say, distract her to stop bad behavior. Yeh, right. I'm going to get out of bed at 4 a.m. and distract her.
Despite her mischievous behavior, Lizzie slowly helped me get over the loss of Ozzie. But I wondered, what if Ozzie wasn't lost? What if he found his way back home? Would Lizzie and Ozzie get along? We were about to find out.
Six weeks after adopting Lizzie, a neighbor who lived about one and a half miles away posted a picture on Facebook of a cat he had found. The photo was fuzzy, but the cat resembled Ozzie. Jim and I jumped into the car and raced to his house. The neighbor led us to the basement where he kept the foundling, and lo and behold, there was Ozzie, minus his collar, fur matted, so skinny you could see his back bones. He was literally starving and could barely hold his head up. I cradled my sweet boy. How had he survived? And equally amazing, how could it be that we were reunited?
The following day after meeting with veterinarian Dr. Vice, I found out Ozzie had no broken bones or cuts. As Dr. V. put it, Ozzie just went on a walkabout. Knowing Oz was unharmed was a relief. But in order for him to rest and gain weight, we kept him separated from Lizzie. Two weeks later he had regained his strength and we allowed the two of them to meet.
At first, I wasn't sure if they'd get along. They seemed suspicious of one another. Ozzie and Lizzie tested each another and chased through the house. But their interactions were harmless—no crying or fur flying. Just pure joyous cat play.
As I watch the two wrestle, I can't believe we have two cats. TWO! And they are as different as night and day. One is calm (and happy to be home) and one is well, not calm. By now, you know which is which. Which makes it fun and interesting. We love 'em both. Even if one caused us worry and heartache. Even if one can be nothing but trouble.