We are Siamese if you please

Fact 9: I’m a cat person.

I’m a thief, I think we already established that. Okay, I’m only an idea thief, when it comes to facts for this meme. 😉 haha.

Fact 9: I’m a cat person.

I LOVE cats. I’ve had them my entire life. Well, technically, we’ve always had both cats and dogs, but I like cats more. We had 3 cats when I was a baby and we lived out in the country: Midnight, Rusty, and Tippy. Midnight and Rusty were my babysitters, in a way. At night, the pair of them would sleep at the foot of my crib. If I woke up and started crying in the middle of the night, one of the cats would hop out of the crib and go wake my parents, the other one would move up to me, and gently rub against my cheek to quiet me. The pair of them would also alternate on which one stayed with me, and which one woke mom & dad. Thanks to them, my parents never needed a baby monitor for me. 😉 Haha. I don’t really remember Midnight and Rusty more than from stories like that and from pictures. I don’t know when they left our family. I do know that my parents had bought Rusty while they were living in England, and she got her name because when she meowed, it sounded like a rusty hinge opening or closing.

Tippy was about 9 months older than I was, and we got her from my uncle Bruce. She was a Siamese mix, and an absolutely beautiful cat. I grew up with her as my buddy, the one friend I could count on when everyone else let me down. She was always willing to let me curl up with her (as long as she was petted, of course) and a very loving cat. She was picky about who she liked though. I can recall her attacking my grandma on a couple of occasions when she visited. Tippy lived to be 19 years old, which meant I was 18 at the time. I literally couldn’t remember not having her in my life. She was having seizures and some of her organs began shutting down, so we had to have her put to sleep. She’d been with us for so long, she was every bit as much a part of the family as if she’d been human. Both of my parents even had to take a day off work from grief. After she’d been put down, we drove out to my uncle Bruce’s property, and buried her at the edge of the woods. (Nov, 1973 – Jan, 1993)

In the summer of 1991, a stray cat showed up on our doorstep. Of course my mom tried to dissuade me from getting attached, but that wasn’t going to happen. We had tried to have other cats before, but Tippy always refused to accept others in the house. I left food and water for her on the front porch, and we put up flyers while we tried to find her owners. (I was always taking in strays.) No one ever answered the ads, which was a shame since she was a gorgeous tortoiseshell cat. I was about to have to get a job for the school work program, so it was agreed that if I helped pay for her food and litter, we could keep her, and about a month after she first showed up she was part of our family. Vet visits approximated her at a year old when we adopted her. We named her Dewey — I can’t remember the reason now, but I think it was after some actor or singer I liked at the time. Somehow, Dewey managed to win Tippy over, and the two cats actually became buddies. Dewey claimed me as “her” human though, following me around all over the house. When I would get home from work, Dewey would be waiting on the stairs to give me a “kiss” on the cheek, before following me everywhere again. If she did choose to explore other parts of the house, I only had to whistle, and she would come running and jump into my lap to give me more kisses.

When we’d had her about 4 years, she had a MASSIVE hairball that severely blocked her intestines. She wasn’t able to eat or drink, and she was becoming severely dehydrated. I was out of town when it initially happened, and I was the one to discover the problem when I returned by realizing she had dropped several pounds in my absence. That lead to vet visits where they would inject saline under her skin to keep her hydrated. I was the only one in the family she would allow to force feed her. Finally, after a few more weeks, the hairball disintegrated and she began eating on her own again and got back to a healthy weight. What we didn’t know at the time, though, was that the ordeal had likely done some damage to her kidneys.

Mid-May of 1999, I noticed that within a matter of a week or two, she had suddenly dropped a considerable amount of weight again, and her fur was losing its luster. A trip to the vet revealed she was in severe renal failure. Her prognosis wasn’t favorable, even with the most aggressive of treatments. Those treatments we were looking at were regular dialysis and/or a kidney transplant. In her stage of renal failure, the dialysis wouldn’t have helped enough, and the transplant was way too expensive; not to mention it wasn’t even guaranteed it would be able to save her. If was one hell of a difficult week, coming to the decision that the most humane thing to do was to have her put down. We also took her out to my uncle Bruce’s property, burying her next to Tippy. (1990 – May 28, 1999)

The oldest of our current cats is Windy. Everyone always thinks there’s some sweet story behind the name Windy, but it’s actually the contrary. All new cats, when they come into the house, start off in my room since it was the easiest to close them off from the other cats as they got used to each other. When she was a kitten, she was a very gassy thing, and would sleep on my bed, farting all night. And that is how the little ball of white fluff became known as Windy. We adopted her in 1993, after Tippy passed away. We don’t really know what breed she is, other than “domestic medium hair”.

Number two in the cat family is Gypsy. We adopted her May 2, 1999, about 2 weeks before Dewey began displaying symptoms of being ill. When we adopted her, she looked considerably more like a seal point Siamese, which it’s possible she might have some in her blood. Over time she changed colors and now her Tonkinese heritage is more obvious in the shape of her head and body. She is a fat cat – weighing in at 20 lbs. She and our dog Maverick are best buddies, he acts likes a surrogate mom to her, helping her groom, snuggling with her, etc. They’re really quite cute together.

The baby of the family is my little baby, Mali. We’ve guesstimated her birthday as April 1, 2000. She is a tortie point Siamese mix, and an absolute little devil. I think it must be something about the tortie markings, but in attitude, there’s something about Mali that reminds me so much of Dewey. She even comes, most of the time, when I whistle for her. haha. She’s very skittish and nervous, doesn’t like strangers at all, and doesn’t like it when I go away for more than part of a day. If she sees the suitcase, she tries to hide inside of it, or makes packing as difficult as possible. She’s fiercely loyal to me though. She’ll let me medicate her, then stay snuggled up next to me. Anyone else tries, and she takes off and hides, since they’re the enemy. She follows me around all over the house, and will often curl up on my chest while I’m leaning back in my computer chair. She used to have her own pillow in the corner of my PC desk to sleep on, until she decided she didn’t want it anymore.

The odd thing, though, as much as Mali dislikes people – she seems to be okay with the vet. She will yowl her head off the second she’s put in her crate, but once we arrive at the vet’s office she quiets down. She will stay still and let the vet and vet tech pet her and touch her without trying to hide. She’ll even go quietly back into the crate. But once we leave the office and get outside, the yowling starts up again. I don’t think I’m going to understand that one.

Mali is the cat I’ve mentioned before when talking about vet visits. She potentially has psychogenic neurodermatitis, which doesn’t seem to be getting any better after 15 days of meds. Unfortunately for her (and my wallet), this might mean more tests, and now we’re getting into ones that could hurt some, like skin scrapings and samples, etc. My poor girl.

The life I love is makin' music with my friends

Fact 8: I’ve been on tour with a band.

I knew it wouldn’t take long for me to fall behind on my facts. :\ Friday I had massive internet problems. It was out for at least 5-6 hours. I was not a happy camper. 😉 Saturday I was a shop-a-holic and the car got a flat tire. Getting that fixed was an ordeal in and of itself. Sunday, mom painted the top half of my walls with primer, while I peeled wallpaper off the bottom half. Oh what fun! When I was online, I didn’t feel much like writing facts.

I want to play catch up, but I don’t know if I can think of enough facts. I’ll start with one, if I think of more I’ll post ’em.

Fact 8: I’ve been on tour with a band.

In June of 2000, me and about 16 other people got to go out on tour with Lonestar. They even rented an additional tour bus for us, so we could have the full experience of being out “on the road”. Most of us were fans who travelled for concerts anyway, so we were all used to traveling, but it is a different experience on a bus.

We started out in Nashville, meeting up at a parking lot where our bus picked us up and took us to the main bus lot to meet up with the guys. From there we were on the road. I spent a lot of time in the back of the bus with a few other people, playing card games. Haha. Our first city was Deerfield, Oh. It was a small outdoors show, and raining a little. They were supposed to be barbequeing up hot dogs and burgers for us – that still happened, only we had to have an umbrella held over the grill to keep the fire going. Hee. There was a couple that were getting married onstage pre-show, then they were going to come back out and have their first dance during “Amazed”. The bride came and sat on our bus for most of the day – she was just as intrigued by us touring with the band as we were by her getting married at a concert! haha.

After the show we had a quick stop back at the hotel to shower and use the restroom, then it was back on the bus. I’ve slept on moving vehicles before, but there’s something a little different about going to sleep on a tour bus and waking up in a different city. Maybe it’s because instead of being in a cramped seat in a plane/car/etc, you actually have your own bunk to lay down and stretch out in? The clearance is too low to sit up in the bunks, but with the curtain pulled, it was a nice bit of privacy. I just couldn’t see sleeping in essentially a small box with a privacy curtain on a regular basis though. And one thing we learned: you always sleep with your feet towards the front of the bus. That way, if something happens and the bus has to hit the breaks and you go sliding – it’s your feet that hit the wall, not your head.

Our second stop was Allegan, Mi, for a massive outdoors festival. Martina McBride was the headlining act, with Lonestar as #2. Also on the bill was Yankee Grey, Rascal Flatts, Anita Cochran, and Craig Morgan. Rascal Flatts was amazed that Lonestar had a busload of fans on the road with them. Gary and Jay raided our bus at one point, to verify that we were indeed a bus of fans. We had a good time talking with almost all the other artists, and getting to enjoy a phenomenal concert before it was time to load up and get back out on the road again. Nashville was the destination this time, the end of our journey. It might’ve only been a 2 city run that we got to do with Lonestar, but it was a unique experience and one I’ll never forget.

You're tattooed on my soul

Fact 7: I have 2 tattoos.

Fact 7: I have 2 tattoos.

While I only have 2 tattoos, I had 3 tattoo sessions. None were that complicated to require multiple sessions, I just decided on additional artwork for my first tattoo a few years later. I can see why they say tattoos are addictive, I definitely want to get more, but I don’t know what or where. I won’t let myself get a design until it’s something I’m positive I can live with.

Tattoo: Purple Kokopelli.
Placement: Mid-calf on my left leg.
Date inked: July 13, 2000.
Size: 2 1/4″ h x 1″ w
Symbolism: The Kokopelli was the wandering musician of Native American Folklore. He went from place to place, playing his flute, and blessing the harvests. As I love both traveling and music, this was the perfect graphic for me. And purple is my favorite color.
Artist: Matt from Fine Line Tattoo; Garland, Tx.

Tattoo: touched up Purple Kokopelli; added rainbow music notes & grass.
Placement: Mid-calf on my left leg.
Date inked: January 19, 2003.
Size: 2 1/4″ w x 3″ h
Symbolism: Same symbolism as above. Added the grass under his feet so he wasn’t just “floating” in mid-air. Rainbow of music notes added to add emphasis of the focus on music. I just gave my tattoo artist an idea of what I wanted, and he drew up a little design and I liked it. The gray shading on either side of the river of notes was his idea, to make it stand out and help denote that the notes are coming from Kokopelli’s flute. Rainbow notes is my own little Pride symbol to carry with me.
Artist: Casey from Fine Line Tattoo; Garland, Tx.

Tattoo: Chinese symbol for “happiness”.
Placement: Small of my back.
Date inked: February 18, 2003.
Size: 3″ w x 3″ h
Symbolism: Happiness. I got the tattoo while in LA on what would have been my dad’s 60th birthday.
Artist: Hugh from Hollywood Tattoo Studio; Hollywood, CA.