So I’ve said once before that I have cats, and not to be surprised if they make an appearance every so often.  Well aside from one post a few years ago, they haven’t.  And since I have a few rescue stories to tell, I figured it only fair to tell you of my brood.

First off, I own four cats: An orange tabby male named Belfast, a pure black female named Bullet, and two silver tabbies, brother and sister named Mercury and Maddie.  Each one has their own distinct personality and story about how they came into our lives and our homes, and I’m here to tell them all.

Lets start with Belfast, leader of the pack.  He’s the oldest of my brood at eleven years of age.  My fiancee at the time purchased him for me as a birthday present a few months after I had to put my other cat, Cummins down.  Cummins was a stray we had rescued in Hamilton, but we had to put him down a few years later because he had bowel problems we couldn’t fix, and he was just suffering needlessly.

Anyways!  Belfast was my eighteenth birthday present, and I fell in love with the little guy right away.  He was such a cute kitten!  He loves to play fetch, then and now, and when I first got him he really attached to me because I kept him in my room at night.  My family was going through a rough patch at the time, and I was afraid I would wake up one morning to find that my stepdad had thrown him out the door in the middle of the night.  So when I went to bed, so did Belfast.

He’s deathly afraid of plastic bags though.  Once when he was a wee baby, he got himself caught up in a plastic shopping bag (don’t ask me how, I still haven’t figured that out) and he just started tearing around the house, hell bent for leather, trying to get this thing off!  And he wouldn’t slow down for nothing or nobody to help him.

No one but me that is.

When Belfast saw me coming for him with the bag wrapped around him, he actually stopped long enough for me to untangle him.  But now whenever he hears the rustle of a plastic bag, he bolts out of the room so fast he leaves a smoking trail in his wake!

So needless to say, we really bonded because of that.  He was my cat in every way.  He followed me around the house, slept by my head at night, and whenever I talked about him, he was always ‘my boy’.  But when we moved out here to Mississauga almost ten years ago, that began to change.  This was about the time my mother got sick with cancer, and I had to go away for college.

What’s a cat to do when his mistress disappears for weeks at a time?

Belfast and mom were really missing me when I went away, and with mum being so sick, it’s only natural that they bonded while I was gone.  I admit I was jealous at first.  Belfast wouldn’t come when I called him anymore, he followed my mum around the house instead of me, and he slept in her bed at night.  But now I can look back on it all, and I’m grateful that they had each other.  Belfast needed a person to take care of him while I was gone, and he was that link to me that my mum needed at the time.  I miss the closeness my boy and I had, but I’m happy he’s still around for us to love.

It’s kind of funny really, the way Belfast has taken to mum.  He actually talks to her now.  When my family and I are sitting around, Belfast, like any normal cat, will jump up on my mums lap for pets, purring all the while.  If she doesn’t pet him fast enough he will actually paw at her until she does!  And if he’s sitting on the arm of the chair or sofa she’s sitting on, he’ll start his chirping kind of meow to get her attention, and keep on at it until he gets bored.  He’s getting funny in his old age.

Belfast has so far lived a normal life for a cat.  We feed him, groom him, play with him, and up until about two years ago when he mysteriously contracted a bladder infection, he’s been healthy thank goodness.  But I can see my little guy starting to show his age.  He sleeps a lot more than he used to, and snores like the dickens when he does!  He’s got a bit of a limp from where my stepdad stepped on his leg as a kitten (I wasn’t home when it happened, no one told me about it for a few days, and it never seemed to bother him then but I’m thinking the bastard gave him a hairline fracture or something that’s bothering him now), and if I didn’t know any better I’d say he was going grey.  I affectionately call him the Old Man of the Mountains, and while he’s not ‘my cat’ anymore, I still think of him as my boy.