Willa's Journal

The Cats

1997 - 2008

Name: Pyewacket (the name of Kim Novak's feline familiar in Bell, Book and Candle)

Date of Birth: 5/01/97 (approximate)

Died: 09/15/08 of cancer

Source: Stray, found on John's farm

Coat: Brown tabby

Body Type: Sturdy

Eye color: Green

Nicknames: Pye, Stubby, Squatty (by Bob's friend John), Pigwacket, Pyewacket Guthrie-Cline

Personality: Laid-back, mellow

Favorite Toy: Stuffed catnip trout, anything Willa is knitting

Favorite Foods: Milk, bread, ham, tartar-control kitty treats, Goldfish crackers, ice cream

Favorite Person: Bob

Favorite Sleeping Spots: Bob's lap, under the covers with Bob, Bob's pillow, Bob's chair

Favorite Place to Hide: Hide?!? The world is my kitty treat! She loves people, especially men, and would go home with the pizza delivery guy if we'd let her.

Favorite Things: She likes to have her tummy rubbed, but she'll roll up like a sowbug and bite you about half the time. But not hard. She's just playing.

Stories: One night soon after she came to live with us, I noticed she was limping. I took her to the vet, and he said she had a broken leg, which he set. A few days later, he called and said he had read the x-ray wrong, and that her leg wasn't broken, and we had to take her back and have the cast removed.

Pyewacket is Bob's baby--she thinks he's her mother. She lies like a baby in his arms, and wants to chew on him--any bare skin is fair game--but he won't let her. If he's had enough of her and shuts her out of the office, she gets up on the bookcase and bats at the window blinds and cries, having a little tantrum.

Name: Dinah (the name of Alice in Wonderland's cat)

Date of Birth: 1/01/99 (approximate)

Source: Stray, found on John's farm

Body Type: Slinky

Coat: Black shorthair

Eye color: Gold

Nicknames: Dino, Dinah Sue, Baby Dinah, Little One, Dinah Sue Guthrie-Cline, Dinette

Personality: High-strung, nervous, smart

Favorite Toy: Wire-cardboard thing, rubber bands, golf-ball-in-a-ring toy, boogie mat

Favorite Foods: Gravy

Favorite Person: Willa

Favorite Sleeping Spots: Living room rocking chair, bedroom rocking chair, Willa's lap

Favorite Place to Hide: Under the bed

Favorite Things: She likes to be whistled to; if you whistle, she'll run from wherever she is in the house and jump up on your lap and roll around. It makes her crazy. She also likes it when you sing to her. Favorite song: Old McDonald Had a Farm.

Stories: She has to have "cuddle time" with Bob in the mornings before he goes to work, and late at night after I'm in bed. She walks into the office and cries; she's very demanding. She wants cuddling, and she wants it right now! And when it's over, it's over, she jumps down and she's GONE.

I've started walking at night, and she's decided she doesn't like it. I've been informed that she howls and cries the entire time I'm gone, and paws at the front door. When I come home and unlock the front door, she's right there, and slips out through the crack when I open the door. She just runs a couple of feet, though, and stops at the foot of the porch, so I let her sniff the air for a few minutes before I scoop her up and bring her inside. For awhile, I would call Bob on the cell phone and tell him I was home so he could come down and grab her before I open the door, but now we just let her do it. It's her little game, and she thinks she's being clever, so we just let her think that.

She's invented a game where she drags the boogie mat over to the golfball-in-a-ring toy and covers up the ball with the mat, then DIVES onto the mat, trying to find the ball underneath. It's endlessly entertaining, and Bob sometimes plays, too.

1973 - 1997

Name: Doña (I was taking a Spanish class at the time)

Date of Birth: 4/15/73

Died: 10/14/97 of kidney failure

Source: I got her from someone I worked with whose cat had had kittens; I had her from the time she was six weeks old until she died 24 years later.

Body Type: Slinky

Coat: White shorthair

Eye color: Green

Nicknames: Baby Doña, Doña Sue

Personality: Laid-back, gentle, quiet

Favorite Toy:

Favorite Foods: Tuna

Favorite Person: Willa

Favorite Sleeping Spots: Living room rocking chair, bedroom rocking chair, Willa's lap

Favorite Place to Hide: Under the bed

Stories: She loved to be brushed; we went on vacation once and left her with my parents. When we got back, my mother said everything had gone fine, but that Doña kept getting up on mom's vanity table, which is where I always brushed her at home.

For awhile, we lived in an apartment with a balcony. Doña loved to go outside on the balcony, and she would occasionally jump on the railing and catch a small bird. I had visions of her going over the railing to the parking lot below, but she never did. She did, at least once, manage to bring a bird inside and let it loose in the apartment. I'm not sure she ever actually killed one, though.

Once, I thought I saw her pick a needle up off the floor and swallow it. In retrospect, that was pretty dumb, but I was worried. So I took her to the vet, who x-rayed her, and called me and said, "She's full of metallic stuff!!" He recommended a special diet to move the stuff, whatever it was, out of her system . . . only later did he realize that the "metallic stuff" was surgical staples from her spaying (which he hadn't done).

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