Sunday, March 20, 2011

Snuggles, the Cartoon Cat

In 1998 I had to say goodbye my old kitty, Chubby, whom I loved dearly. She had been with me for 13 years, through countless moves, from Colorado to Massachusetts. She was sweet, shy and terrified of change.

Chubby from Colorado

I was so devastated that I vowed to have no more cats. I found a goldfish bowl at a tag sale and filled it with 5 cheap feeder goldfish. Feeders go for pennies apiece and they are used to feed other fish! In apparent joy of being alive, they thrived. I named them and fussed with their surroundings.

Chubby as baby harp seal

The next spring, at a party at Trisha's, her brother Jack plopped a black and white kitten on my shoulder and said, "it's time you had another one." She snuggled right into my hair. I picked her off me and looked her over. A sweet little black and white one with a pink nose. Love was beginning already-I'm a sucker for kittens.

Chubby in the middle

When I was little, we played at Grandma's house-the old farm was next door, and it had tons of amusements for little children. My mother was grateful for the half-hour she allowed us to stay. Grandma wished we would stay longer, and often made arrangements. One of my favorite things to do was play with the barn-kittens, when they would allow it, though, they were usually pretty wild.

Poopsue and her brother Jello

One day, Grandma told me there were new kittens in the attic and she needed me to catch them. I got a saucer of milk and proceeded to sit quietly on the top stair. I held my breath, trying not to scare them. One by one the kittens came to the milk and I gathered them up and gave them to Grandma. We brought them out to the barn and made a nest in the hay for them. She showed their mother where to find them. I can still remember the anticipation and the joy to see these kittens slowly and shakily coming to that saucer of milk.

Poopsue fetching

Twenty-some years later and three days after moving to an apartment in a mountain town in Colorado, my grey tiger, Poopsue Purrington had 5 kittens. They were in a box of clothes way in the back of a storage room, so I couldn't see them. After a week or two I would reach way back in the piles of stuff and put my hand in the box and feel the soft little bundles.

Spot, 6-month old Daddy!

One morning I woke up and found Poopsue, Spot-the sweet little Dad, and all 5 kittens all over the bed. She was presenting her family to me! I hardly dared to pick up my head, as they might all scatter. I slowly slipped my arm out and started petting one. After a few seconds he or she was purring like a little motor boat, and the others were gone. Every morning I was able to tame another one, till they all became sociable. We had lots of fun. I found homes for several and kept the runt, my sweet little round-bellied Chubby.

Poopsue and two of her kittens

Thirteen years later, the sweet little kitten with the pink nose won my heart. I picked her up and looked her over. She was covered with fleas!  Of course, I was taking her home, but what to do? I mentioned it to Trisha's Mom and she said, "stop by my house and I'll give you some flea shampoo." Per her instructions I dunked this tiny kitten into a warm sink and shampooed her, dried her off. I made a basket into a bed with a soft towel wrapped around her and put a hot water bottle in it, staying awake most of the night checking on her. I had to do this 3 days in a row to finally rid her of the fleas.


My niece Diana, who was 4, loved this kitten. They would rub their faces together and purr. She wanted to call her Snuggles, and it stuck. Diana, who lives next-door, and Snuggles grew up together. The next year I got Fluffy for a companion when Snuggles started getting into all the plants and keeping me awake all night climbing the walls. The two became fast companions.

Snuggles and Fluffy

Now Diana is almost sweet sixteen and Snuggles is an old lady.  She got fatter and funnier as she grew older. She looks like a Warren Kimble folk-art cat, or a cartoon cat. She is a chair thief, and hisses and growls when you try to take it back. I've lost many chair wars! She has a strong character and loves to greet all my guests. She will present her pink and white belly to you temptingly, then claw you when you pet it. But if you sit with legs crossed, Snuggles will zoom over to your raised foot and give herself a massage for hours if you let her.

Oregano Madness photo shoot

A couple of nights ago about 3:00AM, I heard rustling and scrabbling in the kitchen. That's odd, I thought, as Fluffy was sleeping on the bed. Snuggles usually snags a spot on the bed, not moving all night, and she was missing.

I went to investigate. There on the floor, lying on her back, was Snuggles. She had a plastic bag with some dried something in it. She was chewing on it, tossing it in the air, rubbing herself all over the floor!

I had run out of catnip-what could this be? I snatched up the bag and opened it. It was old dried oregano from my garden, with hardly any scent left to it! Heaven knows how long it had been sitting on the shelf, but probably Spring fever had awakened the Kitten Snuggles and she was begging for more!

The bag was full of holes and all wet... I sprinkled a little on the floor and Fluffy and Snuggles very eagerly licked it, sneezed a few times and proceeded to roll in the stuff.


What's not to love about a cartoon cat? Her pottie habits are not nice. She sheds all over the place and can no longer be put into a cat carrier to go to the vet. Luckily the vet will come if I need her. But when I see that chubby sweet face with the pink nose, I'm still all mushy in love!

Snuggles - Little pink nose
Diana once drew a picture of Snuggles, (aka Stinkles, Snuggie Buggie, Buggles, Bubba, etc.), with a caption that said, "I love you Snuggols, you have lots of firends." Indeed, she does!

More kitty adventures coming soon!
Enjoy the warm days and HAPPY SPRING!