Do you ever think back to your first cat and wonder how in the world all this started? About how much you didn’t know back then, or the things that you did or didn’t do? Or even just about how much things have changed since then?
I started thinking back to my first cats for some reason this week, and realized I remember them both fondly and vaguely. I asked my parents to clear up a few of the foggy memories I had.
My first cat was named Cinnamon. She was a fluffy tortie who showed up at our front door at the home we rented in Miami. My mom had just finished years of allergy shots for dogs and cats we’d had (I don’t remember these; I was very young), so we were allowed to keep Cinnamon, but only if she stayed outside.
This was great! We had a cat! I was too young and also too unknowledgeable to know that outside is not the best place for cats. We called her Cinnie, but I don’t know how we would have spelled it. I write Cinnie, my dad writes Cinni, and my mom writes Cini. She came when we called her, and she ate inside the house and then went right back out.
I don’t remember much about her at all, and I can’t recall if she was spayed. Looking back, she probably wasn’t. I’m not sure if we knew any differently at the time. Although maybe she was, because she never got pregnant. I think I remember sitting on the porch with her. I think I remember walking around the side of the building looking for her sometimes. I think I remember asking the neighbors if they’d seen her, particularly one old man whose face I can’t remember, but I have that memory of asking him about my cat.
When we bought a house about 45 minutes north of there, we moved all our stuff and then came back for Cinnie. I think the next day. I don’t recall, but I do remember pulling up to our old house and just being terrified that she wouldn’t come when we called her and we wouldn’t be able to bring her to our new house with us.
She did come, and we brought her to our new home with us.
And then we put her outside there. Looking back, this was insane. How do you just plop a cat in a new place outside? And it was a construction area, too. Ours was one of the first houses completed in a new development. All kinds of trucks and equipment around all the time. Maybe we didn’t know better. I don’t fault us. At any rate, that cat pretty much stuck around. For a little while, anyway.
One day, Cinnie stopped coming. I can’t remember how long after we moved that it was. I do remember that one of our neighbors didn’t really like her being there, and we suspect they had something to do with her disappearance.
We drove around calling her. My sister and I drove around on our bikes calling. She never came back. We couldn’t prove the neighbor did it.
A while later, we got a new cat. Fido! Fido was a girl. We thought we were so silly giving her a dog’s name. We got her from the Humane Society and she was spayed (my mom had to fill this part in for me ÔÇª my only concern at the time was that I had a cute kitty). Fido was an indoor/outdoor cat, I think because of our fear of what happened to Cinnie.
We’d let her out and let her in. She had a collar and a tag, and I’d bet everything that I own that 20 years later, my parents still have the “Fido’s 1st Christmas” ornament we made her out of a whiffle ball. She loved to play with whiffle balls.
I think Fido was black and white. I may be completely wrong. I have no idea why I don’t remember this and I’m so frustrated by that. I don’t think she was with us very long at all.
We blame the same neighbor. One day she just disappeared. My mom says it was Mother’s Day. She says it was the same day we had gotten her a tiny little pine tree sapling to plant in the backyard. Ever since then, she thinks of Fido when it comes to that tree. I never knew that until I asked just now.
This neighbor swears he didn’t do it, but we are pretty sure. How can someone do that? I only hope that nothing truly bad happened to our cats, and that he just put them somewhere else and they found new, loving homes. We never found them.
After that, our cats have always been strictly inside. I’ll never have another outside cat again, and I will always preach to everyone about the importance of this, especially in city areas. Maybe it’s different in rural areas, and I suspect it is, but cities are all I know.
Looking back, I never knew how important spaying and neutering was. It didn’t occur to me that cats need to see a vet for checkups or that there are bad people in this world when it comes to animals.
Our next cat was named Gizmo, and she lived the life of a queen for 18 years. And now I have two kings at home, Pimp and Moo. There will be many more in my lifetime, I’m sure of it!
Now it’s your turn. Do you remember your first cat? Tell us about him or her in the comments!
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