This is usually Sunshine’s blog told in her bratty but ultimately adorable voice, but I found the sweetest quote that reminded me of how much I love her (and Muffin, and cats in general) and on this otherwise commercialized, artificial love day, I wanted to share why she’s so special to me.
You know how people say that someone has saved them? I’ve often heard it about band members and their music, but in the cat blogosphere people direct it towards their cats. I’ve never understood how music can save a person, but I promise you that I’ve been saved over and over by Sunshine and her sister Muffin. There was this period of time when I was physically sick from anxiety and anorexic from the inability to eat. It was so much scarier than I can explain just in words. I sometimes wondered if being dead would be easier. Then I had Sunshine by my side and I realized she would miss me too much if I was gone. There’s a lot to live for obviously, but in rough patches if you can find something that stands out above everything else and it can force you to step back and think things through clearly, it’s good to latch onto it. Sunshine is not the only thing I live for, but she’s really important to me and yes, she helped bring me back from the edge. Maybe it’s a lot of responsibility to put on a tortie, but I’m really glad she was my first thing to recover and live for.
Sunshine is also there for irritating body issues that aren’t as bad as anxiety and anorexia. It seems as though my body has it out for me. I am often bloated and uncomfortable (to put it lightly). It doesn’t bother me as much during the day, but at night my body’s like “Yay, let’s be grumbly and sore and sloshy and keep her up all night!” I can sometimes be up two or three times in the middle of the night. It is not okay. No wonder I’m always tired during the day! After my multiple trips to the bathroom are finished, Sunshine will sleep next to me and her rhythmic purring will help me get back to sleep quicker than if I had to force it on my own.
Don’t get me wrong, she’s also incredible on a non-painful or irritating day. I love having someone who greets me when I come home from college. I love having someone follow me around the house as I do chores. I love having someone to kiss goodnight. I also have Muffin to kiss goodnight and give attention to, but Muffin directs most of her attention on my mom and dad while Sunshine directs it towards me. It’s not surprising, since the day we adopted them my mom was drawn to Muffin and I insisted on a tortie and I ended up falling in love with Sunshine (who I hadn’t even heard about until visiting the animal shelter).
While I feel nothing for men in a love/lust sense and think Valentine’s Day is completely worthless, I know how to love. I’ve always loved our cats, maybe for different reasons but I always expressed it as love. Thank you to every cat we’ve ever had and thank you Sunshine (and Muffin!) for carrying on the tradition of amazing cats.
Hairballs are the worst! But hey, if I can use them to my advantage, why not? Like early this morning. There I was being the cutest tortie in the world, rolling around on the floor and throwing my feet in the air, and Jessica wasn’t waking up to give me kissies for anything! Can you believe her incompetence? Well, I put my hairballs to good use today! Just as she was snuggling her pillow like she should’ve been snuggling me, I hacked up a clump of last night’s dinner right in front of her heating vent. Oh did that get her going. She shot out of bed and began fumbling around her room while trying not to step in it. Would you believe that? She won’t get up for me but she’ll get up for my hairballs. They’re not even cute! Anyway, it worked! She got up around 5:30 and after cleaning up my mess, she gave me all the attention I wanted.
I am, as Jessica calls it, the queen of hairballs. I have her trained well since we’ve been through this routine before, over and over again. She can even tell when I’m about to release my hairballs when I start panting. If you believed her horrible disgusting description, I start panting like I’ve been lost in the desert for a million years and I start choking and then “Blag!” it comes spilling out. She’s right there with a bag and wet wipes for clean-up, probably because if she doesn’t get to it then my sister Muffin would do her own clean-up duty. Ew, right?
Since we know that Sunshine sometimes has hairball difficulties, we like to give her hairball medicine after every incident. We’re fortunate that Sunshine likes hairball medicine. After she takes care of her business and I clean it up, I give her this brown hairball gel to soothe her stomach. I’ve gotten criticism for doing this after the fact and I don’t disagree that technically it does no good after the cat has had a hairball, but I know Sunshine likes it and if it helps her not get such bad hairballs the next time, I don’t see anything wrong with giving her a little treat. Muffin, on the other hand, is next to impossible to give hairball medicine to. She hates everything about it, including the scent. If we have to give it to her, we first squeeze a bit on our fingers and then we rub it on her paw. It’s quite amusing to watch her freak out about the gunk on her paw. Minus the enjoyment we get out of Muffin being boggled and annoyed by hairball medication, in the end we do take hairball care seriously.
(An Indignant Tortie Rails Against Flea Medication)
So last Sunday I was a happy tortie thinking “Hey, now that I’m in clear from roundworms, I’ll never have to take nasty medicine ever again!” and my sister Muffin had to ruin it! it was one little insignificant flea that nobody would’ve even seen if they hadn’t been looking for it and Jessica’s folks started running around the house like chickens with their heads cut off! Yum, chicken! I don’t care because it’s Muffin, not me. I’m the cleanest tortie you’ll ever meet! First thing Monday Jessica’s mom rushed to the v-e-t’s office and guess what? She brought back flea medication! And she made me use it too! Can you believe it? Ew! I could’ve died from that roundworm garbage and now she’s putting me through this! Jessica would never bring back flea medication for more torture! She even tells me she’s not going to let anything hurt me!
Jessica’s Important Note
On a serious note, I would never give a cat medication that was too strong for them or not formulated for cats and I know my folks wouldn’t either. I’ve seen some sad YouTube videos of cats that were given flea medication that their bodies couldn’t handle and in the end they died as a result. Everyone in my family cares for our two girls and wants what’s best for them.
Sometimes doing what’s best for these girls means that regardless of what Sunshine and Muffin would prefer we (didn’t) do concerning medication of any sort, sometimes it really is important to give them medication to help with their woes. I don’t know the science behind giving all cats flea medication if only one cat shows signs of fleas, but I do know that after Sunshine’s incident with the roundworms, we don’t want her to have another infection and since Muffin was the cat with a flea infection, we want to keep her feeling her best as well.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it and say that the medication is enjoyable for anyone. It’s rough on their bodies. The first evening we gave Muffin and Sunshine their flea medication, they meowed in distress and we had to hold them in part to keep them from licking off the medication (this one happens to be a gel that we rub between their shoulder blades) and in another part to comfort them. I don’t want them to be in any kind of distress, even if it isn’t fatal, and I know I’ll help with comforting them. At the same time, everyone in my family knows that fleas and ticks can lead to much more pain for the cats and apparently a lot of clean-up for us. We’re all going to have to tough it out.
Let’s get one thing out of the way. I’m Sunshine. You can call me Sunshine, Sunny, Sunshine Shell, Sunshine Tortoiseshell, Sunshine Tortie, Tortie Love, Rockstar, Rockstar Shell…but don’t ever call me Miss Kissy! I’m not your Miss Kissy! I’m Jess’ Miss Kissy!
There’s this other cat who’s there, but she’s not important. I would’ve been just fine being queen of the house, but I have a tuxedo sister Muffin and I’d tell you about her but like I said, she’s not important. This is about me because I’m a tortie and I have tortitude and it’s my story, not her story!
Before I met Jess I was a shelter tortie. My alma mater is People United for Rescue and Rehabilitation (P.U.R.R), a no-kill shelter in Grafton, West Virginia. You’re probably thinking “Poor you! How’d such a beauty get stuck there?” I liked it because I was the queen bee. My sister was a weird wallflower basking in my glow. Can you believe they just had to smoosh us together? I don’t mind Muffin’s weirdness because she still lets me be queen bee. As long as she doesn’t take my throne we’ll get along just fine. Just don’t ever talk about other cats! Jess better not be thinking about bringing home any other torties because I’m her tortie!
I like living with Jess even though she’s like the worst! She lives at home with her parents and it’s kind of weird because she should be living with me in an apartment on her own, but Jess is lazy and she’d probably forget about me if I wasn’t always walking through her legs and jumping on her back and being awesome so her parents take care of me so it’s okay.
You’re probably wondering why I’m calling my story Must Love Tortitude. Everyone loves me because I’m awesome, right? Did you know that three-color cats (tortoiseshells, calicos, and combinations of the two) are pre-judged and misjudged? A lot of people think we’re evil and shelter workers warn potential adopters that we’re crazy and high-maintenance. You have got to be kidding me! My shelter mates, tabbies and solids and those stupid orange cats that everyone says are like super sweet even though they’re not, were so much crazier than me! I am an absolute delight! When I’m done telling my story, you’re all going to love tortitude as much as Jess!