7.14.2005

My mom doesn't speak cat

So Kelly wants to know how Tippy enjoyed his trip to Milwaukee. I think he had a fair time of things, but first I should give you a little background on him.

Tippy was born under a shed at my grandmother's neighbor's house in Red Oak, Iowa. His mother was a stray with a gimpy leg and a generally homely look.


That's her in the foreground. Tippy had two sisters who beat up on him all the time. He learned to only fight back when they were sleeping so he could mount a sneak attack.

As he and his siblings grew up, my grandmother had them all spayed and neutered (per Bob Barker's request) and found a farm for them to live at. She checked back a couple of weeks later and found that while the girls were doing well, a neutered boy cat didn't stand much of a chance on a farm surrounded by dominant virile male cats. She took pity on the poor Tipster (who was always a favorite) and took him home. There he discovered the joys of plush carpeting and central air and dedicated himself to a life of luxury.

The only problem occurred when my grandparents went to Arizona for the winter. They had a condo in a complex that didn't allow animals so Tippy spent the winters with my aunt and uncle in Fulton, Missouri.

Things worked well for a couple of years until my aunt and uncle decided to move to their own condo in St. Louis. They were traveling more and my grandmother didn't want them to have to also watch a cat.

Tippy needed a home.

I'd never had a cat before but I felt it was important to keep Tipparoo in the family, so I offered to take him. I lived in Nevada City, California at the time, though. My grandmother sprang for the flight to St. Louis and I came back to Cali with one very confused (and slightly sedated) cat. He quickly learned to love the California life and we lived out west for a year and a half.

Then I got the job in Cincinnati. My mom and I spent four days driving across the country with a cat in the back seat of my car. He had a nice set up and pretty much stopped meowing after the first day. I think he had resigned himself to a life of hotel rooms when I finally got an apartment.

So I've lived in Cincy for two years now and Tippy has learned to love that, too. Last year, though, I was going up to Milwaukee to visit my parents. My grandmother was going to be there, too, and I thought she might like to see her long lost cat. So once again I threw Tip in the back seat and we headed north. By then he'd learned that meowing doesn't make the trip go any faster and now he's pretty used to the whole thing.

I think Tippy likes my parents' house. It's much bigger than my place and it has lots of beds to hide under. He also loves unfinished basements with cobwebs and spiders and my parents' house has that, too. He usually gets more attention during the few days we're visiting than he gets in a whole year at home.


This trip was the first time I'd actually left him alone with my parents for any significant amount of time. After the first day he finally crawled out from under the bed to see if anyone was around. He spent the rest of the time meowing at my mom for no apparent reason.

But Tippy's meows always have a reason. He's either hungry or he wants to go outside.

It seems that most of the time at my parents he was hungry. So like a dateless girl on a Saturday night, Tippy turned much of his attention to his meager allotment of food. He probably would have appreciated some fine Wisconsin cheeses but he was left with his usual Science Diet Lite cat food.

When I finally got back to Milwaukee, Tip was less than thrilled by my return (as cats are wont to do). He merely meowed at me as well, hoping to scam an extra serving of food.


That's really all he cares about.

So the next day we headed home for another of our regular car trips. He gets the entire back seat, complete with a cat bed and a travel litter box. Usually he just crawls under a blanket and hides there for the next seven hours and that's what he did this time, too. I think that after years of traveling around the country he knows that as long as he has his food and his beloved litter box everything will be o.k.

5 comments:

Summer said...

hey... how long ago was this picture taken? Everybody still looks the same! Even the COUCH!!! I remember that couch!!!

Eileen said...

I took that picture last week. My family has the remarkable ability to look exaclty the same for years and years. Don't mention the couch to my mom, though. She's been dying to get rid of it.

j-loveseat said...

Actually, everyone else looks the same, but the couch has finally gotten pubes. Its voice is starting to change, too. Appearances can be deceiving.

Eileen said...

It's an awkward time for the couch. Try not to stare.

Shawn said...

I might also suggest not sitting on its lap for a while. You know how those raging hormones can be...