by Whiskers, Matriarch of Mischief
Let me introduce you to our family. We are a family of six – a bi-ped and five fuzzy, feline mischief-makers – thus the title of our blog. Yes, we are the M&M crew at Mischief and Mayhem Central. Oh, not the bi-ped. Please! Pul-eeease! Let’s be serious for a moment here! She’d have to grow another pair of legs or at least a tail to be a bona fida crew member.... and that’s not going to happen at this late date. No, it isn’t. Nary a chance of her doing that. Anyhow, her mission and duties are of the non-mischief sort. Non-mischiefy definitely, definitively speaking she’s non-mischievous! So, now you understand... bi-peds are not permitted into the inner sanctum of M&M Central – especially those of the non-mischievous, tail-less kind. No siree bob! Absolutely not!
Well, you might assume the bi-pedal member of this family is Grammy. Yes, you might and you would be correct. Does she ride a bicycle, you ask? No! She’s not a cyclist... a bicycle rider. No. No. She’s bi-pedal - she walks on two feet. Yes, she does. She’s a two footed walker, an upright, upstanding sort and one with a soft-pedaling heart. Grammy is a bi-ped with a mission ... and simply put, that mission is to keep fuzzy feline mischief-makers healthy, happy and well cared for... Yes... and an important mission that is. Let me emphasize that... Keeping us healthy, happy and well cared for is a mission of the utmost importance! How else will M&M Central run smoothly?
Now you might know that Grammy was in rescue for a short while... yes, she was a foster mom. But foster parenting is not for the tender-hearted and the soft-in-the-headed combined. That is a fatal combination for fostering. Let me be very clear about this... Grammy is a softy. In case you missed that let me state it once more for good measure... Grammy has a gentle heart, Yes, Grammy’s heart might be as big as the moon but it is made of mush, you might say slush because it melts when it sees a kitty in need. Oh, yes! And where that soft heart goes, the soft head soon follows. They are inseparable and a dangerous combination.
Well, Grammy's intent when fostering was to take in one or two cats, socialize them and find them loving homes, take on another pair, find them homes and on and on... Somewhere in there was the hope of having a litter to raise as well and to be sure, cats came and went through the revolving doors of Mischief & Mayhem Central. But then, there were also those special ones who came, went but left an indelible mark on the heart, and those who came, didn’t leave... Yes, that would be us. We are the ones who stayed and with each new kitty that entered through that door it was increasingly harder to let it go but, that may be a story for another time. Back to our story...
Now! Enough about Grammy, the bi-pedal, soft-hearted, soft-in-the-headed and let’s move on to the four-footed, fully-tailed crew... the larger portion of this family aka the Mischief and Mayhem crew. In order of arrival and, in my eyes, starting with the most important... let me name the team members and then I’ll give you a little background.... First on the scene were wee Mouse and me (Whiskers) – the trail blazers you might say, followed by those rambunctious rowdies, Etude & Rondo and finally our little Sweetie who brought up the rear. All of us arrived under diverse circumstances and situations. Yes, very different. As different as night and day, or milk and honey. As different as.... Oh, get on with it, Whiskers, my girl...
I, the whiskery girl, was a pampered housecat abandoned in the wilds of Central Ontario. I have no idea how long I was out there but suffice it to say long enough to have multiple litters the last of which produced wee Mouse. Our life was tough, more than tough it was NASTY living unsheltered and abandoned and especially in the mid-winter blizzards of Central Ontario. Well, eventually we found shelter in an abandoned garage and hunkered down there, coming and going to forage as unobtrusively as possible when, one day we found food inside the shed door. Such good fortune! Could this be for us? Food for which we didn't need to hunt. Such a luxury! And again the next day and the next. Well, long story short after a few weeks of this daily feasting we were enticed into a trap, captured, scooped into a larger carrier and transported to Toronto. After an initial assessment, might I say in the blink of an eye, a twitch of a whisker we were placed into foster care with Grammy! Yes, Grammy! A gentle voice was all I needed. We were home. I recognized our good fortune and made up my mind this was the place for us... never to move again. I’ll tell you about that some day.
Now the boys... Well, unlike us, they have hardly suffered a day in their lives. No they haven’t. They don’t know what suffering is. Not a moment! Not an iota of suffering but if you were to ask them they’d tell you they are hard done by. Oh yes! Deprived! Few toys! Fewer treats! Never enough food! And the beds! Well! Not very spacious that single bed! Never mind that we have the multi-layered kitty mansion, the shearling-lined pet carriers, the many chairs, hassocks and a sofa. Would they survive if faced with hardship, true hardship? Good question. Do they appreciate their good fortune? That is as yet undetermined. They are the epitome of pampered. Yes, I say pampered. Check out their girth. They are well-fed, too well fed if you ask me. well-treated, yes, too many treats for sure, well-toyed, well-loved, super-spoiled and very determined mischiefs.
Now their mother, she had a tough kittenhood - quite the opposite to her pending offspring... Her (and their) story actually begins when in mid-spring of the same year we arrived a very young, pregnant cat was placed with Grammy. Yes, a kitten weighing a mere five pounds, with five squirming little bodies burgeoning and wriggling within her tiny body and only a few short weeks away from the fateful, or is that fetal day? Well, a pretty thing she was! And oh, so dainty, and ever so gentle - a sweet, soon to be doting mama! But, before she could dote she struggled to birth those enormous little bundles. And despite her struggles, her youth she was a wonderful mom - protective, yet trusting of the help, cautious, yet, in time allowing the kitts to explore. These boys are two of that kindle of kittens... and after a few failed adoptions over the following two years they too were added to Grammy’s permanent family.
And that leaves our little Sweetie - a misnomer if you ask us. You'll see! Sweetie was merely a photo on Facebook- but oh, so cute and so needy – a real heartstring tugger, let me tell you. Remember now... Grammy has a soft heart and she’s soft in the head! You must never forget that. Well, when she saw the following -- 3 week old needs foster home while broken leg heals -- resistance was futile. Suffice it to say Grammy hadn’t finished reading the posting before she was on the phone. Not a moment of contemplation. Not a scintilla of doubt. No, not one. Well, you don’t have to offer fostering services to a rescue twice, let me tell you. She was snapped up, our Grammy was, in an infinitely short second. No hesitation on their part, that shelter/rescue. Sweetie had a place to go. Hurray! This cutie has a chance.
From that moment forward Grammy was in overdrive. She got a cage ready, set it atop the dining-room table, furnished it with a pink igloo bed for the little darling – oh so cute, so sweet. Add to that a mini-litter box and loads of snuggly blankets and we were ready. Well, not quite! Grammy had to be sure it was perfect. How many times she rearranged the furniture for the impending arrival is at best, a guess. But, it was many! Finally satisfied, the boys, Mouse and I were given permission to examine the new digs, gave our paws of approval... and the wait began. Assessment, x-rays, would the leg heal or will they need to amputate? More assessments. Eventually the vigil was over. The anxious vigil had ended. Our little girl’s leg would be saved and our little bundle of joy should be arriving later in the day. Well, never more would we have a peaceful household. No siree. Not with this little one. Nary a moment of peace have we had since. Not a single one!
Did I say bundle of joy? Let me rephrase that.... our little Kestrel/Monkey/Instigator arrived. Yes. Anyone know what a kestrel is? Yes, a screaming, screeching hawk! That’s right! Go on the internet, type in Kestrel Call and check it out if you don’t believe me. That sweet innocent looking little ball of fluff did not like her cage or its fine decor and was showing her displeasure. Firstly, she rearranged the furniture. Then, satisfied that it was now more to her liking yet unhappy with the confinement she made sure everyone within miles knew it. Yes she did... she screeched to be let out - kestrel calls of sonic proportions. When that didn’t work she climbed the bars of her cage and hung upside down by her toes and continued to do what miniscule kestrels do – at the top of her lungs. Our only peaceful moments were during her cuddle sessions with Grammy while suckling on a nightgown - her pseudo-surrogate mother. Finally, after weeks of recovery and when allowed out for supervised exercise those never-suffered-a-day-in-their-lives-boys finally got their comeuppance... and they suffered! Oh yes, they were still young – almost a year old and four times her size but this little weeks old mischief taunted, teased, tormented and terrified them. Those big, loveable oafs were scared of this miniscule muffin-in-motion. Now, where through all this were Mouse and I? - You’ve got it! Yes, in the bedroom with earmuffs over our ears, cowering in our condo and shaking in our paws. What had Grammy done?
Send her back, Grammy! Please, send her back... but nooooooooooooooooo, Grammy was in love with our latest addition, so here the little kestrel stays - no less opinionated, a little less strident vocally, even more energetic physically than ever. She gives us all a run for our money...oh, yes she does.
And that was the end of the fostering experience, let me tell you. Five furries adopted! I fear that any more furries added to this household and an eviction notice would be on the condo door faster than you can say, “Jack Robinson!”
Five Cats, Five Personalities, One Goal - Mischief & Mayhem.