Kit and Caboodle
For several weeks after Simba’s death, I swore I would never get another cat because it hurt so much to lose her. Then a friend ‘s cat had kittens and supposedly two of the five kittens looked exactly alike. I naively thought, ” Well, maybe if I have two cats, it will only hurt half as much when one dies.” So I went to look at the kittens, but as it turned out the look- alikes both had something wrong with the upper lip. As a result I ended up with two who could not have looked more unlike.
I wanted them to have related names: maybe Tic and Tac, but finally came up with Kit and Caboodle. And may I add this was before there was a cat food of that name.
Kit was a female who despite being the runt of the litter grew to weigh about 14 pounds. Her markings classified her as a tortoiseshell, with patches of black, reddish orange, brown, and tan. Several of the reddish patches even had faint stripes. A large black patch circled one eye, giving her a rather sinister look that spooked more than a few people, but she was the gentlest of cats. In one yard we had, she would go up over the wall, bring back a baby rabbit, play with it, and return it back over the wall. I kid you not. She was a groomer, focusing her attention on Caboodle.
Caboodle, a gray and white male, ended up weighing 27 pounds, but he had such a large frame, he carried the weight well. Once, someone seeing him at a distance said, “That’s a funny looking dog!” He was long enough that he could stand on his hind legs and reach the top of a kitchen counter, snagging any food left too close to the edge.
When I brought the infamous Wulf home, the cats hid under the bed for two weeks but gradually the three decided on a treaty of co-existence. After some time, Kit would lie with Wulf and clean the dog’s ears, but that big Caboodle was always a sissy. I can still picture him standing on the coffee table and moaning piteously as Wulf walked past.
What I didn’t know at the time, but later learned , litter mates often tend to be devoted to one another and could care less about the humans in their life. Kit and Caboodle would sleep curled up together and were never very far apart, but ignored us humans. Kit would spend hours grooming her brother.
As they aged, both developed hyperthyroidism, very common in cats, and required daily pills and frequent blood work. Despite the treatment, they continued to lose weight, and Caboodle died at age 14, leaving Kit on her own until age 17. Missing him, she would wander around the house, sitting outside any closed door and meowing mournfully, thinking, I suppose, that he might be shut in somewhere.
Figuring she could use company, I adopted a shelter cat. Enter Bonkers whom I’ll write about in the future. Upon Caboodle’s demise, Kit became a very affectionate lap cat, but she and Bonkers never became buddies despite Kit’s willingness.
© Dorothy C. Judd
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