How many before you’re a crazy cat lady?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 4, 2015

What is the number that turns you from cat owner to crazy cat lady? I wondered that today when I walked to my glass door and saw five pairs of eyes staring at me.

Then I heard this coming out of my mouth as I looked at the furry faces around those eyes.

“Good morning, babies,” I said. “Are you hungry, babies?”

Imagine the words spoken in something close to baby talk. Cats like that voice, I think.

“Where are the rest of the babies?” I said.

Yep, you heard right. There are more cat children in my life than the five meowing at me through the door. The grand total is nine.

Yes, nine cats live at my house and I didn’t bring even one of them to my house. They are gifts that arrived purring and waiting for food.

The first one to show up was Percy — named thus because of his persistent personality. He was a scared, 10-week-old kitten that appeared one morning more than five years ago. I found him sitting on a branch in one of the oak trees near my deck.

When he came down, he climbed into my lap, nestled his head under my arm and moved immediately into my house. Percy is the “main” cat and is just a little more special.

Less than a year later, we welcomed AC. He walked down the driveway one Saturday crying as loudly as I’ve ever heard a cat cry. He was a flea-covered mess of a kitten. I cleaned him up, picked off the fleas and fed him.

Oh, that cat has one needy personality. That is how he got his name AC, short for Aggravating Cat. Sorry if that is not a flattering pet name, I love him but the cat is aggravating.

Then Lucy moved in, a transplant from a neighbor. She came carrying a belly full of kittens. How a cat that small gave birth to five babies still amazes me. We tried to find good homes for the little ones, but the cat market was overflowing with kittens looking for homes. (We shut down our cat factory with a trip to the vet).

One of the kitties, the little girl, did find a wonderful home. The other four boys stayed with us. My granddaughters named them, and couple of the names I can’t pronounce or spell.

There is Zazzy, short for a character in the Lion King. Two of the cats are close to being identical twins. I ditched their names and simply call them the yellow boys. (My husband calls them Thing 1 and Thing 2). Lucy’s other son is named Shiva — yes I named that one.

In the midst of taking care of a growing herd, Daddy Cat came around. We think he is Percy’s brother. He is on the wild side and it took a while before he trusted me enough to let me pet him.

Finally, we have Prissy, named because she is a prissy little diva. She came out of the bushes one night crying and begging me to take her in. She is the youngest member of our kitty family.

Only two of the group live inside, the oldest, Percy, and the youngest, Prissy. The rest live outside. I think the two inside ones enjoy sitting at the glass door looking out at the ones on the other side. If I understood cat language, I think I might hear them saying, “Yes we are the chosen ones.”

As I prepared their morning meal, I thought, “nine cats — I have nine cats.” How did this happen? Am I officially a crazy cat lady or is the magic number for that designation 10 cats? If anyone knows the answer, please share.

Oh and is there such a thing as crazy dog people and what is the cutoff before you get that label?

Oh, gotta go. Someone is barking at me…