Growing up we had a mixture of cats and dogs. The dogs were usually found in the yard one morning because someone had dropped them into our yard over the fence. Unfortunately that meant the dogs weren’t always the healthiest or were already old when they appeared. The cats started off the same way. Two half-grown ones appeared in our yard, we think they escaped from a kennel in the neighborhood because they were already tame. So we kept them and would tame/give the kittens away for adoption. Life in the desert in Southern California was hard on indoor-outdoor cats between predators, cars, and other stray cats.
As an adult I wanted a pet and I had a hard time deciding between getting a cat or getting a dog. The deciding factor was that I prefer larger dogs but I did not have the time away from my job to train and socialize a dog plus I was living in apartments at the time. I have always felt strongly that dogs need a yard they can run around in and did not want to subject my neighbors or the dog to the cries of a lonely cooped up animal. So I decided I was going to get a cat. One of the guys who worked for me said one day that he had the perfect black cat to go along with my broom…His family’s menagerie had grown beyond what he could handle so he was trying to give away some of their pets. A few months later I brought home Gus-gus, he was already neutered and his shots were uptodate.
He was half-grown at the time and extremely social. He still likes to talk and frequently reminds me if it is either approaching meal time or if he wants it to be meal time. If you have seen the Disney version of Cinderella and remember the fat mouse who was all about food you will understand the inspiration for his name. My mom said that I really should get him companion so he had company when I was at work so I went back to my co-worker and asked if I could get Gus-Gus’ brother. Unfortunately one of his daughters did the big pleading eyes at him so he said they were keeping him. After a few more weeks I wandered into the Vet Clinic and asked if they knew anyone who had cats up for adoption. They had a litter of kittens that would be ready in about a week so I filled out their application which was approved. The great thing about adopting from the vet clinic was that their adoption process included first round of shots and neutering when he was old enough. Those were things I would have done anyway so this just made it easier. When I went back to meet the kittens to pick out which one I wanted to adopt they were all extremely adorable looking. Gus-Gus was friendly and I wanted another friendly cat so I picked the one who played with my hand the most and he ended up being Cinder. (I was planning on a female cat so the name was going to be Ella but I had to switch that when I ended up with another male cat).
Right now Gus-Gus is about 8 years old and Cinder is about 7. Both of them are just as active and mischievous as ever. The two of them are a lot of fun. They play together, fight together, guilt me into giving them treats together, taunt me into playing with them together, are my back-up alarm clocks, and also act as furry heating pads or furnaces. They always greet me when I get home and can make me smile regardless of how rough a day I have had. They are a constant source of comfort and I am so glad I have them.