Our Fabulous Winston

If you’re not a cat person (and I realize that not everybody is), don’t bother reading this post. It’s a self-indulgent love-fest, entirely about one special kitty. Thanks for stopping by, though, and be sure to come back soon!

We love our cats unconditionally. If not for our cats, we wouldn’t even feel close to ready to emotionally raise children – seriously, they’ve taught us that much. They’re each so special in their own ways that every week or so one of us has an emotional breakdown over the thought of ever losing any of our little guys. Seriously, you’ve just gotta meet them and spend time with them to “get it”. Admittedly, after a short visit (which is what most folks experience at our house), they’re still quite shy and VERY much on their best behavior…which is hysterical given how bold and sweet they usually are. They’ve truly got lots of personality.

There’s a special spot in our hearts for each of them, truly. Beardslee’s harrowing near-death experience when we, by luck, picked him up brings a tear to my eye. The serendipity of friends mentioning Winston as a buddy for Beardslee was simply meant to happen. Jasper’s cuddliness (and complete willingness to steal Daddy’s side of the bed – anything to be with Mommy) proves that he was just what I needed (I always wanted a snuggle bunny – he will share part of the pillow, or use my shoulder as a pillow…seriously, he’s people). He was the perfect birthday present – the one that found ME out of the blue on my special day.

But, this post is specifically for Winston; our special guy. They’re all quite special (as I mentioned). But, Wee Wee is a different type of special.

He’s the type of guy who makes YOU work for HIS love. At the same time, he’s incredibly insecure and can’t stand being rejected when he wants to be held or cuddled. (By the way, that’s almost always after shower time in the morning, while his brothers are asleep downstairs. He’d never, ever allow them to see his vulnerability firsthand. However, he does writhe on the floor in happiness when we get home at the end of the day – THAT, he’ll show everyone.)

He’s our baby, by age. We must tell him this and remind him how special he is. His insecurities are just that bad; you can see them in his eyes and face and body language; it’s clear when he’s in need of a boost. The others would simply sulk until their mood passed.

Strangely, he’s also the most confident cat in the house. Mind you, he won’t sit and clean his crotch for the whole world to see (like *ahem* Tweedledee and Tweedledum). But, he’s got his own, tall model walk. His song is “Moves Like Jagger”; we can totally envision him model-walking and doing the head-over-his-shoulder look at the camera to it. He’s sleek and not overweight in the slightest (unlike the others). After potty time (which embarrasses him to no end, you can see on his face…ugh, people can WATCH me), he “cleans” the window in the French door next to the litter pan. He’s simply fabulous, helping Daddy pick out his outfits regularly, and with his long fangs, we always figured he had a cute, lispy speech impediment. Put those stereotypes together and you’ve got an idea of which way our Winston likes to swing. (Considering how often he likes to “show dominance” over his brothers, I’ve got no doubt.) And, of course, we’re totally cool with it.

Somehow, for as finicky and fabulous as Winston is, he’s the tough guy of the house. He’s the first to sneak his way into the basement when the door’s open, and could spend all day getting dirty and cobwebby, discovering nooks and crannies. When Daddy has a project to work on, especially with my stepfather, he has to be in the thick of it. Seriously, you can see him staring at the project, looking at the men, looking back and THINKING about what the issue is. He’s curious, and by far our smartest boy. (That’s okay, we all have our great traits – Beardslee’s sensitivity and soulfulness, Jasper’s cuddliness.)

And he’s the biggest bully in the house…the best fighter, the quickest, the cat most willing to fight dirty and bite someone’s naughty bits. He’s a climber (look! I’m the tallest thing in the ROOM!), which wouldn’t be a big deal if he didn’t frequently climb USING HIS CLAWS to the top of my comfy living room chair. It’s enough to make you very angry. If it wasn’t Winston doing it. He’ll always do something quickly to redeem himself. But nothing TOO sweet. That’s not his style.

What else makes him special? His voice. His looks would indicate a high-pitched meow…but, nope. He’s more like a baritone, if his brothers are both tenors (or sopranos, but don’t tell them that). He meows occasionally, but his “noises” make him interesting. When he jumps down and lands, or when he doesn’t like something we’re doing (like not letting him go into the basement), or when he really, really wants to be picked up, he kind of grunts. It’s a throat noise that’s not a meow but definitely a major complaint. It’s hysterical.

He’s also special, to me, because he’s almost 100% gray. His brothers both have tiger (or some sort of patterned kitty gene) markings, but he’s silvery blue with a couple of very small white patches underneath. His face is angular, unlike his rounded brothers. What’s so darn special about a gray cat?

Well, it’s special to me. My first cat EVER (one that I wasn’t allergic to – a short-hair, just like Mr. Hardly Sheds Winston) was named Griffy, and she was a great pet to have. I don’t remember much about her, though, since she died a month after my father. We always say that she died of a broken heart, curled up under his cane. I distinctly remember getting a snip of her fur before Grandpa buried her under our swing set, fur that was denser and finer than most cats – just like Winston. Mom still remarks about how he looks like Griffy…and I’m pretty sure that’s why it was hard for me to say ‘no’ to adding him to the family.

It’s clear to me that all three of our boys were brought to us by fate, and there’s no fighting that. After all, I used to be a dog person.The perfect picture to represent Winston’s First Christmas. Side story: We awoke to shreds of ONE (out of a kazillion) present, already opened, wrapping paper strewn throughout the house and this little “Stripey” toy already disgustingly licked and chewed, and even torn into. Wee Wee had a Stripey that he destroyed and I resewed a dozen times that simply had to be done away with, so he must’ve known this guy was his special toy for the year. (And, nope. There’s no catnip in it.)

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