Z is for Zeus and Sylvester
Most people thought that I would post about ZuZu since she makes writing a Z post super easy. But I wrote about her last year and I wanted to keep with my theme of telling about my childhood pets. Zeus and Sylvester are sisters who we “adopted” from the neighbors. I grew up in rural Iowa so neighbor means the neighboring farm a 1/4 mile away. And by adopted I mean the neighbors’ farm cat had a litter and they asked if we wanted a kitten. So my sister and I trekked over and we each picked out a kitten. After they were old enough to be weaned we got to bring them home with us. They were the first kittens to come into the family since our tailless cat Mittens had joined the family while we still lived in Wisconsin. (Mittens lost her tail to infection when she was a kitten so all she had was a stump). In the basement of my parent’s house I put their paw prints in paint on the brick wall. I painted their names and decorated around it. It’s still there along with prints of several other cats; it commemorates their existence. 🙂
Sylvester was my first cat. Quick divert…my first cat was actually a calico kitten I named Gabby. My mom took me to a friend’s house and I got to pick out a kitten. I think I was 8 or 9 and was so excited to get my own cat! Unfortunately she and I parted shortly after because she was hit by a car. I remember crying a lot and my mom said I could stay home from school that day. So technically Gabby was No. 1 but Vester was the first cat who was mine who lived through cars, coyotes and all the typical dangers of being a farm cat. I was really into Tweety & Sylvester when they were born so naturally I would name a black and white cat Sylvester regardless of its gender. It fits her though. She suffers from a skin allergy and constantly chews on herself until she’s raw. My mom feeds her a special raw diet to prevent the allergy from flaring up. In the summer she loves to sun herself and it seems to help keep her skin soothed.
Zeus was my sister’s cat. Her nickname was Booster (no idea why…again with these weird names and nicknames) and our first family email address (when dial-up internet was still top technology) was booster@suchandsuch. And you know how when pets eat too much chocolate they can die? Well this cat is the exception to the rule. When my sister was a high school senior she had to sell boxes of chocolate candy bars for a trip. The small boxes of candy were stored in larger cardboard boxes in the top of her closet. One day we discovered Zeus had slipped into the closet and had ripped open the cardboard boxes to get through to the chocolate bars and had eaten her way through several boxes. My mom ended up having to buy half the candy because the cat had chewed almost every bar. It’s funny now but my mom and sister weren’t too pleased with her at the time. She can smell chocolate a mile away. If there’s any even remotely near her she will find it and chew through the wrapper to get to it. Not once has she had a health problem because of her chocolate intake.
She’s also missing part of her left ear. She and Armstrong got into a tussle many years ago and Armstrong bit off part of her ear. So I now call her Left Ear. If you look at her ear in the picture below you’ll see there is no pointy tip like a cat’s ear should have.
They are also really tiny cats at least compared to their offspring and even the Kitty Fantasticas. These two started the clan that still exists today. Zeus was mother to Lavinia who had Gemini, Armstrong & Kola. Q was their father. Sylvester mothered Xerxes. This summer they will turn 18 and are still living the dream at my parent’s paradise.
This is the last A-Z post of 2014! Can you believe the month is already over? I have no idea what happened to April. I’m excited for May and June though. Two friends are having babies and I’m going on two really awesome trips. So over the next month I’ll be sharing more about that with you guys! In the next few days I’ll be writing a A-Z Review post and would love to hear feedback about the month from everyone. Be watching for that too!