Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Story of Punk: a letter that turned into a novel.

Dearest Punk,
My sweet CrackCat, Happy Caturday! It is so hard to believe you are a year old. I remember visiting you and your brothers and sister when you were just 2 weeks old. Your daddy hadn’t ever had a “real” pet, so he didn’t even know how to hold you. He was amazed when I picked up three of you and put you on my shirt. He was shocked that you could all crawl up me with your tiny claws and that all I had to do was keep an arm across my body so that you would land on it if you fell. He thought your tiny “hello” meows meant you were hurt or upset. He had no idea just how durable those little bodies, tiny things that fit in his palm, would grow to be.

At that time, I lived with your daddy in his apartment, before I was given housing in Dimmit. I slept on the top bunk and threw things down on your daddy. We talked from bed to bed and browsed online and visited kittens at PetsMart and imagined what it would be like to have our own kitten. We lived with 4 other people: your Uncle Russ, Aunt Ashley, Joe and Steph. Joe and Steph snuck Steph’s dog into the apartment and it lived there for weeks and we marveled at how loud and annoying it was. I had always had cats at your Grandma Howard's house, so I knew I would love a kitty. Your daddy was a slow sell, but by the middle of July, he wanted one as badly as I did.

I knew I would eventually get a cat to live with me, since I was staff and could better hide a kitten and I didn’t want to live alone. So we began buying the things we would need for our “baby” to come home. Every time we went to PetsMart, my heart ached to take home all of the kittens there.

When I returned from PSO in August, I had to move from your daddy’s apartment into my own. I really didn’t want to live alone. At that point you were about 6 weeks old. Your family belonged to the ex-boyfriend of our roommate Joe’s sister. After numerous phone calls, we were able to track you down. We went to “Boog’s” house and found you living in an enclosed porch. We were just in time, if you didn’t all have homes soon, Boog was going to have to send you to the Humane Society. (While this was better than just abandoning you, they do occasionally have to put animals to sleep.)

Your daddy and I wanted a ninja kitten, so we chose the most active one on the porch. I picked up all of your brothers and you were the one who climbed my shirt. Little did we know you were just in your “afternoon slow” stage, between catnaps. From there, we took you to daddy’s apartment so we could grab some things. Uncle Coonrad was the first to get to hold you and you beat him up in the less-than-five minutes it took to gather the things we needed. From there we took you on your first trip to PetsMart and everyone oohed and aahed over you. You were still so tiny! After that you and daddy sat in the car as I ran in to Wal-mart to get some kitten chow for you.

We took you back to my apartment and put you in a sweatshirt in the bathtub to nap. I went in to check on you and saw this:

After we had gotten everything set up, litter box and poo rocks, food, water, toys and a bed (the soft plastic crate you still won’t let me reclaim), we gave you a bath. You were not really pleased, but you did grow to like them for a period of time. Looking back at the pictures now, I can see how big your paws were and how I should have known you would be a big kitty, but I overlooked it at the time. You were so tiny, it was hard to imagine you grown up.

After your bath:

It was one of my warmest, fuzziest memories (ever!!) when you climbed up on me, after drying off, and fell asleep.

Little did I know what a terror this sweet cuddly creature was going to turn into! That night, Saturday, I slept in the living room on the green chair for 3 reasons: I didn't have sheets on the bed, I didn't want to leave you alone, and I didn't want to be alone. Dimmit made all sorts of noises when we first lived there, and you were very little help with that. In the middle of the night, just as I was falling asleep, you would crack out. You'd run in circles all the way around the living room and kitchen and I had no idea what you were doing! I attribute it to the fact that you lived in an enclosed porch where the light was always on, so you had no concept of day or night. I'm pretty sure you weren't weaned fully either and were missing your first mommy a lot. You kept me up most of the night and we fell asleep just as daddy was coming over in the morning. He didn't believe me when I tried to describe what had happened that night.

The next night, your daddy stayed in the living room so that I could get some rest before work. The same thing happened as the night before. You cracked out and daddy was aghast. We finally put you in the bathtub for the night and that seemed to solve the issue for a couple months. That's also how you got the nickname CrackCat.

While our first few weeks were quite rough, I don't really regret them, as without them I would have missed out on things like this:

and this:

And things like....
trying on hats:

and playing on the computer:

And teaching you things...
like how to drive... or to stay out of the toilet... (still working on that second one... )

And trying new looks with you... some worked, some didn't....

I would have missed the naps, noms and nesting:

But most of all, I would have missed the love.

Grow as much as you like, you'll always be my baby.
Happy Caturday, Punkerazzi FunkyFace Cunningham


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