A Purr-fect Day – My Reunion With Zeuss Catt
The best part about being a cat blogger, is that when I say that not only did I go to Boston last weekend to visit my step-kids, but to visit one of my dearest cat friends, you all merely nod you heads as if that is the most natural thing ever. Doesn’t everyone get on a plane to visit a cat friend? Of course, by a cat friend, I mean an actual four-legged friend of the feline species… the infamous Zeuss Catt, the other son of Zee and Zoey and brother to Mia, Peanut, and Rolz. It has been almost 3 years to the day that Zeuss packed his furry bags and boarded a plane with my step-daughter Crystal and her then boyfriend Sean to his permanent residence in a charming Boston suburb.
When he first left us, it was both joyful and painful. Joyful in that I knew Crystal and Sean would be wonderful guardians to Zeuss, but painful in that it would be the last time I would see this sweet kitten that was such an ingrained part of my life. Dan and I had already agreed we were going to keep the remaining kittens, as we were so in love with them and could not bear the thought of parting with them, but these kittens had literally been together with us 24/7 and it was hard to imagine not having Zeuss with us anymore.
Crystal and Sean constantly filled us in with all sorts of updates and photos, so it was not like Zeuss just vanished from our lives. He even had his own facebook page long before it became commonplace for every cat to have a facebook page. Eventually Crystal and Sean broke up and sole custody of Zeuss went to Sean. Crystal was so busy with her teaching career during the day and bartending at night, that it really was the best decision in the long run for Zeuss and thankfully Sean has remained a dear friend of ours.
We made the appointment to meet with Zeuss on the last day of our trip and I could not wait for the reunion. What would he think? Would he remember me? Would he like my hair cut? So many jumbled thoughts… When we got to the house and parked the car, we saw Zeuss outside wearing his walking jacket and leash. My heart was pounding and I ran out of the car, tears in my eyes, like two long lost friends reunited as we approached one another in anticipation of our meeting. Our eyes locked with complete intensity until I realized he was actually looking at a squirrel in the distance and not me at all…
Zeuss is a fascinating study in cat behavior as he is now an only child cat that is primarily being raised by two males, Sean and his brother Brendan who roommate together. While they never set out to get a dog, I don’t know if it is the male influence, but Zeuss is the most dog-like cat I have ever met. He is the master of his yard and runs back and forth on his long leash lead as he chases the birds and squirrels and runs to the fence to greet the children that are walking by on their way home from school and the other neighborhood dogs that pass by. He is not afraid of anything and is a nonstop athletic machine in perpetual motion of running, sniffing, jumping, and climbing. Brendan takes him out for a walk 2 to 3 times a day and the relationship he has with these guys is incredible.
When you go into the house, it is clear that Sean and Brendan are merely co-inhabitants to what is Zeuss’s world. Every single room caters to Zeuss and it is difficult to discern any evidence of human existence. The kitchen is the first room you walk into from outside and immediately you are greeted by a huge corrugated box that perhaps a stove or TV came from. It has air holes cut into it as well as a door. Inside this mini cat apartment is the litter box… Just the litter box. Talk about privacy fit for a king!
The next thing you notice in the kitchen is a couch. A couch that is turned on its side so that it is vertical and placed strategically next to a window. Just to be clear, this is not a typo, there is a vertical couch in the kitchen. Why? Because when Zeuss first came to his new home, this couch that was on its way out to the curbside for hopeful pickup by someone who needed a free couch, was instantly claimed by Zeuss as his favorite napping spot. It has now been appropriately renamed “The Loft” and clearly Sean and Brendan had no choice other than to keep the couch in the kitchen, standing up vertically. Sounds about right to me and we know Jackson Galaxy would strongly approve!!
As you wander into the living room, you see that it is indeed lived in… by a cat. There are toys all over the floor, on the coffee table, and on the couch that is ironically placed horizontally to actually sit on. You will find Zeuss’s cat brush as well as all sorts of kitty condos and things of that nature. I saw a TV in the background, but it appears to be nothing more than an object for Zeuss to recline on.
Zeuss was under strict directive by Sean to be on his “best behavior” and I must say he was the most gracious of hosts. Zee/Zoey children, while stunningly gorgeous, are not known for their tolerance of excessive (i.e., any) snuggling or cuddling and Zeuss was willing to let us pet him, hold him, brush him, and coo at him for well over an hour until we saw the inevitable “tail swish” that was signaling to us his hospitality was wearing thin. We got the hint, plus Dan’s youngest daughter Jackie and her cousin Katie who also came to see Zeuss were getting a tad bored with our conversation that literally did not veer for even one second about the conversation of cats. Whoever came up with the stereotype that men don’t like cats has been seriously misled. These guys talked about Zeuss like a proud parent who pulls out a wallet chalk full of pictures of their kids. Personally, I always found that stereotype to be nothing more than a demeaning myth and I find that most men I know actually love cats…
Much as I could have stayed for hours, we said our tearful goodbyes and I left feeling so happy. Zeuss could not possibly have a better home or be more loved. He is a stunning specimen and the epitome of strapping good health. His every whim is attended to and these guys adore and worship the ground he walks on. I find the whole thing quite fascinating. If Zeuss were Zeuss, but he lived with Dan and I, would he still be “Zeuss?” I think not. While we clearly love our gang to the ends of the earth, we have seven cats that we have to share our attention with. Zeuss is doted on by two men who are at his beck and call and are encouraging him to stretch every boundary there is to being a cat.
Despite the differences in upbringing and the miles separating us, there still is no denying Zeuss is a by-product of Zee and Zoey. He is an incredible combination of his parents and a wonderful montage of his siblings – he has the bulk and eyes of his brother Rolz, he has the slight reddish hue of his sister Mia, and he has the markings and friendliness of his sister Peanut. Another incredible chapter in the book of my life… Check out this video so you can see for yourself!