Kitty Star of the Week for April 16 - 22, 2000.
Patchouli ("Patch" for short) and her brother came to her mom in 1988, kittens
only 2 weeks old, abandoned and unweaned. Mom raised them both in a bathtub
lined with an old bedspread, with a big old milk jug full of warm water for
them to snuggle against. Mom taught them how to eat, and judging from Patch's
size today, she did a mighty fine job. (She found another home for her brother
once she got him eating on his own, litter-box trained, and healthy.)
Patch's mom lovingly refers to her as "my Manatee" because she is fat and
grey and cute. Yes, Patch is on diet food, and no, it doesn't seem to help.
She's so tubby that when she tries to reach around to wash her back,
frequently she topples right over backwards--which can be a real problem when
she's near the edge of the bed! She loves food and begs shamelessly. She's
been known to sit on mom's shoulder and reach out to bat at food on the fork
en route to my mouth. She's been known to rip through plastic bags to get
to baked goods.
This photo was taken when she was still a kitten, and it does not reflect
her present figure. Rather, this photo illustrates how Patch got her other
nickname: Trouble. (For those familiar with "The Music Man," that's with a
capital T, which rhymes with P, which stands for Patch!) In her younger
days there was no wacky trouble Patchouli would not get into; she was hell on
wheels. Living with her, her mom understands the Darwinian purpose of
cuteness: it's a survival trait. You just can't kill a cat that cute, even
if she has just shredded the wallpaper in the newly-redecorated kitchen!
As she's aged and put on weight she's gradually mellowed a bit, but there were
days when no pencil or pen could remain on a table or desktop. It had to be
pushed onto the floor and then beneath the nearest low-slung piece of
furniture. If it was in a pen cup it had to be extracted and then pushed to
When she was not so big, she made it a point to snooze in the
most unorthodox spots she could find: on top of the clock radio or the
cable box, or in the basket holding paper lunch napkins. (As shown in the
photo. Mom tossed out the top napkin and hoped none of the guests noticed!)
Once, she dragged her mom's nightgown from the bedroom down two flights of
stairs to present it to mom's boyfriend. Patch used to engage in food hockey
as a solitaire sport, with an infinite supply of pucks available right there in
the food dish. (The refrigerator and the stove were the goals.) In her
younger days she would fetch, too, returning pencils thrown across the room.
She loves to play in the bathtub and watch for drips from the faucet--this
may have to do with having been raised in a bathtub. When she decides to
nap on the bed, she must dig up the covers to unearth the pillows and sleep in
the middle of the disorganized mess she's created of formerly neatly-made bed.
Unlike her housemate Jasmine, she's cowardly and does not like new
situations. When we moved into our current home she cowered under the couch
and drooled until mom fetched her out and comforted her.
She likes to be near
her mom, she's generous with kisses, and she follows mom around the house like a
dog, frequently choosing to snooze close by whenever mom settles down in
one place to work on a project. Patchouli always sleeps with mom at night,
often serving as an auxiliary pillow--a very soft warm one that purrs.
Her mom says, "Would that all my troubles were so charming as this one!"
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