Mine and Vivian’s hearts are forever bonded because of cats.
“Seventeen years ago, my sister told me that a shaded-silver kitten named Miss Wings needed a flight to a ‘kind and gifted writer, Mary Ellen, in Oregon,’” said Vivian.
Not only did Vivian volunteer to fly Miss Wings from Boston to Eugene, she paid for their flight. When she landed and handed a tiny fluffy Miss Wings into my hands, I fell in love — both with the kitten and Vivian. At the time, I was healing from cancer and the kitten’s and Vivian’s love were the best medicine ever. A few years later, Vivian adopted a relative of Miss Wings, Brie, to add to her two Himalayan cats.
After the loss of her Himalayans, Vivian’s friend told her she was fostering, “Two sweet, white, five-week-old kittens.” Vivian, who wanted to rescue cats, asked her friend to bring them over for a “test drive.”
“At first, the kittens were so little that their tails were only two inches long,” recalled Vivian. “Their big sister, Brie, is now 15 years old and enjoys watching the tiny entertaining kittens like live TV, but she refuses to babysit them and I refused to give them back.”
The twins were named after their soft, fluffy, marshmallow-like white coats; Marsha and Mellow.
Mellow now weighs 15 pounds and Marsha is 13 pounds. They stretch out to three feet long and they’re only nine months old. When Mellow sits on a coffee table, Vivian has to push the kitty condo up to make him fit. These gigantic olive-green-eyed felines appear to be Russian Whites: a mix of white Siberian and Russian Blue parents. The breed needs to be kept stimulated because of their intelligence.
Luckily, Mellow plays by himself chasing a ping-pong ball in the tub. He’s so rambunctious that the balls constantly fly out. When he was smaller, he would run up an unsuspecting Vivian’s leg, give her a love nip on her bottom, and then run off when she yelped. Purr-omptly at 5:30 a.m., these wild furries run up and down the hallways for two hours. Then they zonk out like under heavy anesthetic.
“Everything is a toy to them,” said Vivian. “That includes baseboards, diving under blankets and into the laundry basket. They love playing chase while jumping on everything that they are not allowed to — but they do it anyway. My two rescues are silly, bring joy and have me laughing all day.”
Mellow loves spying on his family in the bathroom. When the toilet is flushed, he rushes over and puts his long paws up onto the seat, then bends his head down into the toilet. When he reaches in to explore the swirling water, Vivian pulls him away.
On one side of her white couch (bought to camouflage three white cats’ fur) is a living tropical plant and on the other side is a fake tree. Mellow sees this as a challenge, often catapulting from one tree, across the couch, and into the second tree. Brie pays attention and follows suit.
Talk about teaching an old cat new tricks!
The mischievous twins will walk up, then step off their six-foot-tall cat post onto the ledge above the sliding door where they balance like mountain goats defying all odds of falling.
The second that Vivian sits or lays down, all three white cats cover her.
“My white furniture is great, but the navy couch is a white cat hair nightmare,” laughs Vivian. “So, it is a good thing that they lay on me most of the time. I could not love these little mongrels any more. They nestled in and rescued my heart. Every day, I say, ‘Thank you’ that they came into my life. I spoil all my cats and my friends are constantly telling me, ‘Your cats have won the kitty lottery’ or ‘I want to be reincarnated and come back as one of your pampered pets!’”
• Adopt a rescue here: www.PetFinder.com
• Contact your humane shelter and become involved in their fostering program.
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Humane Society for Neuter/Spay Assistance Program. 541-942-2789