SugarPie went to the Vet today after being sick for a while. Today, I want to talk about my baby boy!!!
SugarPie Honeybunches ofOats Little, (also known as Twizzler) was born February 18, 2014 to an unwed stray in Jersey City, NJ. I’m very certain that SugarPie has a host of siblings, but I’m not sure what has happened to them. But I do know that my Papi (as I affectionately refer to him) is the runt of the litter. The runt is usually the smallest and weakest, but that’s not how I see my baby. From the day that he was born, SugarPie has had to survive and make it on his own. As a stray, there wasn’t really a huge supply of food, nurture or security. After a while, his mother was found dead on the mean streets of Jersey City and there was no sign of siblings anywhere. So for weeks, my strong-spirited cat wandered the streets looking for a place to live, looking for food and trying to survive the winter. It had seemed that this kitten’s fate was sealed and that he would die just like his siblings and like his mother.
When the Liberty Humane Society found SugarPie, they said that he was found Near the Holland Tunnel, dirty and scared, but really affectionate. They’d bought his to the shelter, cleaned him up and fed him. They spayed him and named him Twizzler. Twizzler was the star of the shelter, as I had been told; he was feisty with huge personality. He was playful and all the staff loved him. Then, Twizzler was adopted by a classy family to be the pet of a little girl. The girl saw Twizzler and fell madly in love. There it so happened, they bought Twizzler home. Twizzler had finally found a family. Until a couple of days later, Twizzler had come down with a cough. The family couldn’t deal with the imperfection of a broken kitten and so they bought the orange Cabby back to the animal shelter.
Poor Twizzler, he had ended back at the shelter when all he really wanted was love and affection from someone who really love him and rub his belly.
Meanwhile, on the other side of Jersey City.
I was trying to figure out a way to get my partner to trust me. We argued non-stop because he wanted me to stay home with him. I just wanted to live my life and all he wanted was someone to take care of. On Mother’s Day of 2014, I had decided to give Russell a cat as a token of our love in hopes that he would understand that I loved him. Regardless of me being highly allergic to the cat, Russell wanted a cat and I would sacrifice my allergies for him to be happy.
So my friend Christina and I drove to the Liberty Human Society in hopes of finding a cat for Russell. The shelter is located in Jersey City’s Liberty State Park. The shelter is pretty big and it smells like animal poop. If you walk far enough, the shelter smells like death, that’s because after a while, when an animal isn’t adopted, they are put to death. Sad, right? The second floor of the shelter was the cat floor. There were cages everywhere; along the wall and in the middle of the floor. There were so many cats looking for homes. I had to find one cat to take home and it wasn’t easy.
We walked through the shelter about three times before I finally saw these two newborn white kittens. They were twins and I had come up with this situation in my head where Russell had a kitten and I had a kitten. I’d asked to hold the kittens, but they were too scared to be around people. Then the two kittens started hissing and I knew that those kittens weren’t going home with me. Then I felt someone hit me in my butt, I turned around and there was a huge grey cat with white paws named “Mittens” in a cage. Mittens paws were out of the cage reaching for me. One paw in particular was pointed to the next cage. Christina stops and says,
“Aww look at that one!” Looking into the cage next to Mittens, Christina said “Oh my God, he’s so cute and he kinda looks like Russell.” Standing on his two front legs; looking out at us was a resilient, feisty two ounce orange kitten. He had the cutest untamed orange hair. He meowed as if to say “hi”. Even then, it was a weak squeak and I fell head over feet in love.
“Excuse me, Miss…. I want him!”
“Oh!” The young white woman said excitedly. She had red hair and was wearing a yellow t-shirt. That’s all that I can remember about her, other than the fact that she was weirdly happy and reminded me of a woman in my Human Resources department named Kate.
“Twizzler is one of the faves here. Everyone loves him. He’s really spunky and cute.” It almost felt like she was giving me a sales pitch that just came off real genuine. “He loves people and he’s friendly.” She then told us his background story of how they found Twizzler and how a family adopted him and bought him back a couple of days later. Then, she yells to one of the other staffers. “He’s taking Twizzler!”
“No way!” the staffer says. “Oh you are so going to love him.”
“Well it’s good to know that you’ve got the popular cat.” Christina remarked.”
“Seems so fitting, I guess.” I said sarcastically.
“Do you want to hold him?” The lady asked. I wasn’t sure, I was afraid of holding Twizzler. He was so small and I was afraid of him scratching me and swelling up into a balloon. But I held him anyway. I cradled his small booty and held him to my chest. I was sold. He was mine. It felt right. After the lady in yellow clipped his nails and I paid for him, we hopped in the car and left.
The car ride was the worst for Twizzler. He was so small and scared. I took him out of his brand new carrier to stop him from crying. When we got home, Russell named the new kitten SugarPie.
SugarPie adjust to his home right away. He played, he ran, he fell in love with his new dads. The first night was rough for him as he cried most of the night when it was time to go to bed. The second night, we couldn’t get him to sleep in his bed. Then we realized that SugarPie was a lot like me. We were both strays and non-conforming. I learned very quickly that no one can tell SugarPie what to do. As SugarPie grew, it became even more apparent that this kitten had his own mind and personality. He was still playful and affectionate. He loved having his belly rubbed. He loved waking me up every day at 5am just to sit on my chest to fall asleep. But like most strays, SugarPie was territorial. SugarPie made sure that Russell and I knew that he ran things in the house and we just paid the bills.
When Russell and I split, SugarPie became depressed. All of a sudden, he went from having double the attention to having not much attention at all. The first week after Russell left, SugarPie stayed under the bed and didn’t eat. He’d wait at the door for Russell to walk in, but after a while when Russell didn’t show, SugarPie would walk into him room, close the door and I wouldn’t see him until the next day. I would go into the room and put him in bed with me, but then he’d just walk out. The first few weeks in February after Russell left, were depressing. He and I were both depressed. I was depressed, because of obvious reasons and because my cat seemed to hate me. He was adjusting to the new single-parent household.
When Russell was leaving, I thought that he was going to take SugarPie with him since I adopted Sugar for Russell. But in the end, SugarPie stayed here. I would have it no other way. We went to the Vet today and he ended up getting two shots. He came in the house, crawled in bed and knocked out. I was just happy that he wasn’t dying. I always envision the worst that could possibly happen. Thankfully, my SugarPie is okay. He’s home and as I type this, he is lying next to me sleeping and purring. Truth be told, I cannot imagine losing him. I’d die. Living alone could be so lonely, but holding him and sleeping with him makes it better. I feel like a parent now. It took a while to feel that way, but I feel like a parent. I’m not sure if I’m the best parent, but I think that I’m doing ok.
If I could speak for SugarPie he’d probably say something in humor like “All my life I had to fight!” He’s a lot like me, he has my humor and my stubborn ways. He slams doors when he’s mad. He poops on the floor when he doesn’t his way. He breaks glasses when he’s pissed off. He’s me with fur… I’m a stray in some cases too. Life is all about survival, but you are aimlessly looking for someone to love you for who you are. That’s what we are, two aimless spirits who have found each other. We make the best out of every situation in humor.
There’s a reason why the last family bought SugarPie back to the shelter, because they weren’t supposed to have him… Because as fate would have it, he’s mine….
And that’s perfect…. That’s …..Well….