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Whitetick the walking cat

by jann ciochetto.........................................

If I hadn't seen it for myself, I never would have believed it. I acquired Whitetick and her mother and siblings in early April of 1991.They had been abandoned. I kept Whitetick because she was the runt and the only white and grey kitten out of all five of which four were pure black. She was mean. Not cuddly like the black kittens. I guessed it was because the other kittens were always jumping on her when she was sleeping. She didn't even have her teeth and she would sit in the palm of my hand and hiss at me. She knew her name by the time she was 1 1/2 months old. She had a little grey on her head, a few grey spots on her body, a grey tail. Her eyes were green/gold. She had a pink nose but her lips were black. It looked funny with her light coloring. As she got older she started to let us play with her. She liked to get up on her hind legs, paws outstreched and jump at us. Kitten stuff, I thought, just like that little side dance kittens do with their back arched and their tail up. Whitetick did that dance well into adulthood. But it wasn't till my husband brought home a Big Gulp from Seven Eleven, that I realized she was not an ordinary cat. She loved straws. But this straw was HUGE. She was only 3 months old. He set the soda down on the floor. She grabbed the straw and started to pull it out. It was too big for her to carry away. We were sitting on the floor watching TV. In front of me, Whitetick started to carry her new straw away. It kept dragging along the carpet. She got up on her hind legs and put her two front paws on the straw and walked. Then she got on all fours again, the straw dragged, up again on her hind legs-I hit my husbands leg and said "Look!" He said "she's walking......" she walked through the living room, down the small hall and into the bathroom with her straw. We laughed and watched in amazement. I told my mom and she thought I was exaggerating. I assured her I was not. That was the beginning of Tikki walking. She liked to get on her hind legs and box with us. She would suprise my husband, when he got home from work, by dancing toward him all puffed up, then getting on her hind legs and twirling around once then taking three little hops toward him. I didn't believe him at first, then she did it for me one night. She had great balance on her hind legs. She would stand up at a moments notice and just stay that way for minutes. We took her everywhere. She loved car rides. My mom had Whiteticks mother. We would visit and I was say "get her Whitetick!" and she would go run after my moms cat to play with her. She used to drink water from her bowl by scooping it into her paw and bringing it to her mouth. She didn't like to be held and you could pet her but she would let you know when she had enough. Yet, she slept with us everynight. She wouldn't get out of bed until we did. Sometimes we would be watching TV and she would come in the room and start jumping around in front of us. We would laugh. She would find a rubberband and bring it to me to shoot across the room for her. Bottle caps were very special for her. She would have them in her mouth and they would get stuck because they were too big. She would get on her hind legs and take her two paws and push the cap out of her mouth. Once, she didn't feel well and started to gag like she was going to throw up. She looked at me and put her paw over her mouth and ran to the bathroom. As I said in the beginning of this, if I hadn't seen it, I would never believe it. I even told our Veterinarian about the things she did and he said "I don't know what to tell you I never heard of a cat doing that before". She was so intelligent. We used to play hide and seek with each other. She loved water. If my husband or myself were taking a bath she had to be in there too. She would drop a rubberband in the tub and then reach in the water to get it. Sometimes she would submerge her entire head to get her rubberband. She never did become an affectionate cat even after she was spayed. But as she got older, she tolerated us and would allow us to pet her. The only time she snuggled with us is when we were sleeping. My daughter held her on her final day. Told her goodbye. I wish I could have done that too. I miss my little Whitetick. But I know she had a good life. She was comfortable, warm, happy and loved. I know many animals are not so fortunate. Rest , little Whitetick,

Comments would be appreciated by the author, jann ciochetto

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