cats & critters

Penelope (Penny), my cat from childhood

I have written before about Buttermilk, my first cat. But I’m surprised I have not made a post yet about Penelope, or Penny, (or Princess Penny) my second cat.

I actually knew Penny before I adopted Buttermilk. She was my older cousin’s cat, who had her for many years. I got Buttermilk for my ninth birthday, and two years later I wanted a second cat. Buttermilk was perfect, but he was also extremely skittish and spent most of his time outdoors. I really wanted a cat who was more outgoing and affectionate. It was good timing, because my cousin was leaving for college and her cat needed constant attention, so my aunt suggested that I take her.

My aunt, uncle, and grandma drove up to my house with Penny. They took her to the vet beforehand, who guessed that she was about seven years old. We never knew her exact birthday, although it was probably in 1999 — I guessed maybe she was a Taurus since she loves to eat, or maybe an Aries or Leo since she’s also very feisty and loves attention.

Right away, Penelope adjusted to her new home — almost too quickly, actually. She instantly made herself queen of the house and bullied poor Buttermilk away. After her arrival, Buttermilk ran away for two weeks straight and it was absolutely terrifying. We finally found him back in the house, and I kept him locked in my room (with food, water, litter, etc.) and refused to leave his sight, to make sure he knew that I loved him and that he wasn’t being replaced!

At my cousin’s house, Penny was a total sweetheart, so I was shocked to see her become quite aggressive. She loved being petted, but was quick to suddenly pounce and attack out of nowhere — I remember one time when she scratched up my hands so terribly and I was bleeding everywhere! I debated sending her back with my aunt, but ultimately decided to stick it out and push through — thank goodness for my patience.

It took a long time, but Penny and Buttermilk warmed up to each other. It was super tense for a while, but within a couple years, they were teasing and playing games with each other, and peacefully napping in the same room together. They never became “best friends” or “snuggle buddies,” but they had a very adorable brother/sister bond.

All of my friends absolutely adored Penny, and found it hysterically delightful how whenever you sat down on the couch, within two minutes she would plop herself up on your lap. Penelope seriously demanded attention and had absolutely no shame about it. Her and Buttermilk were polar opposites — as Buttermilk was super shy and sensitive, Penny was sassy and loud. She was extremely vocal, full of attitude, and dominating. Alongside, Buttermilk was pure muscle and spent most of his day running around the neighborhood, while Penny spent her days laying around the house, people-watching on the front porch, and begging for food.

Penelope was so gluttonous that we had some neighbors who thought that we never fed her, so they would give her more food. What she was truly hungry for, was attention! I don’t like to call her chunky, I would say more that she was curvy. Penny loved sitting in strange things such as boxes, laundry baskets, and her personal favorite — on top of people’s shoes.

Princess Penelope was an absolute joy. It was a rocky start, which ended up turning into pure love. She is deep in my heart and I will never forget her. She certainly made a mark on the rest of my family and my friends. Sadly, Penny ended up developing a tumor on her stomach shortly after Buttermilk had suddenly passed away when he was only nine. I somehow convinced my parents to put her into surgery, which only prolonged her life by a couple months, and then she passed on to rainbow bridge in the summer of 2013. That year, I lost my two cats, and my five pet chickens, all at once. It was absolutely the worst year for my pets. It’s crazy how they all went down together. I miss my Princess Penny so much and always will! She brought so much love into the world!


6 thoughts on “Penelope (Penny), my cat from childhood

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