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You know by now that my family consists of myself (The Me), my husband (The Him)and my two adorable little boys (The Them.) While writing the post about our gas leak, I realized that I probably never before mentioned that we have a pit bull named McGillicutty and a cat named Zorro. (The Other Part of Them.) My animals have been around for years. Before my sons. Before we got married. Before our move to Las Vegas. McGillicutty is a little over 9. Zorro is about 16 and has been around even before I started dating Mike. In fact, I got Zorro quite by accident just a few months after my 18th birthday. He was not a tiny kitten at the time, he was almost a year old already…

It was August of 2000 and I had just moved into my first apartment with my then boyfriend. I made friends with our neighbor across the hall who was a little weird but friendly enough. One day she knocked on my door and carried in a cardboard box. She asked if she could leave this cat, whom she had gotten for her sister’s birthday present, with me until the following day. She already had a cat and he was not being friendly toward this new guy. It was just for 24 hours, just until she could take him to the birthday party and surprise her sister. I agreed to keep him for the night. He hid under my couch the entire evening and I barely knew he was there. The next morning she came back and gathered him up and put him in the car, and headed off to her sister’s birthday party.

A few hours later, she knocked on my door again. She still had the box. There was still a cat inside of it. Her mother had thrown a fit and refused to let her sister keep the cat. She was upset, the sister was upset, and the cat was tired of being hauled around in a cardboard box. My neighbor had no idea what to do with him. She couldn’t keep him because her own cat was being a jerk, and she couldn’t take him back where she got him because she had just gotten him from a stranger giving away cats on the street. (Interruption: This is why you do not give animals as gifts to unsuspecting people. Also a bad idea to give bunnies and chicks and other cute furry things as gifts just because they fit the theme of the holiday, ahem… Easter. Got it? Animals need forever homes. Don’t get them and give them with reckless abandon, ok? Ok.) I am not a cat person. I have always liked dogs, but never cared much for the company of cats. We had one cat throughout my entire childhood, and I liked her well enough, but we never had a super special bond or anything. All other cats could jump off a cliff for all I cared. I felt bad though, and this really was a nice cat. He was big and pretty with shiny, long black hair and bright green eyes. I told her I’d keep him. I named him Zorro and he became part of my family.

Zorro was a good cat. He litter trained easily, learned to play fetch, and even cuddled me on occasion. He was on his best behavior for about six months. Then he began pulling annoying stunts like clearing off every flat surface in the house over night so I would wake up to floors covered in mail and trinkets and water glasses. There is no breaking a cat of this behavior. They just like to watch stuff fall. Then he started puking up hairballs all over the place. I tried different foods and what not, nothing mattered. He had a ton of hair and he was going to cough up hairballs no matter what. So, asshole behavior and all, Zorro was just kind of there, part of my life.

In 2001 we moved to Fenton.

In 2003 I left my then boyfriend and couldn’t bring Zorro with me so he went to my sister Nellie’s house in Ohio for a year. He hung out with her two cats and puked on her floor.

I took him back when Mike and I moved into our first house in Hazel Park in 2004. Puking and assholery commenced.

Then we moved to Madison Heights in 2005. That fall, Zorro decided to run away. He snuck out of a door that was accidentally left open and I didn’t see him for a week. I asked all of the neighbors, cried, and worried myself to death. He showed up in the driveway one night when I got home from work. I was so happy to see him, and went to pick him up. He looked me right in the eye, yowled at me and hauled ass across the neighbor’s yard, disappearing into her garage. He stayed on the streets for two more weeks. I was convinced he was gone for good. One night we were playing poker and I heard a soft meowing from outside of the dining room window. I went out the back door and Zorro, the runaway hoodlum wannabe, was begging to come in. It had gotten a little too cold for him I guess.

We moved to Rochester Hills in 2006. This is when Zorro decided that one tiny piece of poop in his litter box past his predetermined acceptable amount, warranted pooping on the floor. It was not awesome.

We moved to Las Vegas in 2007. Zorro survived the trip in a cat carrier on the backseat floor of our Monte Carlo, pumped full of sedatives. The drugs wore off about an hour outside of Las Vegas and he howled the entire time. Howled like he was being murdered. Howled so loud we couldn’t drown him out with the radio. He howled to the point that I considered jumping out of the window and jogging the rest of the way. I realized then how smart we had been to drug him, because there is no way we all would have survived the entire trip like that. We moved into our new house and had Mike’s brother Junior as a roommate. Zorro and Junior’s cat, Blaze, became the best of friends. I didn’t see Zorro for almost a year. The cats just stayed in Junior’s room, boycotting the dog and planning to take over the world. Zorro did not forget to come out of hiding in order to puke on my furniture though. He’s so thoughtful.

We moved to a different house in 2009. The cats took over the den.

Junior and Blaze moved out in 2010 and Zorro went through a little depression. He started rubbing his head on corners of furniture so hard it pulled his hair out. He created reverse eyebrows, two white bald patches above his eyes. He looked insane.

We moved again in 2010. We had a new roommate who had a cat. Zorro was back to being gleeful with his new friend. They caused played, cuddled, and he puked while she tore shit up with her claws. Fun for everyone.

She moved out in 2012. Zorro became depressed again. He started rubbing his neck on everything, creating a bald collar for himself. This habit stuck. He still has a completely bald neck. He looks insane. He also decided that pooping on furniture was completely acceptable behavior as long as no humans actually saw him do it.

We moved into our current house in 2013. Last spring Zorro decided to run away from home again. This time he was gone for two months. I thought the end had come. He was old, it was hot. I hadn’t seen even a glimpse of him for months. I was sad… but I also liked not cleaning up cat puke every day. I liked not waking up to his incredibly loud howling at 4:00 am. I didn’t want him to be dead… but I was ok with the idea that he may of found another house to live in. One night Mike was chatting with our neighbors, and happened to mention that our cat took off a few months ago. They said a black long haired cat had been crying outside of their door every morning for a week! Mike asked them to please let us know the next time they saw him. The idea of him crying to come in and being confused about his home made me sad! Two nights later the neighbor guy knocked on my door and said the cat was over at their house. I walked next door and saw Zorro hanging out with the neighbors, rubbing around their ankles. I scooped him up and brought him home. He’s been trying to run away ever since.

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Zorro, a little skinny and tired after returning home from two months on the lam.

Now we are taking another cross country trip. I’m trying to procure drugs for this insane old-man, balding, puking, running-away-ass cat so I don’t kill him or myself on the drive. He will have to go to the vet of course, have an exam to get the pills and then he will probably run away again before we leave. Zorro has been my first cat… and he will be my last. He has confirmed my belief that I am not a cat person. I hate the hair, the puke, the poop, the litter box, the yowling, the stealing my contact cases and the jumping all over the furniture. Zorro and I have a love-hate relationship. I do not care to have that bond with another cat ever, ever again. I’ll stick with dogs. I’ll tell you that story on Monday…

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