Suzi was the first Bengal and the first cat we ever had in our married life together - Barry, who is allergic to cats, found an ad about these "hypoallergenic" cats and I got on the 'net and reseached them. I was stuck at home either going through, or waiting to go through, a series of operations and my life was wheelchairs and walkers and canes and all sorts of depressions and problems. I was basically trapped in my own home and going slowly stark raving mad with fear for my future, my life, my quality of life, and suffering boredom and lack of purpose and direction. I asked Barry if we could get some sort of live pet just so there was something else besides me in the house while he was at work all day. |
So, we found a local breeder, got me bundled up in the car and went to see her. Suzi was a retired breeding queen but young and small. She was as feisty and curious as they come and came right over to check out my colourful cane (which I was terribly self-conscious about) and started playing with the cloth handle. Well, that did it - she accepted me just as I was - cane and all - and she came right home with us. She helped get me through the roughest time of my life and kept me sane. Interestingly, she actually adopted Barry more than me and was basically "his" cat (or he was "her" person) - and this was his first ever experience with a cat.
We called her by several names depending on the circumstances of the moment but her registered name was Azuza. We called her Lady Azuza (rarely), Suzi, Spotty Minnie Bannister, Spotty Minnie B, Min, and Baby Girl. She was also known as Office Cat for her ability to pull paper out of fax machines and printers; Water Cat - she wanted her water served up in a Gatorade bottle that I had to hold for her to drink from; Sherman Tank, reminiscent of the way she marched up and down the stairs; Crossword Cat for the times she would hop up on Barry and try to grab the pencil out of his hand while he worked on a crossword puzzle; Computer Cat for the times she draped herself over my laptop keyboard; and La Terrorista for the way she ran the household.
She was beautiful, smart, canny, bossy, territorial, playful, snappy at times, cute as a button, and loving even though she hated being picked up. She loved sleeping on us - on her terms! She ruled the home and all therein - 2-legged and 4-legged.
A few months after she made her home with us, we noticed she was getting quite depressed so we decided to get her a companion. We found a young Bengal male and brought him home and called him Mocha. Well, Suzi just read him the riot act for about 3 weeks and the poor little fella had no clue how to handle this whirling dervish of a female (he was about 5 months, she about 2 1/2 years.) She had had only one kitten of her own before we got her and suddenly, after all the spitting and cussing was done, she decided to adopt Mocha as her kitten. One second she would biff him in the ear, the next she'd settle down to grooming him thoroughly from one end to the other. And then the rodeo would start - around and around and up and down the stairs till we were dizzy just watching them! The pair became inseparable - except when she was in a bad mood. Then she would huddle down under the main bed in the master bedroom and whine and growl whenever anyone, person or cat, would come near her. Then, in a day or so, out she would come and the cycle would start all over again.
Then, last year, we decided to adopt another young male Bengal that needed rescuing from an abandoned house situation. The local Humane Society had been alerted to the house with over 50 cats left in it, mostly Bengals. So we brought home Roary McTavish - an extremely chatty and vocal feline! We kept him isolated in his own room for several weeks until he started to come out of his shell. Eventually, when we allowed the cats to start to socialize together, Suzi read him the same riot act as she had to Mocha. Poor Roary didn't know what hit him! Bear in mind that she was the smallest in size of the 3, but the biggest in attitude! However, Mocha and Roary quickly became fast friends and Roary is now Mocha's ever-present shadow, sometimes to Mocha's despair!
Well, when Roary would sometimes exhibit his extrememly loud vocal singing Suzi would get quite disgusted with the noise (she liked her household QUIET!) and would march down the stairs, over to Roary and biff him till he was quiet. It got so that as soon as he started his noise, if he heard a thump-thump-thump coming down the stairs, he'd immediately hush up and disappear! However, once he was quiet, she rewarded him by sitting down and giving him a thorough all-over grooming!
And her grooming was not limited to Roary and Mocha - almost every morning lately, once our alarm would go off, she would come scrambling out from under the bed, mewing and trilling and chatting and hop up onto the bed with us. She frequently decided my nose and face needed laving and would sit there and carefully wash my nose from tip to brow. Other times she decided that hands needed cleaning. She was a clean cat and wanted her family that way also.
She was such a wonderful, funny, interesting intelligent little character.
Rest in peace, Spotty Minnie B - we miss our Baby Girl so much.