Tribute to a Cat With 99 Lives

Two weeks ago, our beloved 19-year-old cat, Ipsie, went to that great catnip garden in the sky. Those who don’t have pets probably don’t understand, but it’s as great a loss as a member of the family. It was time, though–in human years he was nearly 95, and he’d had a long, healthy life. Every time we thought “this is it,” he would somehow find another cat-life and bounce back. I think he used up more than the proverbial nine lives–more like 99 lives.

This handsome orange tabby found us in August of 1991. My husband is involved in shooting sports and one Sunday he was running a match near Missoula, MT. He said he was aware of some women carrying a kitten around, but thought it belonged to one of them. After the match was over, they came up to him and said that they’d found this kitten and since he was the match director, it was his responsibility to do something about it.

We’d just lost our 17-year-old cat, Thunderfoot, a few months earlier, so he called me at work and said, “We have a little problem.” He told me what had transpired, and I said, “What’s the problem, bring it home!” The ladies who had found him named him Ipsc, which is the acronym for the International Practical Shooting Confederation, the type of competition my husband participates in. We laughed, said it was the International Practical Shooting Cat, and I called him Ipsie–an easier name for me to explain.

He was a playful, feisty cat, also known as “Slasher Cat.” While he enjoyed laptime and a good head scratch, when he was done with that he let us know by slashing out with his lightning-swift claws. As he got older, he mellowed and liked prolonged head scratching–as long as his human’s hand could hold out.

Yes, we had some good years with our cat with 99 lives.

Published in: on November 7, 2010 at 11:42 pm  Comments (3)  
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A Caturday Blog

My 17-year-old male, Ipsie

My 17-year-old male, Ipsie

My “kids” are my cats.

But they’re worse than children. They rule the household. I had to install a magnetic cat door so I didn’t have to get up 10 times every night to let the cat in or out. I even installed a second one in my office, so I wouldn’t… but don’t you know it, they’d still rather have me open the door.

You’ve probably seen the cat watch that has no numbers, simply Sleep, Eat, Sleep, Play, Sleep, Eat, etc. I would add to that–“Lap-time: Five minutes before the human plans to get up out of his or her chair.”

The Jellicle Cat, Jelli or Jelli-belly

The Jellicle Cat, Jelli or Jelli-belly

My two are as different as night and day. The older male cat is small, quiet, and has a tendency to curl up in a ball. The female is a “talker,” very friendly, and sprawls. My husband calls her “Ethel Merman,” because she is big, loud and obnoxious. (Apologies to E. Merman fans.)

Probably the funniest commercial I’ve ever seen was the one aired during the Super Bowl a few years ago about the cat-herders. That’s what I feel like some days.



At one time my dad had about 20 cats on the ranch in eastern Montana. This photo is of a couple of kittens playing in his boots. He was quite fond of his “herd.” In the winter he would even cook pancakes for them. I’ve often wished I had a video of him, carrying the pan of flapjacks across the yard, a line of cats following him as if he were the Pied Piper, their tails all straight up in the air like flags.

When he moved to Arizona with my brother and family, he had to leave his cats behind. I think he missed them.

This post is in honor of Dad’s birthday Nov. 9, 1924-April 1, 2006.

Published in: on November 9, 2008 at 2:18 am  Comments (4)  
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