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Our Beloved Revolutionary Meow-Meow

The apartment I lived in for 15 years in New York City did not allow pets. So, once settled in Charlotte, I thought why not get a cat? Sure, I am allergic to cats but they are cool and they don’t leave puddles of drool behind. At least most of the time. So, off to the Mecklenburg County Animal Control. Saw a very pretty cat. She was very friendly and didn’t mind being picked up or juggled. Sold.

Our Beloved Revolutionary Meow-Meow, Meow-Meow for short, is a black tabby born around May 2008. She came home with me in November 2008. And proceeded to scratch up all my furniture. As well as evince a fondness for licking toe cheese, lapping up tub water, running into walls, chewing on plants, and play-biting and wrestling for hours on end. Perfect.

Meow-Meow is an indoors cat only and sometimes this must sadden her. I clip her front nails weekly. She eats dry food only. She is very active and I try to keep her trim and healthy. She weighs about nine pounds. She LOVES to be brushed. Her tabby stripes are a very subtle dark gray and at first glance you’d think she was all black. She has a preternaturally large snout.

She knows her name and when she wants attention she makes a squeak that sounds just like the name Meow-Meow. This is yet another endearing quality which makes all other cats pale in comparison.



Here’s some pictures from October to November 2009 as Meow-Meow grows up to be a big girl! That is, paunchy!





“No Meow-Meow Zone” — bad Meow-Meow, don’t eat daddy’s plants!

This is a standard Meow-Meow look of total incredulity.

Meow-Meow doing one of her favorite things, licking tub water.



Another standard pose, the “what the hell is he doing now?” look.


Stray Cat Strut

Over the course of the past year I have begun to feed many stray cats around my apartment building. Some have come and gone, some remain. There’s a feline story for every light on Broadway. As of this writing there’s about ten cats I feed, a 16 pound bag of Meow Mix lasts about two weeks. There was a woman living in the house next door who fed them too before she moved out. I think three houses down they feed the cats some too. I am trying to get as many spayed/neutered as possible and then released back into the wild of Plaza/Midwood, Charlotte.

This is Whitey. She is actually white and brown. But it was easier to call her Whitey. She is the first cat I got fixed. Whitey is a total lovebug. She runs up to my car when I pull up front and runs with me to my apartment door. She has beautiful blue eyes. She is not the sharpest tack in the box. She had a pregnancy this past summer, I am unsure what happened to the kittens. She has slowly bounced back from being fixed and now is a total lovebug once more. She likes to lick other cats’ kittens.




This is the current usual photo of Whitey. She loves to sit on top of my retrofitted Cat Condo right outside my kitchen window and wait for me to go outside. The Cat Condo is a puppy training cage with styrofoam insulation sheets, a waterproof tarp and inside a down pillow covered in towels. It has proved to be more popular than any W Hotel.


This is Friendly. Friendly is the first cat who came up to me outside. Hence, the name. Friendly is a great cat. She has the calmest demeanor of any cat, ever. Unflappable. She too is a lovebug although she rarely purrs or makes meowing sounds. She is always around, either outside my back door or under the nearby kudzu forest. She has the most beatific face when she is happy and looks up at you. More about Friendly in a bit.


I love this picture of Friendly shaking her head. It reminds me of the cover of Hairway to Steven by The Butthole Surfers.


Here is Whitey and Friendly chowing down one night accompanied by Blur.


Blur is a tortie and she was around all summer but I never see her anymore (it is now November). She too had a litter this past summer. I suspect that Blur is the mother of three cats who come around to eat, Tux, Orange Julius and Patch. All three are mostly feral and won’t let me touch them. OK, I can touch their noses or head but then they run away. All three don’t mind me being around them, just no touching. Orange Julius and Tux have even came into my kitchen a few feet. I will win these three over through the magical powers of Meow Mix. In the meanwhile, I will have to use a trap to catch them and have their balls snipped.

Here are the three cats feasting with Orange Julius. You may notice that Friendly looks a little chunkier than usual.


And, now, without further delay, may I introduce to you The Little Ones!



Yes, Friendly got knocked up this past summer. She looked like she swallowed a bowling bowl. She was showing up every morning and night for her regular meals. Then, on the morning of September 1, 2009, she didn’t show up to eat. “Friendly, where are you Friendly?” Well, that night a svelte, trim Friendly showed up to eat. She had her kittens.

She kept them under the kudzu for many weeks unseen. Then one rainy day she brought them out, all five of them right up to my door. Wet and cold and super-cute. They looked spikey and very Punk Rock.

I got my cat carrier out and covered it in towels and all that. The Little Ones lived in there for a week or so. Then some fat hippy dude who moved into the house next door came over and complained that the cats were using his backyard as their toilet. Well, no shit Sherlock. Told him they aren’t my cats and, even if they were, I can’t exactly tell them where to do their business. He ambled away. Out of deference to this loser I moved The Little Ones to more commodious living quarters in the Cat Condo near my back door.


Here is Friendly in two pictures with Tortoise Little One, who is the runt of the litter. TLO is very skittish and nervous. You can pet him but really all he wants to do is tag closely to Friendly. That said, when romping with his siblings he will attack with the best of them.



There was a big rainstorm for a couple of days and, soft touch that I am, I brought Friendly and The Little Ones inside. Here, they romped and played and delighted in warm and dry conditions. Meow-Meow was NOT pleased. She is a very jealous kitty and would hiss at the poor Little Ones all the time. However, she survived the ordeal. And, maybe, is better for it.

Amazingly, Friendly and The Little Ones immediately took to the litter box I had for them. Only one or two “accidents.” They loved to scratch The Chair in the living room and hide under the bed. Sadly, having seven cats in my apartment is not in my lease. Plus, my allergies felt it big time. So, once the rain stopped back outside they went.

As usual, The Little Vultures feasted much upon poor exhausted Friendly.


Much cavorting and eating was to be had...







Maybe a nap or two...




It might just be me, but doesn’t Friendly look at the end of her rope?


I put up flyers all over the neighborhood but no one wants to adopt The Little Ones. I got The White Little One tested for feline HIV/Leukemia and she was negative so they all should be negative. I am currently trying to get them into local Humane Society shelters but there’s waiting lists and they likely have to be fixed first. So, I feed them and every day try to pet them and pick them up and ensure that they remain accustomed to human handling. They want “inside” badly but, alas, no can do. When next there is news about The Little Ones I shall make it known. As of December 3, 2009, Friendly shall no longer be in a position to have more kittens.

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Time to finally do an update to this page (it’s now May 2011, fer crissakes).

I was able to get The Little Ones accepted by The Humane Society of Charlotte. It was very sad to see them go but entirely necessary. The good news is because they were all sweet kittens they were all adopted within five weeks of appearing on the adoption webpage. And the tortie runt was not even the last one adopted. I am sure they are all living healthy and productive lives.

By this point the number of stray cats around had dwindled appreciably. Some wander off, some pass, some get caught by animal control, and so on. But the three core cats - Friendly, Whitey and Orange Julius - remained. Here is Friendly in the dead kudzu jungle behind my apartment building. The jungle looks cool during the winter, more interesting than when alive during the summer when it’s just, umm, nasty kudzu.


Here’s Julius featured in a broader shot. These two photographs are circa February 2010.


And here’s the boy just cavorting in the grass. He looks angry but really he is just meowing very loudly for attention.


This is a cute shot of Whitey with her tongue out drinking water. Oh that Whitey girl.


Whitey and Orange Julius always had each other and lived together in the cat condo. But poor Friendly was now on her own, especially with The Little Ones gone. So, softie that Hanes is, in April 2010 Friendly was brought inside as Permanent Cat #2. She took to being inside well. Naturally, Meow-Meow was not pleased. Luckily, Friendly is very easy to get along with so there were never any major problems integrating Friendly into the household.

The shot captures Whtey’s “baby blues” well. This is from around June 2010.


Things got a bit hairy in July 2010. A new cat appeared! A beautiful gray boy cat that looked a lot like a Russian Blue. He was skittish at first but the “cat whisperer” got him feeling comfortable. Soon, I managed to get him inside so he would not get hurt outside on his own, being a very young kitten (where the mother was who knows). He was called Heckler, after the Pavement song “Heckler Spray.” This was in keeping with the newly established protocol of naming stray cats I trapped and got fixed after Pavement songs. Such as Fillmore {Fillmore Jive), Cutter (Cut Your Hair), Krell (Krell Vid-User), Winter (Summer Babe (Winter Version)). And so on.

So, here are a few shots of Heckler outside and then inside.




Heckler was a crazy cat, always getting into everything and wanting to be the center of attention 24/7. But a beautiful and intelligent cat who likes to give kisses. I called The Humane Society and got him on the waiting list for adoption. Meow-Meow was now NOT a happy camper.

Here’s Whitey on the outside windowsill looking through my living room window. She and Julius would do this a lot. Most of the time Meow-Meow would charge the window and chase them off. This is around August 2010.


And let’s not forget just how beautiful queen Meow-Meow is!


Friendly here, doing what she does best, nap. Always stick to your core skill set. Circa September 2010.


A few more of the handsome troublemaker, Heckler.



One of Meow-Meow’s favorite spots, on top of the warm cable box (looking ready to pounce). I cancelled cable television since I was not watching enough tv to warrant the cost. Sorry, Meowser.


Thursday, December 2, 2010 was a very sad day. When I went out to my car to go to work I saw Julius laying in the street. I ran over to him but he was dead. His body was still warm, he had been hit by a car likely moments before. It looked like he died instantly, thankfully. Orange Julius was a wonderful boy. I had cared for Orange Julius for easily over a year during my time in my current apartment. He was a loving kitten grown to adulthood, a super-affectionate cat who would let you pet him forever and let you know he was displeased when you stopped. He had the squeakiest meow ever and was not so bright, in hindsight, I would have named him Zoolander. His purr was ferocious.

He is greatly missed. Just the night before I was petting him during the evening feeding and thought to myself he might even have been getting slightly chubby. Life for pets are brief, especially those who live outdoors where threats are many. I knew this day would come, a statistical inevitability, but still remain incredulous that is has. He brought me many "gifts" over time and hope he knows they were appreciated even if I took them to the dumpster. Orange Julius now rests below the land on which he once playfully romped. He is survived by his friend Whitey and his recent girlfriend Loretta. A cat this loving should have met a better fate but he had a great life during his brief time alive, while also deeply enriching my life.

Thank you Julius.


Needless to say, I was not going to go through this twice. So, at that moment Whitey became a permanent indoor cat.

Meow-Meow was super not happy that her arch nemesis was now inside with her. Over time, she has learned to ignore Whitey. Although she is not above leaping onto Whitey’s back and riding her like a bucking bronco while attempting to plung her teeth into Whitey’s neck. Poor Whitey but better than the alternative. It is funny because Whitey is the most muscular and chiseled of all the cats and could probably whomp any of them if she wasn’t such a wuss.

In the interim I had decided to keep Heckler. But by March 2011 he was still too “alpha” in his relationships with the other three cats. Although I loved Heckler the overall dynamics were not the best. Luckily, a friend was in the market for a cute and inquisitive cat and she took Mr. Heckler into her home where he is doing well. His new home is also much larger and allows him to ignore the two other cats already there. Back at Casa Hanes, the three ladies lead a quieter and more peaceful existence. Although there are times Whitey will sit at the window and meow sadly that there is this barrier preventing her from chasing that bird or squirrel. Life is all about tradeoffs, Whitey.

Cats are cool. If dogs are good, they get reincarnated as cats!