Thursday, June 17, 2021

Celebrating Caffeine Candy

Five years ago on June 15th, Candy joined the Wonderpurr Gang. She arrived as a skinny year-old calico, brought to me by my beloved Noah, a beautiful, semi-feral yard panther who later brought us Elly before he passed from hidden illnesses.

Caffeine Candy got her nickname when she took to licking the Keurig nozzle after I made morning coffee. Thankfully she kicked the habit, and I no longer need to disinfect before I have my brew.

When Candy first joined our family, I could tell she had been homeless for awhile, but clearly she once knew the comforts of indoor living. She easily adapted to the resident members of the Gang, particularly Dori, who was thrilled to have a girlfriend near her age to play with. 

The first year with us flew by with little drama. Candy ate like a voracious dog, cleaning her plate, along with whatever crumbs she found on other plates. It didn't take long before the skinny girl filled out to the point where we started calling her Bootilicious. Indeed, she had an ample bottom.


Dori thrived having Candy as her gal pal. They slept together, chased and played with each other. Where you would see one, you'd see another. But then just seven months later, Noah returned with a tiny black yearling to my yard. It struck me that Noah understood that these girls needed a safe place from the other feral cats in the neighborhood, and that I would help them. So, Elly joined our family. It didn't
occur to me that Elly would cause a problem, as she was tiny and sweet, and had an easygoing personality. But Dori did not like her right from the start. Especially because Candy acted like she knew Elly, and they already had a tight bond. It was almost like a cat colony reunion between the two of them, and unfortunately Dori was the odd girl out. If there is one thing I've learned about Dori, she takes it pretty hard when she's not the apple of someone's eye, i.e. Candy, Herman, Frank. So after Elly joined us, Dori acted up a little, hissing at Elly as well as her former BFF Candy. Dori also holds a grudge, because to this day, she does not like Elly, and rarely allows Candy the privilege of giving her an ear bath.


Regardless, Candy was a delightful member of our household, an easy friend to all. Highly photogenic, I loved catching her in comfortable poses while she enjoyed a Wonderpurr Life as an indoor cat. I felt like she was an Old Soul, able to reassure everyone around her with an almost Zen-like calmness. That calmness came in handy when Blogpaws Kansas City arrived and I had plans for Dori to attend. From experience taking Dori to the vet where she would curl into a tight ball and the vet would have to use an impressive amount of strength to pry her legs from her body, I knew she would spend the week frightened and miserable. Enter Candy. Like a goat soothing a thoroughbred race horse, Candy would ease Dori's fears.                                                                                                                                              Sure enough, Dori did well during the drive from Memphis to Kansas City, but once we entered the hotel room, she found a way to squeeze between the bed and wall, and that's where she stayed for a couple days. Meanwhile I had dozens of people asking me where Dori was. I felt nekked not having a cat to push around in a stroller. After all, Herman had attended Blogpaws several times before I gave him permission to retire. The final Blogpaws we went to in Myrtle Beach, he clearly was miserable and preferred to be left in the hotel room.

Anyway, I put Candy in the stroller, and pushed her around the Brands Hall. I even unzipped the stroller, and she crawled out to explore Kate Benjamin's Cat Lounge. I was very surprised by how at-ease she was meeting strangers. I recall her gaze sweeping the room, her head turning this way and that as she took in the dogs, the sights, the smells, and the number of people who stopped to say hello and pet her. She took everything in stride. I was so very proud of her. In fact, I really wanted to take her to the final day breakfast, but Dori still had not made an appearance, so Candy was left in the room, and Dori was taken to the breakfast. And like her performances at the vet, she curled into a tight ball and glowered at everyone from safely under the blankets.
Shortly before we moved from Memphis to Florida, I adopted the sad tabby who had sheltered in my yard for a couple years, always leaving before I had a chance to reassure I wouldn't harm him. It took a raccoon named Honeybear that he had befriended to convince him that I was okay. Seriously, I'd watched him for months try to rub up against my raccoons, who all graciously did not rip him to shreds. It was evident the tabby had lots of love to give, but no one to give it to. I so wanted to adopt him, but it took me all winter to coax him into not running when I stepped outside to feed him. Long story short, after I brought K.C. indoors, Candy claimed him. She told him he would be her boyfriend, and he certainly didn't argue. Their romance caught fire and has yet to burn out.

They became so close, so fast, that I ultimately realized that Candy had not known Elly previous to joining our household. This was just Candy's nature. She has a huge heart, and wants to reassure those around her that they should relax and enjoy being Rescued. Kevin Coopurr aka K.C. definitely benefitted from having Candy take him under her Zen-like influence. He easily transitioned from a stray with numerous fears and hang-ups, to a joyful, chill kind-of-guy that all the Wonderpurr girls fell in love with. Even Dori. I put my bonded Romeo and Juliet together in the same carrier when we moved to Florida, and of all the cats, Candy and K.C. were the least traumatized. Upon leaving their carrier, they walked around the house like newlyweds, picking out the places they would set up housekeeping.

A year after moving to Florida, Candy is loving life, with whatever memories she may have had of her past existence as a scrawny stray far behind her. She sleeps curled up each night in K.C.'s arms, and lounges on the Catio with her beloved never far from her side. While all of the Wonderpurr Gang has embraced Candy, it is clear to me that K.C. has been the ultimate benefactor of whatever nucleus of calm acceptance Candy possesses. I only recently came to the realization that I may have physically brought K.C. in out of the cold, but it was Candy who actually rescued him from his traumatized life. To put it simply: he adores her with every cell in his being.

       

I can't believe it's only been five years since I brought Candy into my home. I feel like she's been here forever. And while some of my cats make even a year seem like Forever (looking at you AssRabbit) with Candy, I pray that she continues to enjoy a long and healthy existence, because I cannot imagine Life without her.

Happy Birthday, Caffeine Candy. We all feel Blessed to know you.

10 comments:

  1. What a wonderful birthday tribute to an exceptional kitty.

    ♪♫Happy Birthday to you,♪♫
    ♪♫Happy Birthday to you,♪♫
    ♪♫Happy Birthday Dear Caffeine Candy,♪♫
    ♪♫Happy Birthday to you.♪♫

    Have a purrfect day and birthday, Caffeine Candy. My best to your siblings and your mom. ♥

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  2. Happy Birthday beautiful Caffeine Candy, you're quite the special ladycat!

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  3. a MOST happee birthday two ewe gorgeouz and heerz ta de next 55 long with yeerz oh happeez and healtheez....we hope KC takez ya out for perch pizza piez and donutz; N joy de day, cauz trubull, we gived yur moooveee a PAWZ UP....happee happpee ♫♫♪♫♫♪♫♫♥♥♥

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  4. Happy birthday Candy! You are a beautiful girl.

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  5. Happy Birthday to Caffeine Candy! What a gorgeous kitty she is!
    (This blog looks fantastic!)

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  6. Awww, what a beautiful birthday post for Caffeine Candy! Hope she had a purrfect day. (And thank you for the ear advice you left on our blog!)

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  7. Happy 5th Birthday Candy with many returns on the day! Dad has always said I was the same way welcoming and trying my best to relax any newcomers to our home. You are so sweet and seeing how KC takes such loving care of you was darling. It is so nice to be loved and have a forever home!

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