The Chronicles Of Ferris

May 15, 1999 - January 31, 2018

My story spans some 18 1/2 years. I have had 2 Moms and 1 Dad. My first Mom, Annie, took care of me for about 2 years.

After that, my second Mom, Cyndy, watched over and cared for me for 16 1/2 years. Much more on Cyndy later on. My Dad, Dick, and I have helped guide each other my entire life.

My story begins sometime in May of 1999. Dad has a veterinary document that lists my birth date as May 15, 1999. However, no one knows for sure the exact date; but that listed is very close, so I'll stick with it.

Mom 1 (a.k.a. Annie) was visiting her grandparents in the Ocean View area of Norfolk, Va. The people who lived next door had not been there for a while. Annie heard the sounds of kittens crying inside the house. Investigating, she saw a mother cat and her kittens seemingly abandoned. So, Annie's motherly instinct got the better of her and she broke (snuck?) into the house and rescued me.

At the time Annie was living in Dad's house in the Riverview section of Norfolk.

Dad traveled quite a bit back then and was seldom there at first. So, at the house in Riverview I arrived, just a whelp of a kitten. As it turned out another cat was living there - my big "brother", as I thought of him, Edgar.

Here is a picture of Edgar and me - plus one of Edgar sleeping on top of Dad's Kia.

As a young kitten I was somewhat adventuresome. And, sometimes my adventures would cause Dad to have some "fun" - he may not have viewed it that way, of course.

For the first 2 years of my life, even as a kitten, I was an outside cat. That changed later on - as will be detailed as your read this further. I would climb up what I thought of as "My Tree" (see the above picture). I would jump from my tree to the roof of the house. Unfortunately, I could not yet jump from the roof back to the tree.

In order to be rescued from the roof I would sit at one of the "Entry Points" (a.k.a. upstairs windows) and meowwwww really loudly. I only did this when Dad was at home - I wasn't totally stupid, you see. He would hear me and come to the window to fetch me. By the time he arrived at the window I had moved to the other side of the roof to the other entry point and started meowwwwing again. Dad would have to run to the other side of the house and try THAT window. But, of course, by that time I had moved back to the other entry point.

This would go on for 3 or 4 "rotations" until finally I grew tired of the game and allowed myself to be "rescued".

As I got a little older Dad left the downstairs window over the front porch open just enough to allow me to come and go as I pleased. This became "My Door".

Now, at this point I need to point out that I was, throughout my life, somewhat of a successful hunter. I wasn't a fighter in any way; but, a hunter? Oh yes!

In Riverview we lived 1/2 block from the Lafayette River. Down at the river that were LOTS of prey - muskrats, river rats (not mice but BIG rats), snakes and other such. On one of my hunting excursions I brought home for Dad and half-eaten river rat.

As I entered via "My Door", Dad happened to be taking a nap on the sofa which was located just below the window in the living room- you know, "My Door". As I climbed through the open window I jumped on the sofa - right on dad's stomach with the half-eaten rat in my mouth. He was none too happy with rat's blood all over his shirt. But, he gave me a hug (right after using some choice language, I might add) and "all was right with the world" once again.

At some point during my living in Riverview Dad's daughter, Tiffany, came to visit. We hit it off rather smartly, as they say.

And, here is a picture of Annie (i.e., Mom 1) with Tiffany.

A short time later Dad took a job in Florida - he wouldn't have to travel as much as before. After he had been down in Florida for a bit he asked Annie if he could have me move down there with him. She said "yes".

So, Dad drove up to Norfolk to pick me up; and "away we went" to Florida. Here are some pictures of me & Dad on the trip down in his Kia.

About 12 hours later we arrived in West Melbourne, Florida - my new home.

I lived there for the next 5 years. Many adventures there were to unfold.

One of the first things to happen was that I was introduced to Mom2, Cyndy. For an ease of the narrative, from here on Cyndy will be referred to as just "Mom". She, Dad, and I lived together for the next 16 1/2 years. We WERE a family.

Mom and I had met just a few minutes before this picture was taken. As you can see, we immediately were more than comfortable with each other. Throughout the rest of my life she spoiled me terribly - and, such was much appreciated.

Almost as soon as I moved into Dad's house in Florida he bought me new water and food bowls - Waterford, of course.

When Dad's younger son, James, saw the new bowls he noted that when he was a kid he never got to eat out of Waterford crystal. Dad told him that was because he, James, wasn't a cat. Was Dad only joking? I and James were never really sure.

Now, as I have mentioned I loved to hunt. I was forever bringing Dad the "fruits of my labors" - mice, snakes, lizards, frogs, small rabbits, and whatever else I could scrounge up. To make it somewhat easier for me to bring Dad my "gifts", he put a "cat door" leading out to the patio and the fenced-in backyard.

As a note here: I didn't kill the results of my hunts; I brought them home to "play with".

Four stories of this come immediately to mind:

The Snake

I had captured a black snake in the back yard and brought it the house. It was wiggling something fierce. As I came through the cat door the snake's swishing around caused it to repeatedly slam against the cat door - LOUDLY. Dad came running in and, in a not-so-soothing tone, let me know that snakes were off limits in the house.

The Mouse

I had brought a little mouse in the house - actually, over the years I brought a bunch of mice in; not to harm, just to play with. I guess I got bored playing with him and forgot he was there. Anyway, Mom was about to put a DVD into the player (located inside the TV stand) when she saw two little, shiny eyes looking back at her. It was kind of funny to see her jump so high.

Another Mouse

This little guy and I were playing chase around the house. Mom & Dad caught us playing and Mom asked Dad to remove the mouse - as if I was going to hurt the little guy. All of us were in the dining room which had a large highboy against one wall. While Dad was rather unsuccessfully trying to catch the little mouse, I lay down under the highboy to watch. Humans don't seem too well equipped to catch mice barehanded, by the way. However, it is fun to watch.

Anyway, Dad cornered the mouse where two walls came together. As he was about catch the mouse in his cupped hands, the mouse jumped over Dad's hands and ran straight to me. The mouse then snuggled up against my tummy. He knew he was safe there. Mom opened up the sliding glass doors and, very soon, the little mouse made his "getaway".

The Bunny

It was the middle of the night. I had "invited" a very small bunny in to play. He was a really small bunny - about 1/3 my size. He and I were having a great time. The bunny ran into the master bedroom where Dad was sleeping and, then, into the master bath. The little guy somehow got his head caught between the door and the wall. Struggle as he might he couldn't get free.

I was afraid he was going to hurt himself and I couldn't get him free. So, I sought Dad's help.

Of course Dad was asleep. So, I jumped on the bed and then stood on Dad's chest and meowwwed. Dad didn't move. Next, with my paw I slapped Dad on the face a couple of times and he awoke. He looked at me light I was a crazy cat or something worse. Dad started to go back to sleep so I whacked him a couple of more times. Fully awake now, Dad followed me into the bathroom where I showed him the bunny.

Dad, very gently, freed the bunny's head from the door and put him outside. Playtime was over for that night.

At this time Dad had not retired yet. While he and Mom were at work they would leave the TV on, set to Animal Planet. Loved this channel, I did. One day, the movie "Charlie The Lonesome Cougar" came on. I was in love. This movie was the greatest.

Dad got the DVD and played it for me often. I would sit for hours totally enthralled. Here I am watching the movie.

Dad & Mom thought it was "so cute" that I loved to watch TV. So, they took a video of me, turned it into a DVD, and let me watch myself on TV.

Dad's house had a pool table. It was a favorite spot for me to hang out. It gave me an excellent view of both what was happening in the house as well as a great view of the backyard. Remain vigilant, I always say.

Whenever Dad had friends over to shoot pool it was understood that EVERYONE had to take their shots "around the cat". Reasonable, I thought. Why should I have to move? I guess it made the games of straight pool VERY interesting.

Before I mentioned that the new house had a cat door and a fenced-in back yard. The backyard became a never ending source of fun; and, the beginning of the end of my "free range kitty" days - More on this later.

The backyard was the source of most of the "friends" I brought in the house. Here I am trying to catch a lizard that had run up a small tree.

Both Mom and Dad thought the fence was a good barrier to keep me in the yard. They were mistaken. The fence was SOOOO easy to climb - and, to climb over.

Of course, going over the fence is what got me devoid of "free range kittydom" - which I'll more fully explain in a minute.

Mom & Dad were at an art show and saw a painting that looked just like me - they said. The painting was entitled "The Amazing Cat Ramp". So, Dad bought the painting and matched it up with a picture he had taken of me.

OK. I have to admit the cat in the painting kinda looks like me - a lot. But, "I Don't Need No Stinkin' Cat Ramp".

My adventures over the fence caused me on more than one occasion to get hurt. Hey, to all cats who don't live in Florida, they have some strange and mean critters down here. BEWARE !

Dad was dead set on me not getting hurt anymore. So, he installed a "barrier" inside the fence to keep me from jumping up on it.

The barrier actually worked for about 30 minutes. I figured out that with a running leap and bounding off the outside air-conditioning unit I could land perfectly on the barrier.

When Dad told his son, James, about the fence "barrier" episode. James responded with something like, "Well, did you really expect the barrier to work, Dad? HE'S A CAT!"

After that incident Dad took away my "free range kitty" privileges. Even though I was house bound, my friends would come to visit. It seems I wasn't the only cat who had fence skills.

I did learn something interesting from my friends. We were discussing what our Moms & Dads did when they went out of town. Here is where I first heard of "Boarding". HORRIBLE. They put you in a cage and leave you there until your Mom & Dad come to get you. I had no idea such a thing was even allowable.

My Mom & Dad had NEVER "boarded" me - nor did they ever. I always had a "live-in" human who stayed with me even if they were gone for just one night. My "main guy" for this was Jay. He spoiled me more (almost) than Mom & Dad. I loved to have him stay with me. He let me have treats anytime I wanted.

I did take a road trip with Mom & Dad - only ONCE. They took me over to Ft. Myers, Florida to visit Mom's parents. All of them had gone shopping, or some such, and left me on the screened-in lanai with the sliding door opened slightly so I could get in the house if needed.

I was sunning myself on the lanai when this giant "lizard" came up. I don't know what else to call it - it was HUGE with even larger jaws. It saw me and charged the screen of the lanai. It came right through the screen. I ran inside the house. This thing was SCARY. But, I was safe inside the house. The "thing" then just left.

When Mom & Dad came back they about freaked. Dad, then, had to replace the lanai screen. I was not interested in taking any more "road trips" with them. GEEEZZZ!

My hunting days seemed over. BUT, WAIT. Mom & Dad, on purpose, would let dragonflies into the house. I would track them down, jump up and get 'em. Hey, it was better than nothing. After I was finished playing with a dragonfly Mom or Dad would scoop the dragonfly up and set it free.

Back then, two of my favorite toys were a stuffed crab and "the" brush.

A little more on "the" brush.

I loved to be brushed. Mom & Dad would give me brushies several times a day - especially just before they went to bed. This they did my entire time in Florida. Even when they weren't brushing me I liked to hold it. I could hold the brush and rub my chin on it. It was the most wonderful "toy".

As I noted above, I lived in this house for about 5 years. Toward the end of my living there, a new arrival showed up - A DOG! OMG! Mom's parents were not well at this point and couldn't take care of their dog, Bubba. So, Mom & Dad "adopted" him.

Now, Bubba was NOT a "cat lover" in the least. He would chase me around the house. There were a few things in my favor, however. He was near blind and hard of hearing AND I could travel throughout the house by traveling from one piece of furniture to the next. Easy; I'm a cat, after all.

Here I am on top of one of the cabinets in the kitchen; yes, I could jump and climb anywhere.

Mom & Dad had another house, actually a condo, on the beach in Cocoa Beach, Florida. It was about the same size as our house. They wanted (for some reason) to get a bigger place. So, they did. It was in Merritt Island, Florida. We all lived in this new place for about 4 years.

This place was really big - more than twice the size of the old house and condo combined. So many places & rooms to explore. I was in heaven. The best part was the lanai & pool. Dad & Mom planted a bunch of plants around the pool. Never again would I have to use the litter box. This was awesome.

Here is a picture me looking down on "The Great Room".

After several months this new house, at least the lanai anyway, had POUS (Plants Of Unusual Size). My new litter box (i.e., the plants) helped us all have ENORMOUS plants.

Mom & Dad, on one of their road trips, ran across a stuffed animal that Dad just HAD to have. They brought it home.

He became known as "Big Kitty". He and I slept together often.

By this time Bubba had become completely blind and chased me no longer. Once, he fell into the pool - which freaked Mom out. She jumped in to save him - he couldn't find his way to the sides of the pool. Here is Bubba on the pool deck.

OK. To be completely honest I fell in the pool once myself. I was out in a flash. It was such an embarrassing experience I shall discuss it no further.

Being completely blind, the only way Bubba could get to his food was by smelling the food, putting his head against a wall, and walking along the wall until he got to his food & water bowls. After a bit, I started guiding him by nudging him left or right as he walked so he didn't have to use the walls as guides.

As a 'Thank You', thereafter Bubba let me share his food - something I would never do, being an only child and all.

Four years later Mom & Dad decided the Merritt Island house really was too big for two people. So, they sold that house and moved into the condo on the beach. This is a picture of the living room area. I would live here the rest of my life - and, what a wonderful time it was.

While living on the beach, Dad took this photo of me. He later printed it on canvas and it now hangs in their bedroom.

Sadly, shortly after moving to the beach Bubba passed away. Even though he was a dog, we became best of friends.

My skills as a hunter did me little good here - save for a stray lizard every now and then. But, I did learn a thing or two about "prey".

A day or so after we moved in I was on the balcony watching some birds fly nearby. "Come on over closer", I thought, "I'll be able to catch you."

Well, these birds happened to be pelicans - I'd never seen one before. As I sat, crouched, on the balcony one few within a few feet of the balcony rail. THAT THING HAD A WING SPAN OF AT LEAST 5 FEET! I immediately made a retreat to the living room. It looked like some long lost dinosaur. Scared me something fierce. I lost my interest in hunting birds right there and then.

Sometimes, even here in Florida, it gets chilly during the winter. So, Dad made me a special "Cat Cave" so I could stay warm - always.

Here I am meeting some new friends while at a routine checkup at the Vet.

And, for some reason real leather felt really good to me. So, of course, Mom & Dad got me some.

Every now and then Mom or Dad would get up in the middle of the night. The ONLY reasons I could fathom that they would do that is to (1) "Fluff" my food, (2) give me treats, or (3) give me "brushies" with "the" brush - and, maybe all three. If they forgot about any of these 3 things, I would "paw" at their legs to remind them and to say thank you; always be polite is a cat's first rule. Of course, they would do all three.

Mom may be one the smartest humans on the planet. But, sometimes, just sometimes she doesn't think ahead. She introduced me to YouTube "Cat" videos. I was enthralled and couldn't get enough of them.

It got so bad that she couldn't use her own computer as I was hogging the thing.

Well, as usual, Dad came to the rescue. He got me my own laptop and loaded it with over 20 hours of cat videos. Now, I could watch to my heart's content and not bother anyone.

Birthdays and Christmases were special times for me. Way back when I lived in West Melbourne Dad got me my own Christmas tree. And, it was there for me every Christmas thereafter.

Every Christmas and birthday I could expect to be lavished with goodies, toys, and other presents. Dad & Mom would always "treat" the wrapping paper on my presents with catnip spray. I would dig as fast as I could into the wrappings to find what? Catnip? Well, sometimes; but, most often it was a bag of treats (or 5), toys, cans of my favorite foods, and other such.

Here I am having breakfast before I head to the "Presents Room" to see what Santa brought.

Here are some pictures of how I was treated at these special times.

And even Easter:

It was wonderful living with Mom & Dad. I don't think any two people could have loved me any more than they did. And, I hope they realize that my love for them was returned in kind.

Mom & Dad, thanks for making my life a joyous and loving one!