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mittens shafkind

this was my first cat mittens. i picked her up on my 17th birthday. when i was 16 i asked my mom if i could get a cat. she said, “yes, if it’s a female short hair.” sadly, it was the middle of winter and kittens were hard to find. i called a bunch of pet stores and finally found her in west hollywood. she was the last they had in a litter of six. my mom and i went to meet her and noticed her giant feet and figured she’d grow to be a big beautiful tabby. i picked her up on my birthday a few days later after the pet store had given her her first set of shots. i think my sister came with me along with our friend doug, who had the kitty in the back seat. during the ride home doug started yelling, “oh, your cat’s retarded, she’s retarded.” he was freaking out cause she had extra toes on all her feet. we hadn’t noticed this at the pet store, just thought they were big. i remember thinking, i will love her no matter what… she didn’t have any disability though, just extra toes.

she truly was a super cat. could ride on my shoulders, run up carpet poles and loved to talk. she lived with me in LA for the first couple years of her life. when i went to college i left her with mom since i lived in the dorms. then i returned to take her to utah for the summer of ’89. we lived in a little cabin near my dad, while i worked for him and learned to play guitar. then we drove back to northern california together and lived for eight years there. the pic below is from her time in the apt. on baldwin st. she loved to turnover on her back and have her belly rubbed.

when i was leaving to go to seattle, i couldn’t bring her with me. i had a job at a summer camp and then would be living with a cousin who had a couple cats. so mom came up to get her. she lived another seven or so years back in LA and would run up her carpet pole on occasion but she was getting older.

in the summer of ’04 mom and mittens moved up to seattle. by then she would mostly just sit on her ottoman, it was her special seating place where she could watch all the action. she got spoiled from mom feeding her chicken, but mom made an excellent grandma and took good care of mits.

she moved one last time to a different house that mom rented. still in seattle, but a better place.

i named her mittens cause she had such big mittens on her cute feet. sometimes i called her mits, or mitslepits, or pooky (which i have been known to call all cats.) she was an amazing kitty, loved by all.

Mittens Frances Shafkind: Dec. 3, 1986-Dec. 28, 2005

4 Responses to “mittens shafkind”

  1. Patrick Says:

    Mittens lived a long life. How womderful. May all our pets live long healthy lives!

  2. natasha Says:

    it is amazing that she lived to be so old! and was still so playful and happy! she sounds like a sweety and sounds like she had a super life filled with love. i am sorry that all of that fun had to end.

    on another note, ernest hemmingway had a cat with mits and actually left his estate to become a haven for the next generations of those cats. maybe your girl was related?

  3. Whitney Says:

    Wow that was a long life indeed! well im sorry that you are not together anymore, but i am sure she still remembers you in her heart. See you in class, Ms. Shafkind
    ~Whitney C. 😛

  4. abbie Says:

    I have a beautiful all-white kitty, I named her Lacey, b/c she was going to be a present fo rmy Mother who needs a cat companion nowadays, but hasn’t accepted that, yet. But it’s for the best, b/c Lacey is my silent (mostly)muse. She is almost never more than 3 feet away from me when I’m home, which is a lot lately, BUT she REALLY doesn’t like to be TOUCHED! I think it’s something about all-white animals having extra sensitive skin, or something. I’ve been helping her to develop a tolerance for SOME petting, but still she is stand-offish. Poor thing gives all the signs of wanting to be petted, but alas.
    Oh, anyway, Lacey has extra toes on all her feet, too. “Polydactil” is the word, I think. Looks like she has little mittens, for sure!
    They’re the BEST.

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