Cammy

What does Cammy look like?

Cammy lying on a stool Cammy is a long-haired calico (or tortoiseshell and white for those Brits out there) with a lot of white, which gives her nice big patches of deep orange tabby and pure jet black. She has longer fur than I've ever personally seen on a cat before. Some hairs from her tail can be six inches long! In the wintertime, Cammy grows a thicker, longer coat, which includes a ruff of extra-long fur around her neck, giving her a somewhat lion-like appearance (when groomed to look the part). Her eyes are a rich golden-orange color, which matches the orange in her fur in some lighting. Her nose is a very pale pink - almost white - when she is calm, and changes to a very deep - almost hot - pink when she has been running around.

Where did Cammy come from?

Cammy as a wee kitten Cammy was born in the state of Maine on May 29, 1999, which is the same month that Kirby was born. My mother was visiting a litter of kittens to see if there was one she would like to add to her family, and decided not only to take home Cammy's brother, Taffy (a orange tabby with a lot of white), but to also pick up Cammy (who she was calling Snickers) for me. When she was telling me the news on the phone, my mother said that her reasoning went something like "Oh, a long-haired calico kitten! That's just perfect for Dawn!". This was based on the fact that we had another long-haired calico when I was growing up: Patches. She was a good cat, who lived to the nice age of 12, but she could never be replaced (and Cammy is nothing like Patchy anyway, except for some similarities in coloring). So we had a new kitten. The one caveat was that we had to take a trip out to Maine to pick her up.

Cammy sitting on the bed While we were in California, awaiting the time for our trip, we decided to come up with a name for the new kitten. In keeping with the naming scheme of our first cat, we made a list of all the female Nintendo characters we could think of. We enlisted help from a number of people to get the most exhaustive list we could, which was still not very big. Then we narrowed it down to a few, and finally settled on Cammy from Street Fighter Alpha 2 Gold (although if I had known at the time what the character looks like, I probably wouldn't have been so wild about the name). Technically, her full name is Camellia, but she just goes by Cammy.

We met Cammy for the first time when she was about 4 1/2 months old. She had been living at my parents' house with her brother for about 2 1/2 months, so everyone there had a chance to get to know her. My dad said I was getting the better kitten (between her and her brother) because she was so affectionate. She would climb up on him or one of my brothers and fall asleep purring. It was so cute! We brought Kirby with us, to help the introductions along. We were fortunate that of all the other cats and kittens, Kirby and Cammy got along the best from the start. It was almost as if Cammy somehow knew that she was going back with us. She would come up to our room (in the far corner of my parents' house) and hang out, tormenting Kirby into hissing (which we didn't know he knew how to do) for the first few days, until he finally accepted her presence. Once back in California, the two got along great. (However, our plane trip back involved running madly through Chicago-O'Hare, each carrying a kitty in a soft carrier and another carry-on bag, to catch the next leg of our trip, because the first leg was running late. Fortunately, for all involved, we made it.)

What's Cammy like at home?

A young Cammy asleep on the cedar chest Overall, Cammy is much more active than Kirby. Cammy gets up and follows us from room to room when we're at home, and she never stays in one place for very long. She will lie down in one spot on the floor, sleep there for a while, and then move to another spot. In the living room she rotates through her favorite places. First she's on the desk, then the sofa leaning on a pillow, then the back of the sofa on Kirby, then the fireplace bricks, then back to the desk. She has no qualms about walking over people to get to her destination; if you're in her direct path, beware the paws of high PSI.

Cammy loves to chase moving things: bugs, the cat dancer, string, the laser pointer, your shoelace. Her favorite toy was this black plastic stick (which she has hidden somewhere) that used to have feathers on one end (which were all promptly pulled out by the kitties). But the lack of feathers didn't make it a toy destined for the garbage. Far from it. Cammy seemed to find the other end of the stick much more interesting anyway. When she was younger (and full of more energy), it was very easy to get her to run around in circles until she was panting. No dignified kitty this one! And once panting, she still wouldn't stop chasing the stick! We had to end the game for her own health and safety. Cammy never quit first. That is different now that she has matured a bit. But she still hasn't lost that intensity for the hunt from her youth.

Cammy sitting on the balcony When she isn't sleeping or chasing anything that moves, Cammy can be quite the little love bug. If we're working on the computers, she will come in and circle one or the other of us, meowing the whole time until her chosen one moves his or her arm out of typing position to allow Cammy to jump onto his or her lap. Then, as long as you are petting and scratching her, she will lie there content and purring. But if you so much as move your hand away to type again, or go for the glass of water, she is gone - a picture of utter ingratitude. It's a similar story at night when we're climbing into bed, or in the morning when the alarm goes off. At night, Cammy's on the bed as soon as we're in it. As soon as we're all settled down under the blankets, she assumes her position with her front half on my chest and her back half nestled in my arm pit. She lays there and purrs for as long as she is petted and scratched, and gets up and leaves the bed completely as soon as I stop. In the morning, after the alarm goes off, she walks all over both of us until she's sure we're awake (which she knows when she sees the "hand of petting" emerge from under the covers), and then she assumes her position again. Sometimes, on weekends or whenever we're sleeping in a bit, she will curl up around my head until I wake up to pet her. She is my little kitty hat!

Cammy in a cat-tree tube, Phoebe on top of the tube Unlike Kirby, Cammy has no qualms about meowing to let you know what she wants. If she wants to go out on the balcony (one of her favorite places to be), she will sit by one of the sliding glass doors and meow until you let her out. If you ask her "Cammy, do you wanna go out?", she will run over to the door and meow-meow-meow, until you let her out. It's very cute. She will also meow-meow-meow for milk. And she knows what that word means, too. "Cammy, you want some milk?" will elicit many meows until you produce the proffered substance.

Cammy's Feature Presentations

Here are some home-made movies of Cammy in action:

Does Cammy have any aliases?

Cammy, does, indeed, have a number of aliases (as do all our fuzzies). Cammy's first nickname was most likely Fluffy, to complement Kirby's nickname of Fuzzy. And it was down hill from there. She also goes by Doodle (mostly), Doodle-Puss-Kins, Snu-snu, Cammy-Cam, Cam-Doodly, Fluffster, Fluffy Bum, Fluffy Butt, Plumpkin, Rumble Puss, Alarm Kitty (because she makes sure we wake up when the alarm goes off), and Fluffernutter.

Why does Cammy sleep like that?

Cammy lying on her back in a strange way Cammy sleeps in some of the oddest positions positions I've ever seen, usually on her back with her legs going every which way. I was told that her revealing her belly like that shows that she is very confident and comfortable in her surroundings, but one would never expect a cat to sleep like that. Some of her contortionist positions don't look very comfy to me, but I guess they are relaxing if you're a cat. On the other hand, Kirby would never be caught dead in such undignified positions, unless, of course, catnip were involved. And then it is only temporary; Cammy will sleep for hours in these strange poses.

Cammy in Her Golden Years

Cammy in a sunbeam in the window Cammy just turned 18 this year (2017). She's the oldest fuzzy I've ever had - ever. She has a few health problems and has slowed down a lot, but overall she's doing great. A few years back she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism (which is common in older cats),but we're managing it with just medication. She gets methimazole - a quarter tablet in the morning and a half tablet in the evening. She also has kidney disease, for which I have to give her subcutaneous fluids three times a week. That, plus regular, high-quality wet food, have her doing ok. She also seems to have some arthritis in her lower back or hips, because she definitely does not like being touched (or brushed) there any more.

Cammy fully relaxed (both paws outstretched) In 2016, she had a couple minor crises, wherein she suddenly stopped eating (very, very unusual for Cammy). Both times, she had either a kidney infection or a bladder infection, and both times we had to scramble to find foods she wanted to eat again. Fortunately, a course of antibiotics cleared it up both times, and we haven't had a recurrence in quite a while (knock on wood). But, as a consequence of this, she would no longer eat the kidney diet from the vet (even though it was wet food and she liked it before).