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Married To The Crazy Cat Lady
by grandpawiggly (courtesy of

Several people have asked me to elaborate more on my "crazy cat lady" wife and our cat-infused lifestyle. So here I am. Feel free to ask me anything. I'm feeling a little under the weather and won't be going anywhere. By the way, tomorrow is her 79th birthday. I've got the whole day planned out. And no, I'm not getting her another cat.

First, a little background: We have seven cats total. She has six cats, I have one cat. I've talked about our cats in several comments, which is what lead to this AMA. I will copy them to this post so you don't have to go searching (and so I don't have to repeat myself).

Names and Nicknames

Effie, my wife, has multiple nicknames for most of our cats. I tend to call most of them by their given names so as to not confuse them. Here are the nicknames I can recall at the moment. She's shouting more out to me as I type this.
Getty -- Gertrude, Petrillo
Linus -- buggy, bogie, precious, baby, peanut, minus (when he's missing)
Marmalade -- ergny, lady, marm, sherbet
Percy -- Percival, Pipi
Oscar -- no known nickname though I call him Oscar the Grouch (he takes after my wife).
Fredrick -- Freddy, Fred, paws, pause, poopdeck (when he leaves surprises), muffin, pumpkin, pumpkin muffin
Mayonnaise -- mayo, mayolazy, mayomalaise, the brick, the wall (especially when she blocks the view of the TV), Pink Floyd, speed bump, YOU!, THAT!, IT!, the albino rhino, cumulonimbus, BEAST!, monster, Casper, Clorox, snowball, whiteout, liquid paper, the moon, moonpie, blindness, heavy cream, Crisco, Lard of the Prance, Rush (as in Limbaugh), the shapeless form, the blob, the ghost, butterball, diabetes, wizard (as in white or grand high imperial), FAT, Ganymede, obstruction ahead, that thing of the Caucasian persuasion, Unidentified Feline Obstruction (or Object) [UFO], our second house, YOU KNOW WHO, Bob Barker, milk crate, YOUR CAT!

Effie's Nighttime Cat-Collecting Ritual

I have a routine like I'm sure many people do. Nothing special. But my wife Effie -- oh lord! She is incorrigible! She has to make sure all of her six cats are in the bedroom before she will even crawl into bed. (She could care less about the whereabouts of my cat Mayonnaise.)

One by one she seeks out each cat (this alone can take some time), carries them back to her bedroom and places them on the bed. It's a rather time-consuming process considering she only has one arm. Some of the cats don't like to be picked up or carried, and all of the cats hate to be put in a particular spot, much like every cat in existence. Cats are independent, they prefer to pick and choose their own spots. Once all six cats are present and accounted for, she can then get into bed peacefully.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, it gets tricky... For starters, while she's out collecting the rest of the cats, some of the already collected cats (you know who you are!) attempt to escape. Sometimes they do. If this happens the process suffers a major setback or she might even have to start all over.

Certain cats have specific spots on the bed. For instance: She wants her dear, sweet (socially awkward) Linus as close to her as humanly possible so that she can snuggle him between her nub and body. Oscar, on the other hand, she wants at the foot of the bed because he is a "miserable beast who pretends to be asleep and bites in the night."

Then there's Frederick, who has a personal vendetta against Percy that my wife says stems from deep rooted jealousy. Apparently there's some sort of torrid love triangle involving Fredrick and Percy competing for the affections of Lady Marmalade. Effie insists that the three of them must be split up at night and that neither male can be closer to Marmalade than the other so as to discourage either from engaging in unauthorized nighttime canoodling with Marmalade because that would lead to confrontation. For the record, all of these cats have been Bob Barker'd.

Effie is only satisfied once she has seen all six of her cats in the same place at the same time. Why, you ask? Well, she has theories (lord, does she ever have theories!) that some of her cats collude to delve into trickery together to outsmart her. She posits that if, say, one of the cats (in most cases it would likely be Oscar) wants to sneak out of the house that a devious arrangement would have been pre-orchestrated between said cat and an accomplice cat to fool her. Meaning, one cat could be accounted for in one part of the house and then quickly, under the cover of darkness, travel to a second part of the house where he would be counted a second time in place of the escaping cat. And before you ask, yes, she can tell the difference between her cats, she chooses to perform this cat collecting with minimal lighting so that she can sneak up on them quietly and catch them off guard.

For the record, the cats are in no way required to stay on the bed or in her room throughout the whole night, although she prefers that they do and takes it personally when most of them decide to leave.

Yes, I married a crazy cat lady.

When Cats Go Missing

[Our cats] are always finding all sorts of creative hiding places. Linus, my wife's most socially awkward and skittish cat, has gotten very good at hiding in plain sight or in secluded nooks and crannies that should be impossible to reach.

My fat cat Mayonnaise always manages to get into the cluttered hidden hallway closet despite the fact that no one ever goes in there and that the door is always closed. It's impossible for her to hide in plain sight.

When my wife's cat Getty had kittens a few years back, we gave one to our granddaughter as a birthday present. It found the most unusual hiding spot.

My wife Effie has never gotten use to [cats mysteriously disappearing]. If she can't find one of the cats, especially her sweet socially awkward Linus, she initiates a house-wide grid search. She transforms from a lump on the couch to a great cat detective in seconds. Once she searches a room, she deems it "all clear" and quarantines it off until the missing cat is found. Most of the time the missing cat turns up in one of her quarantined rooms.

The Inept Cat Detective

If you think that's amusing you should see Effie when one of the cats commits a crime (vomiting, destruction of property, hidden "surprises," bringing presents into the house). She's relentless in her pursuit of outing the culprit and uncovering the Truth. More often than not, she accuses (in French no less: "J'accuse!") my cat Mayonnaise of being the guilty party. The house rule is that the owner of said cat is responsible for cleaning up the mess.

I often challenge her rulings, especially when she rules that the all white Mayonnaise has produced a hairball that contains little to no white cat hair. In situations such as this, she accuses Mayonnaise of bathing the other cats, an act neither of us has ever witnessed but one she is certain happens on a daily basis.

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