Our town is home to beautiful beaches, breathtaking sunrises and sunsets, adorable dogs at the Seaside Farmers Market – and a bit less famously, many house cats.
With our own fur babies tucked safely away in their carriers on our way to New Orleans, my husband, Jack, and I started wondering how many house cats actually live in Seaside.
Pinto, Bear, Willow and Bandit (listed in age order, not in favorite order) have made the trip to Seaside and back to NOLA as many times as we have. They are seasoned travelers and love living at the beach.
Jack and I adopted four kittens three years ago after having lost three older cats within a matter of months. The kids were all growing up, graduating college and getting married so we knew this was the perfect time.
We made it a family outing with my mom and two of our three daughters. Our mission was to adopt two or three kittens. We were safely out of the shelter door with three kittens when a woman shouted, “You can’t adopt Willow without her sister Bear!”
So, we became a family of four kittens and five grown kids. Thankfully they do not all live at home so we became a family of six. You do the math.
Our four aren’t the only notable cats in town. While most locals and visitors know Gracie, town founders Robert and Daryl Davis’ white Goldendoodle, many do not know about the house cats that belong to their son, Micah Davis, or the other felines tucked away behind the brightly colored doors of Seaside.
Dot and Ziggy
After growing up with dogs, Ziggy and Dot became the first cats in Micah’s life about eight years ago.
Dot came first and displayed all of the “appropriate behaviors of sleeping all day and resembling semi-mobile furniture or a houseplant that has to blink her beautiful blue eyes to remind Micah she is a cat and it is time to feed her,” according to her owner.
Dot’s only bad behavior occurred when she eluded the TSA after escaping her cage before being suddenly stopped by an invisible plastic curtain.
With one happy cat in place, it was time for Dot to have a housemate. Having never owned more than one cat, Micah thought that all cats were basically created equal.
Micah adopted nine-month-old Ziggy from the Alaqua Animal Refuge in Freeport and named him after David Bowie’s wild alter ego, Ziggy Stardust. The name is a tribute to Ziggy’s behavior because he “embodies David Bowie at the height of his career.”
When not resting on Micah’s shoulders, Ziggy is teaching him the importance of “hiding food in the oven and microwave and keeping everything off of kitchen counters.”
Micah’s best advice to all cat owners is to invest in a good lint roller, as your furniture no longer belongs to you.
Ziggy helps Micah decide where he can and cannot sit. In essence, you become “a guest in your own home.” Sound familiar, dog owners?
Many people think cats are aloof. As Micah pointed out, “Cats are not affectionate by default and we should accept the affection when they decide to offer it.”
I would be remiss if I did not mention the other cats that live in Seaside. Some are lucky to be house cats while others are just as happy to live outside, which does not make them any less cherished or cared for.
One lovely couple was not looking for love when they were adopted by a beautiful pregnant cat that was dropped off on their porch. Instead of looking the other way, the family took in Ms. Hissy (also known as Edward Scissorhands) and found homes for the many litters that she had until they were able to catch her and have her spayed.
After finding a foster to take four kittens, including their favorite, Oscar, they thought they were in the clear until he found his way back after trekking five long miles. All of the couple’s cats are friendly, spayed or neutered and up-to-date on all shots. They roam the yard covered in diatomaceous earth to keep the fleas at bay. And Oscar now lives happily with Bitty Kitty and others.