Guest Post: Unsinkable Molly Cat

A photo of an eighteen-year-old cat was shared at a recent Lincoln Animal Ambassadors board meeting. The cat belonged to Chris Neukirch, who had donated money to LAA in honor of her cat’s eighteenth birthday. I sensed a good story and, immediately, I emailed Chris to ask if she’d tell me about Molly. Thanks, Chris, for the following story….

A large litter of 11 kittens was born on February 29, 2000, in a cold barn in Polk County, Wisconsin. The farmer decided to give the kittens a better life and, once they were old enough, gave them to a local vet to take care of and find them homes. So far, female gray tabby #9 has had an amazing life! I adopted her from the vet on Good Friday of that same year and picked her from the litter because she had little dots on her stomach that looked like little chocolate chips.

Molly outside, Photo from Chris Neukirch
Molly outside
Photo from Chris

At that time, I had another cat named Gizmo that was about 6 months old and about 6 lbs. Even though female gray tabby #9 weighed just over a pound, she played hard with Gizmo and never backed down. And that is how she got her name, Molly, like the Unsinkable Molly Brown from the Titanic movie. She’s also known as Princess Molly or Molly Weasel or Baby Kitty, even though she’s the oldest kitty of our pack!

She very strongly bonded with Gizmo. As a kitten, she enjoyed fetching glitter balls and playing kitty soccer with them. They slept together during naps and loved to sleep on a purple blanket that she still treasure today. She and Gizmo would have great adventures running outside and chasing each other. The two cats moved with me from Wisconsin to Nebraska in August 2003. Sadly, a year later, Molly lost her best friend.  She was very distraught and for many days would sit in the window and wait for Gizmo to come home.

Molly at glass studio, Photo from Chris Neukirch
Molly at glass studio
Photo from Chris

Molly was an outside/inside cat and loved to bring me all kinds of creatures, including snakes, which I hated! Her inside time was spent in the sunshine with the purple blanket and lot of glitter balls. Over the years, she went outside less and less, especially after she almost got hit by a car! Lincoln also wasn’t a good setting for a kitty to go outside, and so Molly became an inside only kitty.

When I met my husband, Jason, in 2009, Molly and Jason didn’t know what to think of each other. Jason really wasn’t a cat person and Molly wasn’t used to sharing me. I have a photo of the two of them sitting on the couch and they’re both looking at me as if wondering, “What is he/she doing here?” Over time, they bonded, and they’re now the best of friends.  My husband even makes up silly songs about her.

We got a second cat, Olivia, just before Jason and I married in 2010. A few years ago, we also added two shop cats, Willie and Archie.  Molly tolerates them but hasn’t bonded with them like she did with Gizmo. I think she has been her own kitty for too long!

Molly at the pond Photo from Chris Neukirch
Molly at the pond
Photo from Chris

Now we live in a small town again and have a nice big back yard including a koi pond. Molly has her chances to go outside again under supervision when the weather is nice. These are her favorite times.  Molly loves to drink the cool pond water and watch the koi fish. She wanders around and smells everything! Molly’s even attempted to climb a tree or two! I’ve reminded her that she’s not as
young as she thinks she is!

Willie and Archie watch over her from a safe distance when she’s outside.  They keep a close eye on Molly, even though she isn’t too fond of them, as if they know she is the Queen of the Household.

Molly’s health has slowed her down a bit. She developed kidney disease at 15, which is common for cats.  With good vet care, we’ve been watching it and monitoring it. Molly’s been on medicine for it for quite some time and recently has started on subcutaneous fluids and a special diet. She actually loves the special diet! Other than that, Molly’s health for 18 year is good with no other major issues.

Molly with her new blanket, Photo from Chris Neukirch
Molly with her new blanket
Photo from Chris

She still wakes me up each morning for food and water from the sink. She greets me at the door when I come from work to refill the bowl. If the dry bowl is empty, Molly lets me know with loud meows. She stills plays with glitter balls and the red laser, although for shorter periods of time. She loves to find a good sunbeam and take a long nap. She still enjoys the same purple blanket, but it’s gotten a bit threadbare and so Molly received a new extra warm and fluffy blanket this past Christmas. She loves this blanket even more and it’s better for making a nice nest in.

Having a senior cat is not easy with all the extra treatments and medicine, but I look at it as repayment for all of the love she has given me over the years. I’m blessed that Molly has been in my life for as long as she has. She’s been my best friend for 18 years. She knows all my secrets and was a shoulder to cry on during the rough times. She cuddles with me when I’m not feeling well or have a migraine.  I treasure each day that we have together!

Molly with family, Photo from Chris Neukirch
Molly with family
Photo from Chris

As it got closer to her 18th birthday, I knew I wanted to do something special to honor Molly. I’ve been a supporter of Lincoln Animal Ambassadors by attending their events, donating the food Molly does not want to the food bank ,and giving donations in memory of pets that have crossed to the Rainbow Bridge.  This felt like something BIG to me! Eighteen years for a cat is amazing and I wanted to celebrate this milestone. Everyone knows the saying “Cats have 9 lives”. Some cats run through their nine very quickly, while others like Molly have the opportunity to savor each life. I wanted to celebrate her and make a donation to an organization that assist pets and their animal guardians with the most basic needs of spay and neuter, vaccinations, and pet food bank. The good fortune that I have had with Molly deserved to be shared. A donation to LAA was a great way to say Happy Birthday Molly!

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