Crazy Sassy

5 Jul

Our Princess

My dad named Sassy Nano after a cat that he used to have in Lebanon, whose name came from an old sitcom starring Robin Williams called Mork & Mindy. In the sitcom, Williams comes from another planet, called Ork, and “nano, nano” means hello in Ork language. About a year after having Sassy we saw the movie Homeward Bound and decided we wanted to name our cat after the cat in the movie, even though they looked nothing alike. So Nano became Sassy. :-]

From the beginning, Sass was always getting into trouble. One year she got stuck at the top of a telephone pole. She was missing for three days before we found her and called Edison to bring her down. Another year she got into a fight with another cat and had a huge flesh wound on her foot. She was always killing butterflies and sometimes even birds. One time she messed with a squirrel and got chased by it–my dad had to throw a soccer ball at it so it didn’t attack her. I cried for the squirrely. :’-[  We used to take her with us on road trips to West Virginia, and one year we even snuck her into a hotel in Traverse City. She used to like sitting on the dashboard while my dad drove..but once she realized that going in a car usually meant a trip to the vet she started hating going for car rides. 

Sass was spoiled rotton. She got so much lovin that she came to hate it when we gave attention to anything else, and therefore HATED other animals. In her 18 years with us she never once was nice to another animal. Even months after we had our dog Simba and our other kitty Fluffy, Sass never warmed up to them. They were terrified of her. She did love boys though. Anytime a guy came over she would go up and sit next to him and act all sweet. She was obsessed with Adam, which is pretty funny since he has allergies. We called her a little hoe. ;-] There was no man that she loved more than my dad, though. Sass was always by his side; total daddy’s girl. He was the only one that could give her a bath or comb her fur–she would have attacked anyone else. Sass didn’t purr that often, but you could always count on hearing her distinctly strong purr when she was sleeping by my dad. She loved her baba.

I should mention that there was a rumor back in the day about her having a relationship with the neighbor’s black cat, Dingato, but I don’t think it was true. She was perfectly happy on her own, just eating and sleeping all day. Did I mention eating?

Anyone that knew Sassy knows that she LOVED to eat. You could not move your mouth without her coming up to you to investigate exactly what you were snacking on. Whenever we couldn’t find her or wanted to get her out from someplace (like under the car) we would just shake a bag of cat treats and, sure enough, her fatass would come trotting out. Besides begging for her wet cat food several times a day, she ate pretty much everything that we ate, unless it was healthy. People were always amazed that she would eat so much human food. Our family called her a Lebanese because she loved Arabic food–she ate everything from laham mishwee to mjadra. Her favorite things, though, were definitely chips, labne, and tuna.

That’s how she got the nickname Tuna. Also, Taka Tuna, Taka Taka (which actually means garbage in Swahili), Tuna Face, Yaka, and Yaka Taka Tuna. Of course we also called her Sassafrass, Sassu, Tatuu, and our Sassy Girl. Whenever we baby-talked her she would look up and slowly blink her beautiful green eyes. It almost looked like she was smiling.

It all started with Sass

3 Jul

UM Graduation, May 2009.

It all started with a little white kitty named Sassy. Well, actually, her original name was Nano. You see, in winter of 1992 my family and I were making our rounds (visiting relatives) when we were introduced to Sassy at my uncles house. I am Arabic, so visiting family once in a while is mandatory, and usually the visits include three or four stops–which is insanely boring for an eight year old, a five year old and a four year old. My two sisters and I were tired of sitting through various sessions of small talk while our parents sipped coffee and engaged in what seemed like never-ending discussions.

When we arrived at my uncles and discovered that since our last visit he had adopted a kitten, we were thrilled! My parents are very compassionate people, and my sisters and I picked that up from them..we are all complete animal lovers. In fact, my dads entire side of the family (the Husseins) are known to be cat people. But this little girl was special. I remember her going wild over a red santa hat that one of us had been wearing..We dragged the hat around and she chased the white ball at the end. She was so curious and excited, and more beautiful than any other cat I’d ever seen.

We refused to leave my uncles house when it was time to go. We wanted to stay and play with the cat! To help our parents out, my uncle (Umo Bo’Nimer) said that if we went visiting with our parents, we could keep the cat. Naturally we agreed, and left to finish our rounds so that we could come back to pick up Nano (aka Sassy)  later. We came back to get her that night, not realizing that this little kitty would change the next 18 years of our lives.