I’m a cat person. It’s true. I love cats.
My first cat cost me just 50 cents when I was a kid! Smokey was a tiny kitten in a flea market in 1978. We took her home, watched her grow, had fun, thus began my lifelong attraction to felines.
It doesn’t matter the breed or age of cat, all I look for in one is a certain personality. I like people cats. The aloof variety just isn’t my thing. It’s got to like people.
When we lost 14 year old Quattro 6 years ago it was time to visit the cat shelter again. I always go for adult shelter cats. Yes, I bypass the cute kittens, not because I don’t like them, but because the adults have evolved personalities that won’t change too much after I get them home. I certainly love the crazy antics of those baby fluffballs and I’ll watch and play with them for hours, but cuteness doesn’t translate into positive personalities in the long term. I need to know my cat is the right cat. So I put the kittens down and step into the cage of the homeless grown ups, watching them interact with each other and me, looking for the one with character, a good lifelong one.
I’d like you to meet Levi. He’s my current fella. He was about nine months old when he stepped forward and twisted his tail around Margo’s leg. She reached down and took to him instantly. I wasn’t so convinced at the time. An attentive tail isn’t enough in my book. My interest was originally with a 4yo black short hair by the name of Jett. This fellow looked me in the eye and talked back when I spoke to him. He was responsive and wasn’t shy to show it. For me, this started ticking many boxes. I then picked him up to see how he liked being handled. Everything was going fine until I rolled him over to stroke his stomach. A bite ticks a completely different box!
Jett wasn’t angry… it’s not an unusual reaction for a cat. Many cats react to touches on their tummies. Often it’s a result of playing rough-house with an under-stimulated, uncontrolled child. Could I tolerate this enough to retrain Jett to accept belly rubs? Perhaps.
Sharkey entered the picture. He had Persian in his blood and this weird looking overbite. At 11 years of age, his time in the shelter was already long, bound to longer. .. but what a smoochy purrer!
Two boxes of cats came home with us that day!
Levi and Sharkey became good friends until Sharkey’s death in 2012. He lived a fabulous life with us sleeping in our bed every night, snuggling in when we woke, walking with us everywhere on the 3/4 acre farmlet. We were all sad that day. Levi now sleeps in place of Sharkey, walks where he walked… and loves the tummy rub too!
He is our special boy!
(My Novel SEETHINGS is avail for your library here)