As I peruse the forums, I am struck by the number of people who have pictures of their pets as their avatars. I know how much my animals mean to me and don't have any idea what life would be like without them. As you can see below, I recently lost a cat that had been with me nearly 16 years. Made a trip to PAWS yesterday, but I did not meet any cat that wanted to join the family enough to talk to me. My most recent addition to the family has adjusted well and is quite a lap cat (a fact that does not thrill some of the other would-be lap sitters) . Oliver is a real beauty and likes to play with the shower curtain. He basically ignores the dogs and has made friends with the other cats.
Before Oliver, Prince Gustov, better known as Gus, joined the family. Gus is also a lap sitter that made a rapid adjustment to the house. I have learned that if I have patience, the perfect animal will show up at PAWS. He has a distinctive face. Reminds me of some movie character, but I have not figured it out yet. It was the expression on his face that drew me to him. Gus is calm and loving. If not in my lap, he likes to be close by as this visit to the bathroom shows. Like most of my cats, Gus is a fairly large, long haired feline. Someday, I hope to add a Maine Coon and a Norwegian Forest Cat to the family. There is always room for one or two more cats at the food dishes and litter boxes!
This is Caspian. A large, short haired cat that is usually pretty shy. He has come out of his shell quite a bit and likes his share of attention and an occasional sit in a lap. He is seen here in one of his favorite hiding places - a basket/pillow that is under a small table with a floor length table cloth. He doesn't mind being disturbed as long as a little petting goes along with it. For about the first year that Caspian lived with me, he would only demand attention at bedtime. He wanted to curl up on a pillow next to my head. Since animals are no longer allowed in the bedroom, he has begun to seek attention at other times, too.
Eighteen pounds of love, that describes Trumpkin. Winter of 1993, I was visited by a big orange tomcat that moved in for the winter and left again that next spring. I had wanted a big, orange cat ever since sharing that winter with a cat we called George. Well a trip to PAWS led me to a cage with a big, orange cat named Trumpkin and his cage-mate, Caspian. They had been raised together and surrendered by their owner when a new baby joined the household. I did not have the heart to separate them, so I adopted them both. Trump is a lover and a lap sitter. He is also a nipper, and if the attention does not come fast enough, will give a little bite to let you know that he is there and wants a little lovin'. Trump has the most beautiful yellow eyes.
Sitting in the bathtub is Rush. Rush was adopted along with Leo who passed away in February 2007. Rush is an absolute hoot! He was named on the way home from PAWS. He was not meowing, he was howling and screaming! I thought what a loud, obnoxious, demanding personality - Rush Limbaugh - Rush became this beautiful cats name. He is still loud and demanding, but not obnoxious. He is a real attention seeker and a great lap warmer. He will often sit on his haunches in my lap, with a paw on each of my shoulders, like a baby giving a hug. He is a real sweetheart and still does not like to go in a cat carrier. Thank goodness, it is only once a year for the trip to the vet. He becomes obnoxious in addition to loud and demanding when the carrier is close by.
Meet Libby. A dainty little girl that almost did not make it. Libby was found at PAWS. She had an injured leg. I was allowed to take her for x-rays that showed the leg to have been shattered in at least five places. She also had an upper respiratory problem. PAWS suggested that I pick a different cat. No Way! Libby was nursed back to health, the injured leg amputated and then she was spayed. Her name is actually Liberty for obvious reasons, but Libby suits her just fine. The lack of a leg does not slow her down or keep her from getting wherever she wants to go. What a doll!
Harriet, wonderful, gentle and loving. Harriet was found as a kitten, about four months old or so in 1994. She was roaming at Harrison Homes. Someone had put a red "X" on the top of her head. I could not resist her beautiful blue eyes and brought her home. I was afraid the X was a target. Harriet requires a lot of brushing since she sheds a great deal. I think she does it on purpose for the attention. Harriet is now the second oldest of the cats, but is in good health. Leah took her to Chicago for awhile, but she did not adjust well to the change or being an only cat. When she came back home, it took her a long time to get over the trauma of the change. She is back to being herself now.
The Grand Old Man!!! Smokey was probably at least two years old when he joined the family in 1990. There is no way of knowing how old he is, but he is at least 18 or 19 years old. He sleeps a lot more now and likes to curl up in front of a heat vent in the kitchen. He was sick a couple years ago. We thought we might lose him. He spent a week in the hospital and had a slow recovery, but has regained the weight he lost and probably a little more. His coat is not as soft as it used to be. He will let you know when he has had enough - there is a special growl that says "Leave me alone". He is still referred to as the Attack Cat, a name he earned!
Cats - a variety of shapes, sizes, personalities and attitudes. Not a pedigree or "papers" among them and I wouldn't trade any of them. My dogs are neat dogs, but they are not cats!