It has come to my attention that I haven’t properly introduced The Cat. He does have his own website, though I admit I don’t keep it updated. I like to think he prefers it that way, keeps the mystery alive. Besides, technically he’s not my cat at all, he’s my husband’s. Until a year or so ago he’d barely let me come near him without a formal written invitation. I’d have to RSVP at least two weeks before the date or the invite would be revoked. It’s not that he’s standoffish or a snob, he just doesn’t like strangers touching him and thinks he’s better than everyone else.
Though he’s never thought much of me, The Cat, as he’s lazily called, has actually known me since he was a tiny orange puff-ball. My husband adopted him from the local PAW Society shortly before we started dating. At the time I was a little afraid of cats, but even I couldn’t resist such a teeny kitten with huge eyes. In fact, I attribute most of the success of our first real date to him. We spent a great part of the time in his apartment playing with the spazzy feline. I think I still have scars.
The Cat began his life as a wacko; that seems to be a trend for us. He had oodles of energy and loved nothing more than to jump out at me when I least expected it. I’d be walking along, thinking of what to have for lunch, and then hiss! scratch! hiss! I liked to think it was a game, how he showed his affection for me. If I was in denial my husband was kind enough to let me keep my illusions.
He’s never been an overly affectionate feline. The Kitty Meister does seek out human company but he prefers to maintain his personal space. As I said above, any petting is strictly on his own terms. He’ll tolerate being picked up but only for so long. This is only if you can catch him first. After more than a minute he’s squirming and writhing and howling to get away. With his soft little paws and long, pretty whiskers, it’s hard to resist the urge to snuggle.
Other than plotting our ultimate demise, Sabir – which is his real name even though we never use it – is also an avid hunter. The first couple years of his life he lived in an apartment. When we moved to a house in Calgary we decided he should stay indoors to keep him safe in such a busy area. The Cat had other plans unfortunately and it was only a matter of time before he got out. It was stressful, at first, because he didn’t come back for a few days that first time. The husband assumed he was long gone. However, he eventually returned, hunting instincts re-awakened, and no mouse has been able to sleep through the night since. If there is a dead animal anywhere near our house we can always tell it was our cat’s work by its missing head. Apparently that’s the best part. In a former life I think The Cat must have been owned by Andrew Zimmern.
The Cat definitely rules the house. Which is as it should be. The first dog he ever really met was Nicki. The husband brought Kitty to his mother’s house for Christmas vacation one year. One of my favourite memories of this holiday is of watching a giant orange tabby slowly chase a small white dog around the house. After that they got along really well. They even slept on the same bed together.
For our cat this is pretty rare as he regards most dogs as pawns for his enjoyment. He had no trouble putting down my practically brother-in-law’s hundred-pound behemoth and from the start he made sure Shiva knew he was in charge of their interactions. I swear he baits her as he knows if there is any fighting between them, the dog is who gets in trouble. Sometimes I catch him crouched behind a corner, just waiting for her to come trotting by. Sneaky devil.
There is a lot I could say about him as The Cat definitely has a strong personality. Strong, but not aggressive. He makes friends with other cats easily and I know if we were to get another, he wouldn’t put up much of a fuss. As long as the newcomer bowed to his greatness, no doubt.
There are many stories I could tell, including the one time he defended Shiva from another cat. I haven’t even mentioned our five-day road trip with the kitty in the backseat. Probably because I’ve tried to cut that entire experience from my brain. He’s mellowing a lot as he gets older and he’s even starting to seek me out – even when the husband is around! I guess he’s decided I’m here to stay. After six years of working to earn his respect, I’d say it is about time.
ETA: As I was choosing which photos to put in Shiva and The Cat were engaging in mortal combat in the other room. I’ll give you a hint who won – it wasn’t the animal who routinely destroys alligators.