This post is for cat lovers or anyone who has a cat but hates it. 

I got myself a 4 month old tuxedo cat last october. Tuxedos are a coat type, not a breed. As for breed, they are domestic shorthairs or longhairs, both of which are catspeak for mutts. My kitty is very vocal, so I named her Squeaky. Here's a picture of her curled up in my bathroom sink:

They are called tuxedos because they have a white chest and white "gloves." Some of them have white on the face as well.

I picked her out at the animal shelter because she's black. I had heard on TV that black cats are harder to place, and you can guess why.

One benefit of getting her from an animal shelter is that, at this shelter, the kittens got a lot of gentle handling by the staff. As soon as I walked into their cat room, several of the kittens reached out from where they were sitting, beckoning me to pick them up. The most eager was Squeaky, as if to say "Take me! Take me!" She was totally unafraid of me or any humans and has remained so.

Whenever I have visitors, she doesn't hide. She may stand off waiting to see if they seem dangerous, but soon she's introducing herself. She's the most gregarious cat I've ever encountered. 

The first time my sister came by with her Maggie, a Jack Russell terrier, Squeaky freaked. She did the whole arched back, ears laid back, hissing thing. Now Maggie lives with another cat named Nigel, so cats are nothing new to her, and beside my sister has her trained to behave with cats in general. So, before long Squeaky was sniffing Maggie's butt. After determining that "It's not another cat. I don't know what it is," she became very nonchalant with Maggie, except that on one occasion Maggie came by to sniff, getting a lightning-fast swat from one of Squeaky's front paws.

Maggie backed off, for which I'm thankful, for Squeaky would be pretty quick work for a hostile Jack Russell. To Maggie, she'd be hardly more of a handful than a squirrel. All terriers are built for the hunt, and generally very aggressive with anything they regard as a prey item. Maggie's jaw is a good five times larger than Squeaky's and she has a thick, muscular neck. Jack Russells kill by shaking. Despite being only twice as big as my cat, she could shake her like a rag doll if it came to it because of that muscular neck. Squeaky wouldn't even get a chance to fight back.

Squeaky is NOT declawed and never will be. Yes, I do get scratched every now and then pretty badly in the beginning) but Squeaky is maturing (she's 9 months old now) and plays a bit less rough than she did at the start. 

Cat anatomy is amazing. They are almost unbelievably flexible. If I scoop her up by putting my hand under her tummy, she'll droop like a big piece of spaghetti. She can stretch out to almost 3 ft long, but she can curl up into a circle barely 9" in diameter. Cats are extremely quick because of that flexible spine. By contrast, most dogs have a rather inflexible spine, with the exception of the particularly quick dogs generally referred to by dog people as "the sight hounds." These are breeds like the Greyhounds, Salukis, Afghans, and Whippets. 

People talk about "reflexes like a cat," and boy they are not kidding. I mentioned Squeaky's lightning-like swats with her front paws. I have a little cat shelter that's built like a tent. If you touch the fabric, she'll strike that spot so quickly it's unbelievable. It's like a gunshot. I also play with her using some toys that are like feather or fur lures at the end of a cord tied to the end of a wand. Now, cats are pounce predators and she can pounce on the feather or fur item so quickly it takes your breath away.

Speaking of predation, every morning I put birdseed out on my apartment balcony. Soon pigeons and sparrows come in. They will return throughout the day to see if they missed anything. If there's a bird out on the balcony, Squeaky's attention is totally fixed on it.

I can also fix her attention on other things. She's obsessed with the drawer of my Blu Ray. No matter where she is, if she hears that drawer come out, she's there like a shot. When the drawer starts going in, she's on top of it trying to snag it before it goes all the way in, Frequently she catches it and the drawer comes back out. I often use this fascination of hers if she's bothering me, like hanging around me while I'm eating dinner. I'll just start up the Blu Ray player and, boom, she's gone. 

Another fixation of hers is my computer printer. There are actually Youtube videos showing cats obsessed with printers. She's obviously convinced it's the spawn of Satan.

While cats on the whole are perceived as more standoffish than dogs, in fact they seem to like bodily contact in a sensuous way you won't find in dogs. Squeaky will choose the time and place, but she often likes to curl up on my lap or next to my thigh while I'm sitting on the couch. She'll jump up on my bed at night and press her boday against my stomach or back or even my calves.

When my daughter had a cat, I explained to her that cats are heat-seeking animals (due to being desert dwellers originally). This probably explains their desire for physical contact, but still it feels kind of nice for a reserved, cautious, half-wild critter like a cat to want to snuggle. 

Then there's something every other cat owner will recognize: Crazy Cat Time. Once or twice a day Squeaky goes absolutely bonkers, jetting around the apartment, careening off her cat tree, chasing what I can only assume are imaginary mice. This goes on for about 10-20 minutes, then suddenly I have my serene little kitty cat back. 

Anyway, that's the first installment about my own cat. Show us and tell us about yours.

Tags: cats

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Oh, atheists aren't cat lovers? I expected LOTS of talking about cats!

 

Some more fun facts.

Cats have complex matriarchal hierarchies, The more litters she has the higher she climbs.

The best lifetime companions for female cats are her daughters.

 A female cat will forget about her newborn litter after 3 days if she is seperated from them.

Yes. They used to think cats are loners, individualists, but in fact even the common house or farm cat will form a society if more than one cat is around. I think I read somewhere that cats will even "nanny" other cats' kittens while she goes out to hunt. In some ways, even ordinary cats can form a kind of matriarchy. 

The best lifetime companions for female cats are her daughters.

That's interesting. One of my tortoise shell cats had a litter of 7 kittens (3 female and 4 male) and once they had all grown up the mother didn't want to be anywhere near them, including her daughters, and would hiss and swat them away if they came up to her.

 

Hi Teri

Yeah I've seen that too.

The study that I saw was done on the cats that inhabit the Colosseum in Rome. Those cats are generations old and feral - locals look out for them.

Maybe environment plays a part.

That makes sense. I suppose in the wild it would make sense for them to form some sort of pack. Tamed cats wouldn't need that.

 

The usual word that's given as the collective term for a group of cats is clowder.

Who comes up with these?

Lol, I've heard worse.

A flamboyance of flamingos, a tower of giraffes, a pickle of sea cucumbers, a cackle of hyenas, a prickle of porcupines. I could go on. Why can't they just stick to one word! Hahaha

 

This is one of my favorite cat stories.

Its about a man named Louis Wain

The Man Who Drew Cats

Often held up as THE classic example of a schizophrenic artist, in recent decades there has come to be greater respect for the talents of Victorian-era illustrator of anthropomorphic cats, Louis Wain. ...... more

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/louis_wain_the_man_who_drew_cats

Fascinating!

 

 - and did you watch the short video Teri - touching isnt it?

I wonder how he actually saw the cats in his most delusional states. Do you think they were like his paintings?

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