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.

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I hear it tastes a lot like civet.

Speaking of laughing, I always tell people that having a cat is the next best thing to having a monkey. She can play with the most unexpected things, like a rubber band I accidentally drop on the floor. She'll get more entertainment out of that than a toy I spent $25 dollars on. She follows me around to see what I'm up to and will insist on getting involved. Like most cats, she likes a bag or a box to play with.

Hint: This is a homemade toy she gets lots of entertainment from: take an empty 12 or 16 oz plastic Coke or Pepsi (or whatever) bottle, stick it in a cotton or wool sock and tie the end off. Squeaky attacks that just like she's captured a big rat.

I was doing taxes and was sitting on the floor in front of my couch. I was going through papers and putting them in appropriate piles. There were 7 or 8 piles in front of me, well Sqeaky took a mad dash from the side and skidded across them like a kid on one of those soft plastic waterslides you can put out on your lawn, and yes I had to do it all over again. 

People talk about the cat's sharp smell and hearing, but have you noticed how cats like to touch things with their paw? They use their sense of touch as well. Of course one reason Squeaky likes to touch things is to see if she can knock them to the floor so she can play with them down there. However, she's already broken two small glasses that way.

Cats have more of a capacity to play on their own than dogs do. Typically, your dog is waiting for you to do something. And it's amazing the things cats can get into. With their relatively narrow and flexible bodies, there aren't many places they could fit into that they can't get into.

And they're so stealthy. Twice now I've put on my jacket and gone out only to find when I got home Squeaky wasn't there to greet me. I looked all around and gave up trying to find her in all the usual places. I opened up the front closet door to put my jacket away and out walks Squeaky, cool as a cucumber. She didn't even meow after I got home, which is strange because if I put her in my bedroom to keep her away from something I'm doing she'll meow constantly. 

 

"Speaking of laughing, I always tell people that having a cat is the next best thing to having a monkey."

Difference is that when your cat reaches puberty it wont try to rape you.

 

"but have you noticed how cats like to touch things with their paw?"

My cat loves it if I get little bits of sticky tape and leave them on the bench, sticky side up- he then goes along, puts his paw on the bits so they stick to him, then he shakes them off. Thats the game - he loves it.

He also loves me to line things up on a bench - say pegs for example - then he walks along and flicks them all off. Then he waits for me to line them up again

very autistc.

My kitty is still very young, just a year old, and she may have been feral at one point, before I got her. Most of the time she will only let me pet her. Others she bites and scratches. She also gets into little moods where she decides to hunt me. I have to put her down on the ground while I am on the bed and put her back down if she jumps up. She will soon get distracted by some other thing. She hates being held.

She is a bed cat, but not a lap cat. I give her a special spot on the bed to curl up on, with a blanket just for her, and when I wake up in the morning, she climbs on my chest and rubs her face against mine and licks my face/hands. She never bothers me while I am sleeping, but whenever I am awake she instantly knows it.

@futilewinds  May I suggest watching My Cat from Hell? Jackson Galaxy often has to deal with neurotic cats who attack strangers and even their owners. They are insecure and often respond to certain therapies. In some cases, they may benefit from a medical solution. Maybe this episode will help:

I'm watched a lot of that show.

 

Is that you?

Max?

I had two cats as a child. Tealeese was a striped, orange mutt and Lucky was an all black mutt who I rescued from underneath a van as a kitten. Tealeese got leukemia and we had to get rid of Lucky because of my allergies (I'm told she actually did go to a farm to live out her days tormenting mice). I thought I would never be the same with my cats but then I got a cuddly, sweet dog. Now I'm a dog person. 

Hey, I had a lot of allergies as a kid, and most of the stuff I was allergic to then doesn't seem to bother me anymore. Cats and dogs can get along. I think you have to start with the dog and let them know the cat is now part of the family. Even so, cats who are used to being around dogs try to play with them as if the dog was another cat. My sister has a Jack Russell terrier bitch and a male cow cat (a cat with the Holstein-like black and white markings). That cat will sometimes charge her terrier. My sister was over last night and brought her dog with her. Squeaky is now very familiar with the dog and seems to like stalking it. She made a run at the dog twice, charging her and stopping just short of contact. The dog just looked bored. Used to that cat behavior, I suppose. 

We have four cats at the moment.

11 yr old grey short hair (probably Main Coon/Tabby mix)
6 yr old all black short hair
5 yr old orange and white long hair
2 yr old short hair tortoise shell

They all have personalities all their own. I love 'em! We have an old Cocker-Spaniel too. But I'm far more of a cat person than a dog person.

Hey, anyone who hasn't joined the cats group yet, go ahead before someone asks "Hey, what do cats have to do with atheism anyway?"

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