Cat blog about my life with many, many cats.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Octopuss - Life with Eight Cats

I've decided to make entries in this blog again, and you cat lovers out there might want to check back once in a while to hear about what it's like to live with eight cats. Yes, that's right. It's no longer life with seven cats, it's eight.

All of our cats are "rescued," i.e., unintended cats whom the Universe, in her mysterious wisdom, saw fit to bring into our lives. If there's a Zen of acquiring cats, or a secret mojo or something, we appear to have mastered it. I figure we've been following our dogma as we welcome this abundant flow of cats, or chasing our katma, or something.

The latest addition to the feline homestead is Teddy, a big, roly-poly, dark-striped tabby who found his way into the house in the midst of the bitter cold we had this winter. We had seen him around a few times eating on the back porch, where we keep food and water, but he had never ventured inside before. One evening, he sneaked inside through the basement cat doors and made a beeline for the real buffet - the area in the kitchen where we keep cat treats and all of the goodies.

He was a little shy when we walked up to him, but with a little coaxing, he was soon accepting rubs and pats. He's a very affectionate character, a total lap cat. His shoulders are like those of a burly linebacker's. He has the physique of an Arnold Schwarzenegger cat, and even our vet was shocked at the size of his front shoulders.

He had been neutered and was obviously a house cat at one time, he was so affectionate with people. Gradually, he started staying around the house, especially on the cold days. What cat could resist warmth, yummy food and catnip, and great surfaces to lie on?

Earl, our 20 pound bruiser of a white cat, has not been very pleased with Teddy's stay in our house. Actually, this is HIS house, as Earl repeatedly seems to be reminding us with his howls and yowls. He and Teddy have had quite a few tussles. Inevitably, they happen in the middle of the night, on top of the bed, when Tom and I are trying to sleep. We've gotten used to waking up in a state of dead panic, wondering why all hell has broken out in cat land.

Our vets tells us this is just part of the procedure, getting a new male used to being in a space with another alpha male cat. Yikes!

Things were getting so bad with the male cats in the house always fighting that we started to pursue other options. Tom and I are both working from home now, so having constant cat chaos just wasn't adding to our productivity or our piece of mind.

We put out posters with the headline, "Adopt Teddy" at various area locations. We're hoping to find him a good home, one without other male cats who would inevitably have major tussles with Teddy, since he's such a huge hunk of puss.

Perhaps Teddy was aware, on some level, that we are trying to find him a new home. He has been suspiciously GOOD for the last week, practically a reformed cat. And Earl has been leaving him alone, for the most part.

So far, the only phone call we received was from a woman down the street who owns a cat just like Teddy by the name of Bruce. (Bruce? Who names a cat Bruce? Sounds like a deranged character to me.) Bruce is an indoor/outdoor cat, and she was wondering if he was wandering up here from time to time for an extra meal. We assured her that Teddy is pretty much in the house 24 hours a day, so it isn't likely to be Bruce.

She told us about a place called Tabby House about twenty minutes from here. Apparently, they take in unwanted cats and take good care of them. Sounds like a wonderful place. We might just check it out to find out what they do there, although it's doubtful we'd be willing to put Teddy there.

We figure either things will calm down and my blog will have to be officially renamed: OCTOPUSS - Life of Eight Cats. Or we'll manage to manifest just the right, perfect, home situation for the guy.

At this point, I have to admit, I'm getting attached to him. He's a lovable ball of mancat.

Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, if you like happy endings, read here about the four-eared kitten in Berlin who just found a new home after her human parents couldn't afford to get her spayed.



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