Cat blog about my life with many, many cats.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

The Re-Habilitation of Teddy, the Killer Cat

Those of you who have looked at my cat gallery have seen the photo of Teddy, the big, striped guy that is our latest adopted kitty. He showed up this winter during a horrible cold snap when the temperatures outside were more than 15 degrees below zero. We have an enclosed porch at the back of the house with a cat door on it, and we always keep cereal and water out there for the various outdoor cats who sometimes visit. And the occasional racoon or possum also makes use of this buffet of goodies. Last winter, we had noticed this striped tabby coming around, and he was big, beautiful, yellow-eyed, and a bit skittish.

We could tell he had been fixed, so he was somebody's baby cat at some point. But we had no idea what had happened, whether his "parents" had moved away and left him behind (which often happens to cats, and totally sucks. Several of the cats we've adopted had this happen to them.)

Anyway, during the cold snap, this cat suddenly became more chummy, and he even let himself into the main part of the house one day (through the cat doors in our basement.) We came across him in the kitchen over at the cat station where we keep the food, munching down. He was little shy with us, but with a lot of gentle talking to him, he soon came over for some petting and rubs. After that, he was around all the time.

We decided that his name was Teddy. I don't know why, but this seemed to be his name.

He's a cuddly lump of puss, very affectionate, and he follows us around like a little dog, eager for attention and reassurance. Things didn't go so well when he mixed with some of the other males in the house - namely Earl, the big white Alpha male who is an indoor/outdoor cat, and Baby Smokes, who is mostly an outdoor cat. Teddy and those two have very gradually been figuring out their territorial issues, and sometimes the process is pretty intense. Ever seen a flying cat ball, filled with hissing and spitting cats? We were seeing this phenomenon regularly for a while.

We spent a lot of time looking for a new home for Teddy and also placing ads to see if anyone would come to claim him. But nobody seemed to be a good candidate.

We could send him to a farm property to become an exclusively outdoor cat, but he's really more of an indoor cat by nature, very cuddly and loving, and we'd hate to see him banished to the outdoors to become a permanent barn cat when he's really a fuzzy chunk o'love.

So, for the moment, anyway, he's here. And he seems more and more likely to be staying here as each day goes by.

Once in a while, though, a spirit of mischief and neurosis comes over Teddy, and he gets mean with Roman and Becka, the two younger cats who were kittens two years ago. Now they're grown, but they're still the youngest cats in the house, and the most easily bullied. We keep telling Teddy that if he keeps chasing poor Roman up trees or intimidating little Becka by backing her into corners, he will just have to go on his merry way.

But he's been a good boy lately. He sleeps upstairs most of the day, either in our bedroom or in our walk-in closet, and he snuggles in with us at night. He's such an affectionate and cuddly guy, we really want things to work out and for him to be able to stick around.

Oh, and there were also some issues of marking his territory, which have since calmed down. Thank goodness.

If you haven't seen his photo yet, here's the link. He's down in the right-hand bottom corner.


Now look at that face. Isn't that the face of a good cat who just needs a little reforming and rehabilitation? I truly believe he serves the light side of the Force, not the dark side.

He just needs a little encouragement and coddling.


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