Friday, February 9, 2018
Learning boy stuff...
Yes, I am male. Further, in our household, since we were first married, the only male. Joan and Steph. We had dogs early on: Jazzy and Woof; yeah, both female. Cats: Smoke, Molly, and Isabella.
This week, when we haven't been in Steph's classroom, we have been looking for another kitty. Yes, it has only been 2 1/2 weeks since we lost our sweet Izzy. I miss my routine. I miss that face happy to see me when I come in the door.
When Joan agreed that she might be ready to look, I told her what I had in mind:
* a female (we both agreed on that)
* a light color, maybe a ginger.
* a young girl, so we can condition her to our lifestyle
We looked at a lot of cats, all rescues. We narrowed it to 6 possibles, 3 females, 3 males. We visited them all again... 2 males really stood out - wonderful personalities, loving the human interaction. One was 6 months, a ginger, longhair - a beautiful kitty. The other one made us both chuckle when we first saw him: another male, 2 years old, a dark tabby with short to medium hair, and a funky ear. By funky, I mean: it looked like it had been injured; didn't stand up; almost like a fold, but not really. If anyone is familiar with the Batman comic book character Bat-Mite... yeah, that is what he reminded me of.
His name was Patches; didn't fit him at all. The info from the shelter was sparse: he was a stray; they assumed abandoned. No idea of the age, but they guessed him at 1 to 2 years. Recently brought to the shelter, they had neutered him, checked him for the usual cat maladies, treated him for ear-mites (not to be confused with Bat-Mite), and chipped him. The shelter he was in was in Yuma and over-crowded... he was one of several that a Phoenix shelter agreed to take in order to keep the Yuma shelter no-kill. The minute we saw him, it was very obvious he was no Patches. Joan said, "He needs a tough name."
With that twisted ear, I said, "He looks like a Rufus." Through our decision process, he is one of two cats that we gave a different name. Yes, the other one was that youngster.
I agonized over this decision. Shed more than a few tears. Yes, they all need to be saved... we can't save them all, but we can make a very good life for one of them. It was a sleepless night. Stephanie saw the photos of the two boys and said, "If you take the little one, I will ask Dan if we can get Rufus." No joke, I heard her on the phone. Dan held tough.
I spent several hours on the internet, trying to see if my thoughts about male cats were off-base. I discovered most "cat authorities" (who decides that??) say that neutered males are more affectionate than spayed females; less territorial. Really?
This morning, Joan asked, "Did you make a decision?" When I said no, she said, "Maybe you (we) aren't ready, yet? Would you like to look at both one more time?"
Yep. Meet our newest family member: Rufus...
He looks like a street fighter, but is very affectionate. The next stop after the adoption: the vet. We went to Steph's vet here (also the one we were trying to get Izzy to) - they could not have been kinder. A vet and tech examined Rufus, and declared him healthy. He rubbed on both of them while they were doing the exam... the vet said, "You're a bit of a hooch, aren't you?" Pretty sure she was talking to him, not me. She also thinks he is more like 3 to 4 years old, based on his muscle tone and teeth. She added, "He has a great personality. For a cat to make it on the street, they have to be smart and tough, too. I think you have a real good boy here." She knew what we needed to hear. A couple other employees looked in on him and gushed over that face, the "fighter's ear", and him wanting to be petted. Ten pounds five ounces.
With him just being neutered 9 days ago, he has a bit of a "male smell" to him. First thing when we got to the motorhome: a bath. He was not keen being in a large bin at first (Joan put that in the shower), but he didn't fight us. Joan lathered him up and massaged the cat shampoo in... he kinda liked that. He was even OK with being rinsed with the shower head. Joan scooped him up in a towel and handed him off to me...
There will be a "glamour shot" sometime soon - this is not it. He made no fuss at all while I went through two towels getting him close to dry. When I worked on his belly, he purred... the look on his face said it: "I have never had this kind of spa treatment. You two are my people now, right?"
So, I guess we have a type: he is another tabby, brown and charcoal. Good markings, with a light colored belly, white mittens on his front feet, and white ankle socks on the rear. His tail fur is medium, with a definite kink right at the end. A definite guy face, with a mouth that turns up in a smile. I am going with: the ear adds to his devil-may-care personality.
A good appetite. No idea what he has been eating, but he scarfed a half can of soft food down like me eating ice cream. Then, ate a full portion of hard food, too. I promised him he will never be hungry living with us.
Late this afternoon, Steph called - I had texted her "Rufus" and she was very excited to meet our new family member. Perhaps not an unbiased opinion, because Stephanie loves all cats... she said she thinks he is a fine looking boy, too. Dan is relieved that we picked Rufus, so Steph wouldn't pester him for another cat.
We did put a harness on him - no fuss whatsoever. It made me brave enough to see how he would do outside... he's not ready for an "around the block," yet, but he did not try to bolt. Of course, the timing was such that a guy on a loud Harley rode by - concerned, but no running. That was enough for a first try. I opened the door to the coach, and he went right in on his own.
Quite a day for all of us.