Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Black Cat

I don't recall if I ever told the story here before or on another blog, about how I adopted my cat, or rather how my cat adopted me. It was back in 2002. I had a dog at the time, a black lab mix, which I had brought with me from Wisconsin, and had been with me for over ten years. Unfortunately my dog was a cat hater, so I couldn't adopt a cat until after he passed away, which was in the winter of 2003, over a year after my cat first showed up on the scene.

Well anyway, this beautiful medium longed haired black cat started showing up outside my home in the summer of 2002. It was a very assertive cat, very vocal, made his presence known right from the start. At first he would come by the windows, meowing very loudly, and pawing at them, trying to get in. When I went outside he came right up to me, standing up on two legs, putting his paws up on my legs, like a dog greeting its owner. In fact, he was very dog like, even followed me down the street like a little puppy. We'd take walks together around the block, and then he'd follow me right back home. Had a lot of close calls whenever I walked my dog, because the cat showed no fear and often tried to follow us, and my dog wanted to kill him. He was also a skilled tree climber and jumper, and regularly jumped up onto the roof of the house I was living in, and would perch up on the wall of my courtyard (which is basically just a walled yard with a gate). It's very common in southern Arizona, that most of the yards are walled in, rather than fenced.

So I befriended this cat, feed it, put a box outside for it, and visited with it outside every chance I could get. The cat came and went as he pleased, but always returned everyday, basically taking up residence on either my rooftop or in my courtyard. This went on for about a year. And when my dog died in 2003, I finally let him inside the house. He had neither a collar nor a tag, and since he had been living outside in this manner for over a year I assumed he was homeless. Well, soon after I let him in, I decided to take him to the vet to have him checked out, and to give him any necessary vaccinations. Fortunately for having lived outside as long as he had he was in perfect health, with no parasites, or diseases of any kind. But what the vet did find was a microchip.

Yes, the cat had been implanted with a microchip, identifying him as belonging to a couple who lived about a mile north of me. So, the procedure is, when a cat is brought in with a microchip indicating that they belong to someone else, the cat is basically put in lock down, and not allowed to leave until the owners are contacted, where they would decide what they wanted to do, whether to claim their cat, or to relinquish ownership. It turns out that the owners were Russian immigrants, a man, a woman, and a little boy. Apparently the cat hadn't been working out. He got along well with the woman, but not the man or the boy, but instead of finding a new home for him, they just let him go outside whenever he started acting up, and eventually he left and didn't come back. They had long since adopted two cats to replace him, two Russian Blues, and there was no way they could take him back, so they agreed to transfer ownership over to me, completely free of charge.

So, he's been with me now for nearly ten years. He's a very beautiful cat, very strong, very intelligent, very affectionate, and very talkative.

I always thought he kind of looked like a Maine Coon, but on second thought I was wondering if maybe he could be a Siberian Forest cat. I was looking at some pictures of Siberians lately, and I see a very strong similarity, not only in appearance, but also in personality. That would be very cool, if I happened to get a purebred cat, which often sells for over a thousand dollars, absolutely free. I'm thinking who would give away a thousand dollar cat for free? Well, they are Russian immigrants, maybe they didn't have to pay for it, but was a gift from a relative or something. You just never know. There's no paper work to verify it, but whatever the case may be, the similarity is striking.

It doesn't really matter either way, he is what he is, he's a very beautiful and much loved cat regardless of what kind of cat he is, but just thought it was kind of interesting. Looking at pictures of cats online, I seem to prefer the larger long haired breeds, especially the Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest Cats, and Siberians, and found it absolutely intriguing that I just happened to find a stray cat which not only resembles those breeds, but could even be one, and I didn't have to pay a penny for him.

Here's some pictures of my cat, some taken today, and a few older ones.

"Kneading and purring in contentment"
"Surrounded by toys"
"Nice Mane"
"Sleeping Beauty"