Sunday, June 7, 2015

Cats and Quirks

by Leann


Every cat has a unique personality but the two I have right now, Wexford (named after Ruth Rendell's detective) and Lynley (named after Elizabeth George's detective) probably take the cake.

Wexford came to me as a shy boy, about 3 months old and nothing has changed. He's your typical scaredy cat, I guess, but I've never been owned by a scaredy cat before. All the ones in my past--and there have been many--were very confident and outgoing. This guy has learned to open cupboards and drawers so he can hide. He's quite good at opening one dresser drawer and climbing over the side into the drawer next to it.

The day we moved into this house we'd left him at the rental house with a few stray items in a closed room. But when I went to get him to bring him to our forever home, I couldn't find him. We searched everywhere and I was crying the entire time. Only a few items had been left in that room and after a long time hunting, I found him crammed into the tiniest box. He was, in fact, stuck in that box because his 15 pound body was never meant for such a small box. I was so happy and the tears turned to ones of joy.

Then there's the 6 month old Lynley. He is, as all kittens are, adorable. He loves to play goalie in a game of roll the treat toward him. He can also jump on top of a flat screen TV and balance there.
(Yes, it drives us nuts!) No deterrent has worked and trust me, we have tried everything we can think of. But his most adorable quirk is his little leopard on a stick. It's mangled from play. He loves it. Every single night, I go to bed and about thirty minutes later--I guess after he's decided I'm staying that bed--I hear him dragging that toy down the hall. He gracefully jumps over me holding it and lays it lovingly next to me. And then he leaves. Yup. It's like he's tucking me in with his most prized possession. It stays there all night. He doesn't play with it. After I get up in the morning, he drags that toy back into the living room to start his day. It's weird but it's adorable.

What about you, pet lovers. Do your cats or dogs or whatever pets you have do fun stuff like this? (Okay, jumping on the flat screen TV is NOT fun. It's scary.)

27 comments:

Fiona L. Woods said...

Awww. Poor Scaredy Cat. Stuck in a box.

I'd like to offer a comment about the fuzzy toy in your bed. I am owned by two furboys myself. Each with their own food dish, water dish and bed. I've noticed, depending on the time of day, each of them will take their favorite toy and put it next to their food dish or water dish or bed. I've always thought it was to mark their own personal property. Perhaps your furboy is letting you and others in the house know he owns you.

Just a thought.

Lynda Turpin said...

I had a scaredy cat too. Mittens was always a little "different". Her mom was a neighbor's cat, but they didn't take care of her, so she had her first litter in my garage and I moved them into the house and eventually found them homes. Her second litter she had in my house and I also found those kittens homes. Mittens was from the first litter and when all the other kittens were playing or piled up sleeping, she was always off by herself. I just had to keep her. She looked a lot like Wexford, although she was a Maine Coon rather than a Ragdoll (and she was polydactyl). When anyone came to my door, she would disappear until they left. My nephew's wife didn't even see her for more than a year. But with me, she was sweet and affectionate - and we were together for 20 years.

But Mittens also gave me a scare like Wexford did you. I couldn't find her anywhere and I was hysterical. I searched inside and out for hours, and it turns out she had gotten under the recliner - up inside the liner. And even though I was calling to her, she never made a sound. One of the worst times of my life.

As far as funny quirks, I had a cat that LOVED water. He would climb in the bathroom sink and wait for me to turn the water on and let it cover his body. I took him for walks by a creek near me and he loved to jump in. I had to be careful when I took a bath, because if I left the door open, he would jump in the tub. He also had a toy box and he would gather up his toys and put them away in his box, Unfortunately, he also took things that didn't belong to him and put them in his box (jewelry, hair ties, etc) His name was Brandy and he would sit up and beg for cheese. He was a character.

Marina Sofia said...

I love your pictures and stories! Zoe is my first cat after a lifetime spent longing for one. She was a rescue cat, and might have had a bit of a traumatic start to life, so she is a bit of a scaredy cat too, especially with other cats and strangers to the house. But she is very loyal to me, thinks I am her mother, will suckle on a blanket laid over my knees for ages, follows me from room to room, comes when called and generally behaves like a (hush, whisper it softly!) dog. When we have guests staying and she can't go to 'her' bedroom (she sleeps on a blanket on the bed of the guestroom usually), she has been known to crawl into the under-bed drawer where my pyjamas are (I too spent ages searching for her, thought she had got lost outside in the dark - she's scared of the dark too).

Anonymous said...

Absolutely adorable! Loved it!

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Fiona! He sure does OWN me!! They are odd creatures and how I wish they could talk!!

Leann Sweeney said...

You have the best cat stories, Lynda. The guy who gave me Wexford said he was shy from the beginning, which is unusual for a ragdoll. But he is the sweetest, most gentle baby and he and I are best buddies. He always comes to me--except if he's stuck in a box!!

Anonymous said...

My first cat, Muchka, would jump up on the TV console whenever there was a documentary on birds. He would bend over and reach as far as he could and never gave up trying to capture one. Much also strutted to the front door, very proudly, to present me with a live garden snake carried in his mouth with both ends wiggling. Zena

Leann Sweeney said...

She sounds just like Wexford, Marina! We recently returned from vacation and took all the animals. We've been back for two weeks and he's only now getting back to normal. He's been hiding everywhere, sure we're going to put him back in that car! :-)

Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks Pat!

Leann Sweeney said...

Oh, Zena. Snakes! Lynley is so bold, I am certain he would grab a snake or anything else and bring it to me. And Wexford would hide immediately!!

mary kennedy said...

Lynley sounds adorable! I wonder if he is "gifting you" with his favorite toy? Or if he wants you to protect it and care for it? (as you cared for him?). Whatever the reason, it is really sweet. Thanks so much for sharing it with us. Speaking of scaredy cats, I have three scaredy cats--all my cats are rescues, but I think I discovered these cats too late. They had been living on their own in the neighborhood and by the time I caught them, got them neutered, vet care, etc, It was too late to socialize them. As you know, when cats are dumped and live on their own outside for a while, they take on "feral ways." The vet explained this to me. They have bonded somewhat with me, I pet them, brush them etc, but if I bend down to scoop them up, they run and hide. I call them my "Christian Science cats," because they don't seem to believe in veterinary care!! I have to humanely trap them to take them to the vet, which is really a challenge. All 8 cats are house cats. The three "scaredy cats" haven't bonded with my husband at all. I just have to hope they stay healthy.

Marlene Ezell said...

My Schipperke, Stefan, who is pictured as a puppy on Mary Kennedy's page was a singleton puppy. His mom had a c-section to get him here and the vet who did it is his godmother. He is named after her..Stefanie Gagliardi. He went to the vet clinic with me to work everyday and was greatly socialized. He was a very outgoing pup. Sometime around a year old, something must have scared him as now he is rather leery of people he doesn't know. We are trying to work on that. He is fine with other dogs and one of my older males, Jack, is his favorite. Stefan loves to perch on things so I have kid's plastic slides, activity tables, and picnic tables in the yard. He perches on them and surveys his kingdom.

Leann Sweeney said...

It must be hard but at least they let you pet and brush them. Of course managing 8 cats is hard!! What's interesting about Wexford is that he lets both my husband and me rub his tummy--which is very trusting behavior. But unlike most ragdolls who love to be picked up and then sort of go limp (thus the ragdoll name) Wexford goes absolutely rigid. He's like the anti-ragdoll!!

Leann Sweeney said...

How darling! I love Schipperkes! They are just such cute dogs!! You are great doggie mom, Marlene!

Anonymous said...

Leann, thanks for the pics and the updates on Wexford and Lynley. I had intended to ask about them. Neither of my guys, Bandit (who went to the Rainbow Bridge 2 years ago this past week) and Spats, like strangers, esp men with their big shoes, so they run and hide.. Of course they both adore my sister who is truly afraid of cats! When strangers came, Bandit would jump up on my bed which is very high and hide between the blankets and the bedspread even when the bed was made. I would then have a lump on my bed. Spats, on the other hand, gets under the queen-sized bed which is only about 6 inches off the floor and sits exactly in the middle. Of course no one can reach him. Spats has also always loved plastic and eats it. One day a service guy came to finish up some work and had bright blue wide electrical tape in his tool box which was uncovered. I noticed it and meant to say something but was talking to him and forgot. He left and had barely pulled out of the parking spot when Spats was upchucking bright blue tape. I still wonder what the guy thought when he needed the tape the next time. Cordella

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I love the stories and pix of your two handsome boys. Our pooches make us laugh every day. Doxies are burrowers and we are always discovering a small face peeking out of a pillowcase or a lump under the bedspread or the throws on the sofa. Digging up the rock garden seems to be their hobby this year, but that is not so amusing to me. XO MJ

Topazshell said...

Lynley is the twin to my Boots, a tuxedo.:)

Allison said...

I had Persian littermates, Aeriel and Kisa. Kisa was deaf (yes, actually deaf, not just ignoring me like cats do) and almost nothing bothered her. I did have to let her know when I got home or when I went to bed so she'd know where I was. She lived to 19. Her sister, Aeriel, was a loving imp that was everybody's favorite but also a scaredy cat. I was living in an apartment, and they were doing some work on the roof. When I got home, I looked for Aeriel everywhere. Finally found her under the covers of my bed. She'd gotten so flat, she barely made a lump. I've always wondered if her anxiety contributed to her cancer. I lost her at only 11.

Margaret said...

I have had cats in my life for 42 years (since I was 7 years old.) All Siamese, my first Tieling, then Blossom and Six and now Dharma and Thora. Dharma and Thora are litter mates and Six, Dharma and Thora are Balinese (long hair Siamese.) Each one is their own fur person. Tie thought she was a short furry person; Blossom was very mature and iintroverted. We called Six, Zsa Zsa (if that gives you any idea of her personnality.) Six loved fortune cookies, and yes they are not the best idea for a cat to eat. So if they were in the house they had to be completely out of sight. Once when she was sleeping I put a bag of cookies in a basket on the very top shelf of the butler's pantry (I need a step stool to reach it.) When I came home later that day I found them in a corner in the dressing room, opened with one cookie half eaten. I went into the pantry and checked the basket. This cat got on to the counter, climb three shelves, carried it down and stashed it in a corner of a room (where she thought no one would see it) with out knocking over a single thing! She didn't see me find them and throw them away. The next day I watched her go look for her stash and get so mad they were gone. I looked at her and said "gotch ya." The tail went up and she stalked away. And although Dharma and Thora are biological sisters they have unique personallities, different likes and dislikes but they are both spoiled.

When I hear people use the phrase dumb animal or say animals have no souls; I just assume they never lived with one.

Even the wild critters in my yard know me and know I feed them. The Blue Jays look right at me and squak until I fill their bowl with peanuts.

Liz Straw said...

I have lived with many cats, all with their quirky little personality traits. My current cat George (a female) has a toy I have to hid, and she cannot see me hide it. It is a piece of fleece on a pole and she will play with it until my arm totally wears out. When I don't hide it, she drags it everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. In the middle of the night she will decide that I must play with her and she will haul it onto the bed and make these funny little noises until I do something. Louie, my dog, thinks she is nuts when she does this, but then he lies and will squeak one of his toys until his jaw gets tired. Cannot imagine life without a four-footed friend in it.

Sherry Smith said...

It's been a really rough couple weeks. Thank you so much, for bringing back memories and make me smile!

Shirley said...

My foster kitty, Daisy Mae, liked to put her toy mouse in her food bowl. When my pet sitter took care of her recently (in a room by herself), the only way the pet sitter knew she was there, was her litter box was used, her food was gone, and her mouse was in her bowl. Daisy hid from the pet sitter the entire week!

Leann Sweeney said...

Blue tape? How tasty is that??!!! Cats are crazy! And yes, they are quite good at getting into places where no one can reach tem!

Leann Sweeney said...

I love doxies and I think they are a lo like cats. We had one dog who was a digger and we heard if you put their own poop where they like to dig and cover it up, they are deterred. We tried it and it worked!

Leann Sweeney said...

Aw, I hope not! Seems like being a scaredy cat could have a genetic component. The guy who had Wexford before me said he'd been that way since birth. At least he's no scared of me! But I do have to be very gentle with him, whereas Lynley? Not so much. In fact, you do have to show that boy who's in charge to keep him in line--which works about half the time!

Leann Sweeney said...

You have had amazing cats. How can they jump up on stuff without disturbing stuff? Lynley is quite good at it. Wexford is, too, but he's bigger and chooses his battles. Yes, they are all so unique, just like human animals!

Leann Sweeney said...

Lynley is so attached to those toys, too! Yes, I could play with Lynley all day and it wouldn't be enough!