Tonight, ladies and gentlemen, you are in for a special treat. My lovely husband Patrick has decided to write what will be his second guest post (to see his first guest post click me) here on this blog on a topic near and dear to his heart
me our cat.
It’s me again. You have already heard a lot about Jeter’s (pronounced “Gee-ter”) infamous shenanigans from my wonderful wife. Now I’d like to tell you my side of what led to us getting our unique creature!
As she said, it’s true that growing up I was rarely without a pet cat – which was awesome as the animal and cat-lover I am. My family back home and I said goodbye to “Cuddles” this summer after 15 great years. I was glad I could be there for her last moments, which was hardly a given considering we had just moved closer to home after years on an island a day’s drive away.
Cuddles was actually the kitten of Mitsy, my grandparents’ cat, which is funny story in itself.
Granky, as we still call him, decided he was going to surprise Grammy with a cat for Christmas since their previous cat had died a couple years before. Of course his first stop was the local animal shelter, however he didn’t realize their no holiday adoption policy. So he replied to a newspaper ad and picked up the cat from its owner a few days before Christmas. He then had my Uncle who lived in the basement apartment below them keep the cat so it could truly be a Christmas surprise. Everything went as planned and needless to say Grammy was overjoyed to find a cat with a pink collar under the tree on Christmas morning.
Unbeknownst to anyone Mitsy was preggers! So less than two months after Christmas, Mitsy had a litter of 3 kittens. We were between cats (so to speak), so my little sister was allowed to pick one of them to take home. She picked the runt of the litter, a small black and white kitten who she named “Cuddles,” of course.
What Cuddles lacked in size she made up for in personality to say the least!
Cuddles was like no other cat we had before and did not live up to her name in her early years. Unlike Mitsy, who was very friendly and happy, Cuddles let you know if she was not pleased by biting or hissing more than our previous cats. She was however very much a lap cat (when she felt like it) and would sleep on your lap four hours if you let her. But what made Cuddles truly unique in our eyes was how talkative she was. Most people say one the best things about animals is that they listen to you without talking back, however Cuddles always wanted the last word. It didn’t matter what you said with her around she would give her opinion on it.
Although she was officially my sister’s cat, I’d like to think I was one of her favorites, evidenced by the fact that she barely ate the first time I was away from home for a summer. Cuddles also liked to sleep in my room and would whine loudly if I didn’t let her back in after she inevitably let her out in the middle of the night.
I don’t know if animals go to heaven but if they do I think Cuddles will greet us by saying “what took you so long?” Cuddles was a one-of-a kind cat and it was tough to lose her as any animal lover can relate to.
So you see when Trisha and I decided we would get our first cat together I wanted a cat with personality even if I knew it wouldn’t be the same. As they say, be careful what you wish for!
We knew Jeter was different the moment we met him. He ate his name tag and then pawed at Trisha’s head through the cage or as Trisha told me recently “tried to pull my head closer to bite it” as Jeter does like to do when playing. Jeter also quickly adjusted to his new home after briefly jumping on the counter and breaking a mug. Instead of hiding like most cats do when put in a new situation Jeter jumped on the coach and sat between us, where he stayed until I had to go to work soon after. That was the first sign that Jeter was not a lap cat…..yet. The closest he got was putting his two paws on our stomachs while sitting beside us.
Jeter is currently sleeping beside me in his….I mean Trisha’s spot on the couch. The only time he gets on our laps is if we hold him there or if Trisha picks him out of a dead sleep when he is sleepy and defenseless. I admit I’ve been tempted but can’t bring myself to do it, even if he sleeps half of his life away.
Jeter doesn’t talk as much as Cuddles did, at least not to us. He does like to talk to himself, which could be a hunting call according to some sources. He will respond to his name if he’s in the mood in his own language. He also does not get that loud but sounds pitiful when he really wants something.
Trisha has talked about his dog-like qualities of following us around the house and stretching after a good nap similar to the dog we dog-sat over New Years. Jeter is very playful and bites when he gets over-stimulated or excited, however I assure Trisha that he will get gentler as time goes by based on experience and articles I read. We both agree that he likely won’t settle or change too much in terms of energy level which is fine with us.
Recently, I saw a “calming collar” in a pet store for cats that are stressed or need calming down etc. I’m sure it does the job when necessary and think it’s great if it makes the difference between someone keeping a cat or giving it up. However, I don’t think Jeter is that extreme despite all his craziness (although I don’t like to use the C-word… Just kidding!) and wouldn’t want to change him that much.
I really think Jeter was meant to be for us, as corny as that may sound. After all, he is the first cat to win over my wife’s heart and that has to mean something! She is amazed as I am that she really loves Jeter despite his “spirited” ways. I really don’t need any more reasons to admire and love my wonderfully cheerful wife, but seeing her play, talk and cuddle Jeter gives me one more. On an aside, I can only imagine the effect seeing her with our first child will have on me. Oops, I think I officially crossed Trisha’s mushy tolerance line so I’ll leave it at that.
I also think that our new apartment/city feels much homier with a cat around. Not to mention he is nice company to have around on nights like tonight when Trisha is on-call at the hospital.
In conclusion, I think it’s already obvious that for us Jeter the cat will go down in history as much as the Yankees great he is named for!
Related Jeter Posts: Minionship… How We Are Learning To Be a Family With a Cat and L’Halloween et un chat.