Thursday, May 29, 2008

Three Cats Met Along the Way: Salt Lake City

Quiggy in the window.

Quiggy is a window cat. She can spend hours sitting in the window, contemplating the world beyond the reach of an indoor cat, which is what she is. "She really likes looking out the window, any window," Thos explains. "She is definitely interested in what is going on out there. She has made it out a couple of times, but only a few steps before I caught her and brought her back in.

"When I come home from work, I can see her, in the window, looking out at me. It feels good. When I open the door, she comes running to greet me. At first, she was the only one who did that. Now all three do."

When Thos first saw Quiggy in a cage at the Human Society shelter, he did not intend to adopt her. He did intend to adopt her cagemate, plus another cat, a Russian Blue, but his mom came to the shelter with him and when she picked up the Russian Blue, it attacked her face.

Quiggy's cage mate, the one Thos intended to adopt, was a very gentle calico. Thos feared the Russian Blue would treat her unkindly. Plus, he saw that the two cage mates were good friends. So that is how he came to adopt Quiggy.

Thos admires Annabelle, the third of the three cats who have come to him since Melee.

Melee was the first cat to take possession of Thos once he was grown and on his own and he loved her greatly - especially her tail. She was an orange cat with hair of modest length, but her tail was covered with fur that was thick and pouffy. Thos loved that tail, and he was amused by her love of water.

When he put water in her dish, she would follow him around so that she would be ready to start drinking the moment he sat the dish down. Even after her thirst was slated, she would continue to adore her water. Thos was touched when she laid her head down beside her dish and there fell asleep.

Melee was about five months old when Thos got her. He wanted to do the responsible thing and so, when she reached nine months, he took her to the vet to get spayed. The month was May, the year, 2003. After he dropped her off, he left and went to work.

A few hours later, Thos got a call from the vet's office. They had put her under and all had seemed well, but then she had suffered cardiac arrest. She was still alive. Thos rushed to the vet and found her unconscious, hooked to a machine. The vet told him that she would probably not recover and that if she did, she would be brain-damaged.

He sat there with her from some time, then called his mother - my sister. He was presented with a piece of paper and asked to sign it, to give the vet permission to euthanize her. He signed it. "It was probably the hardest thing that I had ever done," Thos remembers.

For a period of time, it was hard to think about getting another cat - none could ever replace Melee - but three more cats have since come to Thos, including Quiggy, seen above.

Sava - ready to sleep in the middle of the afternoon. (click on pictures to see larger versions).

This is Sava, the calico Thos first found in the cage with Quiggy. He was drawn to her immediately, because he had always loved Calicos and the way they looked. Plus, she was a bit of an older cat who had wound up at the Human Society at an early age. After she gave birth to a litter of her own and raised all of her kittens, the society lent her out three times to be a foster mom to orphaned litters, and then they spayed her.

After what he had suffered with Melee, Thos preferred to get a cat that had already been spayed, rather than run the risk of falling in love and losing another cat in the same manner. When he saw Sava, he put his hand to her cage and she rubbed it. Soon, she was in his arms. She latched herself to his shoulder and would not let go. There were other calicos at the shelter, but it was obvious - this was the one who would go home with Thos.

Yet, when he got her home, she was frightened. She dashed here, and dashed there, trying to hide. She looked spooked.

When he is alone with them, Thos most often speaks to his cats in French. "Ca va," he kept saying, in soothing tones. Ca va - "it's okay." Slowly, she calmed down - but only for Thos. When visitors came, she became frightened and often hid. Thos has now had her for about three years. Only recently has Sava accepted strangers, but now she has and she can be very loving toward them.

"She is a really sweet, gentle, loving, cat," Thos says. "But she is definitely the dominant cat of the house."

Annabelle, the Make-Out Cat.

Originally, Annabelle lived with Thos's stepsister, but just before the step-sister gave birth to her first baby, Annabelle was transferred to the care of Thos's mom, my little sister. In the simplest terms, Annabelle and Thos's stepdad never hit it off, and so she was temporarily transferred to Thos's care. Thos quickly became attached to her and so, before anyone could come and claim her, he adopted her as his own and she adopted him as her own.

Annabelle is exceptionally outgoing and friendly - towards anyone. "My family calls her the make-out cat," Thos relates. "Because whenever anyone comes over and sits on the couch, she is all over them. She wants to get in their face, and put her nose all over their face - her nose is always wet."

Thos often finds her sprawled out in weird and twisted positions. Lately, when a visitor comes and sits at the table, Annabelle has taken to climbing onto a shoulder, where she falls asleep. She stays there, sleeping, until finally she wakes up to find her guest walking about the house. Then Annabelle jumps down.

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