These three cats roam around my house all day and night acting cute and inspiring me to create things that will either delight them or make them stop doing things that bug us. While none of them have any major behavioral or health issues, they’re relatively young and they all get along for the most part, there is definitely a balance to be found among all of us living here together. And their personalities are key to understanding their needs.
Cassidy was first. Sometimes I call her the OC, for “original cat.” I like to remind her of this because she allows the two who came after her to bully her a little bit. My sister-in-law Tammy rescued her at a gas station when she was a kitten. She was covered in fleas and had a bee bee under her skin on her side (it’s still there actually). She was obviously neglected and abused in her early months, but she seems to have gotten over it — she’s the most chipper, friendly and outgoing kitty. She knows her name and will respond with a meow when I say it. She returns my eye blinks every time. She loves to explore and climb, both inside and outside. She routinely brings things like lizards and baby mice into the house. She also proudly rounds up all the cat toys in the house and presents them to me with a specific hunting meow. She’s a brown/black fluff ball with fat feet and tiny ears. She just turned seven.
Cassidy has taught me to be patient and pay attention to what she “asks for” instead of trying to force her to conform to my expectations. She’s a tree dweller and is happiest when she is up high away from the other cats.
I brought little five month old Jack home from the SPCA because Cassidy was such an energetic kitten that I thought she needed a playmate. But Jack promptly stepped into the alpha kitten role and hasn’t looked back, much to Cassidy’s chagrin. He has always had a sense of entitlement, confidence and a healthy ego. They did play together a lot when they were little, but now he outsizes her and is a little too rough. But when he’s not being a punk, he is sensitive, intelligent and affectionate. He has a vulnerable, scared side and spooks easily, probably caused by whatever happened to him before I adopted him. He’s one of those cats who knows when you’re sad and need comforting. He likes to snuggle. He also knows how to fetch. He is tall, muscular and gray with a silvery sheen. He has green eyes and an extra long tail. He is six-and-a-half.
Jack has shown me that those who give more love get more love in return. Jack needs a lot of play time so his excess energy is not directed toward the other cats or our ankles.
And then there’s Bug, the little monkey that came with my husband. I stressed and planned how to carefully, gradually introduce her to the other cats so they would all get along, but Brian just brought her over unexpectedly one day and dropped her in the middle of the living room. And that was that. Bug gets along with every man, woman, child and animal. But she does have a mean right paw triple-swat if you do manage to push her to the point of irritation. She was adopted at age two by my husband’s ex from a cattery after she failed to make a good show cat. I would never set out to adopt a pure bred cat when there are so many great cats in need of homes, but now that I have come to love her I can see why people seek out her breed, which is Devon Rex. She is so easy going and laid back, accommodating, not scared of anything, playful and a cuddly lap cat. Unfortunately she doesn’t realize she’s a cat and therefore can’t go outside by herself. She’s not phased by dogs and would probably allow herself to be carried away by a large crow. She’s orange tiger striped and her fur is curly. She has extra long toes, a swishy tail and the loudest purr I’ve ever heard. She turned nine this year.
Bug has taught me that chihuahuas can be nice pets, too. Just kidding. She just needs plenty of attention, 16-21 hours of sleep per day and a little bit of play time to be happy!
Stay tuned for more anecdotes and design solutions geared toward these three that hopefully apply to some of your cats too!