Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)
Posted Apr 09, 2014
Even though I love cats, I really didn't think I could have one, because I had a pet rabbit that I loved dearly. This little gray and white American Shorthair was living under the rental house we'd just moved into. I honestly thought this cat was a female kitten. "She" had been de-clawed and was starving because the other cats kept stealing everything she managed to catch.
We started feeding her table scraps, then cat food, and one thing led to another. Within a few weeks she had taken over the bed. The vet patiently explained that "she" was a neutered male who was about nine years old. After a few months of regular meals he weighed about fifteen pounds.
He was so gentle and sweet. He had a little "yelp" for a "meow." The only time he was really vocal was when I had to put him in the car. He hated the car, and would make these gut-wrenching moaning sounds during the entire car ride. He was inconsolable, so we minimized car rides as much as possible. If I had ever had to move a long distance with him, I would DEFINITELY have consulted the vet about Valium, or something similar.
The amazing thing was that he got along splendidly with my bunny rabbit, who was less than half his size (also a male). They became buddies and would run around all over the house together, and lay down for naps together. The bunny would chase the cat's tail, and the cat would just roll over and play with him. Of course, I never left them home alone together with the rabbit outside of the hutch (I wasn't going to tempt mother nature and the food chain), but the cat would go lay down by the hutch to keep the rabbit company. It was very sweet.
He was older when I got him, so I don't know what he was like as a kitten, but as an older cat he was very calm and quiet. He did have a tendency to scratch a lot with his front paws, so it was easy to figure out why the previous owner had him de-clawed in the front. He also had very long toes, and liked to grab onto things with those toes. Sometimes he would wrap his toes on one paw around my finger and fall asleep on the couch that way. He was affectionate, but not a "lap" cat. He always wanted to sit or lay BESIDE me - not ON me.
He eventually died from heart worm, at about 11 years old. We got him the standard vaccinations recommended by the vet, but she believed he probably picked up something during the time he was a stray (before I got him) and it slowly killed him. I feel so privileged to have been able to share my home with him during the last couple of years of his life. If I ever get another cat, I hope it's one like him.