American Shorthair

Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)

Gender: Male





Friendly with owners


Good with dogs




Appropriate vocalization






Easy to groom


Need for attention


The Wonderful World of Cats


United States

Posted Jul 01, 2014

I was only introduced to cat ownership about 6 years ago. In that time I have learned a great deal about the differences between dog ownership and cat ownership. I, of course adopted my first cat, as a kitten, from my employer (a veterinary clinic) at the time. The kitten, whom we named Merlin, was meant to be a surprise for my wife and daughter. He had to be about a month old, his eyes were just changing to their permanent color and he was the cutest little black/white fuzzball. It was at that point that I learned cat are very different than dogs. From the start Merlin was one of the most playful animals I had ever encountered. By the time he was a few months old he gotten into the habit of waking my daughter up in the middle of the night, to play, of course. My wife and I then decided that perhaps we needed a playmate for Merlin. As luck would have it, a few days later a woman trying to find homes for a few kittens she had found arrived at work. Enter kitty number 2, Tigger. Tigger was, and still is, very different than Merlin in his personality. Tigger, a tiger colored kitty, would love to just cuddle in your lap, purring the entire time. When Tigger and Merlin were a few years old we unexpectedly came across a kitten in our neighborhood who had taken a liking to sleeping in car engines. He was a bit more difficult to catch, we had to recruit the help of a Have-A-Heart trap to get the little guy. After a few days we succeeded. He was a tiny kitten, who was clearly undernourished and unable to fend for himself. We kept him separated from our other two cats, with every intention off finding him a home. He never left. He went with me to work the following day for routine care and came home with me that night. He is now known as S'mores, a gray/white tiger. Merlin was playful as a kitten, S'mores was CRAZY! Climbing on everything, speeding over tables, never slowing down.

It may seem the previous paragraph that I am just rambling off a really long story about my 3 different kitties and not going into great detail. This is due to the fact that I had to explain that I was a first time cat owner, and one other simple point. Out of my three cats, all three being Domestic Shorthairs (American), not one of them is even remotely similar, either in color, markings or personality. Dogs, depending on breed, can usually be judged on how they may act and behave. The same is not even close to being true of cats. Merlin is more independent, occasionally playing with the other two. Preferring instead to be picked up and held. Tigger loves to pick on S'mores, while Merlin looks on, practically shaking his head in reproach. Finally, S'mores, no different now than he was as a kitten. Save, that occasionally he'll curl up and sleep with the only person worthy in my household, my daughter.

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