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


"Azrael, Are You Dead"?


Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Posted Jul 15, 2015

We got Azrael two years ago next month. He is some sort of domestic short hair breed. We waited three (wait, four) years almost after our beloved Gypsy died (Female Rottweiler) to get another pet. My husband never thought of getting a cat and I was so smitten with my Gypsy that I had not given the cat idea a fair shake. But as our daughter grew older, she became more persistent about another dig. She talked about Gypsy nearly every single day for three years, which was breaking my heart. Finally we convinced her that we were not ready for another dog and asked her to give us break. She did. Instead of asking for a dog she settled on the cat idea.

After two months of incessantly asking for a cat day in and day out, I convinced my husband we would be able to give a cat a good home, and that his daughters needs should outweigh his dislike for the creatures. He agreed. I found an ad on Craiglist with a picture of a litter. There was one orange cat in the bunch. I called the lady and she confirmed what I had hoped; the tabby was the only boy in the litter. We knew that we wanted a male tabby (Smurfs was a favorite family movie at the time) and we were going to name him Azrael. You may have noticed the title of this review.

We drove to Henderson to pick him up. He was tiny little thing and he had not left the ladies bathroom since he was born, for fear that her dog would kill them. He was placed on the living room carpet in front of us and his mother came to see him off. She had already parted with two other kittens that week. This was her routine. She was very sweet and she said hello to each of us before cleaning her kitten and preparing him for his new home. I was very touched by this. I had all of this grief in my heart still about my dog passing away, that I was not expecting to be very emotionally available for a new animal.

He was frightened of the huge change in his environment and my own mothering instincts took over, which I believe is responsible for the bond we have today. I thought it was so cute to watch him learn how to jump in and out of the litter box. We actually witnessed him discovering his cat abilities. How cool is that? He was vaccinated and fixed shortly after coming home with us and he was always very calm and pleasant during transport, as well as at his destination.

So now he is 2 years old, and he has grown to be a very capable, confident cat. He is very loving, but not needy. Our daughter being small was very grabby with him and so he is used to be held in various positions (upside down, thrown over the shoulder etc...). But he is docile and allows her to carry him and move him in any contorted way she can (we always watched them together to avoid him being injured).

Other kids come over and he is just as cooperative with them as he is with her. We pick him up a hundred times a day, and we love it when rolls around on his back in front of us because he does a flip first and then bares his belly. It doesn't get much cuter than this. I read somewhere that this behavior was a sign of submission in cats.

Like many other cats, he loves to explore. He is an expert bird catcher, averaging a bird a day, which he tries to bring into the house with him each morning. Sometimes we are able to save the bird. My daughter is disturbed by his hunting skills but she understands his nature. I am not sure if he just likes to play with them or if he eviscerates them and eat parts of their insides. Either way, I could live without the dead bird on my doorstep each day.

Inside the house (where he spends most of his time) he enjoys sleeping, eating, and demanding that we keep every door in the house open for his browsing leisure. He is still working on getting the mirrors open, and we are looking forward to the day he gives that one up. He enjoys bathing, a quirk I am most grateful for, and he is a finicky eater. We keep wet and dry food in his bowl, though he makes a terrible mess and he won’t touch certain flavors.

Overall, we are so happy with our cat that I now think no other cat will ever measure up (which is how I feel about my dog). We have the very best cat on earth. Even my husband thinks he is a fantastic animal. He is “my little guy” and we are so lucky to have him in our family. He has filled a very big hole in our hearts.

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