Acquired: Rescue / shelter organization
Posted Sep 24, 2015
I've had Oliver for almost 2 years, and he is a little bundle of personality! I adopted him from a local shelter, and immediately on the ride home he started talking and hasn't stopped. They said he was a quiet cat, but I've learned that he enjoys singing in the middle of the night. He isn't afraid to yell at me when he wants attention or fresh water or fresh(er) food, either! He's hilarious and he's a little cuddle bug. He purrs constantly and would love nothing more than to snuggle up with me all day. Oliver is far more timid than other cats I've owned. He likes hiding in cabinets and behind the toilet, especially when I have company over.
His personality is vastly different from both of the other shorthair cats I had growing up. Tama was incredibly independent and I only remember a handful of times that he sat on my lap for pets and attention. Molly was somewhere in between, being very independent but cuddly when it suit her. Cats are all very different temperament-wise, so it's a good idea to spend some time with the cat you're thinking about taking home beforehand. Even then, keep in mind that the cat may be totally different at home. Oliver, for example, was really quiet when I met him.
I have two dogs, as well, and Oliver likes one of them, but he isn't too fond of the other. I'm not sure why he has a preference, but that's another thing to keep in mind when getting a cat, especially if you already have dogs. The introduction process can take months to do properly, and even then they might not get along very well. Most shelters, especially, are able to test to see if dogs are okay with cats, but it's harder for them to find out how the cats react with dogs. That was the case with Oliver.
Oliver has some dietary restrictions, too. His stomach is super sensitive, so he can really only have Science Diet brand cat food without it upsetting his stomach and causing diarrhea. I've tried gradually switching him over to something less expensive, but his stomach couldn't handle it. Molly was like that, too. They fed her Science Diet food in the shelter, and we weren't ever able to switch her over to a different brand. But as long as Oliver has Science Diet, he does perfectly fine.
Tama lived to be 20-some years old. My parents had him from the time he was born to a stray mother up until he passed away. Molly, though, was only 4 or 5 when she passed away. She got sick, and I think it was something that some cats are actually born with. They can get tested, but a lot of times it's dormant until it causes liver/kidney failure. I don't remember what it was caused, but that's something to be aware of.
Cats are really great, really easy pets to have. It's best to keep them as indoor cats; they have a longer lifespan than outdoor cats. They're so much fun, and it's great getting to know them and their personalities.