Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.),
Rescue / shelter organization
Posted May 05, 2014
My first experience with a York Chocolate began when I was six years old. My parents brought my sister and I two kittens from a friend with a barn cat who gave birth. The York Chocolate (Booboo) was chosen by my sister. She lived to be 14 years of age, when she was diagnosed with stomach cancer along with her brother (my chosen cat, Kiki). Booboo was a lovely family pet who would splay upside-down from my lap for a long belly rub.
In August 2006, I adopted William Arty The First from a local shelter. I was actually looking for a cat with almost opposite characteristics, but William (shelter name "Arty") caught my attention instead. While I was looking at his neighbour, William reached a paw through his kennel and meowed at me. As soon as I touched his head, he began to purr, leaning into my affection. I was smitten! Arty was renamed immediately because William seemed to suit him better.
His first night home, William tolerated a bath (I have permanent scars from William's second and last ever bath), kept his cool while my existing cat (Serendipity) howled and complained and generally made himself comfortable. When I woke up the next morning, I saw him in the room across the hall and whispered "hi William." He trotted right over to be petted.
William's introduction to my home was difficult for Serendipity, but the two accepted each other within a few weeks. They are buddies, now, but William is terrified of my rabbit and very cranky toward my other cat, Felicity. He loves people, though, declaring his new friendships by curling up into an inviting lap. As I type, he has climbed into mine.
William is very affectionate, leaning into pets and cuddles and offering kisses or love bites (with his meager three teeth) when his little face is rubbed. He will even lean in to offer a little kiss on the nose. Sometimes, it seems like William thinks he's people, hanging out with me (mostly not underfoot) when I work in my kitchen, asking to sniff any tools I handle and surveying any scene with his wise yellow eyes.
William is very well behaved. He does not jump onto the table or claw unacceptable items. He does beg for food and I know it was not me who taught him to. He loves people food and since he is so old and well-behaved, I let him try new nibbles. Over the past few years, William developed a habit that I dislike and I have been unable to encourage him to reform. He has taken to defecating in front of my entrance or on my bathroom floor. Similarly, he used to urinate on floors (and sometimes, he still does on fabrics left on the floors). He has accepted a second litter box containing my bunny's soft, wood-fiber litter as a urinal, at least. By now, I just sigh and deal with the inappropriate pooping.
William does not like being groomed or examined at all. He will only accept being touched on the head. This might be because by now, he is just fluff and bones with an old cat's temper. During his shedding seasons, I must go to elaborate means to help him groom out his matting fur. His fur is long, soft and somewhat curled in structure, though the coat appears straight overall. This type of fur can matte severely when it gets wet. The fact that William drools while grooming and only has three teeth exacerbates the fur conditions.
Now in old age, William enjoys long naps in warm places, space to himself, a perch on a warm, human body, playing with string or catnip-stuffed toys and most people foods. I suspect that William would accept grooming if he had lived with me from an earlier age. Even though he has earned the nickname "gross old cat," William is the most loving cat that most people could encounter.