Saturday, October 31, 2009

Do You Have Cats?

We have cats. Two castrated toms. My wife really likes to have a couple of cats around. We got them from the local pound.

In the old days pound cats were mostly alley cats. Grey tabby, black, tuxedo, calico, short hair or long. Every once in a while you'd see a Manx. Most cats get neutered these days, so a lot of the cats in shelters are breeders mistakes or pure bred with some kind of conformation problems that make them worthless for sale.

One of our cats is a brindled, big stripe, bull's eye, ginger tabby, serval/domestic hybrid. They market them under the name of Savannah cats. They're supposed to have graceful long necks and limbs. Ours doesn't. He also has a very short, serval like, tail, which is not preferred. He has a small head and weaselly face with huge, bat like ears, that he can swivel around almost 180. They frequently fill up with thick, viscous wax and require deep swabbing. He doesn't meow. He makes chirping noises, like a cricket. He's a burrower and will spend hours at the bottom of a pile of laundry or old newspapers. Servals are notorious for not using a litter box and spraying huge quantities of foul urine all over the house, because in the wild they are solitary, constantly marking off ever changing territorial boundaries. Most cats shit in a litter box because they like to bury it and unless you have large planters, there's no place else in most houses that work. Servals have no burying instinct. That can be an issue too. We haven't had a problem yet. If we do, he's history. Servals are much larger than domestic cats. Ours doesn't look that big but weighs about 20 pounds, which is a lot for a cat. He's probably no more than a quarter serval, maybe even a sixteenth. Servals can weigh 45 pounds. We've had him about 10 years, so he might be twelve. He was full grown when we got him. His previous owner was a crazy lady that left him alone for long periods when she got hauled off to the rubber room, so he's pretty resourceful and independent. He also has food issues and tends toward the portly persuasion.

Our other cat is a purebred Rag Doll. These are big, clumsy, hairy beasts that tend to sleep even more than regular cats. I think he went to the shelter because because his color patterns are mottled and non standard. That and his eyes are crossed. A lot of these cats have this problem but he's really wall eyed. It noticeably affects his visual acuity. When he bats at something, he usually doesn't even come close until after several tries and he also missteps and falls from high places a lot. He doesn't seem to have the usual cat talent for landing on his feet. He spends a lot of time limping around.

They're good boys. I don't mind them. They don't crave drugs, contract incurable venereal diseases, get obscene tattoos, steal money from my wallet or want to go to expensive private colleges.


Buck said...

At the risk of seeming like the crazy cat lady, we have 3 cats and 2 dogs. All rescue / pound critters. All neutered. The cats have fewer mental issues than the dogs, but that's just this particular group, not a racist statement.

Black cat (heritage unknown)
Tiger cat (heritage unknown)
Persian cat (non-conformal)
100 pound Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (ex-breeder, cast off now that she's past prime puppy milling)
10 pound Japanese Chin (medical malfunctions)

The black cat has adopted the Swissy. He loves that dog. She's not sure if he's a strange puppy or just an annoyance that won't stop rubbing her nose.

Animals are interesting. Easier to understand than people.

reddog said...

I like dogs. They are only really happy when they spend every waking hour with you. Swiss Mountain dogs are very cool. I have a friend with a Great Pyrenees. Very impressive animal. I like smaller dogs. Hunting hounds. Standard poodles are a favorite. Very smart. If I ever get to the point where I can live with a dog full time, I'll get another.

Cats work well right now. As long as they get fed regular and their litter box kept clean, they don't have many loneliness issues.