We had been looking for a new cat for a long time. We have two cats. Both rescues of a sort. You can read Malcolm’s coming home story from September 2010 here. We have no idea how old he is, but he’s probably older than Butters.
Butters showed up IN our house (we had a cat door) after we’d been away for a few days at a Labor Day music festival in 2004. We had a kitten at the time who was just slightly older than he was (and was VERY excited to have a new friend – as we had just found homes for his brothers and sisters).
So that makes Butters almost 12, and Malcolm possibly older than that. It was time for some kitten energy in the house. But all the shelters were surprisingly out of kittens. For a LONG time.
We finally saw an ad for an 8 month old cat on Craigs List. He was black and white. The best cat we ever owned was black and white, and so we have a huge soft spot for this coloration. And the woman sounded like she was desperate to find him a home. He was on his way to the pound in the next week. So we called, and shortly thereafter, in mid June of last year, came home with Kerplunk.
Kerplunk was not neutered. Part of why he needed a new home was because the people who had him couldn’t afford to have it done. So, he promptly sprayed the whole house, in response to the two other cats. Yeah, that was fabulous…not. But once he claimed the space, he stopped, and we very quickly had him neutered and got his shots taken care of. The former owners kept saying “I’m sure he will calm down once he’s neutered”. Which, reading between the lines, meant “Be on the alert, this is one crazy cat”.
We’re OK with crazy. My husband and I have both had cats most of our lives. We speak “cat” pretty well.
We quickly learned why Kerplunk (we renamed him Kirby) was named Kerplunk. He doesn’t just rub on your legs. He does flying knee swipes where he leaps off the ground and into you, especially if you’ve just gotten home after being gone for a few hours. He often does this while purring. He came with a box of plush toys, and honestly, he has an unnatural romantic relationship with a stuffed bunny. He wants to be where we are, ALL THE TIME. He’ll follow you from room to room. He gets up on every surface. He explores every opening, from the dryer (he got locked in there for a short time after my husband retrieved a shirt for work one morning) to empty boxes and bags to an open cupboard door. (I locked him in the coat closet the other day. He just took a nap in the hat/glove basket and I had to go looking for him after I realized I hadn’t seen him for a few hours). New stuff on the counter? Up he goes to see what’s there. Sitting on the toilet? Up he goes to the back of the tank to say hi and knock the tissue box off. Taking a shower? Kirby is in between the curtain and the liner, batting at you through the liner without getting wet.
He will lay down next to you on the couch. He likes to lie behind my computer and reach his paw around to play while I’m typing (I’ve had to lock him out of my office more than once when I couldn’t get any work done). Oh, is that a rubber band? Hours of entertainment. It took him a couple of months to realize he could sleep on the bed with us. Now he lies between my husbands legs, and stays put through whatever tossing and turning goes on, like a 12 lb sack of sand (he gained a ton of weight and went through a huge growth spurt shortly after we got him). Laser pointer? Too much fun! We made him a cat toy by tying a piece of elastic string to the top of a doorway and tying a fuzz ball and some feathers on the bottom. For the first week, we would lie in bed in the early morning and could hear him dragging it down the hall and into my office, and then letting it go, to whip through the house. He wonders around after we’ve gone go bed, before he’s ready to go to bed, talking to himself in the funniest tribble voice. We lay in bed and laugh despite ourselves. He’s also endlessly photogenic. This is just a sampling of the pictures I’ve taken in the last 6 months.
But he is decidedly NOT a lap cat. And he has a low tolerance for being touched (though you can pick him up and he’s pretty mellow about that). My husband says Kirby has a “murder” button. Too much physical contact that he didn’t initiate and he bites. Usually not hard. And we keep his claws trimmed. Sometimes he’s playing. And sometimes he’s definitely saying “enough of that”. We sometimes call him our Aspergers cat. He clearly has a hard time filtering physical stimulus. The original owners did say he fell off a deck roof. Who knows. He was tiny when they rescued him, probably only about 8 weeks old, so its not that he wasn’t socialized early. Maybe this is just how he was meant to be.
And you know what? That’s OK. Every cat is different. Malcolm is in my lap as I type this. Malcolm literally follows me around the house until I sit down so he can get into my lap, sometimes protesting that I’m not sitting down fast enough. Butters is a huge love. Anyone new in the house gets a greeting and a “pet me now” demand. We’re getting tons of kitty lap love. And Kirby is endlessly entertaining. He’s a great cat. Just don’t pet him, or if you do, do it very gently and watch for that needle to move into the red zone.
Video of early Malcolm/Kirby interaction. The cat scratching post had originally been claimed by Malcolm, who sometimes slept on it. So you can see where the conflict is coming from. The face rubbing is saying “this is mine now”. Malcolm tolerates him more now.
Miles Away Farm Blog © 2016, where we’re happy to have some kitten energy in the house, even if it is exhausting at times.