I like cat. Let me talk about cats, why? Because they need to get done. Okay, those lyrics only work well in the Jonathan Coulton song, and not so much in reference to cats.
YES CASSIE, I GET IT. YOU WANT ME TO PET YOU. Sorry, she won't stop rubbing on my leg. I've done a couple strips about my cats that you can find in the archives, mainly Rumpy and Needles, but let me tell you about the other two: Buddy and Cassie.
First, there's Buddy Strawsky.
He's a stubby-tailed (Sometimes known as a cat3 [pun intended!]) Manx.
Buddy wishes he were an outdoor cat, but like a gilded bird, you let it not from its cage for long. We let him taste the outside by securing him with a harness and leash and hook him to one of those hooks you drive in the ground in the yard. When we first put the harness on him, I wondered if it would give him any trouble by leaving it on, (I get really upset by animal abuse/neglect) but it doesn't rub his fur off, or seem to bother him at all, so we can just hook him up when we need him to.
Buddy is a sweet, but very selfish cat (But aren't they all?) everything he does is geared at somehow manipulating his way outside. Once he gets out, he runs as close as he can to the squirrels and sits there as they taunt him until it's time for him to come in. He reminds me more of a dog than a cat.
Playing Outside on his harness
Bugging the girl cats
Bendy Straws (not straight ones!)
Thunder (Hides behind the washing machine while I hide in the hallway. Yes, I'm deathly afraid of lightning.)
Then there is Cassie. Just a tom cat.
Dangit, I TOLD you I don't let her have human food. She ends up getting a taste for it and won't eat cat food.
Cassie is interesting. We've always been Manx people around here, but they are usually expensive, and we didn't have a manx at the time (or the desire to purchase one). We found Cassie as a kitten in the turn-in box at the dog kennel, and even though you're not supposed to, we fished her out and took her home. We always promptly get our pets fixed and their shots, so they are guaranteed to have a better life.
So, she was an exclusively outdoor cat. We tried for the longest time to just keep her inside, as outdoor cats live only one third as long as indoor ones. You always figure that something that's locked away can never know what it's missing, but that's absolutely not true. She knew that window wasn't just a moving picture, but an opening into an infinitely expansive world. She would sit for hours staring out of it, doing her quiet little bark at the squirrels and birds outside.
Finally, one day we let her out. She was instantly converted to an outside cat (Rumpy and Needles are indoors cats who sometimes go out, but begrudgingly, so it's definitely a personality thing.)
It was hard always letting her in when she wanted, because she would never indicate that she wanted in, and if we didn't come get her when she was ready to come in (a window of an hour or so), she'd run off and not come back for days.
Then, one day we suddenly had to move across town. I want to say this is like Homeward Bound story where she crossed the city to find us, but that wasn't the case. We had written her off, as we had gone back several times and still couldn't find her. Finally, one day two weeks later, my mom went back to the house to get something she'd forgotten, and there came Cassie, galloping up to mom, weakened from hunger. She weighed only 7 or 8 pounds, and it was like picking up a dead squirrel.
I, especially, was incredibly happy to have found her. She's a stupid tom cat, but she's so very sweet and quiet. She's still an outdoor cat, but she and I have developed a relationship. My compromise is that when I let her out, I come check on her every hour until she's ready to come in. Her compromise was that she will only go outside once every few days. She's a great cat, and I love her. (Edit: Also, she's gained a bunch of weight back. She's still a really thin cat, but she has a bit potbelly, so she weighs about 11 pounds.)
Short walks outside
Clawing painfully and drooling in the wounds when happy
Informing you of her presence by rubbing on your leg
Sleeping next to you, no matter how much you toss and turn
Playing with Buddy (but pretends she hates it.)
Startling noises (Hides whenever possible)
Being picked up (unless she is being cradled like a baby being burped.)
That's all for now. I'll post pictures and stats on my two fat girls Rumpy and Needles later. Stay tuned!