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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Stripey Cat

Our cat, Sampson, is our only pet now. He used to be one of two cats, until a few months ago when we had to have Nelly put to sleep due to ill health. He knew his place in the pecking order. He waited until she ate her food. He tried not to make eye contact for fear of a swat to keep him in his place. He rarely meowed. He barely purred. We wondered if he was taken from his mother too soon and didn't learn those normal cat things. We got him from a shelter at about one year of age, so his habits and idiosyncracies were already in place.

I have often let him know that he needs better manners when he has been caught on a counter top. He used to be very bad about walking around on any surface he chose. One morning as I was making lunches for school, I turned to get something out of the fridge and he swiped the ham right off the bread and took it to the floor to eat. (It was taken away). When Sampson wants to go outside, rather than meowing to let us know, he picks up the corner of the mat in front of the door and lets it fall a few times so that we hear that sound and then get up to let him out. He is smart enough to pick up the corner of the mat in the den (where we have the tv) and then when someone gets up off the couch and approaches the door, he turns and leads them to a different door that he wants to go out.

He can also be a bit wily and ping on the window screen to be let in the den door, then walk  directly through the kitchen to ask to be let out of that door. I suppose it is a much quicker route going through the house than going around the house.

He loves to be outside. In the warmer weather he spends much of his time outside. He catches many rodents. I don't mind the mice, but I do have issues with him killing chipmunks or baby bunnies. I suppose I am a bit of a rodent "racist" that way. Not quite fair to the mice. The only time I was close to tears about one of his victims was a few summers ago. We had a large open cardboard box sitting on its side on the back porch. I can't remember what it had held, but obviously we just left the box out there to dispose of in the burn pile later. Sampson has a distinct meow that he uses to let us know that he has captured something, presumably for us, and left it on the outside mat.  This time, he left his treasure inside the cardboard box. It was an indigo bunting. They are the most beautiful blue bird I have ever seen. I do not see them often, but it is magical when I do. No doubt this bright, beautiful bird caught his eye and he "just had to have it". (Hmm, do cats see in colour?)

As time has passed since his antagonist, Nelly, has departed, we have noticed changes in Sampson. He is more affectionate. He purrs a little more. He waits for our son to pull up a chair by the table for him when we eat supper (just to hang out and feel like one of the family). When he comes in wet from rain or snow, he waits patiently while someone gets a towel and dries him off. He jumps up on one of us while we are watching tv and nudges us with his head. He will then make the rounds and jump up on any other people who are also there. I don't know if he just felt that he couldn't assert himself when he was second fiddle and thought he would be punished by little Nelly. Regardless, he has filled a void and we appreciate it. He's definitely one of the family.




He does enjoy a good "freak out" on the chair along with a game of "snag the human with my claws".

10 comments:

  1. What a handsome cat he is! I like the way you describe his personality. He reminds me of one of our barn cats...she's bullied by her mother, and has to eat totally separate from her, lest she be chased away. I wonder what she might be like someday when her mother is no longer here?

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    1. He actually reminds me a lot of barn cats from when I was little. There were always lots of tabbies at the farm. -Jenn

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  2. A very handsome kitty, we have two and thankfully they completely get on with each other,and yet to bring any presents home for mummy,although I do think the youngest, Pixie may do when she stays out more, she is a rather naughty tortie that likes to hunt your hands if they are under a cushion or in your pockets lol x

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  3. He reminds me so much of our cat Maxi. He was a tabby and a house cat until we got two farm kittens to live outside and then quite quickly he joined them and after that he rarely came into the house. Sadly he got run over by a car on our Lane.

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  4. What a handsome kitty. I love the way you described him. He's got quite a character. We have two females that get along beautifully, although one of them is a little bossier :)

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    1. Thanks everyone for your comments. I guess we are all cat people (not that I have anything against dogs, cats are just easier if you are working). Each cat comes with their own unique personality. Hi to Sammie, a new name whose blog I will check out.-Jenn

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  5. SAMPSON is his own man. He reminds me very much of our CLAUDETTE, she is the hunter, and the smartest cat in the house. When Our boss-cat died last year of old age, Claudette became much more at ease and comfortable in the house. I think Sampson will become a real lover-boy within the next few months, he was just stressed out from Nelly's superior attitude. You know how cats are!

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  6. Well that's interesting. I would be just fine with him becoming even more affectionate! Nelly, although she was much smaller and older than him, was definitely superior. -Jenn

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  7. You ask about my son - whether he is a teacher or a pupil. He teaches double bass, cello, guitar and piano - three days a week in our local prep school and two days peripatetic.

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