Helen has been regressing. The move and our stay in the temporary apartment were not good for her. She gained a bit of weight and reverted to her skittish, nippy behavior.
But she is happy today (as we set up our new home), reclining on her heated throne where she can servey her Queendom at her leisure. So appreciative of her heated-window perch, she deigned to be cosseted and stroked for a full 30 minutes before becoming irritable.
As a cat ages past seven years, she needs external sources of heat to help stay comfortable. At nine years old, Helen is overdue for such pampering. And yes, Helen has a time-share arrangement with the other cats, who also enjoy an occasional nap in her spot.
Tara and Loco
Walking along Lake Avenue in Pasadena, past the posh shops, with a dearly beloved client who had become a friend, I spotted a homeless man ahead. Keeping the hulking, army surplus clad figure in my peripheral vision, I prepare to skirt a wide detour around him. But my companion, a petite, refined red-head has no such plans. Instead, her purposeful stride stops at his side and she reaches up to visit with a Tabby perched on his shoulder. “How’s Tara doing?” She asks the man. “She’s cool,” responds “Loco”. In his early twenties, with a scraggily beard, my entire perception of him changes, seeing that a cat has claimed him.
As we walk away, I marvel at how calm the cat seems. My friend is more dubious, “He keeps her on a leash, so I’m not sure how much choice she has in the relationship.” Still, the cat seems relatively healthy and mellow. My friend surprises me, the depths of her devotion to cats knows no bounds. She slipped him a twenty “for cat food.” “Usually, I give him a Petsmart gift certificate. I gave him a gift certificate for a nearby vet, hoping that he would get the cat checked and vaccinated. But I haven’t asked if he used it.”
(I know, I should have had my camera with me.)
Pierre-The Dog-Running Cat (move over Cesar!)
Occasionally a cat completely captures my imagination—I’m sure this is where pet psychics make most of their money: from clients who are dying to know the ins and outs of their pet’s back-story. Pierre, who presents like a well-mannered bouncer at a Chicago speak-easy, was found running the streets of said city with a pack of stray DOGs. And not some pack of pansy lap dogs—BIG dogs, German Shepard mixes and one enormous beast beyond identification. The leader of the pack. I imagine him like Cesar Millan (the famous dog whisperer) who can walk over 40 dogs off leash simply by the command of his presence.
Now retired in the luxury of a loving home, this bruiser maintains his dog like ways, first at the door to greet guests and clearly in command of the three large dogs who share his home (no relation to his street gang).
Ben and Henry
My two beloved boys had been studiously avoiding each other ever since Henry arrived. Until one blustery afternoon, when they inadvertently (or so it seemed) ended up sleeping very near each other on the couch. The sight was too much to resist, so I knelt next to them, stroking each, hoping it would encourage their friendship. Without further prompting, Ben began grooming Henry. Henry responded with a full throated purr. To which Ben responded with more grooming. Henry (who is ever hungry for attention) nuzzled closer to Ben to further encourage this tenderness. And the grooming carried on for a full ½ hour!!
Since then the boys have been thoroughly bonded, Henry joining in all the kitty games as an excepted member of my feline tribe! Yeah Henry! And Thank You Ben!
Preview of Coming Attractions
Over the next several months, I will be traveling across the country in search of cat stories, visiting innovative cat rescues and shelters, interviewing eccentric cat lovers, leading vets and behaviorists and so much more. To view my travel schedule and learn more about my Cat Behaviorist business, please visit http://www.thecatbehaviorist.com/ . If I will be in your area and you feel you have some interesting cat stories to share, please don't hesistate to contact me via my website.