Cats, redux

The beginning of 2014 still found me in the grip of inertia (which has been partly fixed at this point by medication tweaks). So I never introduced the two cats we got in February!

Our first cats, we got the year we got married. Cahlash and Selene, both Cornish Rexes because that was easier on our allergies. They were incredibly fun, had a ton of personality. Selene knew she was the tyrant queen of the household, while Cahlash was cute as hell but a few marbles short of a bag. This was his sister’s fault: she grew more slowly than he did, and was smaller overall. So when he chased her she’d run under the couch. He however was not used to how fast he was growing and would hit his head on the couch. This happened… a lot. Here are our two awesome Rexes. Selene is the tortoiseshell pixie-cat. Cahlash is the seal-point.

In 2013 both of our cats died, of separate causes. In April 2013 Cahlash went straight into kidney failure. We were devastated, as was Selene. Eventually she perked up… and then in October she had a hernia and died very shortly after I got her to the emergency vet. Again we were devastated. These two had been our constant companions for twelve years.

In February of 2014 we decided we were finally ready to get cats again. (It turned out that my allergies aren’t too bad for non-Rexes any more; I presumably developed a tolerance.) Jeffrey remembered that Susan, one of the techs at our vet’s office, participated in rescue. So we got in touch with her. It turned out that she had a bunch of fosters and would be more than happy to introduce us to some of them to see if we clicked. We went to meet the cats, which was an awesome and fairly hysterically funny experience. One of the cats, Digby, a 10-month-old Siamese, immediately adopted Jeffrey. He flung himself against Jeffrey, then walked around, settled by Jeffrey’s side, and got unhappy any time Jeffrey stopped petting him. The hilarity here is compounded by the fact that Digby shared a carrier on the ride over to the vet’s office (where we were having our meet-and-greet) and the other cat peed on him. So he was rather rank, but we didn’t care. He was just so adorable. Then there was Harley, a very relaxed and self-confident snowshoe (I’d never even heard of the breed) who kept rubbing his face all over mine. Just like that, we knew we had cats again. A week later they came home with us, although we renamed Digby to Niko and Harley to Dax.

Just look at Dax’s huge blue eyes!

They both had somewhat traumatic pasts. Niko was a day away from being euthanized when Susan took him in, and he had a URI they didn’t think he would survive. Dax had been given to his previous owner’s hunting dogs to ‘play with’ resulting in a compound fracture of the leg. His joint got fused, and Susan nursed him back to health. He can now run and fight and play with the best of ’em.

Things were rather funny when we brought them home. It turned out that Niko was used to short people (Susan and I are both somewhere around 5 feet tall), and he’d only seen Jeffrey sitting down. So when Jeffrey stood up he completely freaked out. Apparently tall people scared him. Jeffrey coaxed him into coming out by lying on the floor so that Niko was essentially taller than him. A few days of that and Niko started calming down. I thought he’d always be a little skittish, but now he’s almost as self-confident as Dax is.

Both cats show love to both of us, but Jeffrey clearly belongs to Niko and I clearly belong to Dax. It’s a wonderful situation. Dax is the most self-confident cat I’ve ever seen as long as he doesn’t hear dogs barking outside. Niko is a silly little love who even plays fetch sometimes. We still miss Cahlash and Selene horribly, but Dax and Niko have our hearts as well.

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