He had a rough life before he came to live with me. He was one of four sibling kittens given up to The Furball Lady cat rescue. Their names were Nick, Knack, Paddy, and Whack. As the condition for many rescue groups is that you not change the animal’s name, I’m kind of glad I didn’t end up with Whack. (although I would have been really tempted to make “That’s” his first name, and “Yo” his last because how awesome would it be to have a cat named That’s Whack Yo?) A family adopted him when he was a kitten. They signed the contract saying they wouldn’t de-claw him, but they did anyway. Apparently Nick’s family didn’t take the time to make sure that he came home to a house that was safe for a de-clawed cat and he ended up being traumatized. He had accidents on the floor (probably because they didn’t take the precautions necessary when you de-claw cats and replace their litter with material that won’t get up inside their wounds and hurt them). The father of the family apparently physically abused Nick, and the children tortured him. Finally, they returned him to the rescue because he “required too much attention”.
Despite all of that, he is such a good boy. He’s very, very loving. He “talks” a lot. This seems to bother everyone else more than it bothers me, maybe because I’m Momma. His major hobby is pushing stuff off of any horizontal surface in my house that has anything on it, whether it’s a pen, a piece of mail, one of the girls’ placemats, or, you know, a whole glass of tea. He works at it like his life depends on it, and it’s hilarious. Most of the time. That tea stain on my bedroom floor isn’t so laughable, but whatever.
It’s taken awhile, but he’s gotten used to the girls. He was afraid of them at first because I’m sure they reminded him of the rapscallions that were mean to him before. I made it clear to the girls they had to wait for him to come to them, and they did really well with it, even though I could see them just itching to pet him and see how soft he is. I knew it was going to be okay when I left for work one morning and instead of them holding onto me begging me not to go, they were lying on the floor on either side of him while he ate and everyone was okay.
Then Mocha, their dog, came to live with us. Mo is an 80-pound Boxer who has never been around cats. She is possibly the sweetest dog you could ever come across, but she didn’t know what to make of Nick. She was so curious, but we were afraid that she’s accidentally hurt him, especially considering he doesn’t have his claws to defend himself. Their first interaction left me with big bloody scratches down the front of my body because Mocha chased after Nick and I happened to be in the way. It hurt and I was really discouraged. But, we figured it out and they seem to be buddies now. Nick hunts Mo all the time, hiding behind things and jumping out at her. They chase each other up and down the stairs (the NOISE!!), but there’s no animosity anymore, it’s just play. So, that turned out all right too.
But, I’m his Momma and if I’m at home, he just wants to be close to me. I’m perfectly okay with that because he’s so darned sweet.
This Sunday night, when I got home from Diane’s house, I ran upstairs to my bathroom because long trips = full bladders. He followed me up and came into the bathroom with me, as he usually does. (I don’t remember the last time I used the bathroom alone in my house between him and/or my nieces.) He was pacing along the countertop as I was washing my hands because he was just waiting to be petted. He was rubbing his head against any surface he came in contact with, in anticipation of the scratches he was going to get when I got my hands on him. Well, he walked over to the side of the sink where I keep my electric toothbrush and mouthwash and STARTED CHEWING ON MY TOOTHBRUSH!!!! What the…?? He was going to town on it. I was astonished! Has he done this before? How long has this been going on? I am half completely grossed out, and half completely amused. Because I KNOW if it happened to someone else I would be laughing my butt off, so how can I not think this is funny?
Luckily, my toothbrush charger has a place in the back to hold two new heads and I had one left. It probably needed to be changed awhile ago anyway (especially if TWO of us have been using it!). I moved the toothbrush to the wall shelves. Maybe I’ll put a couple of the dollar store toothbrushes I usually have for guests that forget theirs down on the countertop for him to chew on and he’ll be so distracted by them he won’t notice my real one.
Gah! I hope he doesn’t, anyway!
Some pics of my Nick...Thinking he's a meerkat, not a mere cat; being exhausted from doing all manner of kitty things; and, getting his Facebook on.