Wow. It's hard to believe that someone else in the house is eligible for the senior's discount....or would be if cats could shop, anyway.
Yep - It's Sir Tuxedo Thunderpaw's birthday and he's seven whole years old. It's hard to believe - I've only had him four and a half years - so to me it doesn't really seem like he's that old.
As most of you know, both Tux and Peno were adopted from the same feline rescue, at the same time. So in honour of Tux's birthday - I'll share his adoption story.... or... how Tux chose me!
It was 4 1/2 years ago, and I was preparing to move into my very first big girl place. I knew there were going to be some new cats coming into my life, because Mr. Tibbs (you may have seen him on Mom's blog) would not want to be parted from Mom. And Russell was definitely too comfortable living there too.
So I'd contacted The Way Home - the local rescue. I knew the owner through my work at the local newspaper, as I'd written several stories on the rescue and its activities. She was more than happy that I was looking to adopt - especially as I was looking at older cats, who are harder to adopt out than kittens. (My resources were limited, so adopting adults saved me the cost of spaying, neutering and needles.)
She directed me to her website which had pictures of all the cats available. I instantly fell in love with Jalapeno - I'd never had a tortie before and she had such a sweet little face. And I'll admit it - I was also suckered in by her sob story - still half wild (she was a feral who was live trapped as a kitten) she had spent her whole life (three years) in the rescue, because she was so timid, no one could see her to adopt her.
I immediately said I would take her - totally sight unseen. The rescue warned me she might never be a "people" cat, but that didn't matter. I just wanted to give her a safe home that was more than just a room in a basement (the rescue was great and well appointed, but not meant for long-term accommodations).That decided, I told them I would also like a male. I've always been partial to male cats (not that I don't love my girl). I browsed the website again and set on a lovely male named Blizzard. He was about a year old and solid white (I've never had an all-white cat either).
The rescue told me that he was living in a foster home at the moment. I was more than welcome to bring Peno home that week, and she'd make arrangements for me to go to the foster home to see Blizzard the following week.So came the night to pick up Peno. I borrowed one of Mom's carriers and headed to the rescue. Peno was corralled and tucked into the carrier (and boy, she wasn't happy about that!) and the rescue owner and I got to talking - she asked me I could get another story in the paper for her. Due to health issues, she was no longer able to run the rescue. Most of the cats (all of the kittens and some of the younger adults) were being taken by another rescue in Hamilton, but they didn't have room for all the cats. As a result - all the older cats (including Peno) were being offered at half price adoption fees and she wanted to find good homes for them all.
As we talked, I learned that the foster family was willing to keep Blizzard if no one was able to adopt him - and there were still lots of kitties at the rescue who needed a home. So, I asked to see the rest of the cats. I told her my only preference for the second cat was that it be a male.
Being a sucker for the underdog, I immediately asked after Stumpy Too (There was another Stumpy who'd just been adopted.) He was a solid black tripod kitty (tractor accident). A big, muscular cat. And boy was he affectionate. However, she cautioned me on adopting him - the nature of his amputation was likely to create some expensive vet bills down the line.
So, I put Stumpy Too down, and followed her out to the "Boy's Room". The building where she kept all the neutered males.
Inside, I sat down on the floor and she started opening cages. Tux was the first one released. He immediately climbed in my lap, and up my chest, demanding attention. Other cats came over, but Tux wasn't going anywhere. He saw his meal ticket.
She was pointing out each cat, and talking about their attributes - and all the while Tux was purring in my ear. I looked up at her, Tux in my arms and said "I think I've been claimed."
She smiled, and told me Tux's story. He'd been abused (even now if you raise you hand around him to fast, he flinches) and apparently some one had him in a cage, and was intending to use him as target practice. He was rescued, and had been living at The Way Home for about a year. He was adopted out once by a young woman, but returned shortly after - Tux didn't like her boyfriend, and would get quite aggressive when he was around. She warned me that he was greedy and lazy, had a serious attitude and was definitely more aggressive than the other cats.
But Tux knew just how to sucker me - he just kept purring in my ear, and nuzzling into my neck. And soon I was borrowing a second carrier and tucking both Tux and Peno into the car.Tux settled right in. He and Dave battled for supremacy over the right side of the bed (Dave eventually won, but for a while it could have gone either way - and Tux still take every opportunity to steal Dave's foot space). He's definitely Top Cat, but mostly he's too lazy to push the other two around. He's okay with kids as long as they don't get in his face - and he absolutely hates dogs. He loves to snuggle and purr - especially if you have ice cream.
Between urinary issues, infections and diabetes, he's cost me a small fortune in vet bills. But he's my "Big Bear" and my best friend and I wouldn't give him up for the world.
Happy birthday Tuxie Boy!