Today Chris turns twelve years old. In cat years, he is a senior, but he is also like a child and sometimes like a baby who needs to be held. Of course, this is just his estimated birthday. When we adopted him he was about six months old so I just subtracted six months from his Gotcha Day and came up with May 14, 2009.
He has been a part of our family for so long that I just don’t know what we would do without him. Sure, he can be incredibly annoying at times but he is also incredibly sweet and affectionate.
He loved people from the first day I saw him and had no trouble seeking attention from strangers, like my wife the first time she visited him at the shelter.
The above photo was taken almost six weeks before we brought Chris home. Can you imagine a cat as special as Chris being overlooked for so long? I was told he was adopted once and brought back the next day because he was too annoying, but I don’t remember if it was before this photo was taken or after.
Of course, he gave us a lot of trouble too, but we persevered. How could we not? He was so funny to watch. The first thing he did was take over as head cat the day he arrived.
He also constantly threw himself on top of the other cats, much to their displeasure.
He still does that today.
Another thing he used to do was get on people shoulders, especially mine.
Other cats would see Chris on my shoulders and they would get on my shoulders too but Chris was a natural at shoulder riding. The other cats always seemed nervous and unstable.
Chris didn’t get his “Bat Cat” moniker for nothing. He gave us plenty of trouble too. It was a constant battle to get him to stop doing things we didn’t want him to do, like get on the counters. All of our cats get on the counters today simply because Chris won the counter wars and we surrendered.
He also started pooping in the tub, at first, and then moved on to pooping outside the boxes. He didn’t always do it but it was enough to where I worried that my wife was going to make me choose her or the cat. I think that went on for four years or more. The solution came on accident when we moved to a smaller home and consolidated our litter boxes in one room, instead of having them spread around the house. It seems if one box was not perfect, he wanted another box right there. He certainly wasn’t going to make the effort to go to another room.
Chris was also good at getting into closets, and still is but he doesn’t care about it as much these days.
This last one was considered for a documentary about cats but didn’t make the final cut, probably because the resolution was not high enough.
Chris was also a champion of getting on top of things that our other cats would not attempt.
Many of those behaviors are in the past, partly because of Chris’s age but I think mostly because of his weight. He is what we affectionately call a “carb addict.” He loves his kibble. I try to not give him too much but he wears me down. He annoys the crap out of me when I am working so I give him a little kibble in order to get some work done. I usually do something else first so he won’t associate annoying me with getting what he wants but he is a smart cat and I doubt I am fooling him.
All in all, we have been very fortunate to have a cat that has really touched our hearts the way Chris has. I sometimes think about those people who returned Chris. They just have no idea what they gave up just so they could get a good night’s sleep.