Tag Archives: Adoption

Chris’s Eighth Birthday


I missed Chris’s birthday again. For some reason I keep thinking it is on the 18th but it is really the 14th. Anyway, we don’t know is real birthday but celebrate it six months before his Gotcha Day because he was about six months old when we adopted him from the cat shelter.

I thought today I would just re-share some pictures of Chris since his last birthday and later, before I go to work, will pass out kitty treats (Stella and Chewy’s) to celebrate.

Here is Chris last June stopping to smell the flowers

Bad Cat Chris

Here he is in July getting along with Frankie.

Gold cats

In August he had a rare opportunity to be outside at the same time as Frankie. I am sure this is because he escaped as I tried to get out with Frankie.

Cats Chris and Frankie

I bought a new computer in September and Chris got the box . . . that he wouldn’t share.

Cat and computer box

Also in September he had an eye infection and had to visit the vet for the first time ever, except for shots.

Here he is in October doing his famous “Happy Roll.”

bad cat chris outside

In November he teamed up with Frankie to be bad.

cats in closet

More badness.

cat Chris in cabinet

Even more badness. November must have been a bad month.

cat Chris in cabinet

 

Some goodness in January with Floki.

Chris and Floki

February, not so good

cats Floki and Chris

Here he is in April getting cat hair on my underwear. Not that many people would notice.

Last, but not least, here he is on the day we adopted him, November 14, 2009.

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Fifth Gotcha Day


Five years ago today, we brought home a little ball of terror that would eventually steal our hearts while driving us crazy at the same time.

Here is a video of Chris exploring our home after we brought him home from the Sav-R-Cats shelter when we lived in Myrtle Beach. He did not hide under the bed like most cats, but instead, took over the house right away.

Bad Cat Chris first day home

First photo of Chris at home.

Chris can be a difficult cat at times but I am so glad that circumstances brought us together and  I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.

 

Everybody was Kung Fur Fighting


I worry about my cats sometimes. I worry that one cat is going to seriously injure another, or worse, in a knocked-down, dragged-out, no-holds-barred fight. In some ways though, things are getting better. The fights are less frequent and Chris seems to be making an effort  to make friends with Frankie. In other ways, things seem worse. When they do fight it is intense and at least one cat ends up doing the cat equivalent of “screaming like a little girl.” That cat is usually Chris.

I heard them fighting last night after we went to bed and again very early this morning. When I got up and went into the living room I saw something that shocked me.

Let’s back up a little. The problems started when we adopted Frankie. Don’t get me wrong. Frankie is a wonderful cat and I really enjoy having him here, but we failed to consider an important issue before we chose him. We didn’t think about what would happen if we brought an alpha male into a house that already had an alpha male.

We didn’t know what type of cat Frankie was when we spotted him in the Petsmart adoption center. We just knew he was cute and friendly. We didn’t ask about his background or how he interacted with other cats. Frankly, I doubt if anyone knew that since they keep the cats seperated in the shelter. We also assumed that Chris liked everybody and he would accept a new cat just like he accepted Puck. But Puck is a follower, not a leader and the two of them get along well because of that.

Chris and Puck do fight sometimes but it is play fighting. There are also times when we will catch Chris on top of Puck, holding him by the neck and dragging him across the floor. (I have tried to get pictures of that behavior but it is always over before I get my camera.) I have no idea why he does that but Puck just lies there and lets him do it. It doesn’t seem to hurt him except for a little lost fur.

Frankie and Puck fight too, but again, it is play fighting. I often see one chase the other through the house and pounce. Then it repeats with the roles reversed. The fighting is controlled and there are no little girl screams.

I mentioned before that Chris is trying to be friends with Frankie, and that is true, but he will still attack Frankie for no apparent reason. For his part, Frankie is more tolerant of Chris but he is more often than not the instigator of the fights, and these fights are real fights, no playing involved. It starts with both cats waving their paws at each other. Then there is a pounce, a scream, and then the attacker backs away and the process repeats a few seconds later.

So what I saw this morning was more fur than I have ever seen at one time that was not attached to a cat. Below are photos of some, but not all, of the fur I saw in the living room.

Cat fur after a fight20140907_cats_1371

Some of the fur was black so poor puck found himself in the middle of the fighting. The rest belonged to Chris or Frankie or Both. I don’t know what happened but I am really starting to worry that someone is going to get hurt. Does anyone know how common injuries are from domestic cats fighting?

If you haven’t read my previous posts on the matter, here is a bit of a chronology, starting with Frankie’s adoption.

Meet Frankie, Our Newest Addition

New Cat Troubles

Did We Make a Mistake?

The Baddest Cat You’ll Ever Love… or Not

Photo Friday: Temporary Cease Fire

A Good Mouse, Spoiled

The Tables Have Turned

Rebuilding Burnt Bridges

Rebuilding Burnt Bridges – Part Two

Meet Frankie, Our Newest Addition


Saturday Rose and I were discussing Valentine’s Day and she surprised me by saying that instead of jewelry, I could get her a Bengal cat. She then added that a Snowshoe cat would be acceptable too.

We were in the car so I brought up Petfinder.com on my phone but there were very few that met her criteria. The ones that were listed were a fair distance away. They also had photos that were poor and descriptions that were almost non-existent. There was one possibility at the Hillsborough County Animal Shelter but they don’t answer their phones on the weekend and their description on Petfinder did not even mention the age, sex or temperament of the cat. I don’t understand why shelters don’t do a better job promoting their “detainees.”

We happened to be near a shelter called The Suncoast Animal League (where I once volunteered) so we decided to look there. There was a female Siamese cat that I thought was very friendly but Rose didn’t like her eyes. They were blue around the outside and had a reddish glow in the middle. Rose thought she looked evil but I would have taken her.

Next we went to The Humane Society of Pinellas County in Clearwater. I was impressed with how the cats were housed there. They had very large cages outside but under cover. Each cage was (and I’m guessing) about five feet by ten feet and housed between two and four cats. The cages were tall and there were structures for the cats to climb on or go inside. If I was a cat waiting for my forever home, I would want to wait there.

While we were there we saw a black and white kitten named Wilma. She was a frisky little girl and Rose liked her but someone else was in the cage with her so we decided to look around and come back. When we did come back that other person had already committed to adopting her.

From there we went to Petsmart in Clearwater, not far from the Humane Society. We found a three-year old gold and white cat that seemed very friendly. When he was brought out of the cage he immediately climbed on my shoulders, just like Chris did when I met him. Actually, Chris dug his claws in my back and scaled me like a mountain so it may not have been just like that. He then went to Rose’s shoulders and started treading (Rose calls it Marching) on her sweater while holding a piece of it in his mouth.

We decided to adopt him even though he was not the female Bengal or Snowshoe Rose was looking for. He was from the Pinellas County Animal Services and didn’t even have a name, just a number, B311304. We had to change that because we couldn’t call him B311304. I mean it is hard to remember. What if I accidently called him B311340? I wouldn’t want to confuse the little guy. Rose decided to name him Frankie after the Snowshoe cat that we wanted months ago but waited too long to decide and lost him (see here).

When we got him home we didn’t separate him from the other cats, which we should have, but Chris has never given a new cat a hard time and Puck is so friendly we didn’t think there would be a problem. We opened the cage door in the living room and the cat made a beeline for the spare bedroom and under the bed, where he remains as I write this. He came out for five or ten minutes on Sunday while we had the door closed and the other cats locked out. He was very friendly and let us pet him but he then went back under the bed and did not come back out until after we left for work yesterday (Monday).

Our new cat Frankie

Frankie was out from under the bed for a short time Sunday.

Our new cat Frankie

Frankie was “marching” and sucking on the blanket.

When I got home yesterday evening from work, he was lying on the bed in the spare bedroom. I closed the door that morning so he could have peace from the other cats and it seems to have worked. He let me pet him for a good ten minutes while Chris sat at the doorway staring. I got up and pet Chris too so he wouldn’t feel left out.

Eventually Frankie got tired of the attention and batted at my arm and hissed at me. Our cat Sneakers used to come around for attention and then bite you when he had enough. I hope he is not going to be like that. I did notice he did not extend his claws when he batted me. We were not informed that he was declawed (which I would never do to an animal) so I need to check that when I can do it without upsetting him more.

Frankie eventually ended up back under the bed again. I’m a bit worried because, as far as I can tell, he has only used the litter box I left in the bedroom once since Saturday. I plan on closing him inside the bedroom again today. Hopefully he will come out and do his business.

Chris Gets a Playmate


A few weeks before Abbey died we visited Jeff and Felice, Rose’s sister and brother-in-law. Felice works for a vet and is active in helping stray and feral cats in the area. Her and Jeff have also adopted several “unadoptable” cats with physical problems.

The day we came for a visit she had two very young kittens that she was bottle feeding in her home for a local rescue organization. One kitten was a male that was all black. The other was a black female with calico markings over one eye. They both needed homes and would be ready for adoption in a few weeks.

Of course, with Abbey being sick, we were not ready to adopt another cat at that time. We did not want to bring any trauma into the house during the small amount of time Abbey had left.

It happened that Abbey died when the kittens were old enough to be adopted and the next day happened to be Saturday, the only day that is convenient for visiting Felice. Rose really liked the kitten and wanted to get him, and I agreed, but I was hesitant about it because I didn’t want to cheapen the memory of Abbey by replacing her so quickly. In the end I realized it is the circle of life and there is nothing wrong with giving a home to a kitten who needs one.

New Kitten with housemate just before we brought him home.

So on Saturday, we were off to pick up our new kitten. We visited for a while before taking him home and watched him interacting with the other cats in the house. He seemed to get along with at least one or two of the other cats as well as the other kitten that he was raised with. We felt a little bad taking him away from the only home he knew but we also knew that his stay there was only temporary. He needed a permanent home and we were confidant that he would be happy with us.

When we brought him home we expected some bad behavior from Chris and Tigger. They are cats after all and cats can be very jealous creatures. Tigger, as expected, did a fair amount of hissing when he saw the new arrival and quickly left the room in disgust. Chris, however, was just curious. When we opened the carrier door, Chris greeted the new kitten by sticking his head inside and blocking the only way out.

This went on for several minutes and the nervous kitten just huddled in the carrier and didn’t want to come out. When he did come out he did a little exploring, which Tigger was not happy about. Chris just followed him around and seemed happy to have the distraction. Eventually our kitten discovered the under side of the bed and decided that was a good place to stay for a while.

Felice and Jeff named him either Chow Chow or Chow Man. We heard him called by both names and we are not sure which one was his given name. It didn’t really matter because we didn’t like either one and decided to change it. The reason they gave him the name was because he loved meal time. This proved true when I tried to lure him out from under the bed with a little plate of wet kitten food. In his case, food easily trumps shyness.

Chris greets kitten as he comes out for food.

After he ate he went back under the bed and that became his home away from home for a few days. Eventually he gave up his shelter. Tigger, for his part, gave the kitten hell for a week or two but then got over himself.

Part of the reason we wanted to get another cat goes back to about the time we first got Chris. He had so much energy and always wanted to play but none of our cats wanted to play with him. We thought we needed another cat with his energy level, if one even existed, to help keep him entertained so he would stop bothering us. At that time we had five cats, our limit, so one more was out of the question. There was also the possibility that another hyperactive cat could mean twice the trouble.

Since we moved into our latest home we discussed getting another cat from time to time. I thought if we did get one, it should be around Chris’s age so they would grow old at the same time. Our plan is to retire to a boat, motor home, or both, and old cats might work but a middle-aged, adventurous cat could be a problem in such a confined space. My plan, if we decided to get a cat, was to check shelters for a three-year old cat with ADHD. That opportunity never came up before we met the kitten that needed a home.

Our next dilemma was finding a good name for the newest member of our family. To be continued…

On another note, I moved Chris’s videos to his own YouTube channel, youtube.com/badcatchris. Also, don’t forget to “Like” Chris on Facebook at facebook.com/badcatchris.

 

Chris Comes Home


November 14, 2009, a day that will live in infamy. That was the day we decided to bring Chris home. We made that decision even after knowing that Chris was adopted by another couple two or three weeks earlier and returned the next day because he kept them up all night with his biting. This is like buying a car after finding out it was in a wreck.

We got to the shelter and visited with Chris one more time before making the final decision. Of course, it wasn’t much of a decision because we brought a cat carrier with us, fully expecting that it would come home with a cat in it. We had no trouble putting him in the carrier. We just opened the door and he walked right in. He also gave us no trouble on the way home. I think he was ready for an adventure.

When we got home the other cats were not happy. They hissed and growled at Chris but it did not seem to bother him much. Unlike Abbey and Flash, who hid under the bed the first day, Chris went exploring. He investigated every nook and cranny of his new home. He also stayed clear of the other cats for a while, but that did not last long. Soon he was jumping on them and biting their necks. I’m not sure if he was trying to establish himself as the alpha cat or he just wanted someone to play with.

Next time I will talk about the first night. Stay tuned…

Chris getting comfortable with Rose on his first day home.

Updated 02/18/2015: This is a video of Chris exploring after his adoption.