Thursday, May 28, 2015


Cats Galore!  You Said It!

On Jan 6 in the middle of a subzero blizzard, we received an unexpected Epiphany Gift.

Many years ago, I painted a pastel painting of a very dark head and shoulders of a black and tan Shetland Sheepdog, just for practice and fun.  I just made him up!  I sold him in an art show.  His memory still lingers.  The painting actually crossed though my vision field recently....Why?

During the winter holidays I picked up James Herriot's story of The Christmas Day Kitten.  I didn't read the story, but I opened the book to expose the painting of a dark stray tabby kitten entering her warm kitchen "home" on a farm.

Then I found a large kitten photo on a calender, mostly black tossed with tan in streaks and swirls.  I cut the kitten photo out and posted it on our refrigerator.  I had never seen markings like that.

Next I saw a Volaticotherium animated figure on Dinosaur Train.  The flying squirrel like character, "Vlad" had a dark "cape" with lighter swirls and streaks.  I made sketches of this small furry mammal from the 250 million years ago. He lived even before some Dinosaurs appeared on Earth.  I am fascinated by his dark coat with a hint of lighter swirls.

I also saved an article How to Introduce a New Cat from a magazine I was recycling.  Why? 

Epiphany Kitten
And then the plaintiff call came....a screeching  searching plea for help from our back patio door.  OH NO.  Orange, the cat, and I ran to see what was there.  A frozen kitten, shaking and crying on the snow blocked steps.  Orange and I looked at each other in quiet desperation.  It seemed about three months old.  When the  kitten moved into the grey light, I saw it stretched out a bit.  "It's older than 3 months, " I thought.  The long haired insulated coat saved its life in the winter blast.   HELP~

It took some time to coax the kitty into our home.  When we took it food, it ran away.  Next it cried near the basement window well.  All three of us humans stood there and spoke to it.    * Try saying "Row" (rhymes with "now"), meaning "food" in Cat Speak.  We all "rowed" at the kitten.

We came upstairs to fetch a bowl of food.  And the kitten was there at the back door already!  "The Power of Row!"  

Meanwhile, cats began waking up from their naps and sat in a silent semi circle to welcome the newcomer.  We got our largest cat carrier and put a bowl of food in it.  Carefully opening the door, we gently beckoned the kitten into the warm kitchen and the safety of the cat carrier so it could rest and eat.  None of our cats hissed at the stranger.  "They already know him."

Ruff Arrives

Now What?
We got a large dog "cage" and transferred the kitten into it.  He was safe and snug in the kitchen and welcomed warmth and food.  On the second day, he was free of his cage.  He still went in it to rest and climbed up the wires so he could sit on the top, a high perch.

Fast Forward
"It's a Boy"  The Vet added that the kitten had targeted our home in advance in case of need be in the harsh winter.  He's about 6 months old and weighs only 4.7 pounds.  We think he's been living outside, hunting mice and insects for some time, and then the white out subzero wind and snow came....He knew where to come for help!

I  I talked with Judy, Phoebe's owner  ** Phoebe is a white Norwegian Forest Cat.  I bought a long haired cat brush, the kind Judy suggested.  Ruff has many features of the Norwegian Forest Cat.  His face and body are different from the Maine Coon breed.  Brushing him is like brushing my two Collies.  He purrs applause and closes eyes in enjoyment. I thought about my dogs and how I miss them.

Next I read Breed Profiles in *** Cat Fancy Magazine, articles written by Audrey Pavia.  Bengal Cat: " Imagine a cat that looks like a leopard plus the personality of a dog."  I see Orange as a sleek Greyhound or Cheetah as he streaks across our yard.  Norwegian Forest Cat: "Is a playful loving member of the household."  Very interactive and social, like a dog, Ruff brings unifying energy and sense of delight for humans and cats alike.  He is a cheerful relaxed peacemaker, yet gently assertive. 

Orange On the Alert

**** Foster Parent
Orange, our young male, adopted  Ruff!  How can this be?  Orange took to washing the fury kitten, head to toe.  He even helps Ruff take small strings of oak pollen and little plant seeds out of his coat.  Orange "combs" Ruff with his teeth.  Ruff also combs out his long coat by himself and with the help of the cat brush from his human parents.  Orange also teaches the kitten martial art self defense skills in a gentel way.  Does the Orange-Ruff bond of parent figure and kitten have to do with their young ages or common backgrounds of being abandoned and living on their own for a period of time?

The Norwegian Forest Cat seems more social and interactive and may, in the wild, actually live in social groups?  Norwegian Forest Cats prefer the outdoors in all kinds of weather (except blizzards).  Ruff is very talkative and "speaks" in complex sentences.  He talks to himself and sometimes mutters to himself, indoors and out.  Some of his sounds are trilled, like bird calls.  Ruff has the waterproof double coat of the Collies and Shelties.  Like the dogs I know and love, he sheds out in warmer weather.  

Window of Opportunity
Ruff smiles a Wise One's smile.

 "He looks like Confucius"

"Maybe he Is!"



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Related Posts
** Stars and Snow, Spirit of Phoebe
Enter Extra Orange
Escape Artists
Welcoming Mrs. Harris  

* How to Speak Cat by Alexandra Sellers, communicate with your feline.

The Book of Cats, Reader's Digest books, cat family tree, cat breeds and care

*** Cat Fancy Magazine, Breed Profiles, Articles, Photos, Cat Care.  Bengal CatSeeing Spots by Audrey Pavia Feb 2014, and Norwegian Forest Cat, Loving Companion by Audry Pavia,  April 2014.  Audrey is an award winning free lance writer .  She is a member of the Cat Writers' Assoc.

The New Cat Handbook by Ulrike Muller includes cat "language" and behavior and more.

James Herriot's Cat Stories and Treasury for Children, beautifully illustrated

Natural Health for Dogs and Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M. and Ph. D. and Susan Hubble Pitcairn

Dinosaur Train, PBS, "Time Tunnel, Time Tunnel Approaching!"  Animation, education, comedy, learn more about dinosaurs.

Parental Behavior and the Brain, Charlie Rose May 27, 2015, A team of neuroscientists and biologists study human and animal parenting responses and hormonal activity What triggers parenting responses and bonding behaviors?

Dahlis Roy:  Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor 

Photos by Dahlis
Cat Apron, images of cats on fabric evoke Cave Painting Images
Ruff Arrives, Our Epiphany Kitten 
Orange On The Alert, Orange explores the cat tree.
Ruff in Light, Ruff shows off his snow shovel feet.