Monday, January 20, 2014

Old Cats Learn New Habits

Locutus in her younger days
 When we moved on to this property seventeen and a half years ago we were greeted by a little orange cat who was about four months old. That's what we called her "Little Orange Cat" which was to distinguish her from her much larger father Oscar. Little Orange Cat had a putative home next door, but she liked our yard and porch much better. 

She liked our dog Missy and liked to come up and rub on Missy when the dog was in the yard. She also liked to talk to us - all the orange cats I've known have been pretty vocal - and she liked to be petted. But she did not like being picked up. 

By the time the cold winds of autumn had started up, we'd gotten to know enough about our neighbor to realize that she didn't spay or neuter her cats and that she was lackadaisical about anything other than food.  So we formally decided to formally adopt little orange cat and make her cat #11 of our household. 

She needed a real name, so John took the three letters LOC and looked for a name to fit it. Being a big Star Trek Next Generation fan, the name John chose was Locutus, which of course was a male character. But it stuck and she's been Locutus for seventeen years. 

Locutus was never a lap cat or a snuggler. She tolerated petting, but did not like being picked up or held, and never voluntarily got into anyone's lap. But she liked snuggling with our dogs and with other cats. 

Now she is the oldest cat of a household of 10, senior kitty who rules the roost with her grumpy vocalizations. No one dares nose her away from her bowl! 

Always very talkative, in recent months Locutus has begun extensive vocalizing at night. She's never actually waken me up, but every time I am awake for a while, I will hear her warbling in a discontented voice about something. In just the last few weeks I've started getting up in the dark, picking her up and snuggling into my recliner with her. The first time I did it, I really expected her to wiggle away immediately - she'd always done so in her younger days. But as an old lady she really enjoys an hour or more of snuggling. 

This morning after dogs and cats were fed, but it was still dark, Locutus and I had a very nice warm cozy nap together for an hour. Old cats can learn new habits!

Locutus, Sheldon and two other cats like the dark warmth 
of an old dog crate in a corner of the living room. 

1 comment:

Janice Ascott said...

What a lovely story and a great name. I like the idea of "orange" rather than "ginger."