The Cats of Yore

Oh, where are the cats of yore, those aloof, independent creatures who disdained we mere mortals unless it was dinner time,  and who were happy to accept a few scritches before they had enough and left to find a nice, solitary napping place?

We and our daughter have welcomed an entirely different breed of cat into our respective homes over the last year. I call these the needy cats, and they are interesting to live with. Daughter tells me that her cat, almost 9 months old, is either on top of her or following her around her apartment.  She wants to play with daughter all night, hence kitten’s banishment from the bedroom so daughter can sleep.

We adopted a 5 month old rescue kitten in October. Her name is Millie and she believes that the  best place to be is right by our side. She loves to sit on the counter and watch us wash dishes.  She wants to supervise when we cook. Any food we eat must be hers, too. We have tried to dissuade her jumping and intrusiveness with water from a squirt bottle, but that backfired. She really likes water.  She hurls her body against the closed bathroom door so it opens, and jumps in the tub even if the faucet is turned on. Wherever I sit, she plops herself in my lap, demanding to be petted. At night I am awakened by her gently patting my cheeks with her paws.

Given the tufts of hair between her toes, the tufts of hair in her ears,  and her extremely long and very fluffy, luxurious tail, we think she may be part Maine Coon. Perhaps that could account for her personality.

This is also the first time we have cats without having terriers, too. The terriers did pretty well with the cats (as well as any terrier can do with creatures they consider vermin).  The dogs would pursue and bark if the cats were too active or jumped on the table or counters.  Maybe the dogs squelched  the cats’  full expression of their personalities.  All our new cats are rescue cats. Perhaps they are just so grateful to us that they can’t stop thanking us.

The header photo is of Millie in the bathroom sink. The other photo is a head shot of Millie after we caught her with her face in the cream cheese. She provides lots of photo opportunities and topics for conversation, which are somewhat redeeming qualities.

What kind of personalities  have your animals had?

24 thoughts on “The Cats of Yore”

  1. My current cats are seasonally needy. We will know Spring is here when all thy want from me is a full food bowl and the occasional open door.

    Princess Beatrice came to us as a foster cat through the “shy cat” program . I could not send her back. She is still extremely skittish with everyone but me and will starve rather than brave the sound of the air popper in the kitchen.

    But when she wants attention, she is right after n my face, repeatedly.

    Kitten on the other hand is pretty easy going. He follows me around sometimes, and is usually found in the vicinity when I am working. He would go hang out with our late, great neighbor when she gardened (new neighbors have a largish dog, the less said about that, the better). He is also skilled at finding paper to shred when I am not meeting expectations. He has zero o interest in paper I would be happy for him to shred.

    I think he misses the s&h.

    Kitten is a Baboon cat who came to us via Ben. He (Kitten, not Ben) is annoying, but I’m glad we have him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Renae, Millie is a beautiful tortie. Our Martha is a muted tortie, muted as in her coloring, certainly not in her personality. Torties are known to have tortitude, and Martha has an abundance of it, and it’s on full display on days when she deems it too cold to venture outside. Every evening, after dinner, she tears around the house, scattering rugs, and catapulting off of furniture until she tires or we’ve had enough. If the latter happens first, she’s escorted outside to cool her heels for a few minutes, and that generally does the trick. I think it has to do with the fact that she detests the kitty litter box. She considers it an affront to her dignity to have to use it.

      Bernie, our dachshund, has a much more even temperament. He sounds the alarm, and loudly, whenever anyone knock on the door or rings the doorbell. From time to time he also announces that someone is walking by on our sidewalk with a dog, He’s not terribly interested in interacting with other dogs. When we take him to the dog park he moseys off, exploring on his own, and shows no interest in playing with other dogs. We have dog sat for two different small dogs on a couple of occasions, and Bernie didn’t want to have anything to do with them. Not hostile toward them, just not interested in playing or being near them. He was a four year old rescue when we got him, so I’m assuming there’s something in his background that accounts for this. When we initially got him, he tried to take off whenever he had a chance, that’s no longer the case. He knows where he lives, and likes it here.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Martha is peculiar in that she doesn’t purr – ever. I have never heard that cat purr. No matter how happy and content she may appear to be, she refuses to turn on that little machine that makes that wonderful sound.


        1. Kitten has a big purr. He also snores sometimes. I thought Beatrice didn’t purr because it is almost impossible to hear, but sometimes you can feel it.


  2. I no longer have an animal, and don’t recall specifics about personalities. What I do remember is my dad’s personality when we got our first kitten. I was maybe 16 and Dad had been in Tucson for much of the summer, at a seminar for guidance counselors. A friend of mine had a cat with kittens who needed at least a “temporary” home. My mom gave in (Friend’s mom was smart, and knew how hard it would be to give away a kitten after bonding with it), and we three females fell in love with “Katten”. So when dad returned we pleaded, and he relented. I’ve never seen such a change in a stoic Scandinavian demeanor as when that kitten was around doing all the antics kittens do. It make him laugh every day, and I have a photo of him reading the newspaper -Katten’s rear end on the back of couch, front end on Dad’s shoulders, looking for all the world like she’s reading along with him.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. I had a cat that was an Affection Junkie. He was friendly to everyone, but especially to me, and a little bit of affection made him delirious with joy.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Sorry to miss out on yesterday. I spent part of the day looking out the window watching it snow.
    Yeah, I’ve had those coincidences but can’t come up with any examples either. I need to try and remember the name ‘Baader Meinhof’.

    We have never had an indoor house cat. Except for MIG’s that did come in the house for a few days before moving on.
    When I was milking cows I had a few more cats. But often they were wild and didn’t get vaccinated and wouldn’t last long.
    But there was one cat, can’t remember her name, who would walk along the top of the stanchions or the milking pipeline and jump on to the backs of certain cows. Only certain cows would tolerate her jumping on to their backs.

    Some friends of ours have the hairless cats. Three of them. They are just creepy. I have no interest in them.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Agree with you, Ben, about the hairless cats. I haven’t seen any in person, but the pictures I’ve seen are very creepy indeed. I don’t think I’d even want to touch one.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. That just reinforces my impulse to knit them sweaters.

          Anybody else remember the extra large winter comfort cats from Aunt Bertha’s Kitty Boutique? They were teain d to distribute themselves around you in bed, not all clump up together. Wish mine would learn to do that. 20+ pounds of fluffy cat on your stomach while your feet are left cold is less than optimal.

          Liked by 3 people

        2. Bill, I won’t knit for chickens.

          I wouldn’t knit for cats either (that way lies madness). I only said I would like like to.

          Liked by 3 people

      1. OT- A FB friend of mine is looking for a couple of like-minded women to practice this dance routine. Don’t know if we have any takers on the trail, but since there’s very little going on here today, thought I’d post this. I think it’s Viv’s intention to perform this at some bar in Minneapolis. I know there are several baboons who could probably be helpful with both hair and costumes:


  5. My sister’s indoor cats have very distinct personalities. The male brown tabby is just a big, needy baby. All he really wants to do is eat or be cuddled. He can be quite whiny at times. The oldest black cat (don’t know breed but she has tuxedo coloring) was a year old when they got her. She had been a barn cat and had one litter of kittens. For the first few years, she totally ignored me. She has mellowed considerably in the past couple of years, and even has become playful. She loves to lay on plastic bags, hates being covered up (except when in a box), and won’t go near on open door. She tends be be motherly to the other two cats. The youngest is their “space cadet”. She sometimes behaves more like a dog – especially when rolling around on a specific rug. If you pick her up, she just complains. But if you are sitting with a book or computer, she is right there, usually cuddling up in your lap. She also loves being covered up tent style – she’ll sleep for up to an hour that way. Sometimes the three of them fight and chase each other around. Other times they all cuddle up together in a cat bed meant for one or two cats. I enjoy being around them but glad they don’t live with me – too much fur!!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Millie has beautiful eyes.

    I have had six cats that lived with me, and have known many others through friends and petsitting jobs. They’ve all left their paw prints on my heart.

    I’ve written before about my first cat, Franny, who had a fondness for tobacco and would steal cigarettes. She always slept in the crook of my right arm, and was always my baby.

    Georgia was a real Mae West of a cat. She had a tail that had probably been injured, so she could not hold it up as most cats can. She could hold it up at the very base of the tail and the rest would always flop over like a blond feather boa. She had a sultry “mrrr” she greeted me with. When anyone came to the door, Franny was frightened by the doorbell, but Georgia would come running. She thought anyone coming to the house must be coming to see her. She was my greeter cat.

    Jomo liked to walk back and forth across my lap, always turning to look into my eyes as he walked. He did that the first day I met him as a kitten, and charmed me completely. He always kept that habit throughout his short life. Especially when I was trying to read the newspaper. I adored him.

    I’m blessed with three surviving felines. One is on my lap as I type this. He likes to extend one paw over the keyboard. Sometimes he’ll just rest it there lightly. And sometimes he knocks the keyboard off the desk without warning.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. My first wire haired dachshund was named Franny. She was a young dog that her owners wanted to return to the breeder because they could not housebreak her. We were told we could have her, for free, if we would pay to have her flown from NYC to here, so we did.

      On the first night at our house, we kept her in her kennel in our bedroom. Midway through the night I woke up to a foul smell. Franny had peed, but I had never smelled dog urine that smelled like that. Strong and pungent, much like the smell in cages of the big cats at the old zoos.

      Took her to the vet the next morning, and were told that she had a bad bladder infection. After a few days of medication the problem disappeared, and we never had an issue with her soiling in the house again. I could not believe that her smelly urine didn’t give her NYC owners a clue that this little dog had a medical problem. Their loss. She was a wonderful little dog, and we had her till she died at age fourteen.

      Liked by 3 people

  7. I don’t have time to enumerate their traits – some of them I’ve written about here previously. But I’d like to at least name the cats who have owned me:
    Katten, Claude (Marshalltown, IA)
    Squeaky, Midnight (El Granada, CA)
    Olga, Ollie, Bambi (Brooklyn, NY)
    Mom, Boots, and Pluff (Dupont. Ave, S. Mpls)
    Sox (Winona, first time)
    Momcat, Slushball (York Ave, S. Mpls)
    (Slushball) Charlie (Robbinsdale)

    Liked by 2 people

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