Prior to having our pets now, I was a given a puppy by one of my best friends a few years ago as a birthday gift. I also had an aquarium full of red cichlid fish at the time (I had seen the movie Nemo and fell in love with fish so I went out and bought them as soon as we left the cinema. I couldn’t find any clown fish.). The puppy’s name was Buster and he was really adorable. I had a hard time caring for him though and actually didn’t know a thing about caring for a pet. Good thing my housemate’s aunt adopted him and took him home with her where he can play with other dogs. While I had Buster, my fish died one by one. It was actually strange how they died because it seemed like they each committed suicide. We found them dead on the floor of our apartment. After my dog went away and all my fish were gone, I had more fish when I moved to a condo unit by myself. They lasted for about 8 months before they also died. I felt that I was probably not cut out for caring for animals… yet.
I then met my soon-to-be husband who, along with his entire family, was an animal lover. When I met him his family had around 2 cats and 4 dogs at the time. This was very interesting to me because I grew up in a house in which dogs were merely guard dogs and cats were strays who only came by our kitchen to feed on scraps. Our dogs were always kept on chains and stayed underneath our home. I think my brothers played with our dogs when they were younger, but during my time, I never got to play with them because they had seemed too wild for me. We never adopted the stray cats either, although I do remember vividly one afternoon when my Mom came home with a kitten in her hand. She said that it followed her home from the other end of the block and wouldn’t go back where it came from when she tried to shoo it away. The cat didn’t last long. Our helper at the time wasn’t too fond of cats and she threw scalding water at it until it ran away and never ever came back. 🙁
Having so many animals inside the house was really new to me, and even scary at one time. Yet that really drew me to him and his family because it showed me how warm and loving their household is.
Cody, our Persian-Himalayan cat, was a gift from his sister from her cat’s newest litter. I had him from when he was only 3 months old. Born on Oct. 3 with 2 brothers, Bowie and Achilles, Cody is 5 years old now and is very independent.
When he’s in the mood, he becomes really affectionate and would not stop rubbing his face on our hands or feet. Sometimes when he’s on the bed he likes to massage the soft duvet – not really sure what this means but I’ve read that they do this when they want more affection. I used to work nights until he was about a few months old, and each morning he would greet me at the door and he would then sleep on my chest as I lay down on the sofa where we would doze off for a couple of hours. He doesn’t do that with me anymore; I guess it gets too warm for him because he has so much fur.
When he is being playful, he’d get on the bed and reach out to us with his paw. He likes to play with ribbons and at one time he had a ping pong ball which my husband designed with abstract shapes using a black marker. He really enjoyed chasing those balls around. One of my former colleagues also gave him a small stuffed Alvin (and the Chipmunks) toy. That was the first time I’d ever seen a cat toss something up in air and catch it! He loves to chase laser lights as well and used to go crazy running after the red dot dancing around the room. He has a thing for hanging out on the steps of stairs. We’ve lived in three different apartments and all of those have stairs. You’d always find him perched on one of the higher steps, watching us walk around or eat at the table. He also knows how to ask us for food or water. He’d pace in front of us and when he gets our attention, start to walk toward his feeding bowl and look back at us as if making sure that we are following him.
As he grew older, his hair grew longer and thicker, which is weird considering the mostly warm weather. We’d sometimes call him a liger = lion + tiger. 🙂
He doesn’t shed as much as I thought, and he loves being brushed. When he sees me holding up his detangler, he’d purr and rub his face on the comb. He really hates being bathed though, actually, he hates grooming entirely (he once bit one of the groomers who was holding him up while he was being dried with a dryer. Needless to say, we never went back to that place again. That was an isolated case though. He’s always behaved.). Last year, we decided to start giving him regular haircuts (“summer cut” they call it) because his longer hair had started having these wispy ends that we would at times find flying around in our room and attaching themselves to our sheets. He’d been having frequent fur ball episodes too which I hate because I couldn’t stand watching and listening to him struggle to cough it out although my husband says that it’s a natural routine cats go through. This is him after a fresh haircut from his groomers:
Doesn’t he look smexxxxy? I can tell that he loves the breezy feeling he gets with his short hair. Plus they don’t get dipped into his water bowl anymore. We received sad news last week though because the groomers that we liked and had always gone to, Chairopink, has decided to close shop in Tiendesitas. We are now on the hunt again for capable groomers.
Cody doesn’t need much, but he’s really picky when it comes to the litter sand in his box. He would only use the box when it has Happy Cat sand in it. Really! The sand is inexpensive, but the problem is that it can’t be found in every pet store and I think is in fact about to be phased out. We tried other brands, even the more expensive ones, but he would always poop and pee outside the box if the sand is different. We’ve used Cat San, Tidy Cat and others but none of these are up to his standards. We don’t know what it is about the Happy Cat that he loves so much. Lately, we couldn’t find his sand anywhere so the husband went out and bought one that is of similar texture, Clean Cat, and mixed it with his remaining sand. It looks like he’s becoming accustomed to it and we may have finally found replacement sand after years of trying out different brands. Thank goodness!
He eats Whiskas and Friskies, and gets the occasional Fancy Feast as a treat on special occasions like his birthday or after grooming. But the one brand of food that he absolutely loves (and makes him fat!) is Iams. He can finish a bowlful in one sitting. It’s a little pricier than the regular brands but the husband likes to buy it for him from time to time for variety (and for Cody to put on more weight. As if he’s not heavy enough!). He also enjoys wet food and practially devoured the entire contents of one of the tall can of Whiskas (wet kind) that my sister from Dubai sent for him last December.
When he was younger, he would nap in our room to enjoy the air conditioning. We had to let him stay outside the bedroom at nighttime though after he started to wake me up during the most ungodly hours so he can leave the room and use his litter box or eat/drink. There were a few times when I would wake up in the dark feeling something wet touch my nose (he’d press his nose to mine) and then when I would open my eyes, still very groggy, I would see this shadow right in my face and it would suddenly let out a loud “meow”. You can imagine my reaction to that. My husband thought it was sweet but it started to annoy me. Then he started doing it to my husband too. LOL! There were also times when he would just meow at me repeatedly, and oh so loudly, until I woke up. So out he went.
That was fine for a while until he discovered that he gets a reaction from us when he scratches the door from outside our bedroom. It gets so noisy when he does that that we had to get up and let him in, and he did that at around 4am! That went on for some time, and since I was closest to the door, I ended up opening it for him until I got so irritated that the husband volunteered to do it (he still thought it was cute). When it was my husband’s turn to get fed up, he discovered that Cody stops when he is yelled at rather forcefully. So that was our routine for a few weeks until he stopped scratching altogether. I don’t know how keen cats’ senses are but how he knows that I’m awake is surreal. Like, as soon as I open my eyes (without even moving an inch), he would start scratching at the door. I feel like we have some sort of connection. One morning at around 2am, I suddenly awoke and shook my husband because I felt like I heard Cody meow. He checked the room but Cody wasn’t here. He checked outside the door, no Cody. He went down the stairs and as he neared the front door, Cody suddenly let out really loud meows, almost like he was wailing, as if asking, “why did you leave me out here?”. We had locked him outside. That has happened a few times, and the longest he has ever stayed outside was just a few days ago when my Mom’s attendant opened the back door at 6am and found him facing the door, looking extremely distraught. He bolted through the door and up the stairs, all the way to his feeding bowl. That must have been very traumatic for him.
Cody is a real house cat, and I doubt that he’ll ever survive outside the house because even when our gates are wide open and he had any opportunity to leave, he would instead scurry inside the house as if something was after him.
Not that I’d ever want him to leave. I’d probably end up really depressed if I lost him.