Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Day 17: The trials and tribulations of crazy cat ownership (requested by dracavia)

So sorry, I totally forgot to do this yesterday.

dracavia: The trials and tribulations of crazy cat ownership.

I think all cats are a little crazy, or at least they do not think in anyway shape or form along the same lines that humans do :). Of course some cats are 'more challenging' than others.

For those who don't know, my husband and I have a five and a half year old F2 Savannah called Amber and we've had her since September. She's an ex-breeding queen and she was very nervous and skittish when we first got her because she wasn't used to us. This is her in her super model pose:

She's much friendlier and relaxed now, but she's what you might call eccentric :).

She sleeps in a cat bed on our bed every night, which is the first of her eccentricities. At first she just slept on our bed and the cat bed was in the room where we first kept her when she arrived as her safe place, however, we moved it when we discovered one of her interesting habits. She cleans her teeth on the side of her cat bed by chewing it. This can be very distracting in the middle of the night because it makes a huge row - the bed is covered foam. Not much of  problem you might think and it was fine until she mistook my husband's foot for the side of her cat bed when she was just laying on the duvet. She has very sharp little teeth and an executive decision was immediately taken to move the cat bed onto ours to prevent any more blood being shed :).

Mornings are also very interesting. Because I work from home she bonded with me first since I'm there most of the time. Rob gets up first because he has to travel to work and Amber, without fail, pointedly ignores him, even though he puts her food out first thing. She stays in bed until I get up.

Then, once I have been on the exercise bike and had my shower, we have to have our bonding time. This usually consists of me sitting on a chair in the kitchen or the floor in the old dining room and giving Amber a big love while she head-buts my legs and weaves all over the place purring very loudly. If she does not get this she meows, a lot, and boy is she loud. She also goes for the weaving around legs trick, which if I am headed anywhere vaguely fast means I am likely to fall over her, so bonding time saves me landing on my face :).

She talks a lot. When we come back to the house she talks. When anyone else enters the house, she talks. When she wants something, she talks. She even has a meow for 'I just took an enormous dump in my litter tray, please come and clean it'. I kid you not.

She's only allowed in the garden, not generally outside because Savannahs have the instinct to range widly and she's likely to get lost if she roams. So she has a cat flap. Whenever she goes out and then comes back in during the day she will very gently meow as she returns. I then call back and she bounds up the stairs to  my desk to make sure I am where I am supposed to be. Then she heads back to bed downstairs.

I'm pretty sure she has no idea where her tail is most of the time. She knocks things off with it all over the place and she is the clumsiest cat I have ever known. I thought Bijou (one of our previous cats) was bad, but Amber really doesn't seem to take into account her back end :).

Amber loves to play and her favourite toy is what I think is supposed to be a mouse, but it looks like a bear to me. It has a bell and used to be part of a cat teaser, but she chewed it off the string many moons ago. All her other toys she destroys, but this one she carries around and jumps on and throws around, but never chews. She puts it under things so she can leap over them and dive underneath and pounce on it. She hides it so she can find it again. She puts it on my boot, puts her front paws on my boot and scoots it across the carpet at speed. It's adorable. She loves that toy.

She also loves my boots. They are leather and when I leave them lying around she sits on them. Levi (our other previous cat) used to like shoes too, but he would explore them and then leave them, Amber likes to use them as a bed and, yes, she has chewed them. Luckily I have an every day pair and a good pair - she is only allowed near the every day pair and she seems to have given up on the chewing of them now.

Amber is one of those cats where everything has to be on her terms. If you pick her up, she gets down, but she is quite happy to bounce over the sofa while I am sitting on it. We haven't reached lap sitting heights yet, but I have high hopes. However, she has one weakness: cat treats :). If you give her cat treats she will let you do anything. That's how we gave her her spot on wormer and de-flea-er - we just put a small pile of cat treats on the floor and got her while she was eating them. She's offish with new people, but give them some cat treats and she's right there. It would be embarrassing how easy she is to bribe if she wasn't so lovely ;).

Amber is definitely the most eccentric cat we have had. Levi was so laid back he was mostly horizontal and Bijou was slightly nuts, but she was everything you'd expect from a cat whereas Amber is much harder work. However, I wouldn't change her for the world. We love her dearly and she is such a character and a great companion for me during the day. She keeps getting better and better with people and she is very loving, especially to me. Cynthia, the absolutely lovely lady that gave her to us put it like this, because Savannahs are part wild cat (Serval), dealing with the F1s and F2s as compared to a regular cat is like the difference between a pony and a racehorse.

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