Saturday, August 29, 2020

Wordy Saturday - Answers

TBT HERE:  Megan commented...  "Always fabulous to read about some of the history behind the present-day blog. I recall that you got Marley because his owner discovered that she was allergic to his fur. By the time you were in contact with her, she had promised him to someone else, but you managed to convince her that it would be better for him to move in with you. I wonder whether you might tell us a bit more of that story one day - what was it you said to persuade her to change her mind? And did that woman become a follower of the blog so that she could monitor Marley's development and reassure herself that she'd made the right decision?  

Another story that I'd love to hear is how you came to acquire Laz."

So, an answer...  I was searching for a young male orange/white cat because I am convinced by experience that they are friendly, peaceful, healthy, and calming.  I looked at shelter cats online, but they were always brothers that had to go together.  And that wasn't what I thought I needed.  I wanted ONE do be a calming influence in the house with Ayla and Iza being hissy at each other.

I was sent a link to a single orange/white male kitten on 'Craig's List'.  I emailed the owner.   She said she already had a family interested in him.  And she was only letting him go because he was a Christmas gift but discovered she was allergic to cats.

Well, you can't get what you don't ask for.  I discussed my retirement and cat-attention.  I invited her attention to my blog.  I mentioned my desire for an orange/white male cat.  I mentioned the great food I provided.  I talked about the previous cats and I talked about laptime.  I mentioned the high fence around the entire back yard and the mice available for a cat to hunt.  I talked about tossing toys and treats.  Etc.  

In short, I convinced the lady I was a better home for her cat than the family she had promised him too.  But I still had to visit to convince her I was a good cat-person.

When I visited her condo, she called Marley down from upstairs.  He actually responded, coming halfway down the stairs and looking at me, a stranger.

I sat on the floor with legs crossed, and he came right over and curled up.  He purred...  I sure didn't expect THAT!  But it sure convinced the lady that he liked me and that I was good with cats.  

That was what convinced the lady I was the right person for Marley. He sat right down in my lap even though I was a stranger to him.

There was a cost.  Marley had cost the gifter $135 at a shelter and she wanted that for a replacement gift.  I paid it and took Marley home.  I've never regretted it.

Marley was such an adorable kitten...

The lady followed the blog briefly.  She wasn't really a cat-person, so she stopped after a few weeks.  I did make sure to speak nicely of her.  Technically, I suspect she was required to return Marley to the Shelter, so I tried to disconnect him with her and me.  I was worried some shelter official would come and take him.

I asked her his name and she said I could call him anything I wanted, but I was curious.  He sure did respond to his name when she called him and that is a good start.  I asked about the name.  She was a Bob Marley fan, so "Marley".  OK, if his name was "Bazooka" or something like that, I would have changed his name.  I have some naming habits from characters of books.  But I thought "Marley" was a pretty good name and I kept it.  If I had kept to my 'Clan Of The Cave Bear' book series naming habit, he would be "Jondalar".  But "Marley" seemed to  fit him.

Now, about Laz...

I wanted a Tonkinese female to replace Iza.  I found a breeder in Baltimore who bred Tonkies, but they were really vague about "when and color" (Tonkies furs can be anywhere from (Burmese to Siamase).  Though they did say I would be a perfect cat-daddy for one.  But they appeared and disappeared sometimes and I worried about that.  

So I asked the breeder of Ayla and Iza if she knew of a Tonkie source.  She didn't, but mentioned she had a "half-siamese male" on her hands from a hard first home and might I be interested in him?"

I'm a sucker for a sad story.  And the picture she sent was awesome...  I agreed to buy.

Laz was originally in a home with 2 pit bulls and 2 grabby children.  When he was returned to the breeder (who did not actually breed him  and some mystery exists for me about that), he was mostly traumatized.  She kept him for months to try to re-socialize him.  That was "iffy".  So, when I contacted her about a Tonkinese female, she had no source but she did have him.  I don't think he even had a name.  She said there had been some interest in him, but she wasn't sure about how well he could adapt.  When I contacted her, she knew me from previous adoptions and decided I was his best chance.  She was probably right. 

Well, with book characters in mind, I was thinking 2 Tonkie female kittens from Heinlein's sci-fi books about Lazarus Long.  The character had 2 female clones named Lapis Lazuli and Lorelei Lee.  

Well not having both, I decided that the new half-siamese male with the gorgeous blue eyes could be "Lapis Lazuli" for the color and I would save Lorelei Lee for a Tonkie female "to come" later.

Laz is doing his best to adjust to a new home.  He isn't an easy one.  He doesn't seem to get "Laz" as a name.  He doesn't seem to understand "dinnertime" as a sound meaning food.  He doesn't get "come".  My words make little sense to him.  

But I can tell he is trying to get used to his Forever Home.  And it IS his Forever Home "good bad or indifferent".  You couldn't get him away from me without serious force.  I'm persistent.  He wants attention and I give it.  He just flops down in front of me and hopes...  I give scritchies.  He is beginning to invite chin rubs.  He isn't fully socialized, but he is trying, so I won't give up on him. 

Let's say he is half-socialized.  He would probably be happier in a one-cat home, but he isn't going to have that.  But he IS starting to relate to Marley (wrassling and Wow a head-grooming recently).  He chases Ayla around sometimes, but less than at first.  I have been a bit firm about him not doing that (hand-claps nothing more).  

He invites my attention more than he did at first.  Well, that is normal, but he does seem to understand that I'm a good thing in his life.  He nestles up against me at night more recently.  He is twitchy, but he feels some comfort sleeping next to me at night now.  

I see Laz and Ayla close to each other more too.  Ayla is still concerned about him, but things are getting better.  Next year, all this may be of no matter.  Or some.  We will see. 

There is still a desire to get another Tonkie female.  But until Laz is calm around other cats and fully one of The Mews, I dare not bring a kitten into the house.  I would bring an adult in (like Iza) because "she" could handle Laz even now.  But I'm cautious.

Laz has had enough stress in his life and adjusting is hard.  He is improving, but I don't want to bring another cat into his life (as much as I want a Tonkie female) until he is fully calm and social.  Laz is here now and deserves the best calming I can provide.  My desire for another Tonkie female is secondary to his need for a certainty of acceptance and trust in me.

Damn I wish Iza was still here.  She would have been a perfect partner for Laz...



  1. I loved hearing more about Marley and Laz's back stories. I'm glad Laz is with you, because you have the patience he needs.

  2. Ah - thank you TBT for such a detailed response to my question. The lady who had Marley before you sounds a little odd. I'm pleased that she was concerned to get Marley into the best home she could. But if she wasn't really a cat person, why had someone decided to buy her a cat as a Christmas present? That seems inconsiderate. Pets are a huge responsibility, and shouldn't just be given to someone unless you're absolutely sure that they're keen (and not allergic!).

    I didn't understand the comments that she might have been required to return him to the shelter he came from. Once he's been 'adopted', the adopter can do what they want, can't they? I can't see how the shelter has any further interest in the cat.

    That pic of Laz is something else, don't you agree? He looks wonderfully regal and definitely a descendant from the large cat species! It's little wonder that you decided to take him on. I'm optimistic that he will relax into the household with more time and really become one of the gang - and even start to understand some English!

    Sydney, Australia

  3. @Summer... Yes Laz takes patience. He isn't used to peace... It may take time.

    @Megan... The Lady didn't know she was allergic to cats. Sometimes friends give inappropriate gifts. They didn't know she was allergic to cats.

    Most adoption agreements here have demands about returns rather than further adoptions. I don't know how legally enforceable that is, but all adoption agreements here have it. I work around them. Some shelter people might not like that, but I'm not the cat-owner they need to be worried about.

    The picture of Laz comes from the breeder (though not Laz's breeder. As I understand it, she "took him in"in kindness)

    Laz is slowly getting used to this new place. I'm sure it it difficult for him. A little bit of adjustment every day...

  4. Both Marley and Laz couldn't have come to a better home, you are the perfect cat dad.
    Heaven only knows what Laz went through living with unruly children and pitbulls. It will take time, but you are gentle and calm with him and I am sure he will continue to progress with you.

  5. Shelter adoption agreements - I've never heard of that before. I'm almost certain that we don't have such 'understandings' here in Australia.

    Sydney, Australia

  6. Such interesting stories and I'm glad Laz is doing good, he's trying and that's the important part.

  7. I am glad Laz is with you too.
    You have the time and desire to look out for Laz.
    He is a lucky kitty :)

  8. What great stories! We didn't know Marley's story...we thought he had come from a shelter. But we're glad he chose you...yes, we think he did the choosing, not the original owner. :) And we're glad Laz is in a good place now. We know you will make it work. :)

  9. That is sweet that Marley went right to you. He was meant to be with you. I am glad Laz is adjusting even though it is a slow process.

  10. You are giving Laz his very best chance at a good kitty life and I am sure that if anyone anywhere can be successful, it is YOU. Laz is a lucky boy. I hope he an Marley eventually become real pals. Fingers and paws crossed!

    And yes, you are most insightful about S-t-K's true nature ;-) He *does* want lubs, but on his terms of course. The feral runs very deep in him--maybe 1000s of generations all the way back to the Egyptians! Ha ha meow. Never had a cat sooooooooooooooo stubborn. But he can be a love.

  11. Loved reading again the stories of how Marley and Laz were gotted.
    A refreshment of the memory, MOL!

    You are the angel that those two needed and I thank you for that...and though Dalton is a dog, he is a lot like Laz, been here three years, this month, and still has issues of being scared and upset. Sort of like PSTD.


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