I can’t remember why I decided that Josie might be a good choice for a second cat. I initially met her in neutral territory: she was brought to the house of a member of the rescue-group of which I am now a member, and I visited her there. I was impressed by her lively and friendly nature. She went from one person to another head-bumping, and purring tremendously. She struck me as a cat who demonstrated her feelings openly and readily.
The deceptive little cow.
In my home, she was much more subdued. That was not the effect of being introduced to a new environment. That was how she was. Josie has never been unfriendly; in fact, she has always been very amiable. She enjoys meeting new people and often acts as a greeter to my guests. She likes being petted and fussed over, but her purring was quiet, and I often had to feel her throat to determine if she was happy. She had misled me as to her exuberance. It was lucky for her that I already was too fond of her to return her for another model.
In the six and a half years that my Chubs has been with me, she has changed. She has always had an active purr but, as I mentioned, one had to search for it. The affection she may have had for me was demonstrated in a low key. I felt that she was content with her life. Now, things are quite different.
Now, Josie will ask for attention as soon as I walk into a room. She will stand, amble about in a circle then flop over on her side. If one didn’t know her, one would conclude that this fat cat had just had a stroke. But no, this is the Great White asking for pets, especially a chin-rub. She previously did not care for chest-rubs, but now submits to them for short periods. She will waddle over to me periodically and rub against me, a relatively new development. And her purr starts quickly, when the top of her bristly head is scratched, and will build in strength and volume, becoming a strong, two-tone thrumming, a deep bass providing a background for a tenor.
Has it taken Josie this long to feel secure? Or is it merely a matter of a cat changing with age, mellowing, as a young adult human might as he advances into his middle years? Josie will be twelve this summer, which I think is a good age for a cat. She is confident of her place in the household, unafraid of the foster-cats, respectful of Tungsten’s top position, holding her own in disagreements with Renn over the nylon tunnel and even playful now and then with Tucker.
At last, when I pet my Chubs, I see again that enthusiastic cat I met for the first time long ago. I’m happy that she has returned. But then, she had never really been away, had she?