Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Catching Up to Her Reputation

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?


  1. it is interesting some times to watch as their personalities adapt....something to things we realize, sometimes to things we don't.

  2. Funny Josie...bit of a flirt I'd say!

  3. Isn't it amazing how cats will give affection on their own terms!

  4. I lean toward the change as she ages theory. That and possibly learning by watching how the other cats interact with you, as Derry has done by watching both angel Annie and Nicki (mostly Nicki of course) interact with me.

    BTW, my beloved Annie Bananie suckered me by presenting herself as a lost waif (okay, that was true), compliant in my arms (at the shelter) and adoring. Hahaha. She certainly was affectionate in her own way, but definitely not a pick-me-up and cuddle-me cat at all. Not compliant in any way. My wild child. Proving that personalities often can be quite different when in the shelter versus secure in a forever home. :-)

    Oh, and as for my current two: Nicki is the one who exuberantly greets me whenever I come home, though I suspect it's more because he's hungry than he's happy to see *me*!

  5. Josie is lovely. I think she is just growing older. My Jessie is now making very loud meows, demanding meows. She has always been quite quiet. From Eileen and Jessica

  6. I often think it is a maturity thing. Ralphie has become more comfortable with age too and I hear his purr more as well as experience him seeking me out for attention rather than him waiting for me to initiate it.