Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

4 years with the Worthless Pet

This weekend marks the 4th anniversary of adopting the Worthless Pet. He came to us at the ripe old age of 8ish after being rehomed several times before we took him on. It isn't usual for a family to take on an older cat. The cat is usually set in their ways, with bad habits built in, and in Ringo's case, he had plenty of bad habits. He still does.

Being rehomed so often has made him skittish and unaffectionate much of the time. When he first came to us, he hid for weeks in the linen closet of our old house. It was as if he had his own room, and he would only come out for food, water, and occasionally to check if his new humans were still alive.

He took to the Girl fairly quickly, as she was the one that fed him. Food is very important to the Worthless Pet. He likes to have food in his bowl at all times. If he does not, he lets you know in the most urgent way possible: he screams bloody murder while knocking things down and chewing paper. It's a charming trait, one of many.

Ringo only likes dry food. He refuses to even sniff at wet food. And yet he loves to sit at the table like one of the family, his little head barely peeking over the top of the table as he sits up in his chair, waiting for a smidgen of people food to taste. He actually doesn't like most of the food he begs for, and often leaves it on the floor. But the begging is something he absolutely loves to do. We've learned to tolerate it as yet another one of his adorable traits.

Ringo will not use a litter box that isn't perfectly pristine. I have to clean his box out every time he leaves any deposit, wet or dry. Otherwise, he will pee right in front of the box. Which he does very often. Luckily, the bathroom floor is vinyl and cleans up easily.

He likes to snuggle now, but only on his terms. With me, he'll only snuggle in two areas. If I'm on the computer and he's looking for some loving, he'll come into my arms and will stay there for as long as 10 or 15 minutes. Which is a long time for him. He will also jump up onto my bed and lay down beside me as long as I pet him. If I stop, he takes off.

He will also snuggle with the Girl on the sofa or in the big chair, but not for anyone else. He does not like the Boy and stays away from him as much as possible. The Boy is noisy and somewhat scary for cats. I don't blame Ringo at all.

Ringo is an outdoor cat. He stays in all winter willingly, only venturing out for a few minutes when it's not really cold or snowy. Otherwise, he has no interest in going out in crappy weather. But come spring, and he gets spring fever. He lets us know he has spring fever by peeing on the dining room floor. Many many times. He pees, I clean and spray Natures Miracle. Ad nauseum. And then finally it's warm enough for him to go outside and the peeing stops.

But the weird thing is, he won't pee outside. He won't poop outside. He won't even consider it. So even though he spends hours and hours outside, he comes in to leave a deposit. Lovely.

The worst trait that Ringo exhibits is that he is an inveterate scratcher. On me. He doesn't really scratch anyone else, but he's constantly leaving stripes on me. My feet have scars. My stomach is lined with scratches in various states of healing. My left shoulder, the one he hangs over when I let him sit with me when I'm blogging, is marked with bazillions of little nail pricks. That cat has made me into his personal pin cushion.

And yet, with all this, we've kept him and loved him for 4 years now, and we'll continue keeping him until he's no longer alive. We really do love him despite his myriad bad habits. He's about 12 years old now, still in his prime but slowing down a bit. He's nicer than he was when he first came to us, but he's a cat that has some serious issues. But I like quirky.

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Blogger sage said...

what a loving cat! I adopted an older cat (6 years old). she lived till she was about 16, but she never really liked anyone but me. Here from Michele's

2/6/07 9:34 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Hi. Here from Michele's.

It's a great chuckle to see that you went from Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band (I always liked that name) to settling down with a cat.

And they said you couldn't trust anyone over 30. :)

2/6/07 10:21 PM  
Blogger Leigh said...

the plant with the big leaves is an elephant ear. We grow those out in my garden too but it takes a long time and loads of fertilizer too...and my grandma prolly was younger in that photograph than you are now...she was 23 in that photograph but now she's 78.

3/6/07 9:10 AM  
Blogger kenju said...

Margalit, Michele sent me today. Your cat sounds like a mish-mash of every cat I've ever had; some peed on the floor, some scratched, some wanted out all the time and some would cuddle with me and not with anyone else in the family. Aren't they all wonderful??!!Ringo is a pretty cat.

3/6/07 3:20 PM  
Blogger panthergirl said...

So cute!!

BTW... I think you should watch The Painted Veil before going to IMDB. It's just one of the those films that unfolds in unexpected ways, so knowing too much about it would spoil that aspect.

Also, some people have posted topics on the message board there with subject lines that are spoilers. Maybe I should put that in my post.

3/6/07 3:25 PM  
Blogger Dawn said...

I don't have a cat...cute though. I am looking for a small dog with an attitude like me ;)

Michele sent me!

3/6/07 4:04 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Here from Miche;e
s today Margalit...Ringo sounds like a true Feline Person! TGhey each do whatever it is they do, their way! It is actually what I like so much about cats....And it sounds like he is a lot more affectionate 'in his way', than he was at first!
Do give him a Big Birthday hug from me, if he will let you! (lol)

3/6/07 4:41 PM  
Blogger Crafty Green Poet said...

I love the photos of your cat. He sounds like good company too even with his quirks!

4/6/07 12:26 PM  

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