Sunday Salon: The Year of the Cat

beau orange me black and whiteSo it’s December which means times for those rambling year-in-review posts to begin.  Good thing, too, because I kind of like all those rambling year-in-review posts.

2015 has been “The Year of the Cat” in our house which is something of a shock since both C.J. and I are really dog people.

But you know how when you go into one of those really cool used bookstores in some out-of-the-way urban neighborhood there’s always a cat sitting lazily on a cad bed or somewhere roaming around the stacks looking for strangers willing to scratch.  For a while we’ve thought it would be cool to have a cat like that.

So, enter Beau pictured with me above. He’s the one in color.

Long time readers of this blog may remember that Dakota, our beloved book-eating Bassett Hound passed away at earlier this year.   That put our household at just two dogs which is the fewest number of pets we’ve ever had.  So, I starting hinting about a cat.

C.J. acquiesced (extra points for high-level academic vocabulary right there!) and agreed to an orange tabby cat.  C.J., who used to work for the local humane society and knows something about cats, says that Orange Tabbies are very mellow, very friendly cats–the most dog-like cat of all cats.

After a few days of searching, we found “Bo” and brought him home where he became “Beau.”  No gay household would ever spell Beau Bo.  Beau was a seven-year-old adult, so none of that annoying kitten drama for us.

It took a couple of weeks to convince Beau to leave his box and we never did really get him to explore the rest of the house much, but he became a friendly lap junkie who loved to sit on the arm of my reading chair while I read. The scratching damage to the leather was quite minimal really.  I was told cats would not scratch leather but that was a dirty lie.  They’ll scratch just about anything.

Beau worked things out with the dogs, Clovis wanted to play more than Beau did so Beau had to set some boundaries while Gabby wanted nothing to do with Beau so she set her own limits.  But once they all knew what was what things were fine.

And it turned out cats are darn good pets.  More dog people should be open to them, especially older orange tabby cats.

Bonnie and Clyde. Clyde is the orange tabby. His sister Bonnie is kind of hiding behind him.

Then a couple of months ago, C.J. was out walking the dogs when two very small kittens emerged from the gutter near our house meowing and running to Clovis who was delighted actually.  Clovis really loves kittens.  I guess he looked like their mother to them.

C.J. says they were probably 10 to 12 days old so we had to bottle feed them for just over a week before they went on solid food.  The orange tabby was male, the female was a gray/white Manx cat. Manx means the cat has no tail which is a rare but highly desired trait, I now know.

Beau was an excellent step-father.  He never had a problem with the kittens; he watched them, kind of guarding them from the dogs.  He cleaned them which is great because kittens are really gross when they are very young.  They even played with his tail once in a while which is darn cute.  And with kittens roaming all around the house Beau even started to come out of the study some.

All was happy in our peaceable kingdom until one morning we noticed Beau was gone.  Somehow the cat that almost never left the study had got out and was gone.  About a week later we heard via that a cat matching his description had been hit by a car just a few blocks from our house.  We missed Beau but we had these two kittens that had to be cleaned.

This week I took a sick day to take the kittens off to Vacaville where the county animal shelter offers low cost  medical care.  Fixing, inoculating, testing, micro-chipping all paid for by Solano Friends of Animals.  That was Wednesday.

Thursday we heard from a neighbor that an orange tabby who looks like Beau has been sunning himself in their front yard.  So we tracked down a cat trap which we set up and hoped for the best.  When I went to check it at the end of the day there was an orange tabby who does look a lot like Beau sitting nearby.  He ran away as soon as I approached so he’s either not Beau or I didn’t make as much of an impression on him as I hoped. We’re going to try again today.

Yesterday, at the adoption fair, Bonnie found a home but we did have to bring Clyde back for the night.  He goes back for to the adoption faire later today.  I’ve told C.J. that if Clyde doesn’t find a home by the end of the month, he can stay with us but I think we’re both hoping he finds a home.

We liked the cats, but they have been a lot of drama.


Here’s a video of Clovis and the kittens.


Here’s a video of Al Stewart singing The Year of the Cat which is really a pretty cool song.


Next week, I hope to have my year in books post.

9 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: The Year of the Cat

  1. They sound like fun, but a lot of responsibility. When I was young my mother has a fur alergy so I never had pets and thought I’d like a cat when I’m older but actually I think I’m happier without. But I enjoy feeding and taking care of my neighbour’s cat when she’s away.

    1. We had a good time with the kittens over all. Both have found homes, and we’ve told the Friends of Animals groups that we’d do it again in a year or so. Once every year or two would be nice.

  2. What a story! Poor Beau. Years of volunteering at shelters has taught me that sometimes shelter cats have risky behaviors, like running away, that make their settling into a good home more of a challenge. It sounds like Bo was a runner, and even though Beau didn’t mean to run from you, something caught his curiosity.

  3. I’m so sorry about Beau. I’m mainly a cat person myself, but dogs have grown on me over the years (mainly from getting acquainted with several of them as we ride up and down the condo elevators). Bonnie and Clyde look so cute! Hopefully Clyde will find a good home but it’s good to know you’re there for him if he doesn’t.

  4. Poor Beau. I hope he is the cat that is still alive. 😦 You and C.J. are such good people, taking in those kitties. I am glad Bonnie found a good home and hope Clyde does too. My mom is bringing her dog when she visits us towards the end of the month. I am probably more excited than I should admit to. I miss having a dog in the house.

    1. I have this sneaking suspicion that we’ll be getting a new dog in the coming year. We each found out this week that the other was secretly looking at rescue listings on-line.

  5. I’m going to continue to cross my fingers that the cat your neighbors saw alive is Beau. And it’s so great that you’re thinking of fostering again. I know the shelters here really need people to foster–I’d do it myself if I could.

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