Paws’ Mom was looking for the Farmer’s Market which is usually in the Town Park. Instead she found lobster rolls, on sale. Having worked across the street some 5 years ago, we recalled how scrumptious these lobster rolls were, and just had to buy one. As I was looking for a table looked over to see a familiar face – Becky. She waved me over — ‘Have I got a cat story for you!’
She had moved from her house where she’d been for over 40 years. At 75 years of age, the mowing, snow blowing, roof racking, and stacking wood for the wood stove, plus paying someone to shovel the roof and repair the old antiquated furnace was just too much. Well, after 40 years, it did have a right to break down. It had done it’s time.
She had downsized and sod her home, moving into a much smaller apartment. Only as she packed one endless box after another her precious yellow kitty marmalade became increasingly nervous. He didn’t seem to understand why the knickknacks he liked marking with his chin were disappearing. There were all these boxes. They were being stacked and still more things, books, blankets, cat toys were being put in these boxes and disappearing. The day before the move, Marmalade was determined to go outside, as he always did. Only he always returned. This time he did not.
He had witnessed the boxes and blankets to which he was accustomed getting packed away He did not like the changes (Cats don’t like change of any kind). As the packing continued, he became more disenchanted. As an indoor/outdoor cat, Marmalade would go out, but always return at night. When moving day came, there was no sign of Marmalade. Becky, beside herself, went to all her neighbors, giving hem her cell phone number, pleading with them to call if they saw any sign of her missing kitty. She had only moved less than 10 miles from the house, so she could make a quick return in the event there was any news. She and friend Ezra returned to scour the neighborhood. Hours and hours later there was still no sign of Marmalade.
Becky had assumed neighbors would listen to her pleas, but she heard nothing – until 31 days later. One of her neighbors called. She had seen a yellow cat that looked a bit like Marmalade earlier that morning. Becky was determined to find out if this could be her beloved kitty. She took a lawn chair and camped out in the woman’s driveway. Hours passed, and no cat. Then, could it be – there was a flash of a yellow tail. Becky starting calling. She could tell the cat was hiding behind a bush. She kept calling and talking. Finally the kitty peaked his head out from behind the shrub and looked at her. The cat was dirty, covered with ticks and terribly thin. He just looked at her frozen in time. And then he let out a blood curdling scream.
Scared and confused, the cat stayed put, and would not come to Becky, no matter how much she pleaded Finally she got down on the ground level. He walked up to her and let her pick him up. She had smartly put the cat carrier out beside the car. She immediately secured him in the carrier and rushed to the veterinarian. Thank goodness, she said, it was a Friday. What would I have done if it was a weekend?’
He was treated for fleas, ticks and weight loss. His skin just hung off him. He’d lost a ton of weight. The et guessed he must have gotten locked in a shed or a garage to have lost that much weight.
It’s taken some time for Marmalade to adjust to his new home, but with no more boxes and being surrounded by familiar bedding and toys, he’s settling in to his new abode, quite well But it’s an experience that he and his mom will likely remember a long time.
It was time to find the Farmer’s Market, which had been moved due to the Saturday festivities. I was looking for Sarah because I had 2 expired gift certificates for some yummy Angus beef that she had said I could still redeem. Upon seeing me, Sarah exclaimed, ‘I’ve got to tell you…My daughter just adopted the cutest kitten. The shelter is giving away kittens for free at the ell phone store right down the street. ‘Would you like to see him?’ Her daughter and grandchildren slowly opened the cardboard crate, and the cutest gray and white kitten with golden eyes peered up at me. Her daughter explains, ‘we always had older cats but now the kids are older, it’s time for a kitten – a bundle of joy and a pile of energy
I knew nothing of this festival when venturing to Farmington this morning. I actually had come down to hear a storytelling segment on ‘The Diary of a Cat and the Diary of a Dog. Jud L did a great rendition of the eager dog and the aloof, arrogant cat, detailing their totally different relationship with their humans.
The story was well worth the wait.
Paws finds humans love to share their cat stories – whether it be t work, a chance meeting on the street, a social event, or on a trip talking with complete strangers.
Here are just a few excerpts that I’ve heard while working at the call center – the job that helps me support my feline family.
- Nate was telling about cat playing with his tongue while sleeping. It moves – why not?
- Tony tells about his girlfriend’s cat who insists upon sleeping on his face – a nightly battle at that.
- Kathryn says his cat is developing litter box problems just to spite her (Paws knows better, but it wouldn’t be appropriate to correct her at work)
Keri always has a cat story to tell a fellow at lover. This time her 3 kitties had spent the night in the screened in porch. The cat had been constipated so she’d left out plenty of food and water. The next morning her other 2 cats went out to join him. They all turned up their noses at the water. Why? Keri wondered. Turns out constipated kitty had used the water as a big litter box. A big turd in the water told all. Just imagine. Did the water cure kitty’s constipation?
As cats move further into our hearts and homes, they are becoming more a part of the family. And I should be no surprise that people talk about their family, whether it be their kids parents or pets. Do you talk about your cats with your family, friends and complete strangers? Do you find their eyes glossing over as you tell the latest cat story? Please share your thoughts and your stories.
Wordless Wednesday: Beautiful Egyptian Mau
The Egyptian Mau is a very active cat, and may not be for everyone, but they are indeed a stunningly striking cat.
What’s your favorite cat, or do you just like them all. Please comment and weigh in with your thoughts. Here is Muffin Man, an Egyptian Mau, owned by Jill Archibald, who was in charge of the Feline Agility Competition at the annual Seacoast Cat Club’s Cat Fancier Association (CFA) Cat Show in Concord, NH, May 2-3, 2014.
Kitties would like to go today, but mummy has to work, so they hang out inside by the fan. Looks like they are staying cool, and enjoying a nice easy day, unlike their mummy.
What are your kitties doing this very hot summer day? Please share.
Mainers love their cats, so much so that it was named the best place to live for cat lovers.by the online real estate resource Estately. Although Vermont, named the second-best cat state, ranked higher, the fact that Maine has an official state cat helped boost its rankings.
More than 46 percent of Maine households have cats, and cat owners outnumber dog owners by 11 percent.
The Maine Coon, one of the most popular cat by the Cat Fancier’s Association became Maine’s official cat in 1985. The Maine Coon is believed to be one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, and a native to the state of Maine.
In the early days of cat shows, the Maine Coon ranked on top of the Cat Fancier’s boards, But at the beginning of the 20th century, show fever expanded to the Midwest and the West, the Cat Fanciers’ Association was founded in 1908, favor shifted from the Maine Coon to long-haired pedigreed cats, including the Persian and Angora.
The Maine Coon Cat, a large, broad chested cat with a long rectangular body with long flowing fur, was historically known as a working class cat. It can take on many coloration patterns. The males average around 12 to 15 pounds, with some going 20 pounds or more. The females are smaller, averaging 9 to 12 pounds.
The Maine Coon would remain in the background with cat fanciers for the next four decades, so much so that in the 1950′s, the Maine Coon was declared extinct. That was far from being the case. Maine Coon aficionados went to bat to bring the cat back to its original glory. It was not a fight that was easily won, taking over 20 years, to have the cat back onto the official Cat Fancier’ registries.The Maine Coon, America’s first indigenous show cat, was once again on top of its game.
What happened to make this cat, bigger than life, fall out of fancy with the Cat Fancier’s.
- In January 1878, a dozen of these down-east, working class heroes were listed in the program of a show held in Boston, MA.
- In the 1870′s cat shows were held in all the populace eastern cities, even as far west as Chicago, although not on a yearly basis. according to the Cat Fancier’s Association, http://www.cfa.org/Breeds/BreedsKthruR/MaineCoon/MCArticle.aspx,
- In May of 1985, The most famous and largest of the early shows was held at New York’s Madison Square Garden. A brown tabby female Maine Coon Cat named Cosey owned by Mrs. E. N. Barker, was the winner of the National Cat Show. How many Maine Coons that were entered in the show cannot easily be determined because they were classified with Persians and Angoras as “longhaired.” All cats were categorized first by hair length and then by sex.
- In 1897, 1898 and 1899, one of Mrs. E.R. Pierce’s brown tabby Maine Coon Cats, King Max, dominated this classic for three years, until defeated by his son Donald in 1900.
- In 1911, the Maine Coon had its last big recorded victory for over 40 years when a “long-haired blue Maine Cat” took first place in his class and best of show, out of an entry of 170 cats, at the Portland, Oregon show.
The road back to fancy.
- In the early 1950s, Alta Smith and Ruby Dyer formed the Central Maine Cat Club (CMCC) to end the Maine Coon’s slide into a regional oddity and to give impetus toward record keeping and showcasing for the breed. For the next 11 years the CMCC sponsored a combined cat show and exhibition of the photographs of cats. The club provided a means to call attention to all cats and the Maine Coon Cat in particular, and in doing so kept the image of the Maine Coon alive.
- By 1963, the CMCC shows outgrew the barn, the elementary school gym, the high school gym and every other workable large local meeting place. The organization became too large to continue its amateur status and the Central Maine Cat Club ceased to be.
- In 1968, the idea to create a universal Maine Coon Cat club whose purpose was to preserve and protect the breed came from Nancy Silsbee. The will and guidance to see the project through was supplied by Dr. and Mrs. Rod Ljostad. These early “movers and shakers” were completely dedicated to the concept of the Maine Coon Cat.
- During the first part of the 1970s the Maine Coon breeders requested and were denied provisional status.
- In 1969-70 the first attempt was made to bring the Maine Coon to provisional status. At the March 3, 1970 meeting, the board felt that they would be acting prematurely to accept the Maine Coon for provisional status. They wanted to determine if there were sufficient numbers being registered. Only 20 Maine Coons were registered at that time.
- In February, 1971, the board again denied provisional status.
- In 1973, the Maine Coon Cat Club was formed in 1973
- At the Spring 1974 meeting, Jean Rose announced that CFA now had a Maine Coon Cat breed club. The members stated that they had now fulfilled all the requirements for recognition of the Maine Coon Cat as a provisional breed: they had a standard, a breed club and 133 cats registered. Unfortunately, the timing for acceptance was off as per the existing rules; in addition, some board members thought the breed standard still needed clarification.
- As of May 1, 1975, the Maine Coon Cat was accepted for provisional status following a vote at the October 1974 board meeting.
- On May 1, 1976. America’s native American longhair was back on the show bench with championship status.
- In 1977, the Maine Coon proved they could compete, with Best of Breed going to CH Lybe Christa’s Katy, owned by Elizabeth H. Brouch.
- In 1977-78, GC Purebred’s Silent Stranger, a copper-eyed white male, owned by William and Ruth Patt, became CFA’s first Maine Coon grand champion and Best of Breed.
- 1978-1981, saw a few more Maine Coons achieving their grand championship status. Three Tufpaws female grand champions were the national breed winners in 1978-79, 1979-80, and 1980-81. They were GC Tufpaws Reuelette, GC Tufpaws Schnitzel of Zookatz, and GC Tufpaws Rosana Dana of Zookatz.
- The 1981-82 show season produced the first national winning Maine Coon, GC NW Tufpaws Rosette.
The Maine Coon has finally clawed its way back to the top.
Because the Maine Coon Cat has such an interesting history, Paws will be dedicating the next two posts to the Maine Coon, one about the folklore about where it came from, and the other talking about the Maine Coon Cat as Maine’s official state cat.
Why do you think the Maine Coon Cat fell onto the back burner when it comes to the Cat Fancier’s? Why do you think some die-heart Maine Coon supporters went to bat to bring the cat back to the stature it once had?