Friday, July 19, 2013

The Highlander (cat #7)

How many cats do you have to have to attain "Crazy Cat Lady" status?  Never mind, I know I passed that long ago.  I've even got the shirt to prove it.

Yes yes we now have SEVEN cats.  One of them is an outside-only cat. (like that makes it any better)  This time it was not my fault.  I have never blogged about the addition of Merlin, the Maine Coon rescue we got from a shelter via Petsmart.  I shall do that soon, since it's totally blog-worthy.  The reason I'm mentioning Merlin is that prior to his arrival, Marshall was a tiny bit resentful about having 5 inside cats.  Any time I wanted a new cat, I'd have to bargain with him that he could spend the same amount on camera gear.  What kind of figures are we talking about?  Well, I'm a purebreed cat snob, (Jackson Galaxy would never approve) and they tend to be on the expensive side, so Marshall got a pretty good deal every time I got a new cat, but he still wasn't happy about the amount of cats.  Then Merlin arrived.  Since it was a shelter, they brought him to our house and did a house inspection to make sure we weren't Satan worshipers, adopting the cat just to use him as a sacrifice.  Kidding... I don't know why they had to inspect our house.  They were here about an hour since we have two Sphynxes (who almost NEVER end up in shelters) and they wanted to play with our kitties.  Marshall spent the entire time locked up in the laundry room with Merlin.  I'm not exactly sure what happened in there... perhaps Merlin performed a love-spell, but when Marshall came out of the laundry room, those two had already claimed each other.  Now Marshall adores all of our kitties, especially his soulmate kitty Merlin.

We watch the "Too Cute",  "Cats101" and "My Cat From Hell" series on TV as a family.  One day there happened to be a segment on "Cats101" about this new breed called a "Highlander", which is a mix of a Desert Lynx breed and a Jungle Curl breed".  The naturally occurring traits are ears that are curled back, polydactyl feet (extra toes!) and a bob tail.  Since these traits are all naturally occurring, these cats are very healthy.  They are also among the most intelligent of the cat breeds and are known as the clowns of the cat world.  Perfect companion for a Sphynx!

Here's the short segment from that "Cats 101 episode".  Seriously, watch it.  It's just a few minutes long.

Marshall and I were immediately smitten with that kitten (ha) and agreed that when our older generation of cats start dying off (sorry Giles and Lupin), that our next cat would be a Highlander.  

Now normally, when we start talking about a new breed of cat we agree on, I immediately go online to find if there are any local breeders... then search for available kittens... fall in love and make some sort of deal with Marshall to get it right away.  But this time I didn't.  We had a pack (and they really are a pack) of 5 inside cats that got along perfectly, played, slept, & groomed each other.  The secret to harmony among a gaggle (herd? infestation?) of cats is to only have ONE female!  Unless of course if you end up with one of those 'My Cat From Hell' kitties.  

A few months later I realized I never did what I usually do and I said to Marshall, "Isn't it funny how I never did look up Highlander breeders online like I used to do whenever we agreed on a breed?"  Marshall's response to this was to start looking up Highlander breeds on HIS computer and look at available kittens.  He showed me kittens and I said, "No, we have enough cats for now." Uh... hello role reversal, where did you come from?

Then Marshall whispered, "If you asked for a Highlander kitten, I wouldn't say no."  I replied to him, "We have ENOUGH cats." (still couldn't believe I was saying that!)  He repeated, "I wouldn't say no..."  I ignored him.  Then he found a picture of the cutest Highlander kitten, screencapped the picture and emailed it to me.  I ignored that.  The next day, as soon as we were sitting next to each other, he pulled the picture of the kitten up on his computer and started nudging me.  Then it turned to nagging.  Seriously.  Marshall, nagging ME to get another cat.  What on earth was going on in our house?  Was the earth shifting off its axis?  Was it opposite day?  I took a big "sigh" and said to Haven, "If we get a new kitten, are you going to promise to scoop his litter daily like you do with the other 5?"  Haven said, "YES!".  So I relented.

Marshall and I looked at local breeder websites and available kittens and found this cute little 4 day old kitten.  Since there is a small percentage of this breed that do not have the curled ears or polydactyl paws or bob tails, I sent an email to the breeder, asking if this particular 4 day old kitten had all these things.  When she replied that he did, we immediately put a down payment on him.  Obviously we had to wait a few months before he would be old enough to come home with us.  

Fast forward to the end of May.  We drove to Norco, CA to pick up our new kitten.  We had never even heard of this town before.  This town is a horse town.  Not a one horse town.  A sh*t-ton of horses town.  And when I say it's a horse town, I say that there were as many people on horses getting around town as there were cars. (At red lights and parking lots!)  It was INSANE.  We NEED to go back and attend a Rodeo or one of their town parades.  Here are some pics I snapped there...

Seriously, I had never seen anything like it! I'm not kidding about wanting to go back. 
Must. Go. To. Rodeo. In. Norco.

So we drove to the breeder's house and she brought out this little cutie for us.

(Don't be alarmed by Ironman.  That's for another post, oh yes I promise there will be an Ironman post)

Since I'm the Mom (and Daddy was driving), I got to hold the kitten on the way home. ("No kids, you can't hold him, he's MINE!!!") 
Our new kitten was like this the hour and 1/2 drive home.

Since he needed stay separated by the other cats for a while, we set him up in another bedroom.  I spent the entire day with him in there, to help him attach to me and feel comfortable in the room.  He spent a lot of the time sleeping. 

And some time playing.

And he was perfectly at home in his new house.  Of course we found him a purple house. 

The next morning, it was safe to say the Cat Pack was well aware there was a new resident member of the family.  Since he was so tiny, we took weeks and weeks before we introduced him to the pack.

Since he's in the front bedroom, this is what we have to look at as we're leaving the house.  Guilt by tiny, adorable kitteh.  
Do you have ANY idea how hard it is to resist this kind of guilt?

 Often we'd let him out while the kitties were in their bedroom. (yes, the cats have their own bedroom. I may be the crazy cat lady, but I'm not sharing my bed with 6 cats!)  He loved to snuggle on me and fall asleep.

Now he's fully integrated into the Cat Pack.  Other than a little hissing from some of the members (and no hissing from others), he was accepted without incident. Not even a single smack on the head from one of the cats.  He's just one of the gang now.  Look at his mittens!!!

 Also, one little tip:  To avoid the appearance of shedding, it's best to get pets that match your furniture. Just saying.  

So what did we name him?  Well, he IS "The Highlander".  

So of course we named him "Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod".  And for short, we call him, "Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod".  And he IS the only one. (at our house) anyway. Can't have him whipping out a katana sword and slicing off the heads of any other Highlander kitties on our watch.  If you plan on coming for a visit, don't even think about calling him a shorter version of his name.  If you do not refer to him by his full name, your holding/petting privileges will be revoked. 

Thank you to American Exotic Cats for providing us with Duncan MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod!

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  1. What an adorable story....very cute cat also.

  2. Although I already knew most of this story, it was still fun to read it.

    And I just have to say, I love that Waldo shirt you're wearing in one of the pics. Can we/I see a picture of the whole shirt?

    1. Oh sure Jeff. You are only really missing the very top of the location tag. Otherwise that's the whole shirt. I love it. It's one of the shirts that are available for 24 hours.

    2. I think that a man whispering, "if you asked me for a _____ kitten i wouldn't say no" is possibly one of the most romantic things ever!! #alsoacrazycatlady

  3. What breeder did you use. Every breeder that I have found have kittens with docked tails, straight ears, and non - poly feet