Little Boys and Strays

 

“Nana, we need a Chihuahua. He could be a friend for Toby.” Translation . . . “I want something small and playful and cuddly.” And I really did ‘get it’. Sis, the chocolate Labrador is huge, clumsy and doesn’t listen. Her idea of play is to knock you down then walk on you. Toby, the Jack Russell, belongs to one person and regards the rest of us as his minions who must be tolerated. He does condescend to play with nine year old Wade but always on his terms and his timeline. Cuddle, not so much.

Mama didn’t necessarily agree that the place needed another dog of any size or personality. A barn cat, however, has long been needed. The last two left us and that isn’t a euphemism for death. They found a place they liked better, returning now and again – fat and healthy – to check on us. They were clearly content with their new abode as they came less and less often and then not at all.

My first glimpse of Kit Kat was a picture posted on social media captioned “Wade’s surprise”.  A cream colored stray picked up from a local vet, healthy but in need of a few fattening meals and looking quite content in my grandson’s arms.  Home from work, seeing her ‘in person’ for the first time, I could only laugh. She was a stray for sure and a blend of colors. Under the cream are a few barely visible splashes of palest tabby yellow. The black ears and tail, though softened to silver and gray, are quite definitely the trademark of a Siamese in the mix.

Wade's Surprise

I wasn’t laughing at her looks because she is really quite beautiful. I laughed because Siamese have always been the one breed of cat I’ve avoided. Who doesn’t recall the infamous twins from “Lady and the Tramp” singing superciliously ‘We are Siamese, if you please. We are Siamese, if you don’t please.’ And that, quite frankly is how I’ve always viewed them. As arrogant, disdainful and, perhaps, a little bit mean. The few that I encountered as a child, always yowled loudly which only added to my notion of a less than pleasant personality.

But Kit Kat’s arrival spurred me to some research. I expected to find intelligent listed as one of their traits but I also found them touted as good-natured, affectionate, inquisitive, energetic, and fun-loving. Those are pretty appealing characteristics! Even more surprising for me, they have also been proven to develop strong bonds with their humans, with those affections extending to other animals within the home. They’re purportedly very good at self-taught tricks so we shall see what Kit Kat devises for her entertainment and ours.

I also found territorial and opinionated and the fact that they’re best avoided when in a bad mood. Hmmm….. We shall hope her moods stay on the sunny side.

I did find reference to that yowl in most articles. Siamese it seems are vocal and communicative and use their voice to train their humans. Like the Siamese encountered in my childhood, Kit Kat has a very loud voice for such a very small kitten. And, according to one article – as her humans – we must now begin to figure out what she wants us to do. As I’m sure we shall.

Kit Kat