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Dagny

My Cat From Hell

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I wonder how Jackson is doing with the 22 lb cat that didn't like having its tail pulled or being kicked.

Edited by Lisin · Reason: Moved to general discussion

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I wonder how Jackson is doing with the 22 lb cat that didn't like having its tail pulled or being kicked.

Or being stalked into the kitchen when he was trying to escape.

I don't always watch this show, because the dramatic pauses have become almost as annoying to me as the clueless owners, but I'll probably tune in for that one to see if those people are actually as stupid as I think they are.

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The cats are the stars of the show for me!  I hope they shake up the format.  I'd like to see Jackson working more with the cats, and less producer-driven "drama."

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Okay, just for the record I am kind of confused.  I am the poster who requested a thread for the show - and then that thread became the "personal life discussion thread" and and I had to look around to find this thread which would be devoted to discussing the actual television  show which is what I was requesting.  Did I phrase my request poorly? 

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Throughout PTV, "Small Talk" threads are for personal discussion, if I understand correctly, and the "General Discussion" threads are for non-episode-specific but show-related discussion. So I would consider your request to have been met. We'll undoubtedly have episode threads when it makes sense to do so. I imagine we could also give Jackson his very own thread, which might encompass his activities outside the show (if that's permissible).

Edited by Bella

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I think your request was considered a request to open a forum for the show.  But we can all start any threads we want once the forum is opened.  Every new forum has a Small Talk thread for off-topic discussions that aren't about the show - seems like it's the first thread started once a forum is opened.

Edited by izabella

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Yes, you've got that right! Small Talk is for off-topic stuff (a "get to know your fellow posters" sort of thing). A thread like this one would be for show discussion in general, and you can start episode threads, a Jackson thread, a media thread (for discussion of articles about the show), or whatever else you want at any time. This isn't like TWoP where all show discussion takes place in one super-long thread.

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The cats are the stars of the show for me!  I hope they shake up the format.  I'd like to see Jackson working more with the cats, and less producer-driven "drama."

Seconded. I've hated that they've added that stupid little pause between Jackson's questions and the cat owners' answers that's meant to heighten the drama but just looks contrived.

And it would be nice if they could cover more situations than "His/her cat is driving me crazy and if you don't fix it I'm moving out!" That's gotten old.

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So many of the owners on this show are just too annoying and I end up just feeling sorry for the cats and wanting to take them home with me.

The woman on the ep I saw this weekend who started off with "I have a cat named Princess Puffypants..." I wanted Jackson to just walk in and go, "...aaaaand there's your problem."

Edited by Iseut
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I've watched several seasons of this show and look forward to the new episodes. I too hope the producers and Jackson have made the show better, and gotten away from the dramatic pauses which are annoying.

Jackson: "Has Mr. Skankyfuzz started eating from his dish again."

>----long pause----<

Clueless Couple: "... Yes. He's eating from his dish."

Some of the people on this show don't seem like cat people at all. For some of the problems, I'd think an experienced cat person would know what to do. I don't mean all of the situations, but some. The couple who introduced a rhodesian ridgeback puppy into their home comes to mind. They had some behavioral problems with their cat and thought a rambunctious puppy would some how help. WTF? Seriously, how did they think THAT would help? It seemed more like they were trying a tough love tactic with a cat. If you don't stop crying, I'll really give you something to cry about! A puppy that's soon going to be a BIG DOG.

I kind of wish they'd give us updates on some of the cats and owners. I particularly liked the story of Ally and Cally. I forgot her age, but that sweet lady was in her late 80's I think. She wanted a companion animal and had so much love and affection to give a pet, but her cat was biting and scratching her. I'd like to know how they are doing now.

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Yeah, I hate the "dramatic" pauses too and hope that is scaled back.  I'm looking forward to the new season though I wonder what this season's focus will be.  They always seemed to do kind of season-long themes - season one was cats that wouldn't use the litter box, season two was more about aggression.

Edited by ratgirlagogo

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Have you imagined Jackson paying a visit to your home, if just to tell you what a great cat owner you are?

 

This may be somewhat redundant with the Small Talk thread, but since we can post photos on PTV, I thought I'd start this thread so we can keep the pictures here.

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Jackson Galaxy is in Austin, Texas, to help a professional skydiver with two high-flying Savannah cats, Morello and Darwin; a couple's Maine coon cat, Wolfie, is pooping all over the house and covering it up with their stuff.

 

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Jackson would love my cats. They're six-year-old sisters that I adopted from the shelter as kittens. They've never bitten or scratched anyone, even as kittens. If they're angry about something, they yowl, but never act out. Clipping claws is a breeze. They love belly rubs. They're not afraid of people or dogs. They sit on command, and they used to be trained to go into the porch every night with their cat tree, litter box, food and water, and to rest quietly until morning. They never door-dash. The only annoying thing they do is yowl in the car all the way to the vet's.

 

Here they are with one of my dogs (I posted these pics in the pet pics thread in the Everything Else forum a while back, too):

 

crystalkittiesarmchair.jpg

 

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Their mom looked just like the classic tabby girl, and they had two identical brothers as well.

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As an adult, I've had 6 cats. My current 2 would be worthy of a long talk with Jackson. They were born into a feral colony and rescued as kittens. The people feeding the ferals noticed that two females gave birth around the same time, called in Alley Cat Allies, and did this massive scoop-up of all of the cats. The adults were neutered and released, and the 10 (!) kittens from 2 litters were taken to a foster home to be cared for until they could be adopted. The kittens were all about 5-7 weeks old.

 

Skipping a huge story, these cats were subsequently socialized to humans, some more than others. Mostly, they were around other feral kittens in this woman's home! Five were adopted out pretty quickly, leaving another 5 that continued to be mostly around each other.

 

We adopted Paris and Sasha at about the 1 year mark. Paris was the shyest of the 10 kittens, and Sasha was one of the friendliest. They were a bonded pair, and it has been a long, crazy 3 1/2 years since we adopted them. Sasha became a pet pretty quickly, within a few weeks, but Paris is still skittish at times. I'd say he's okay with me about 80% of the time and DH about half the time. We make a tiny bit of progress every day, though. 


Cranberry, I love your cats!

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With DH at a baseball game tonight, I went out to dinner with a good friend who told me that she used to work with Jackson's mom. Minimal gossip, but here's what I picked up.

 

It should surprise no one that "Galaxy" is not his family name, though it is his legal name because he changed it. His mother works at Temple Beth-El/Emanu-El on New York City's upper east side. She's really nice and always asks about my friend's cat. She likes cats herself. When Jackson's show was piloted, she was really worried about whether Animal Planet would pick it up as a full series and was relieved and excited when they did.

 

Like I said, not much, but there you have it.

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I have two kitties, Figaro and Floyd. Figaro is a twelve-year-old grey tuxedo cat who is the sweetest boy you will ever meet. He follows you everywhere, cuddles, sleeps with you, and we've never had any sort of issue with him except for his thyroid. He came to our home when he was about six months old, pawing at the back door to be let in on a cold night in October. He somehow knew he belonged in our house. I never had a cat before him, but I fell in love with him as soon as I laid eyes on him. Floyd is something else. He is an almost two-year-old tabby, and he was found by my mom's brother's ex-girlfriend. She brought in a momma kitty and her babies, and he was just the cutest little shit. We brought him home and he bonded with Figaro immediately. He sort of likes people sometimes, but is still pretty skittish. He is sweet sometimes, when Figaro is not around, but I think that he feels that he either needs to act tough around Figaro, or doesn't want to make Figaro feel like he is taking all of our attention away. (Figaro is very possessive of us.) He's breathed a new life into Figaro though, and I thank him so much for that. I can't imagine a life without kitties now! I was always a bunny person before, but now I am a cat/bunny person.

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Maddie is remarkably well trained, as was my late Baxter (they were adopted from a shelter 13 years ago, Baxter at just six months old and Maddie at probably around three years, both having been turned in as strays).  People think I'm some sort of cat whisperer, but I'm convinced I just got lucky; although these were the first who were only mine, I had family cats all my life and co-parented a roommate's cats when I was first starting out, and none of them were quite so easy to manage.  Certainly being able to let cats outside and know they'll either stay in the backyard or venture no more than one house away and immediately return if I simply call out, "Come back here, please" was NOT the norm in the past.  My next two will probably be holy terrors.

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Gah. I hated both sets of cat owners.

 

The skydiver guy was, IMO, the worst kind of idiot pet owner - someone who just wants a status-enhancing pet with no regard to the fact that these are living, breathing, thinking beings with their own needs. He didn't appear to have any affection for his cats and just wanted them to be less annoying and for them to stop messing with his other expensive stuff. Granted, having a half-wild, bored cat gnawing on your parachute cords is a bad thing, but what did he expect when the parachute was probably the most interesting thing in that whole stainless steel palace? And the really, really wild girl cat - I'll bet "socialized" wasn't on the list of traits the owner asked for when he bought her. Poor cats - I almost hope they sneak up on him one night and eat his face off, but that would get them destroyed.

 

And don't get me started on that grinning fool woman who was not-so-secretly delighted that her Maine Coon was crapping all over the house. She even stated up front that she identified with the cat and its behavior. If squatting and dumping on the living room floor is what she wants to do, why let the cat have all the fun?

 

I'm sorry that I expressed a wish a little while ago that this season would change up the "Fix the cat or I'm moving out!" situations. Jerk owners are not an improvement.

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The formula was old before they started but I put up with it because I thought the owners were really in a spot.  And I have learned from the series how to deal with my own cats -- the answers seem to be "territorial marking is probably caused by a wild animal outside" and "give them plenty of exercise."

 

Righteo, then.

 

Now the formula is so nigh-on-unbearable that even Jackson's charisma and joviality can't override it.  (Talk about bad owners, I agree with you, but remember that sadist with her husband's 25 year old ginger cat?  Jesus.  She's hard to top.)

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ITA about the skydiver guy. He didn't seem loving toward his cats. Just liked them because they were more exotic than a regular house cat since a tiger in the house would be illegal. His home was modern stainless steel. The cats didn't have anything to play with other than his parachute. During the end of the episode, I did see a cat tree shoved in the corner, but it didn't look that interesting for these 2 cats.

 

25 year old ginger cat?

 

 

Would that be Pump? I LOVED that cat! What a sweetie. The owner needed to be fixed during that episode more than the cat.

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I got one look at someone keeping a wild animal because they happen to live in one of the few states that doesn't prohibit such a thing and changed the channel.  I usually wind up yelling at the owners in any given episode - seriously, do these people learn anything about cats before deciding to get one? - so I figured this one was more than my blood pressure needed to endure.

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I was surprised Wolfie was pooping all over the house but not peeing everywhere. Is that the first time we've had a pooper instead of a peeing problem? I wanted to know why, but maybe it really was just that the woman's wish fulfillment was to poop and the cat was doing it for her. I also wondered if the woman was just saying it was her fantasy to act out as a way of telling her husband that she loved the cat more than she loved him, or that she was feeling squelched by him. I noticed that during the talking heads the man did all the talking, and the woman mostly just sat there being blamed.

 

It's weird to me that someone like parachute guy has cats he says are ruining his life but doesn't do anything about it. I mean, yeah, lock the parachutes away for godsake. And if you know enough to apply to be on the sow, it should imply you've seen the show and know the cats probably need exercise and things to do and places to be. Or do they recruit people somehow who have never heard of or seen the show before? I suppose that's possible.

 

I never knew you could just go somewhere open to the public for a shot at simulated flying. That did seem like a cool experiment. I laughed, though, when Jackson declined to actually skydive and all we got was footage of him waiting in the field watching..

 

I would like to know why he uses his hands instead of a toy (or his glasses) when greeting cats for the first time. I suppose it's more dramatic to show him being beaten up, but isn't it better to show viewers a safer way to approach a panicked or angry cat?

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I'm hoping for more stories about cats who don't like each other (or cats who just don't like other cats in general) learning to become friends. I've found that to be the hardest thing about having cats-- sometimes they don't take well to a new cat in the family and I know the usual stuff about "introduce them slowly" and "get them accustomed to each others' scents by trading rooms" and "don't make the old cat feel displaced by the new one" but in my experience, it's still the most challenging thing about having cats. I want to be able to take fosters without having a continual stress situation for long term residents, and if there are any tips I don't already know, I'd like to see them.

 

I also wish the show would be honest about how much time is passing and what exactly the people are doing in the meanwhile. The show glosses over so much of the process, in order to save time and insert meaningless dramatic pauses; I think they would be more effective and more interesting to watch if we got to see the situation evolving rather than just being told: "voila! It worked!"

 

I also wish Jackson would publish a book about cats and cat care. Almost none of the many cat books on the market are any good, in my opinion. There are lots of smart books about dogs, but most of the cat books I've read just seem to  be kind of useless. I actually wrote to a dog behaviorist asking what she recommended for cats, and she wrote back saying: not much out there is very good-- which validated but also disappointed me!

Edited by possibilities
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His autobiography is pretty good, but I don't remember reading much about childhood pets. (His mom has at least one cat now.) He was living in Colorado when he became a hard-core cat person.

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Possibilities, I am very fond of Pam Johnson-Bennett's books. Here's her website: http://www.catbehaviorassociates.com/

She is based in Nashville, TN, but has a show very much like My Cat from Hell that broadcasts in the UK. I find her overly optimistic, as all of these feline behaviorists are, but I also find her to be more realistic than most, and I like her advice and insight. I can't think of an area where she diverges significantly from Jackson Galaxy.

 

I would like to see a cat care book from him, though. He and his collaborator wrote extremely well when they did his bio. I went onto Amazon to verify that he did in fact have a co-writer (because it's too much trouble to go downstairs and look at the actual book in my house) and found this: http://www.amazon.com/Catification-Designing-Happy-Stylish-Home-ebook/dp/B00INIXQKW/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398641398&sr=1-3&keywords=jackson+galaxy

Yes, he and that woman he has on to do cat environments have written a book together about design. That's probably a real need in addition to the more standard behavior advice. 

 

Cat introductions are a bitch. I've never managed it. It's another reason to get bonded pairs from a rescue group - pairs can be hard to place, and no one wants to break them up. Plus, it's cute that they already love each other.

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Yeah, the bare-hand thing is weird, and I hate it. I was doing feline rescue for a while and had to handle a cat who didn't want to be picked up. When I was at my doctor's office that afternoon waiting to see the PA and get antibiotics following the cat attack, I counted 41 bite and puncture wounds, mostly on my right hand and most of those on my palm. I switched to using leather gloves after that and it didn't make any difference to the cats.

 

I'm behind on watching this episode, but I did get through the first half. Observations I've not seen above:

  • We have the same quilt as Jacques. Same color. It's a great all-weather quilt.
  • I sort of liked his decor otherwise, too, but it certainly wasn't cat-friendly.
  • Loved what Kate did with the cat-ification.
  • I also love Jackson's beard flying up over his mouth when he was weightless.
  • This seemed a bit less structured and stiff than much of what the show had in previous seasons, but I haven't watched the second half yet.

 

I wish they'd send him into some normal cat owners' homes and address more pedestrian issues that we face now and then. Cats that run under the bed when company comes. Cats that rush the door. Cats that wake up their owners an hour before the alarm goes off (I have my own theory about this, but I want to see what he says). Long-haired cats that aren't crazy about being brushed. Calming cats that are moving to a new home. Etc., etc., etc.

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and having his knotties cut out and who has developed mats around his butt without doing something that triggers the dreaded toxic cat fart.

 

This made me laugh! Yeah, Jackson! I can't tell you how many times I've left my parachute just lying there next to the couch and the cats go after it. LOL How about showing a problem we can relate to?

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I just watched the second half of this episode. IMHO, Bijan should have let Heather go and take the cat with her. She was ridiculous!

 

Btw, here is one of our cat trees - complete with cat - in the transition area between the dining area and living room. No need for anything fancy:

NB2TuZvl.jpg

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How about talking about helping cats travel in the car? I've had cats who were car-ok and cats who weren't, and I know someone who taught her cat to be okay with the car, but it's a common problem average cat people have, not reserved only for people who have no clue. More cat-savvy people probably already have our methods, but this show could reach a lot of people who aren't idiots but could use some tips.

 

Maybe we should start a thread for making a "show wishlist."

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This is China, my 9.5 year old Siamese mix.  I adopted her from a coworker shortly after losing my first cat, Mittens.  As the picture shows, she's always trying to get up on the computer desk(although I now have a smaller desk that has no room for her; I had to put a small table next to it just for her--so spoiled :) ), so I call her Cyber-Cat.

 

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And here is Pumpkin, who I unfortunately had to say goodbye to in February at age 13.5(sorry for the crappy cell-phone pic):

 

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Edited by smittykins
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Great idea for a thread, Possibilities.

 

Chattygal, Paris is about 12 pounds. The vet says he's "very muscular" and he's a good jumper. He's also only 4.5 years old. We get the Armakat brand of cat trees, which are quite reasonably priced, though you have to assemble them yourself. They have lots of models, and some do have stairs or multiple levels for cats that don't jump well. We find that wayfair.com and Amazon have significantly lower prices than the Armakat site itself, but here it is just so you can see what they have. http://www.armarkat.com/

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Pam Johnson-Bennett is the one author the dog expert I wrote to said she liked. I also like the IAABC cat blog. They don't post a lot, but now and then they put out something and it's always intelligent: http://iaabc.org/index.php . I will look forward to the Catification book by Jackson and his associate. It looks like it doesn't come out in paperback til October; thanks for pointing it out-- I didn't know about it and it does look good.

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Thanks, Bella.  It was especially hard since my husband(who passed in 2005)and I adopted her from the shelter, and she was kind of my last link to him.

 

(PS:  I apologize for being a Debbie Downer.)

Edited by smittykins
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Oh, cute kitties! This my little Bubba. She's a girl with a boy's name (long story). She's a former barn cat who was the runt of her litter. She's still tiny at age 14, only about 6 pounds. Her mother was a beautiful calico and her father was a "tiger" who wandered through the barnyard (I think). She's pretty antisocial as barn cats and calicos tend to be. She loves me and follows me everywhere. She just doesn't like anyone else. But she's my little buddy.

 

qs2FHQW.jpg

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These are in the Post Your Pet Pics topic, too, but here are my two watching "cat TV", aka the squirrel on the patio.

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Lucy:

 

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And Swiffer, who can be angelic AND a little hellion:

 

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I wonder it hurts him to walk on those toes. That's a task for Jackson-- find ways for cats with disabilities to exercise. He had that one cat with cerebellar hyperplasia, but even lesser injuries could slow a cat down.

 

I love elaborate cat trees. I wish human furniture was as fun a cat furniture. I have had very old cats (19+ years) who can't jump, and would need stairs or a ramp (even to get into bed, nevermind climb a tree).

 

I guess couch potato cats don't get into as much trouble as cats with a lot of energy, so those people don't apply for help from the show.

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How to put a cat in the cat carrier when she would rather stay home.

How to cut off the matted hair without bleeding from the cat taking offense.

How to brush a long hair cat that doesn't want it.

Another way to trim the cat's claws that doesn't end with a blood transfusion.

How to train the cat when it only likes dry cat food and nothing else. No fish, no chicken, nothing.

How to keep the cat from bolting out the door.

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I have two tuxedos that hat strangers. One is gun shy even after people leave, the other one comes out the moment the door shuts. Both have trained me to turn on the bathtub faucet so they can drink out of the tap.  They love belly rubs and put up with me smothering them for 30 seconds of love. Neither one lets me brush them, sucks cuz both are long hair.  Skinny lets me manhandle her to trim her claws, but Fluff takes to prisoners.

 

It still wigs me out that they like their belly rubbed.  I just keep having to remind myself that other cats can & will light me up.

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I know he's a behaviorist rather than a nutritionist, but since cats who eat healthier generally are healthier - and thus feel better and behave better - I'd love to see diet addressed.  So much cat food on the market is inappropriate for obligate carnivores, and the owners buying it aren't just cheapskates who don't care -- a whole lot of them are people who simply don't know any better.  And it's not as if they're getting much helpful advice from their vets, most of whom know little about nutrition.  I'd love to hear even a simple overview of the need for high protein/moderate fat/very low carb composition, quality (e.g. no by-products or fillers) and species appropriate (e.g. meat protein, not plant protein, no wheat, corn or soy) ingredients and adequate water intake.  Tips on how to make a gradual transition from one food to another - especially for a kibble-addicted kitty who is reluctant to eat canned food - would be useful, too.

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I've actually only had one cat in my life - a wild stray who became admirably domesticated - who didn't like belly rubs, so I always have to check myself before petting other people's kitties on the belly.

 

Baxter liked visitors, but he didn't appreciate when they stayed past the time he felt I should be in bed with him.  He'd come appear in the doorway with a glare on his face that cracked everyone up, so it wasn't terribly effective, but it sure was cute.  Some have been less sociable, but none truly hid when people came over.  The late, great Bailey ran down the hall and took refuge on the master bedroom dresser every single time the FedEx or UPS truck went by, though.  So odd.

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