After I had moved out on my own, I decided I would (finally) get the cat I’d been wanting. So, on July 24, 2007, I went to the animal shelter. I spoke with one of the volunteers and indicated I would like a cat that could deal with dogs (in case of my dog coming over when my parents did). She looked at the papers and pointed me towards the cage that had a lazy but alert looking white and black cat in it.
He was four years old (born May 23, 2003), and got surrendered about two months earlier along with three others (siblings or just fellow cats in the household) when the child in the family developed asthma. The other three had been adopted out already, but Monet, as his name was, was still there. She opened the door of the cage and I met the cat, talked to it, petted it, and knew right away this was the one.
I brought him with me, and from the moment I opened the carrier and he stepped out into the living room, he was at home. He relaxed, he slept, and he explored the whole house.
I originally planned to call the cat Gibbs, but I was mostly okay with his given name so I added to it. And so he became Jethro Venantius Monet.
The first week we tried each other out. I learned what he did and didn’t like (and got the scratches to accentuate the notions) and he learnt what I did and did not approve of. He has, very clearly, a mind of his own and approaches the world on his terms. When you respect that, you get a lovebug who loves to be petted, or sleep in your lap. And when he is deeply asleep, he doesn’t mind what you put on top of him…
As time went on, his tendency to always want to be on top of things (and the higher, the better) changed his name from Monet, to Monkey, which suits him perfectly. He was, and still is, insatiably curious, and always ready for mischief or attitude. When he is involved in some activity, he is involved all the way. He sleeps deep, he stares far, he plays fast and he purrs hard 🙂
He loves being outside, and it’s always a vocal transition period when winter comes near and he can’t go outside as often or at all. Then, when spring is coming back and the door is slowly starting to be opened, he’ll come running when he hears it. Or demand, quite loudly, that I open the door for him.
Inside, he loves (like most cats) boxes. Put a box down, no matter what size, and he will get in it. He’s also my computer buddy. From sleeping beside my keyboard when I had a desktop computer, to sleeping in my lap now when I’m using my laptop, he will gladly lend me his warmth and purrs.
Monkey doesn’t usually have much use for other cats. He will mostly ignore them, and occasionally fight them off. When Nienke got her cat, it was mainly an ignore fest with an occasional sniff. As time went on, this grew to the sharing of the same space, but they never became really close.
Then, in 2011, I decided the time was right for a second cat. And in came Milo. At first, Monkey did the same: ignore him. Milo on the other paw was fairly interested in him, but also skittish. The longer Milo was here, the better the skittishness became and he would try to play with Monkey. This he did not understand at all. I don’t know if it’s because he maybe wasn’t raised with the other cats that I know he lived with, but he never really got playing with other cats.
But after about a year-and-a-half, something clicked. Not that he suddenly loved Milo, but he got a slightly better handle on playing. So the two would chase each other around the house, or have little slap fights. But it wasn’t until moving to our current house, that they started doing this regularly. And then, a few months after Murphy had died, I got Captain. And so far, about nine months in, Monkey isn’t his biggest fan. He ignores him, and doesn’t like being too close to him. It has gotten better, so I have hopes that in, say, another nine months, they might actually be playing 🙂