Doesn’t like other cats

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We found out quickly Tripps really didn’t like other cats. What I didn’t realize was this extended to all other animals.

I have a love seat in front of a picture window. That is Tripps’ spot. When Tripps first arrived we had heavy curtains blocking his view. The day we were changing the curtains, we moved the furniture away from the window. As we moved back to see how the new sheer curtains looked, a huge pigeon landed on the bird feeder hanging outside the window. Before we could do anything Tripps rocketed from across the room, using the back of the love seat launched himself into the window. We were so shocked. After ensuring Tripps was alright, we began to laugh so hard. An inspection of the window confirmed it hadn’t broken. The force of his attack was so fierce I expected the window to have cracked.

Tripps in "His Spot"

Tripps loves having a view of the outside. He lays there endlessly surveying his property. He has learned to tolerate the birds that visit the feeder. He still gets upset about the pigeons, his tail twitches whenever they land.

I spy with my little eye......

It is his response when a stray cat wanders down the street that is unnerving. He will be sitting quietly, until he spots another cat. His tail will start to twitch, as the stray gets closer to the house, the twitches become faster. If his adversary walks on the sidewalk in front of our house, a low-pitched growl emerges from deep within him. Tripps was a very quiet cat, he rarely meowed. The first time I heard this intimidating growl I was unnerved. I knew he was focused on something outside, so I tried to look out the window to see what was upsetting him. I couldn’t see anything. It wasn’t until I went outside that I saw the other cat.

 Our neighbours got a dog Tripps’ first spring with me. Phyllis is a very friendly German Shepard. When she is outside Tripps watches her constantly. Tripps has learned to accepts that Phyllis will sometimes be on our sidewalk and in the yard. But he draws the line at Phyllis getting up on our porch. Tripps definitely doesn’t like Phyllis looking in the window, he will growl and bat at Phyllis’ nose. Thank God for the window. Phyllis has a cat at her house and doesn’t realize Tripps is not kidding.

My older son, who has his own place, got a dog. Teagan is a setter mix. He is also dumber than paste. When Teagan visits we must lock Tripps in the back room. One day I came home my son and Teagan were here. Tripps had been locked in the back room. My son went upstairs to see his brother. As I sat in the living room, I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye. Tripps had gotten out. He had slowly walked into the living room, staying close to the walls. I grabbed Teagan by the collar. Thats when Teagan saw Tripps. Teagan began pulling to get to Tripps. I held tight. That’s when I heard the now familiar growl. Tripps began to approach slowly and steadily. I yelled for my son to help. He ran downstairs to see what was going on. I put myself between the animals. My son was shocked at the sounds coming from Tripps. He was afraid to pick him up and put him in the back room. Teagan was still trying to see the cat, unaware that playing was the last thing on Tripps’ mind. My son took charge of Teagan, I put Tripps into my room.

Teagan

I am convinced Tripps had been stalking Teagan. I know if I hadn’t been there Teagan would have been seriously injured. I tell people Tripps doesn’t play well with others, he plays for keeps.

We have a rule in our house, “We don’t bring our cat to your home, don’t bring your pet to ours!”

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Tripps joins the family

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I brought the cat I had chosen to the front desk. The woman at the desk checked his history on the computer. In a very bubbly voice told me I had picked a male, who was over six months old. These were things I already knew. We were told his name was “Niege” (French for snow), but we could change his name if we wanted.

After a few minutes of looking at his file, I noticed a frown settle on her face. I started to panic. What if I couldn’t have him. In a serious voice she asked if there were any other cats in the home. I said there were not. Next she asked if we were planning on getting any other cats in the future. Hubby adamantly told her, one cat was all we were getting. A look of relief crossed her face. She told us this particular cat “didn’t get along” with other cats, male or female, younger or older. She told us we wouldn’t have been able to adopt him if we had another cat at the house. If we wanted him, I had to sign an agreement saying no other cat would be brought into the home. After we signed the agreement, she seemed to relax. I asked her if my cat had been adopted before and returned to the shelter. She hesitated. I assured her my mind was made up and the papers had been signed, I was just curious. She told me that was exactly what had happened. I think I fell in love with him even more when I heard that.

Could you help find my halo?

I knew I was going to change his name. A new start, a new life, with a new name. Many names were suggested by the family members. None of them seemed to fit.

The first few days I watched the cat investigate every nook and cranny in the house. He would disappear for hours. I would go look for him and not find him. Usually as I made my way back downstairs after an unsuccesful search, he would appear to race me down the stairs.

The cat was definitely a creature of habit. Every morning as soon as I get downstairs, I put the kettle on for instant coffee. After I put the stuff in my cup, I feed and put fresh water in the cat’s dish. One morning about five days into this routine, I put the kettle on and looked at his bowl it was still half full. Good enough I thought, he can wait a minute or two while I take the garbage outside for pick up. As I picked the garbage bag up, I turned to walk. The next thing I knew I was grasping for air trying to keep my balance. I’m not sure how I stayed upright, but I did. I continued outside with the garbage. When I got back inside, I walked to the kitchen sink to wash my hands. The cat came out of nowhere and ran straight for my feet. I would like to say that falling into the counter woke me up, but I’m not a morning person. I washed my hands and set about fixing my coffee. The walk into the living room was interrupted by a cat flying at my feet again. For the next few hours anytime I walked a cat was under my feet. He never hindered anyone elses movement as they prepared to get ready to leave the house. When everyone was gone, I went upstairs to get the laundry basket. As I was coming down the stairs the cat launched himself from the top of the stairs, ran in front of me also knocking me over.

Yup that’s when I woke up. OOOPS!! I forgot to feed the cat. After I fed the cat the rest of my day was uneventful.

Life is good!

When Hubby got home from work I told him the cat has a name. Tripps.

Our first meeting

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At the SPCA there are many different types of animals to choose from. I knew what I wanted. I went straight to the cats.

There was a chorus of meows as I entered to room.  There were sooooo many cats. Most were kittens, although there were a few older cats as well. Most of the kittens were playing. They all had on their “pick me” face. 

I went to the first cage in front of me. I stuck my fingers through the bars of the cage and wiggled my fingers. A black and gray tiger-striped kitten immediately began a playful dance as she tried to tag my fingers.

I felt overwhelmed, how could I possibly choose.

I knew I could not bring them all home, but for a minute I actually considered it. I imagined opening all the cages and freeing the captives. I pictured the chaos. Cats running everywhere. I saw myself scurrying trying to catch them all. I envisioned my dumbstruck hubby standing at the door with his mouth agape. The thought of his panic made me chuckle. I must have laughed aloud, as my hubby asked me if this one was “the one” ? I didn’t dare tell him about my momentary fantasy. He would have hustled me out of the building so fast my feet wouldn’t have touched the tiles.

It was a huge compromise for hubby to support the idea of one cat moving into the house. My hubby says, “It’s not that I don’t like animals. I do. It’s just that I don’t like pets.” 

I moved into the center of the room. To ensure I wouldn’t be tempted to bring my fantasy to actuality.

I again tried to decide how I could choose. I slowly looked around the room.Thats when I saw him. A large white cat. He sat there staring at me. I sensed he was reading my mind. His posture seemed to dare me. I walked slowly over to his cage, talking quietly as I approached. He didn’t move a muscle. He just sat there watching me. I was within inches of his cage. I felt him pull me to him. I did a quick assessment of him. He appeared to be an albino. He was definitely not a kitten. He was at least a year old, maybe older. We continued to stare at each other.

I brought my hand up to the clasp on his cage. He still hadn’t moved. I had to break the stare to manipulate the fastener. Even as I fumbled to open the cage he sat statue straight. Speaking softly, I reached in. As I touched him he gave a slight shiver.

My heart immediately said “mine”.

Hubby’s dilemma

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Most of the cats that have shared my home, have been strays that were given to me or kittens born wild.

H.Armstrong

Let me tell you how Tripps came to live in my home. Just before Christmas 2006 I was sitting with my hubby (Ron). He was very quiet. I asked him what was wrong? He told me it was a Christmas thing. So I dropped the issue.

He continued to pout for an hour or so. Finally he said to me, “Its ruined anyway so I might as well tell you.” He proceeded to tell me his tale of woe.

He had gone to the local SPCA to get me a cat. He had picked out a cute little kitten named, Mikey.

 As Ron was filling out the paper work he conversationally told the staff at the SPCA, that Mikey would be the perfect Christmas gift for me.

That’s when the brakes were applied to his plan. The staff explained their policy states, “A pet can not be adopted as a gift. If the pet is for her, she must be here to agree with your choice.”

Ron was so disappointed. His wonderful, unique gift would not be a surprise.

I have to admit, I felt sorry for my very sad hubby. Unfortunately I could not contain my mirth. By the time he had finished his story, I was laughing so hard, I was crying.

Ron stared at me in confusion. “What is so funny?”

It took a few minutes before I could explain.

This is what I managed to say between chortles, ” I feel soooo bad for you.  apparently you must be very pathetic, if you can’t even buy pu**y in (insert city name ), unless I am there.”

A few weeks after Christmas we went to the SPCA to pick out my gift.