Happy birthday to my Rocky! Hard to believe that the tiny kitten I brought home is 10 years old. He’s certainly taught me more about cats than I ever thought I’d know.
I’d started a new job in November 2005, working for the same company as a close college friend of mine, Mrs. BB. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s, the office was painfully quiet so she and I decided to go to the Humane Society over lunch. My friend found a cat that she fell in love with and adopted him that day. As I was waiting for her, I was standing near a bunch of cat cages when the cat in the very bottom cage was pawing at me, trying to get my attention. Usually kittens are in larger cages with other kittens, but this one wasn’t and he was by himself. I took him out and we went into one of the rooms to play.
Of course I fell in love instantly. I already had a tuxedo cat, named Apollo, who was 6 years old. He was very happy as an only cat, but I just couldn’t leave the Humane Society without this kitten.
My friend and I had to go back to work so we brought the kittens in their cardboard carriers with us. The woman working the front desk kindly turned a blind eye and let us pass. We showed our coworkers and then each headed home with our new additions.
I put Rocky in a spare bedroom so I could slowly introduce him to Apollo. But Rocky was so excited to have a playmate that it didn’t last long. He followed Apollo everywhere and was always curled up next to him. Unfortunately, Apollo passed away unexpectedly a month later due to a blood clot.
Rocky helped me to get through the loss of Apollo. It truly was fate that we found each other and I have no doubt that he was meant to be my cat. Realizing how badly Rocky needed another cat, I adopted Moe. They have different ideas of how to spend their time but overall get along well.
When Rocky was 2 years old, I found a lump on his back and the vet decided that it should be removed. Luckily it was determined to just be a skin irritation but the surgery and recovery was really hard on Rocky. In my opinion, that was the beginning of the change from a sweet, lovable cat to one who is wary of anyone except me. My brother was living with us when I adopted Rocky but moved out just before Rocky turned 3. They got along great and I think Rocky was impacted by this more than we realized.
Rocky is always very sweet with me so it’s always strange to see him turn into an anxious cat when people are over. Many of my friends prefer not to come to my house, which is understandable, and others try to ignore him. Some people say he’s a mean cat, while I just think he’s misunderstood.
As the hunter and protector of the house, nothing makes him happier than to hunt bugs and keep an eye on anyone who steps foot inside. One of his favorite activities is to hunt his own food — I’ll throw a piece of kibble and he’ll run after it and eat it. We play this game every night.
Rocky definitely lives life on his own terms. I doubt that I’ll ever be able to change the way he interacts with other people but, as is the case for most cat owners, I’m just happy that he allows me to be apart of his world 🙂