Orange Kitty: An Update

Orange Kitty … King of the counter top

I wrote about the stray cat we adopted in a post titled, “Orange Kitty.” He’s been our cat for a while now and we are all getting along fine … for the most part.

Our dog, Maddie, is still not one hundred percent comfortable with OK. He makes her a bit nervous now and then. She startled him the other day and he smacked her and now she doesn’t want to get near him. It’s been at least a week actually, and she is only just now walking past him without coaxing from us. She has too fine of a memory.

OK has turned out to be a great cat. He must have had people before he became homeless because he knew exactly what to do with a litter box.

He loves to cuddle and seeks out attention and companionship. Even more so than Maddie does.

He loves any sort of toy that is mouse-sized. He also likes stick/string toys. But he does like to chew on the string so we can only let him have that while supervised.

He will eat just about anything … or at least try it once. I figure that is a result of living homeless for as long as he did. He has a morning ritual now. When I sit down with my dry, uncooked rolled oats (yes, I actually like them best that way) for breakfast, he has to hop up in my lap and eat a few bits from my bowl. Satisfied, he wanders off to let me eat in peace.

He doesn’t have much patience for being brushed. Since he has so much long fur, this is a bit of a problem. But we got rid of the mats and are doing a decent job of keeping new ones from forming.

His face has finally healed. He had one small spot that was stubbornly refusing to heal. He would rub the scab off and it would have to start over again. But that’s done now and the fur is doing a good job of growing back. Also the fur that the mats pulled out is growing back.

He is a mighty nice looking cat. He has lovely expressive eyes and a quirky little smile. He makes the most of his eyes, though. They can look hopeful or teasing or sad. They are also appraising. I’m certain, sometimes, that I have failed his appraisal but that he accepts his situation.

The first couple of weeks after he spent the first night in our house, he would sit at the storm door and ask to go out. We took him outside on a couple of occasions and supervised his roaming and brought him back inside after a time. But then the weather became too cold to spend much time outside with him. So he’s been an indoor only cat for quite some time now.

He seems to have adjusted to life indoors. I play with him several times a day. He plays with the “mice” on his own. He gets the zoomies now and then. The house seems to offer him enough places to run and sleep and look out on the world.

You should see him as he plays. He’s like a little kitten with his ears perked and firmly pointed at the source of his play. He pounces and runs and rolls with delight. His excitement is contagious.

He’ll take one of his “mice” in his mouth and walk all over the house, meowing all his thoughts about the matter. Then he’ll drop it and bat it around so well that you would swear the thing was actually alive and trying to escape him. It’s a joy to watch.

So far, Maddie has not tried to join in his play. She learned with our previous cat not to get too excited because our previous cat would sometimes reprimand her with a smack on the head if she tried to take his toy.

With Orange Kitty, Maddie surreptitiously steals his toys. She takes them when he is not looking and gently chews on them for a while. She doesn’t destroy them. She doesn’t destroy her own toys either. That’s always been a wonder to me.

OK has learned to move slowly past her. There’s nothing more enticing to a dog than the opportunity to chase something. But there is no fun in “chasing” something that is walking past you at a snail’s pace.

For the most part, Orange Kitty doesn’t try to slip out the door when we go in and out. It’s as if he realizes that it’s safer and more comfortable in here. Maybe he remembers the stress of living on his own … or maybe it’s just that we’ve made a nice place for him.

I think he has decided to keep us. He likes to lie in my lap in the evenings. I think he even looks forward to it. He’ll follow me around as I do all the final things that I have to do before I can sit quietly for an hour or so before going to bed. He meows at me and makes this soulfully pleading expression with his eyes. As soon as I get settled, there he is, ready to take up his position.

We haven’t been able to come up with a good name for him. My husband is content to continue with Orange Kitty as his moniker. Sometimes I do call him OK. We also occasionally call him Mr. Fuzzy Pants. The view from his rear tells the story.

We have been considering calling him Cheeto because he is orange, fluffy and weighs next to nothing. But it doesn’t really seem to suit him.

As for love … it took me no time at all to fall in love with the rascal. I still don’t know if he loves us, but I think he does like us, including the dog.

We will continue to get to know each other. But I’m sure this will be a great relationship.

Maddie and OK looking out on the world. OK looks larger than Maddie but he’s all fluff. He probably weighs only about a third of what she does. Maddie is a solid little sausage of a dog.

Published by Dianne Lehmann

I'm a writer. But I'm also a wife and a mom to a couple of fur babies. You could call me a cook (but never a chef, I'm not that good) and provisioner as well. Laundress? Yeah. Probably. I design jewelry and I crochet. But mostly I love to write. I love words and how they sound. I love their meanings and origins. I love stringing them together. And of course, I love to read. Thinking about it just now, I realize that what I love most is life and the people around me with a special place set aside for my wonderful husband, our adorable dog and our inscrutable cat. It's the world and the people in it that fuels my writing. So thanks to you all for being the amazing beings that you are.

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