When we first brought him in, he was pretty chill. The four girls were firmly established in their own hierarchy within the household; Tom seemed content to take a back seat. Then Zinda fell so terribly ill, and he adopted the role of her guardian. Once she was gone, he started to assert his place. It was at this time he grew standoffish. He’d let me pet him, brush him, and was only too happy to eat the food I put out, but he did not purr. AT ALL. *A couple of months later, he was Captain Snugglepants. He burrowed under the covers with us, raced to meet us at the door if we’d been gone for a few hours, purred and was fluffy and lovely (except with the older kitties, but then that’s an ongoing saga).
He’s since had a couple of sulky periods, but never so long as that first one. While Tom still goes after the older girls, it’s no longer incessant, and it’s certainly not malicious. Our hulking huge boyo is really still a kitten; he’s got crazy energy and it has to go somewhere. Very often it gets directed toward Esme. They take turns chasing each other up and down stairs and across our wee house. Sometimes, HT will race around on his own (highly amusing; he’s so big and clumsy, the only way he can change direction quickly is to carom off of larger objects), attack the couch (not so great, but at this point it’s a lost cause), chase the laser pointer (he’s the only one who falls for it), or grapple with the scratching board.
And sometimes, he’ll explode into action at random. It usually starts innocently enough. He's hanging out on a chair. I pull out my camera to grab a few shots.
He sees me and idly swipes a paw through the rungs.
The swipes pick up speed. He's using his 'jazz paws.'
We approach slap-fight intensity...
...and, just as quickly as it began, it's over.
Much as he worries me, vexes me, causes me no end of consternation, I love this handsome cat. I'm glad he chose us to be his people.
*Considering where we live, bringing him indoors most likely saved his life. Certainly his health improved immensely. He’s sleek and gorgeous, free of ticks and other parasites, eats regular meals and has any number of snug, dry places to curl up. Even so, his sulks made me feel like a terrible person. I was certain I’d ruined his life, that he would forever be miserable and it was ALL MY FAULT. Then I noticed that he never, not once, has tried to get back out. Kitty knows a cushy deal when he sees it.