Age: 15 Years Sex: Female Weight: 9 lbs.
|Home:Twentynine Palms, CA |
Leave a treat for Ho Ho
The Ho, Minion, Beebee (said in a very high-pitched voice)
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July 1st 1999
Black and White
her momma (me), sheâ€™ll sit on my lap or get up next to me whenever and wherever she can.
her sister Ding Dong, her momma ignoring her, her daddy trying to pick her up.
Ho plays on her own pretty easily: could be anything, a catnip toy, furry mice, balls, but also, pens or pencils, a twist ties, jewelry, rubber bands, knitting yarn.
Favorite Nap Spot:
Her â€œnestâ€ up on top of my dresser, on my side of the bed, with a view of our deck garden. Sleeping on top of the laptop computer (on or off). Recently added, the rocking chair, which several other kitties seem to like too.
Not a big eater, a little finicky. Keeps trim by yakking hairballs with regularity.
When sheâ€™s defending her nest or otherwise being attacked, she can flatten her ears to her head flatter than any cat Iâ€™ve seen. Sheâ€™s also got big long saber-toothed canines that stick out of her mouth even when itâ€™s closed. She likes to show them
For the complete story about our feral family, please read the arrival story of Lulu (see our catster family below). Ho Ho was the 5th feral cat we adopted and socialized, and was part of a little family of ferals. We had been feeding this kitty and her mom and sister for about 3 years outside. Initially we caught them in a humane trap in 1999, had them fixed and released them, thinking they would hate us and never be seen again. At the time we already had 4 cats in our little apartment. Turns out the little family of ferals was upset that we didn’t adopt them! They hung around even more, were insistent about being fed, and waited to greet us every day. We were heart broken that we didn’t really have room to take them in.
In March 2003, facing “removal” (to be euthanized by animal control), I caught Ho Ho in our humane trap just a day after her momma, Gris-Gris. The following day, I caught Ho Ho’s sister, Ding Dong. All this happened around their kitty-daddy’s birthday in early March 2003. We just couldn’t see these beautiful girls be caught and taken away, after we had cared for them, befriended them, and loved them for years.
We were so happy to get them indoors, away from harm, although we didn’t realize they would live with us forever. We tried to find a home for the three girls, but there were no takers. Most cat fanciers seem to already have homes full of cats! Looking back, I’m so glad no one came forward, as Ho Ho and her krewe really were our cats all along…
When she lived outside as a feral, we really couldn’t get to know Ho Ho very well. She used to hang back from us, her mom and sister. We didn’t see her at every meal, and she seemed to either come at another time, or only visit every few days. We think that Ho Ho was probably bullied a little by her big sister Ding Dong, and she may be a bit smaller because of that. Ding Dong sort of herded Gris Gris around, and kept Ho Ho at arm’s length socially. To this day, they don’t get along, and Ding Dong is bigger.
We do know that Ho Ho really liked to spend time climbing up and sitting in trees, like the Cheshire cat. Since she is a black/white tuxie, you couldn’t see her so well. For all I know, she was nearby watching us all the time. Several times I saw Ho Ho come down out of little ornamental trees I would not have thought could support a cat.
We were occasionally able to entice Ho Ho and her sister into a game of swat-the-taunter. They responded well to our attempts to be friends. Couldn’t quite pet them, but they would allow us to be very close. They lost their fear of us, but stayed wary of other people.
In March 2003, I was in a rush to catch Ho, her sis and her mom. I was mainly concerned about getting them indoors, away from the danger of being caught by animal control. I would figure out homes later. Once she was in, I had no idea how she would react and if she would get along with our other cats. She was a bit of an unknown. I’ll never forget catching her to bring her inside: she was so hungry because I had to only put food out in the trap so I could catch them.
After I caught her, in 2003, she needed a visit to the vet. It was very exciting - she was so scared! Still half-feral, I couldn’t even hold her to console her. We had the vet check her over, do some tests (including one where they draw blood from the neck), and give some shots. They took Ho Ho to the back for all this and she was feisty, but the vet techs knew what they what to do. Everything went well, until they attempted to trim her nails. She managed to escape the grasp of the vet techs twice, ran around the room a few times and put up a great fight. We skipped the nail trim. She was so scared she had a poopy accident as they put her back in the carrier. As soon as we got her home, she was happy again – she forgave me! This was good because she needed a bath!
We kept Ho Ho, sis Ding Dong and mum Gris Gris separate (in the bedroom) from our other kitties while I made friends with them, got them used to being indoors. They took to the litter boxes just fine and loved sleeping together on our bed. They were happy safe girls. Eventually, over a long period of time, I introduced the new girls to the old girls. Basically, our six girls have had to sort things out ever since then.
Ho Ho has been sweet, well behaved. And unexpectedly, she has turned out to be my little love – my minion even. She is clingy, following me around in morning and evening. This includes insisting on accompanying me into the bathroom, and sitting on my lap whenever I visit the toilet. (too much information, I know, but it’s really cute, trust me). Her favorite sleeping spot is above my side of the bed, up high with a view of the deck garden. But more recently, she really likes to be on the computer desk, on the computer.
Andrew says that when Ho Ho sits in my lap or I am holding Ho Ho, she gets a blissful look on her face and you can almost see little hearts bubbling up out of her head and floating up in the air. Of all my cats, Ho Ho is the one I can pick up any time for a cuddle. She loves it. She’s petite, and when I pick her up, she almost feels like a kitten feels when you pick them up. She’ll also sit in my lap whenever. A very quiet kitty most of the time, Andrew says that when I leave for work that Ho Ho pines pitifully for a while after. Her meows are really charming.
Ho Ho prefers to play by herself, which she’ll do spontaneously, very cute. She doesn’t like you to watch her or encourage her, though. It’s hard to ignore her because she meows and yeowls to herself when she’s playing with abandon – very cute.
Ho Ho has some enemies. I guess Lu Lu is just jealous, but she really hates Ho Ho. Lu will ambush Ho and chase her around mercilessly. Ho Ho can hold her own – putting her ears down, growling and hissing at Lulu. She’s a small cat with a big growl. It’s stressful for her to always look around before she can cross the room. They’ve only had a few contact tussles, but they have swatting matches more frequently. We have some re-training to do with Lulu.
Ho Ho hates her sister Ding Dong. This goes way back to kittenhood living outside as ferals. I don’t think Ding Dong cares either way, because she usually just bullies everyone.
Recently, Ho Ho has begun to be bullied about by Bon Bon (see our family below), who seems to covet Ho Ho’s favorite nest spot in the bedroom. No contact, but lots of meowing and swatting. Ho Ho usually yields, and I know she feels inferior. So I give her lots of extra pets and attention when she’s had a bad day. Recently, she’s decided she likes to sleep in some other places too, so there’s less of an issue.
As for friends, our kitties don’t pal around with each other much. Only two of our cats, Ding Dong and her momma Gris Gris actually cuddle, groom and sleep together. There is a delicate balance of tolerance among our six cats. Ho Ho has a peaceful truce with Mocha and Gris Gris.
Named for the a rolled chocolate snack cake with cream filling…see her sister, Ding Dong, named for another snack cake. That’s the Ho, my sweetie!
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