Skills: he can open doors, although he prefers not to have to
Arrival Story: Leo was born to a feral and (to date) untrappable shorthair mother whose litters are regularly taken to my vet's office by a client for fostering and, hopefully, adoption by other clients. In Leo's case, it worked fabulously - I fell in love with him when he was about 7 weeks old, when he and his littermates were being shown to another prospective adopter while I was picking up food for my other cats. He stayed in the vet's care for another month, being socialized by the staff while I was away, and then he came home with me on August 1 2004.
Bio: Leo is the only spawn of his shorthair mother that the vet staff has ever seen with the physical traits of a big longhaired cat such as a Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cat, or Siberian. Even his littermates that were taken into the care of the vet office along with him don't share any of these traits. Lately, we've taken to calling him our Siberian Forest Coon, because while don't know WHAT he is, with his wild plumy tail, longish coat, tufty paws and size, it is clear he is NOT simply a DSH like his mother. Oh ... and at almost 4 years old he is still growing!
He spent his first year completely silent, before finally taking a cue from the other, vocal cats in the house and emitting his first, feeble "eeeee! eeeee!" squeaks. But it wasn't long before he discovered the joy of talking, both for sociability and just to keep himself company, and now he often wanders around the house uttering eloquent trills and plaintive cries. He also adores water, and regularly washes toys/small objects in his waterbowl. His goal in life is to get to the ceiling, and he loves to sleep on his back, legs splayed, head lolling off whatever surface he's on. He's a goof and a clown prince, and I adore him.
Mama gave me some new jewelry yesterday. It's a necklace that has spots on it, as if it is made for a LEOpard. I guess she custom-ordered it just for me. It also has dangly shiny things on it - oooh, shiny.
Because I am so well-dressed now, I am allowed to go outside to play, as long as Mama or Daddy is "watching" me. "Watching Leo" is a fun game. They try to convince me to stay in the back yard near where they are, and I try to remember to sneak away. If they see me sneaking away they try to distract me with treats, or by calling my name in the happy ear-scritchy voice. Sometimes they're good enough at this that I can't help going to them - but I'm getting better at my next move, which is to go for a fast run around the property. Then it is great fun to watch them try to catch me. Especially when I hide under a big bush and they have to try to push branches away to get to me. When they almost can reach me, that's my cue to go on a tear to the next bush.
What I like best about this game is that we can play it for a looooong time, until I am all tired out, and then I let them "catch" me and they pick me up and snuggle me and give me treats. What's not to like about that?