Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Mr. Jeepers story

Mr. Jeepers

Now that Jeepers has grown quite comfortable with his new home, we can enjoy his personality. And what a wonderful little personality he has! Watching him evolve has been remarkable and amusing.
We don't know where he came from or why. One late summer day he was laying on a chair on the front porch but as soon as we tried to get near him, he ran. Such visitors are not an unusual thing. Neighborhood cats do that from time to time. But he was there every morning and every night over the next few weeks as if he had no home. Not wanting to encourage someone else's cat to stay, we were reluctant to feed him, but as the nights turned chilly and he stayed on the porch longer, it was clear, he had no home. We put a box on the porch, put out food and with a long outstretched arm, he would let me pet his head. As weeks passed, I could hold him but only if I was standing up.
We had no plans to adopt a cat. Two dogs seem family enough. Day after day, we asked each other 'what are we going to do about that cat?'
The first snow came and there stood Jeepers at the door with snow on his back. Our hearts melted. He had to come in.
Numerous times Molly and Tobey had gone out on the porch and greeted him in his chair without great incident. But I was most surprised when, on his first indoor greeting, he and Tobey interacted and played like they were old friends. Molly, on the other hand, was rather indifferent. She surprised me as she has had many cat friends through her years. Perhaps she was annoyed that her best buddy Tobey was paying so much attention to someone else.
We set up the basement to meet Mr. Jeeper's needs and began a routine. He stayed in the basement at night but could come and go freely when we were home. He adopted a basement window perch where he was somewhat hidden. He'd come up for an hour or so in the evening, mostly interacting with Tobey.
Not surprising, Jeepers was not impressed with his first vet experience. The carrier and the ride caused him to complain quite loudly. At the vet, he was scared but pretty good and they remarked that considering his experience, he seemed to have an easy spirit. As we know him more, they were quite right. Perhaps because they see so many homeless and neglected pets, they thanked me for taking him in. We now thank him for insisting that we would.
Once he healed from being neutered, he found his role in the house - rid the varmints! An old house is easy sanctuary for little rodents and Jeepers takes offense to the invasion (as do we.) I've only caught one or two in traps but Jeepers is nearing double digits. It seems he is quite pleased with his accomplishment as he likes to ensure that we see each prize and is euphoric when he catches one. In the night we hear him madly racing from room to room. We now know we should get up. The hunter has succeeded and is doing his celebratory dance.
What's interesting is that he practices this dance sometimes with Tobey. He runs up, bats Tobey's nose and runs away. Tobey chases, tags him with his nose, and runs away with Jeepers chasing after him. Every now and then, like children, one of them gets a little rough. They let out a yell and the game is over for while.
Jeepers now has complete freedom around the house. Most of the time, he likes to be wherever the dogs may be laying. He escapes to his basement window perch less often, and he wants fed at the same time and in the same room as the dogs. There's no fear of trying to share their dish if we won't fill his fast enough. Unlike most cats I've known, he isn't one to jump up on tables or counters. If we tell him 'no', he seems to understand and accept it. He loves to have his belly rubbed and sometimes circles our legs begging to be held for a little bit.
Molly and Jeepers
Molly is not his best friend but they are often cuddled up together. While she doesn't pay a lot of attention to him, they touch noses and she will give him a big lick across the face.
I'm curious that Jeepers shows little interest in going outside. Warmer weather may change that but I think all in all, he has grown quite fond of the home he claimed. We could not have asked for a better little furry friend. Thank you Mr. Jeepers!

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