Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bearcub: A Cat in Crisis...

Bearcub as a very small kitten

We have a beautiful tabby cat named Bearcub. He came into our lives because, on his way to the pound (taken by one of Dreamweaver's coworkers at her previous job) he cried and squirmed his way into her her heart. At 7 am in the morning the phone rings in my ear and before she can say anything, there is this little "meow" over the phone. Dreamweaver says "Um...Cameron..." and I sighed and said "I will be right there." as I pulled on my clothes. There are some fates that cannot and should not be fought - that Bearcub was to come into our lives was one of them. So here is Bearcub on his first day home being utterly totally tiny and adorable.

And lo, he grew into a happy (slightly bigger) kitten and was everything he should be...fearless, happy, bonded to his people, and totally relaxed with his environment...did I mention relaxed...

Bearcub is now an enormous muscular young cat edging up on a year old. He is an accomplished egg hockey player (Egg Hockey definition - when your cats decide that plastic Easter Eggs are the worlds best ever toys, and create a game out of them...under the guest bathroom door appears to be the goal. Every so often we fish out the eggs piling up under there and it starts over again.) Bearcub is handsome and still fearless and sweet as can be. His best four legged friend is MacDhu the dog.

And he even slid one over on us and managed to get the last unfixed female cat in the house *ahem* with child the week before he got fixed at 6 months. Suprisingly unlike most love 'em and leave 'em male cats, he not only has a continuing bond with Marmalade, the mamma cat, he is also a very caring papa who loves his son Firedancer very much. He grooms him, they cat-nap together, he gently plays with Firedancer and appears to be teaching him the rudiments of egg hockey.

However, Bearcub is now a cat in crisis.

He has one small quirk...t-shirt sheets. As a little baby (see the first picture above) he was still in the suckling stage, and promptly wanted to suck on my t-shirt. I gently discouraged this because the suction was rather intense - I have an "inny" belly button, not an "outy" and I wanted it to stay that way. Almost all the sheets we own are soft t-shirt material sheets, rather than regular cotton, and he transfered this habit to the sheet on the bed. Ok. Fair enough. (I thought.) He'll grow out of it. (I thought) Now he is this heavy giant of a cat that every night runs into the bedroom when I go to bed, and leaps onto my chest (Him: *loud thump* Purrrrr! Me: "OOF!!!"). He then sprawls out - and thats rather a lot of sprawl at this point - and he sucks happily away on the sheet, doing the kitty bread thing with his paws. Usually he will trance out and fall asleep there with me - which is rather nice and companionable. Sometimes he bounces up afterwards and runs off to play egg hockey. This leaves me with a line of soggy cold wet cat spit soaked sheet to work around which is not so companionable.
Here is the current crisis which began yesterday...Dreamweaver changed the bedding and for the first time in years put on plain cotton sheets. Not t-shirt sheets. I got to bed last night and Bearcub comes charging up onto the bed, leaps onto my chest ("Oof!) and suddenly stops cold. He sniffs the sheet. He paws at it. He stands bolt upright obviously distressed. He sniffs around the bed frantically, leaps from one side to the other, sniffing and begining distressing little mewp sounds (how Dreamweaver slept through this is beyond me!) and finally, ignoring me trying to reach out to him and help, ran off into the living room for the rest of the night. He had no t-shirt sheets! The world had come to an end as he knew it!

Now, while it was nice to sleep unhampered by a cat-spit soaked sheet, I admit I was rather concerned for him and distressed myself. So when Dreamweaver got up at the ungodly middle of the night hour that she must do so to go to work, I woke up enough to groggily inform her of the crisis and the cat. She got one of the t-shirt sheets out of the cabinet, and tossed it to me and I pulled it up to my chest...INSTANTANEOUS Bearcub! He must have heard the cabinet door or he has a 6th sense for t-shirt sheets, but he came flying into the bedroom, leaped for the bed and plopped down on the t-shirt sheet as I spread it out. (*thump* Purrrr! Oooof) and began happily suckling away. He weighs a ton. The sheet is getting soggy. But he and I are happy and all is well.

So for a few days we will have to have an auxillery sheet for our crisis cat until we change the bedding again. What would we do without him? I leave you with a picture him and Firedancer - Father and Son.

It's getting late, and I have to set up the sheet....


  1. This post *almost* makes me wish I had another cat--almost. I'm still not over last year so it will probably be a long time before I take the plunge again. My heart still aches and worries about the ones I had to leave behind.

  2. My cat Samhain was also an inadvertent rescue-cat whom I inherited from a former teacher when he was a few months. He also has an oral fixation, but his centers on faux-nursing the actual skin of the person he's sitting on. While kneading. Why do they do that?
    It's amazing to see how much Firedancer has grown since I last saw him; he's so cute!

  3. Firedancer looks vaguely like a fox. Is he really that vividly colored?

    As Brilliant said, our cat Samhain is a nurser. He's a couple of years old, I think. She would know better than me. Anyway, he has not grown out of this sucking behavior, and he uses a lot of claw action in his kneading. On my arm. His favorite place is the very soft, delicate skin between my armpit and my back, which he can reach very well when I'm in bed, lying on my side as I do when I sleep. Talk about a rude awakening! I wouldn't mind so much if he didn't use his claws!

    Our other cat, Scheherazade, is still a kitten of 8 months. She does the sucking thing, too, but when she kneads my person, she uses less claw than her big brother. I appreciate her for that.

    Bearcub is adorable, btw. OH, and so is the picture of you wearing the kilt! I love that! That's a very manly sporran you're sporting there. ;)

  4. Yes, Firedancer is that gorgeously orange - which is interesting, because his mama is a brindle Calico and, well, you see Bearcub! Interesting to hear of other cats with the sucking trait - and that they are not growing out of it! Makes me even happier that I got Bearcub trained for sheets rather than actual t-shirts. Lee, generally speaking - a cat will come to you when you are ready. That's what we have found. As for the kilt - y'all should see the other sporran - it's a Badger's head! LOL!

  5. Oh my goddess, what a blessing to have friends that actually know what a "manly sporran" is and how to compliment a butch for having one! Life is good.

  6. Oh, that is precious. :) That truly must be one of THE most adorable things I've ever heard.

    Makes me want a cat of my own.