Sunday, October 29, 2006

Meet the Cats: Tippy

This is Tippy, my Special Little Guy. He still thinks he's a kitten at heart. We named him that because he has a little bit of white fur on the end of his tail. When he was very little, he was very sickly. He used to lapse into semi-comatose states from time-to-time. Apparently he wasn't quite done yet when he was born, and his organs still needed to grow in order to function correctly. They eventually did and he's over that now, but he did give us quite a few scares. As a result of spending a good deal of his early kittenhood oblivious to the world around him (on account of his constant near-death episodes), it seems he didn't get enough oxygen to his brain. He also never properly learned from other cats how to clean himself up. Anywhere. He would decide that Daddy's (that's me) shoulder would make the perfect place to stand and start being pawful. [Some call it kneading, from when the kittens would knead at their mother's teats to get fed. I'm told it's also something they do when they're very happy to see their "parent" (that's me, again).] We call it "being pawful" because he likes to stand in place lifting one paw up and putting it down, then doing it with the other for a bit, then stopping and stretching his paw out sideways, as if to shake hands, with his toes completely splayed, meowing away. We call that "being pawfully cute." He calls it, "Where's my dinner?" But I knew he loved me, and he was so cute that when it came time to bring the kittens we had at the time to be put up for adoption, I couldn't let him go. He had grown on me. He had this cute habit of trying to scootch himself over on his back, but would often have a claw stuck on something. So he would move about five degrees of arc with each scootch until he got all the way on his back, with his belly up waiting to be scratched, and that same claw (such as his right one in the picture) still stuck where it was, stretched across his chest. But he would still purr and ask to be belly-rubbed. He gets very pawful when you do it, his eyes close and he slows down his pawfulness, and he's just so cute. It's enough to make up for the times his once-oxygen-starved brain makes him go wacky and tear around the place. Of course he's bigger now, but when I talk about him, just think of this face.

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