Thursday, September 24, 2009


Dreamy Angus has the softest eyes of all our cats. Though they are the same olive green/yellow as most of the others, they look at me with a certain extra appreciative affection.

His pale pink nose is underscored by a tiny smear of gray on his upper lip, emphasizing his mouth, and he has long white and gray patched fur. Two years old now, he came to us as a foster kitten along with a slightly older female kitty. Angus, whose original name was Parris, did not like being confined in a kennel, crate or shelter show room window, so he did not look friendly to potential adopting owners. While recovering from an eye infection and staying with us, he play-fought a little too rough with our older cats, but eventually they taught him to lighten up. His long white fur seems to furrow at his forehead making his expression look angry and he walks with the stomping gait of a bulldog due to an unknown kittenhood leg injury. These attributes made calling him Parris seem a bit silly, so we first started calling him Harris, but I kept trying out the name Angus, and for me, it seemed perfect for the little bruiser boy.

A change in the shelter’s policy forced us to bring Angus (and the female kitty) back in before they were ready for adoption, but on that day, staff members discovered an outbreak of calici in the cat population. Unfortunately, they do not treat this horrible virus, they euthanize the afflicted, so our fear led us to a confrontation with the shelter’s director and, breaking the rules, we brought them both back home (we never actually took them inside the building). After a reasonable amount of time after the outbreak had been contained, we finally conceded and returned Angus so he could find his forever home. I remember so clearly Angus looking at me as I handed him over to a shelter staff member, and she placed him in a window kennel. Tears welled up in my eyes as I made sure to point out his favorite toys from the bag I’d brought with him. I made it out the front door of the shelter, braving a last glance at Angus as he watched me walk away from inside his window. We had seven cats at the time, wasn’t that enough? I ran a couple of errands, went home, spoke to DP, burst into tears, and then we both went back to the shelter that afternoon to bring him back to his forever home and adopt him. By the way, DP also helped the female kitty find her forever home.

Bulldog walking, tough guy Angus is the first one to run and hide under the bed when anyone comes to visit. No one else has ever seen him except in pictures. He is pretty much a big fluffy cream puff we’ve nicknamed Puffy or Puff. He waits at least a half hour after company leaves to come out of his hiding place, and he runs through the house growling under his breath when the neighbors play rap music too loud. Although he appears to exude a fraidy cat innocence, he expects to get what he wants and will soon be pushing things off the desk or bureau if he’s ignored. He’s also the first one to tease Moseley and will park himself outside Moseley’s door to taunt him.

Angus loves to come in the bathroom with me when I shower. He chirps and meows and wants to be petted during this time. When I’m up for it, I let him in with me and give him a long petting session before I actually get myself under the showerhead. Then he’s pretty happy just to lie on the rug and wait for me. When he occasionally takes a stroll between the plastic and fabric shower curtains and meows at me, I give him a cheek scratching through the plastic while he licks it. He definitely a licker who loves to lick us and our hands as we pet him. Where the other cats might also include a love bite (some harder than others), Angus will only lick. At some point I started to call him Shpankle (with a Yiddish twist) as a nickname. He seems to know it and comes to it too. When we call his name (Angus or Shpankle), he chirps and looks, but is then immediately distracted by something else. If we’re persistent, he will eventually stomp over to us for a quick sniff and a lick.

Irresistible tuffs of white and gray fur wisp sideways from Angus’s gray ears adding to his puffiness. He can look quite handsome when he is sitting for a pose, but he can also look rather bulbous when he flattens out on his side to sleep, fur fluffs sticking out all over. We are grateful he is a fastidious groomer. Okay, I’ll admit it, Puff is an overweight boy, but he is not as fat as he looks! Most of what you see is just overly fluffy fur.

In general he isn’t food motivated, doesn’t eat most treats, and isn’t a Moo Club member, but unlike most cats who enjoy cat nip, Angus goes wild for anything minty. I think part of his attraction to hanging out with me in the bathroom is the smell of toothpastes, mouthwashes and mint-flavored floss. He’ll chirp and paw at me until I pull my toothbrush out of my mouth and let him take a sniff. He tries to lick it but I pull it away just in time. He is very good at opening doors…as long as he can pull it open toward him…so cabinets and closets are a favorite. Another reason why I let him in the bathroom with me for a shower is he’ll work and work to open the bathroom door on his own. Of course, the problem is he can’t close the door after himself so I end up freezing.

Despite his name and size, Angus has the highest, shrillest voice of all our kitties. He can let it screech out long and loud if he wants, but generally he communicates in short chirps. He also has a wonderfully loud purr, especially when he kneads and suckles on his favorite green blanket…our green blanket…on our bed. It’s that chenille, velour type material and he can’t resist it. Most mornings we have to tuck it inside the sheets to keep him from chewing on and soaking the whole thing. Most of the cats start kneading when they walk on the green blanket, but Angus is the only one who roots around his nose and starts to suckle. Yes. He is a “wool sucker,” as they call it, but none of the other cats make fun of him for it.

Angus is not very athletic and has always had trouble jumping up onto things. After many falls as a juvenile, he has learned his height limitations and unless he’s flustered by being chased, doesn’t go for the high jumps like some of the others. Besides his wool sucking his biggest quirk would have to be his anxiety when he is being teased by one of the younger cats. He scampers away a few steps then suddenly stops to lick himself feverishly, then runs another few steps and stops to lick again in another spot. His back ripples with itchy nerves, but we think it is just a reaction to being teased. When a visitor pulls into the driveway and the dogs sound the alarm, Angus simply runs under the bed and hides. No rippling itchies or stops for licking, so fear and anxiety have different effects on him.

Angus loves to play and carry toys around with him to the best spots in the house.

His favorite toys are rabbit fur mice. He knows what drawer they are kept in, and will ask us, quite loudly, to get them out for him. He only plays with them a short time because he pretty much gives right in to any other more assertive cat, frequently walking away from a toy when someone else approaches. He will stay and watch the other play, and occasionally steal it back should it come his way. All the other cat has to do is take one step toward him, and he takes three steps away from the toy and lies down.

His favorite group game is the laser light. It is hysterical to watch him chase after the red dot zig zagging across the floor in slapstick speed. Unfortunately, he does seem to tire easily when he plays group games. He’ll push himself to his maximum and ends up panting while the other kitties are still going strong. If we don’t stop the game for a few minutes to let him rest, he just keeps going. Angus really is just our lovable big fluffy puffball.

I hope you enjoyed meeting Angus even though he’ll never brave coming out to meet you… ~Co9T


  1. aw! we just love all the pictures. i could get lost in those sweet eyes!

    -us4 gatos

  2. Awwww, not only does he look at you with adoring eyes, he sucks on his blankie which makes our momma want to come over to your house an' bring him here to ours! What a sweetie pie!

  3. We are now in love. You had us at Angus. Then all the wonderful bits about you just closed the deal. Mom has to admit what caught her eye was the name Angus. That was MacGyver's first name and mom loves him.

  4. Angus sounds a lovely cat and is very handsome. His fear of strangers may stem from his early days, but not necessarily. My Kitty Yumbum was the sweetest most loving tiny girl, but she was terrified of strangers and wouldn't even let my husband touch her until later years. I had her from birth so I know she was never mistreated, and neither was her mother. She was born to be a one person cat.

  5. Angus
    We enjoyed all of the pictures of you, but that first one especially captures your total handsomeness. Mom said she felt that pang in her heart when you first went back to the shelter, she is so glad that your Mom came back for you and that you now have your forever home. It was really nice to meet you!

    Abby (who kinda has that bulldog walk -- and really believes she is a bulldog too!)

  6. We loved seeing Angus's pictures. Tamir is kind of a skeerdy boy too.

    Sniffie and the Florida Furkids

  7. What a wonderful and heartwarming story! We love Angus!

  8. We enjoyed reading about Angus. He is quite handsome! We bet he is thrilled that you came back for him!

    Gandalf's litter mate sister Sarah is also a hidey cat. Only her Mommy and Daddy see her, except for rare occasions when Mom asks to hold her. When we lived next door to them in Florida, Sarah use to love jumping into Mom's lap to be brushed every day. Now we live 5 doors down and don't see them every day, so Sarah has taken to hiding from Mom, too.

  9. What a wonderful story, we enjoyed every word and the pictures are beautiful...

  10. Angus has quite a story. I can see why you love him and ran back for him.

  11. That is such a wonderful story and Angus sure is one lucky feline. On behalf of my Sisters Sascha, Gracie, Zoe & I, we all hereby appoint you as our favorite human of the day (sorry Mom & Dad), you did an absolutely wonderful thing!!!

  12. It's great to read so much about each cat individually. It sounds like Angus ended up right where he should be. I had a cat, Bailey, that was so scared of people coming into the house that nobody knew we had her. By the time she was 10 or 11 or so though that stopped and she even let others pet her. Maybe that'll happen with Angus. Although, we have 4 of the opposite (scared of no visitors) right now and it's definitely a lot harder since they'll run up to the open door when anyone comes in. They even demand attention from pizza delivery guys.
    Anyway, sorry so rambly. Angus is just gorgeous. Love his long fur. And in some pictures it looks like he has eyeliner on one eye!

  13. Well we can see why you went back to the shelter and took Angus back! He is so handsome!

  14. I like Angus. He's got fur markings kinda like my Mommy and Uncle MaxMaxx. I like his eyes too. Soft, yet manly in a man cat way! Tommy wants to scoop him up.

    Thanks for telling us about him--nice furr!


    PS. On my blog you suggested Tommy go to a writer's retreat in Maine...oh my, she'd never come back...but then I'd like a coastal home... :)

  15. angus is a handsome mancat. perhaps someday he will lose some of his shyness. i agree w/ him about neighbors and loud music. i would growl too!

  16. Oh, I'm so happy you both went back to get Angus from the shelter! What a lovely pet he has turned out to be! And another handsome guy, too. I kept thinking as you were describing his various vocalizations and his personality, if he might have a touch of Maine Coon in him. His muzzle seems somewhat square-shaped, and of course his floofiness may be more clues.

    I really enjoyed hearing Angus' story, and I'm happy he's sharing his life and love with you.

  17. Hi Sweet Angus! What a sweetie!

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  19. Angus, you sure are a handsome mancat! We love that last photo of you hiding under the rug. None of us like strangers either and run and hide under the bed (or the bed covers) as soon as we realize there's someone that's Not Mommy in the house.

    Purrs and hugs,
    The Kitty Krew

  20. Angus was a lucky boy, we are glad you came back for him!

  21. Nice to meet Angus and learn all about him. We have some hidy cats too. Maybe someday he will outgrow that. He is very handsome!!!!

  22. I have enjoyed meeting all the kitties! And thanks for visiting my blog and helping me celebrate my new parsley pots.

    Huffle Mawson


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