Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Sir Wizard of Dairy

Wizard is a long haired gray fellow with cream points highlighting his face, chest and belly. The cream is almost peach in spots and he would be strikingly beautiful if cared to bath himself properly. He does a good enough job, but he requires frequent brushing, and one day soon we plan to pop him in the tub for a real bath. The flatness of his long gray fur reminds me of a suit of armor, battle worn and not well polished. His big olive eyes give him the quintessential Puss-in-Boots look, though I do see him more as a slightly tarnished hero, the “thief with a heart of gold” sort.

Wizard started off with DP as a two year old foster who’d been stuck at the animal shelter, unadopted, for four months. She was told he spent some time out on the streets before his arrival there, but when she brought him home he was full of nervous energy. His name was Sake at the time and he didn’t seem to understand boundaries. As soon as he laid eyes on one of DP’s older cats, he instantly attacked him, literally scaring the poop out of poor old Barnum. When he saw the dogs he rushed over to them and attempted to rub on their legs. It was as if he’d been with dogs before, but much more friendly, cat loving dogs. Not Jack Russell Terriers with personal space issues. When the terriers told him to back off with a snarl and a growl, he took the threat seriously and attacked them. DP never knew when he might attack the dogs and in his nervousness attacked her twice even though he seemed to be regretful afterward. She tried to give him some time to calm down and acclimate, but tension around the house was building. She had just about decided to return “Sake” to the shelter until an incident changed everything. One afternoon DP saw him stare at one of the dogs, jump down onto the floor and walk right over to him, when the dog snarled a tiny bit, he stopped, looked at the dog, then for the first time, turned away and trotted off in another direction. He jumped up onto a chair and settled into a an observer position.

She actually witnessed this guy thinking it through…”Oh, yeah, this guy isn’t friendly”…and working it out. He's been fine ever since. He made an amazing transformation, hence the name Wizard.

Wizard is British. He’s the only other cat who has a voice (see BJ’s blog). It just seems to fit his eyes and his mannerisms. He’s got that knight-in-not-so-shining-armor thing going for him and he’s very dignified...most of the time. Even when he begs for cheese he’s usually very polite about it – as long as you respond to his request. He sits on the counter across from me and lifts his right paw in the air curling it under as if to say, “Please, Mother Lisa. Will there be cheese tonight?” He loves all things dairy and especially milk and cheese. He knows the sound of the refrigerator cheese drawer and comes to help me make dinner and get cheese tidbits thrown to him. He is the official leader of the Moo Club, a group of the cats who line up on the kitchen counter every evening to receive a spot of milk. It’s a nightly ritual that began with Wizard.

However it works in the cat hierarchy, Wizard is for the most part the alpha male of our colony. He is always the first to use the litter boxes after we’ve done the big cleaning (complete change over and comet cleaning of all the boxes all at once). If we do anything with the cat food, open new bags or refill the feeders, he is the first, if only cat, to show up and supervise the activity, taking a test munch from every bowl. If we put a feeder in Moseley’s room, Wizard sits a vigil outside his door seemingly concerned about it’s misplacement. He always greets visitors and is usually the first cat to come out. He never moves when I’m vacuuming, even when I put the vacuum hose on him, there’s not so much as a quiver. Though his ears go back and he looks at me as if to say, “Why do you persist in trying to arouse my fear, by placing that annoying device on my haunches?” I back away, slightly ashamed for disturbing him with my pre-school antics. I’ve read that an alpha cat will always walk through the middle of a room, but lower ranking cats will walk closer to the walls and this also holds true for Wizard, but it does for some of the other cats too. My understanding is that the alpha status is fluid within cat hierarchies, but Wizard is the only one to behave consistently in those few things. If ever there is vermin to be caught in our house, Wizard is the one who has caught it. Though we’ve rarely seen signs of any rodent lurking in our living space, Wizard has come up with four mice and one mole since we’ve lived here. I think he's actually caught a couple of those outside from within our cat enclosure, but kindly brought it into the house to show off.

Wizard has a grovelly low, but nasally meow, more like a short and quiet roar that starts with his mouth closed and still sounds muffled even when his mouth opens…like, “mmmnnngggaow.” His purr is barely audible, and can be felt more than heard, and I’ve never heard him chirp. He used to be quite resistant to having his claws clipped, but using positive re-enforcement with treats has made a huge difference. He is still not fond of being brushed anywhere near his whole back end, tail and private parts especially, though he’ll purr when brushed elsewhere. Sometimes called Wiz-Bang, you can easily get his attention when you call out any variation of Zizz! "Waz-up Wizard?"

Wizard loves to leap after the flying feather during group games. When the field is clear enough, he can make some elegant twisting leaps. However, he will have nothing to do with the laser light, and seems to become disgruntled when everyone else goes crazy for it. If we point the light near him, his ears go back slightly, but his eyes look at it and then look away as if to say (in a British accent, of course), “It’s a light. I know I’m never going to catch it because it’s not real!” Just the other night, we had the light looping around the living room, with several kitties in tow, when like a flash of gray ghost, Wizard ran through the middle of the crowd from one side of the room to the other. A few moments later he ran back through the crowd in the opposite direction and then again a third time as if trying to break up this nonsense and show them something real fun like chasing him!

Playing on his own, Wizard will bat around a soft filled toy, but doesn’t seem to go for plastic toys or rabbit fur mice. He loves to play with the wrinkles on the couch throw and digs wildly at them in fits of silliness, and he’ll also try to get the buttons in the upholstered chair. He’s been known to dash out the front door, but will stop short a few feet from the house and roll over on his back as if he is just teasing us. We easily scoop him up and bring him back in. Mostly he is present, wherever anything is going on. He is stealth itself and we’re always surprised when we turn our head for a moment and zwing, he “apparates,” like a wizard, onto the nearest surface to observe (and hope for cheese).

I hope you've enjoyed meeting Wizard. Co9T


  1. Wow, no wonder everybody want to go see the Wizard!!! Very nice to hear your story...p.s. ignore the human behind the curtain.

  2. I loved reading about him. What a cool guy!

  3. So wonderful to meet Wizard! He is so very handsome! Our Maya loves cheese too!

  4. It warms our momma's ♥ that you didn't give up on him right away cuz sometimes it takes a little while fur us to get used to a new place☺

  5. You are so very intriging to look at. your fluff is so soft. what a beauty. we loves the pic where your tail is showing as you lay in your comfy place. yous a cutie pie.
    -US4 GATOS

  6. Hello Wizard. Great name. You are the first cat other than mine that was named Wizard! My Wizard was a lovely Tuxie that that was very laid back!

  7. It's off to see the Wizard!
    The wonderful Wizard of...
    oh yeah that's another wizard.
    Well Wizard we enjoyed meeting you and what a fabulous Wizard you are too.


  8. We love your story, and such a gorgeous mancat! Such pretty fur =^_^= PURRS2U

  9. You are a handsome wizard with a lovely floofy tummy.

  10. I think Wizard is a very beautiful cat, too! I love the subtle shadings in his fur. I wouldn't doubt that he is THE alpha cat in your house. If he originally was a street cat, he likely had to be more aggressive to survive. And he would have been no stranger to stray dogs, either. He obviously seems to learn quickly and adapt to the situation. It's lovely that he's still playful after all is said and done.

    Lovely to meet you, handsome boy!

  11. What a beautiful mancat and we love his name! Nice to meet you Wizard!

  12. Wizard, you're quite the handsome mancat! Sounds like you 'came to attention' at just the right time to fall in with a good gig there. Thanks for letting us get to know you a bit better!

    Purrs and hugs,
    The Kitty Krew

  13. Nice to meet you, Wizard! You sure are handsome!

  14. Wizard is one cool and handsome guy. Our human is still trying to figure out who's the alpha kitty of us too and those points you mentioned are a good hint.
    Purrs, Siena & Chilli

  15. Thnaks for the Reiki - didn't realize you were in Maine - I am from MA. Nice to meet another Reiki person. Chica is doing better with fluids. My email is posted on my blog if you ever want to chat!

  16. Hi Wizard nice to meet you!


Thank you for taking the time to comment. We read every one of them!