We’ve seen him sitting on his rump with his legs splayed apart, holding onto the stub with both paws to wash it. He can get vocal when we touch it, but a couple of times he’s let us, so I know it doesn’t hurt him. He’s just particular.
Yukon is two years old and looked like a woolly bear when we got him. I tried the name Bear on him for a bit, but along with Mack (for Mack Truck), we thought it was too common.
We’d been looking for a bob-tailed cat and he caught DP’s eye because of his intense stare and chirpiness. There was a mother and two kittens at the shelter and when the mother sneezed, DP knew they’d all be euthanized. This one little guy was bold, yet pleasant (essential energy for our growing household), and he loved to touch noses. That’s what saved him. We wanted to save every cat and kitten that came to that shelter but, short of opening our own, which we’d love to do maybe one day, we have to be realistic. Yukon came home, got an Upper Respiratory Infection, but played, ate and snarfled his way to incredibly good health without missing a beat.
Yukon is a wonderfully full, frontal face cat, and still loves to rub our nose with his, but only when he is in the mood. We can grab his head and plant kisses all over it just about any time we want, and he starts purring. Grooming probably fills most of the time he’s not meditating (sleeping) or eating. When he’s finished grooming himself, he grooms any cat who comes along and has turned out to be quite a nurturer.
A strong shade of orange fills the inside of Yukon’s black outlined nose, equally eyeliner black lips give him striking facial expressions. All of his whiskers are white dipped in black, and are lined up inside perfect rows of black dots on his light brown face. The striped markings around his head are sharp, but they faze out along his body underneath a light coat of ticking, making him look woolly. He reminds me of a little boy in a gray and black striped shirt, the way his markings line his legs. His brown tummy is spotted and appears to have a seam down the middle. He’s the contemplative one in the gang, who looks like he should be the bully.
When he is not in his meditative zone pondering the universe, he’s vying for the favor of Stanze (Stahn-zee), our female German Shepherd. Where Stanze is obsessed with BJ, Yukon is in love with Stanze. It’s karma in action.
You can often find Yukon laying next to her bed (but not next to her), rolling and purring at her. If she is in her crate, he will lay just outside it, gazing in, waiting. If he’s in his lovey mood, he’ll rub and rub all over her, or the crate. She mostly doesn’t mind it, but if Yukon gets too zealous, he might open his mouth for a love bite, so she is cautious (as are we), and doesn’t let him linger too long. Sometimes we hear Stanze give a couple of warning barks in the middle of the night. We know that Yukon has gone too far and she’s telling him to back off. We’ll take his face rubs just about anytime he’s willing to dish them out, even at 2:36 in the morning. His motor starts running and he slowly walks up our sleeping bodies and will lay right down on me and rub his nose on mine. If I don’t pet him, and even when I do, he opens his mouth for a love bite. Yeowch, when you’re half asleep.
Because of his boldness, yet slow response time, it took him longer than any other kitten to graduate from fulltime kittenhood in the office (where we keep them out of harms way overnight or when we aren’t home). We had to be confident he could accurately read the dogs’ body language. He is one of those cats who weaves and bobs around our legs while we walk, arching his back so high while he stands on his tip-toes to rub against us, and anything thing else nearby. He has a very strong cat scent, though he is by no means dirty. Yes, I bury my face in his side…because he lets me.
Yukon doesn’t really meow as much as he squeaks and squawks, not in a bad way, but in a bird like way. He’ll sprawl on the living room floor and try to catch my eye when I’m in the kitchen. If I don’t notice him in a timely fashion, he starts to squeak at me. When I look he squeaks louder and bobs his head at me, telling me to come over and give him some love and kisses. I do.
Yukon likes to eat anything, anytime, anyplace…including throw-up. As a kitten he licked the plate from spicy hot enchiladas and I once gave him tiny bits of pineapple which he gobbled up. He especially loves oatmeal and popcorn, and every time I make either one, I’ll find him sitting near me staring with confident expectation that I’ll give him some. I do.
The eating throw-up thing, he got from our dogs. If any cat begins that rhythmic tell-tale sound of throwing up, everything in the household stops, and the dogs go running to catch the delightful treat which will be ejected like a pez dispenser. Yukon learned to come running too (he can move if he wants to), but he’s no where near as fast an eater as the dogs. He is also a chewer who will seek out the dog’s Nylabones to chomp on. He loves it when I bring home a new bunch of bananas so he can gnaw on the rind-like tips. If the quirks mentioned above aren’t enough, he also loves sour things, including the supposed spray-on deterrents called “Fooey” and “Sour Apple.” He licks them up. I once gave him a slice of fresh lime which he licked cautiously. I’m not sure he really liked it, but most cats would never go near citrus.
I think Yukon is pretty dominant in his quiet way. He’s not afraid of visitors and will come out to greet them, if he even bothers to get up at all. He’s not fond of the vacuum cleaner, but I think he is more annoyed by it than afraid. He seems secure enough to prefer laying on the floor at central vantage points, rather than up on heights or completely hidden. When he appears to be in Zen mode, I’ve learned that he is actually on high alert. If I sneak up behind him and touch his back, he zooms off a few feet before regaining his composure and sitting back down with his ears slightly twisted. I think he’d be more athletic if he didn’t eat so much, but he’s generally pretty good at jumping up for the flying feather wand, being graceful with a thud. He loves group games, but other than that, he doesn’t play by himself. He mostly likes to wrestle other kitties for fun.
Yukon is well mannered enough to be allowed forays into the bedroom overnight, but doesn’t usually make it through to the alarm. Anywhere between 1:30 and 3:00, he’ll come walking up on top and start rubbing our face with his purring nose, asking politely if we’d open the door. This is why we let him in the first place.
I hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Yukon. I’m sure I’ll feature him on Mancat Mondays. ~Lisa Co9T