Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Finally Owen

Owen isn’t really our cat…

…he’s their cat.

He belongs to the colony and basically regards us humans as hands. Hands that give him treats, hands that hold or fling toys and hands that will give him a good petting if he just can’t get any from another cat…we’ll do in a pinch. He meows and trills and asks for “hands, please!”

Although adopted from the shelter, he has no sad rescue story. We just needed some color in the group. I’m kidding, in truth I’d lost my 14 year old orange and white tabby, Bustopher several months earlier and had been ooing and awing over a new batch of orange kittens up for adoption. I made a comment to DP that it was a good thing there wasn’t an orange one with white on its face or I’d be a gonner; then tumbling out from the second story play condo comes this little white and orange chirper with only a stub for a tail. He flung himself recklessly into the pile of his brothers and started biting on their ears. I nearly turned inside out when I saw his white chest and paws, not to mention the streak of white lightening across his nose. That following night when DP came home from the shelter, she walked in the door saying she had a surprise for me. She opened a bag and pulled out a brown and white ceramic watering bowl. “It’s for the living room,” she said. “Doesn’t it match great?” I gleefully took it from her, eager to replace the metal one that kept tipping over. As I was admiring the shiny brown two-toned glaze, I sensed DP staring at me. I looked up at her mischievous grin just as she started to unzip her fleece jacket and out popped an orange-faced kitten with a streak of lightening down his nose. He had bright curious eyes and was amazingly calm in the midst of the dog’s usual welcome home jubilation. “Surprise!” The water bowl seemed to dissolve in my hands as I reached out to hold the purring little boy.

Nine weeks old, he was healthy and already neutered. It was the first time we could just take a new kitten and plug him directly into the group. We placed him in a large dog crate to ease the initial meet and greet, but he wanted nothing to do with it, sticking his paws through the bars to touch a mildly hesitant Snafu. After about five minutes we realized the new guy no longer needed to feel safe, and took a chance on just the two of them alone.

 It’s hard to describe Owen without including Snafu. They are only a month apart in age and spent their “grade school” kittenhood together in the office (where all kittens are kept safe while they learn canine body language skills).

Snafu was three months old.

If Snafu is Batman, Owen is his Robin…

…only they aren’t do gooders by any means. They wreak havoc, chasing each other all over the house, tumbling, fighting, teasing the older cats and stealing every cat’s toys. If any cat is enjoying a little solo toy time, Owen will chirp his way over to see what they’re playing with, and try to steal it. If he has a toy of any value, and by that I mean almost any plastic milk ring type toy or furry mouse, he’ll growl at any cat who gets too close. One time we thought we’d flood the kitties with furry mice, since they seemed to covet those most, trying to lower their “market” value. The first time we did it, Owen systematically stole every cat’s mouse, guarding a stash he carried over to a corner.

Snafu can always count on Owen for a good fight and fortunately for the other kitties, Owen seems to be able to take a lot from Snafu, giving him as much back. But Snafu has to push everything to the edge, so sometimes Owen gets tired of getting beaten up and eventually runs from him.

Owen went through a couple names before we hit it right. With so many individuals living in the house, we try to find a names that don’t sound alike – Reebock was used the longest, until the night we spent in the Emergency Veterinary Clinic for Snafu’s pneumonia. While in the waiting room silently contemplating Snafu’s fate, DP glanced at the wall of thank you notes and pictures and saw a photo with the name Owen under it. She looked at me and said, “Owen! That’s his name. Owen!” I knew exactly who she meant and agreed immediately, even though the Owen in the picture was a German Shepherd. Because he barely paid attention to us, Owen never learned any of his other names, so it was an easy transition for him. I, on the other hand, still have trouble coming up with his name when talking about him. The easiest thing my mind can grab onto is his description, so I end up referring to him as Yellow Boy. When we call out to him, we all know his name is “O-WHEEEN!” He knows it too.

To put it in human terms…Owen will roll over for anyone. When he wants some attention, he saunters over to the nearest cat, crashes a head butt into their chest, freefalls to the ground and rolls over, chirping and meowing his pleas to be bathed. It was really sweet when he was a little kitten, but he’s a big boy now and I think sometimes his chosen feline takes exception to his request. They might give him a lick or two, or even a bite or two, then get up and leave. Not Yukon. Owen goes to Yukon the most, and Yukon willingly and lovingly licks his head for hours as Owen purrs and rolls.

They seem to have a special bond, like they know they are the only two cats without long tails and understand each other. They look sort of Yin and Yang with their tabby stripes as they fall asleep after a good licking session, that is, if it doesn’t turn to biting.

When Yukon isn’t available, Owen knows he can come to us. He meows his way over to a lap and throws himself down on his back, crashing his head into our hands for some love. Owen often comes butting into a love session we might be having with another cat. If we reach out to pet Nick, Owen will run from across the room meowing, and walk under my outstretched arm, or between us, if he can. Though he’s too shy to look directly in our eyes very often, it’s hard not to be captured by his big, gorgeous, orange eyes.

Although Owen is Snafu’s best buddy, and has a special connection to Yukon, he generally gets along with all the other cats. He and Penny play chase quite often, and he play fights with just about everyone. He loves group games, giving equal smashing enthusiasm to chasing the laser light as jumping up for the flying feather wand. He still throws himself around recklessly, barely landing on three legs if not on his behind.

He is a member of the Moo Club and will eat kitchen handouts, if he happens to be in the vicinity, but he doesn’t beg for food (we’ve just learned that he is wild about black licorice). He eats plenty, though, and we decided to switch to a weight control kibble due to his growing bulkiness.

Unlike Yukon’s small button stub, Owen has a complete tail; only it’s in miniature. It has a bunch of tiny descending vertebrae that curl around and is covered in a nice tuft of fur. Also unlike Yukon, Owen can waggle his tail in quite a spinning, flag waiving motion. Where normal sized tails may whap their emotions from side to side or even up and down, this quirky guy’s tail swings round and round, like a wind up key, and just about as fast too. Owen does everything fast, including his kneading. He kneads like he’s boxing. He’ll run into the bedroom (meowing of course, as he has to tell us everything he is doing), jump on the bed after a toy, suddenly redirect his attention on the soft blanket, instantly zoning off into extreme kneading, purring and waggling his tail. If we reach out to pet him, he’ll chirp, freefall and rollover into our hands.

I hope you've enjoyed meeting Owen.  ~Lisa Co9T


  1. Hi Owen! Nice to meet you!

  2. That was a great read about sweet Owen. Nicet to meet you too.

  3. Owen is so sweet and quite the character. And love his name...that was almost Everett's name.
    Ours never all sleep together on the bed...that is so cute.

  4. I enjoyed meeting Owen very much. He seems like quite a character. I would love to see his tail in action.

  5. Owen looks like a true delight!! What a wonderful house full of love you have!!!

  6. What a wonderful kitty!
    Owen rocks!

  7. Owen is so cool!!! Owen, I sure enjoyed your story and it is so nice to have such a good buddy like Snafu.

  8. I was wondering if you reported on all your kitties according to age, because the two youngest seem to be last!

    The first thing that struck me about Owen, was -- yes, those gorgeous very orange eyes! I think it's neat to have an orange kitty with eyes to match. (I'm very partial to the orange ones myself, but none of mine ever had the eyes to match.)

    Also, his white lightning streak is quite unique -- just like he is. You also seem to choose kitties that are a little different in some way. And Owen's tail and markings certainly qualify.

    Wow, was he ever neutered early! I've never heard of it being done when they were still that young before.

    It's so sweet that Owen and Snafu have such a bond. I really enjoyed the pictures of them together as kittens. It's obvious that Owen is so trusting because he loves to pose on his back, leaving himself most vulnerable. His other buddy, Yukon seems more like surrogate-mom (even though he's male, too). Definitely a role model (or as I like to say -- a roll model, as they roll around together) in any event.

    It's also so cute that Owen will play with just about anything. I've always said -- who needs to buy cat toys? Anything is a potential toy to a cat. I love that he steals furry mice, too, and has his own little mouse stash. (Hmmm, that would make a good LOL somehow -- Owen with his moustache!).

    Nice to meet you Owen! You're so lucky to have such a wonderful furmily and a couple of beans to take care of you.

  9. What a wonderful blog! We will come back later and read more and enjoy the super photos!
    We tried to join you friends, but it said to try again later, and we will!!
    ~ Napoleon

  10. What a sweetie pie Owen is. It was nice to see all of his photos and find out about him. I know he and Snafu will enjoy many hours playing Batman and Robin.

  11. love his little lightning moustache! how cute!

  12. Oh my gosh Owen is just adorable - and he sounds like such a character! I don't know if it is possible to fall in love with a kitty through one blog posting but I think I totally have - I just could picture the things you were describing so well with him!

    And oh his eyes - I have not seen a lot of orange-eyed cats and with his orange fur it is just amazing! And the pictures of him with Snafu as kittens, all curled up together - falling down cute! We don't have an orange kitty so my hope is that the next one we get will be orange (although I am a sucker so any color is really fine with me).

  13. Oh Owen we thought we were looking at Ping in one of your photos. Our orange boy is so similiar. He is a people pleaser though and loves attention. Although if you had met him as he first arrived our on doorstep you wouldn't have thought so. He is so high energy that we believe his "former owner" (who abandoned him BTW) couldn't handle him. Owen it was really so nice to get to know you better. You are a sweetie and those eyes are simply purrfection!


  14. Owen, you sound like a sweetheart! Your white markings are a lot like our Bugsy's, with a little less on the face. But you sure do throw yourself with abandon, it sounds (and looks) like. MOL Some of those photos of you are adorable. :)

    Purrs and hugs,
    The Kitty Krew

  15. We enjoyed reading Owen's story as well as Snafu's. It's nice that they are so close, too...

  16. Oh the photos of Owen and Snafu (the dynamic duo) together are priceless! I LOVE Batman & Robin!! Owen has got quite some modeling talent. Thanks for introducing us to him.

    Glogirly & Katie

  17. We loved reading about you, Owen! And all the other cats too, of course (we just discovered yer bloggie). We'll be regular visitors...

  18. Owen is geourgous. I love the color of his eyes. They match his coat. You descriptions were hillarious, and photos are great. I am a follower now. GIVE ME MORE :-)

  19. We loved reading about Owen and all the other cats. Great photo's and descriptions of their characters. We think you could spend every day just watching how they get along (or not) together.

  20. That was a pawsome story! Such beautiful kitteahs! =^_^=

  21. Oh my goodness!! This is Mister Kitten all over! Well, except for the tail. And the white spots. And the fact that his sex didn't "change". No, really! Mister Kitten's story (or most of it) is here. ::shakes head:: I started with Owen. Now I can't wait to meet the rest, they sound much like my Teenage Mutant Ninja Kitty Horde!!


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