Mr. Oates – or Oatesy as he is commonly called around here – will celebrate his 4th birthday on November 11. In cat years that makes him around 30, so he is still relatively young but quite a bit past kittenhood. He’s a handsome devil – as most ginger tabbies seem to be.
It’s been well over 3 years since I discovered him at the Arnprior Humane Society shelter – sleeping quietly in a cat bed, sad and forlorn after his family suffered marriage breakdown and surrendered him and his favorite toy to the shelter. Both came home with us.
He didn’t enjoy the car ride, and it took him a bit of time to feel at home – but by nightfall, he was sleeping at the foot of the bed. He’s done so every night since. Most cats don’t show a lot of gratitude for a second chance at life, but they are nothing if not adaptable. Oates certainly made himself at home.
He’s different from our much beloved Sammy. He is a quiet purrer, but very vocal – almost like our old Siamese Brio from a couple of decades ago. He really loves women. Maria is his favorite person in the world, but other people on his love list are our friend Shari and granddaughter Veronica – the Cat Whisperer.
Oates has his moments with me as well. He usually comes in to cuddle up if I have an afternoon nap. At night, if Maria gets tired of his snuggling in her face, she sends him down to the foot of the bed, where he usually ends up plastered to the back of my calves. “Anyplace that’s warm” is his motto.
At age 4 he is full of energy. He dashes around in the morning, frantically chasing a wand toy mouse or feathery “bird.” Afterwards, he’s ready to chow down and then hit his bed for a few hours of shut-eye. He repeats the process at night before stretching out on the couch near the fireplace.
He is extravagant in his affection. He rubs around your legs, gives head butts, and if you drop him a slow “I love you” eye blink, you are sure to get one back. He’s got a variety of vocalizations, from a soft purry trill to a full-throated Yow! Yow! Mrrowww! There’s no ignoring him.
His favorite room in the house is (wait for it) the furnace area. Lots of nooks and crannies to explore, and he knows he’ll get a cat treat to lure him out.
In 36 years we’ve had three great cats, each one different but each one special. We have loved each one. They have loved us. Not a bad bargain.