Thursday, September 20, 2007

Mr. Chesterfield

This is Mr. Chesterfield:

Mr. Chesterfield is a sweet, dignified gentleman and he happens to be the latest addition to the Waters' family of cats.

I know.


Don't hit!

See, Mr. Chesterfield has a unique story. He is really unlike any other cat we've adopted. No, really!

Last Friday, we happened to be in PetSmart buying supplies for our gaggle of felines who seem to eat us out of house and home. And, as usual, that local PetSmart was sponsoring a major adoption event on the weekend for "Forgotten Cats," a cat rescue organization here in Delaware. Well there were about 50 cats and kittens there---all beautiful animals. We walked by the cages, as we always do, and there was Mr. Chesterfield, standing there in his cubby hole, looking very sophisticated and content. I loved his face the moment I saw him.

When I noticed that his name was Mr. Chesterfield, I about died in a fire. It suits him so well. Todd read his little card and learned that Mr. C (as we now sometimes call him) is, in fact, nearly completely blind. Nobody knew if he was born blind (which I doubt) or how or when he lost his sight. His story was this: he was a family cat whose family decided they didn't want him any more (probably after he went blind, the bastiges), so they dumped him off in a feral colony of cats in a rural part of the state further south. Well, as you can imagine, those feral cats wanted nothing to do with this outsider, a feeling exacerbated by the fact that he was blind. So they kind of beat-up on him and prevented him from getting food, water, etc. Very sad. Someone who looked in on the colony from time-to-time discovered Mr. C there, and notified Forgotten Cats, who came and took him into foster care.

Well, we were immediately enamored with Mr. Chesterfield. Partly because he was calm and quiet, partly because he was blind and had such a sad life, partly because his name was R0XX0R, and partly because for Christ's sake, he's not a TABBY, we began seriously talking about taking him into our home. To make a long story short (too late, I know), we filled out the paperwork, it was accepted, and we picked him up Saturday afternoon.

Yes, he's a Bobtail, too!

We thought that maybe we had made a terrible mistake within the first 24 hours of having him at home. I mean, what were we DOING? A blind cat? Among FIVE other sighted---and mostly evil---cats? We kept him sequestered in my knitting room at night and let him roam around with supervision during the day. Understandably, whenever Mr. Chesterfield sensed one of our cats near him, he would hiss and growl. Who can blame him? This cat is at a serious disadvantage not being able to read the other cats' body language. Moreover, his recent experiences with a family of cats was not good.

I must say that I am absolutely proud of how well my cats have behaved around Mr. Chesterfield. Absolutely exemplary behavior. The only one I am concerned about is Ophelia. She is terrified of Mr. C. Whenever he gets within 4 feet of her, she just starts crying and runs away. Hercules, Luna, and Titus are incredibly curious about him, but not all up in his jimmy-jawn. Sophie, upon discovering that her insane parents had brought another cat into her house, just looked at Mr. Chesterfield, then at us with disdain, then she went, "Hrumph," and walked upstairs, like, "Oh, WHAT-EVER." Hercules wants to play with him, so he's been the cat to make the most attempts to get close to Mr. C. Every day, Mr. C gets a little more familiar with Herc and everyone else (except Fi-Fi). It really is getting better every day.

I think we may even be at the point we we don't have to keep him sequestered from the others when we are not around. My bunch have made no attempts to hurt him or take his food, water, or use his litter box. So, Mr. Chesterfield is slowly realizing that he is safe and that there is no threat. He is very sweet, loves to be petted, and actually sleeps in his own little pet bed! He is so smart! Whenever he goes into a room that is unfamiliar, he walks in a 3-foot circle to orient himself. The other cats are mesmerized by this. So much so that they will literally sit and watch him for 30 minutes at a time.

The information given to us by the folks at Forgotten Cats states that he is about 5-6 years old. I have a feeling that he is a bit older than that. Maybe about 10. I have no problem with his age. We are taking him to our vet next Thursday, just to make sure that he is healthy otherwise. Although I do know that he doesn't have Feline HIV or Leukemia. And I would like to get our vet's analysis of his blindness. I wonder if there is hope for him to get some measure of his sight back?

Anyway, he really is a lovely cat, with a charming personality. He totally won both Todd's and my hearts. Not hard to understand why. Sigh. Six cats. The asylum awaits me, I know.


Katie J said...

Oh. My. Cat. He is cute. I understand why you brought him home and I will come to visit you.

Gina said...

Aww, thanks! I wish you would come visit me! :-) We could ROLL UP with the swift!


Jan Brofka-Berends said...

I will continue to call him Mr. Sofa, by the way. Glad he's fitting in!

Gina said...

LOL! Hey WHY do you call him Mr. Sofa, BTW?

Jan Brofka-Berends said...

Check here: . Look at definition 2.

Also, I will desperately need to use your swift myself. Lace-weight yarn is a PITA to work with, but those beautiful balls I saw Marsha walk away with . . . well, I need something similar.

Gina said...

Really?!?!? Well the next time Todd and I come over, I will definitely bring the swift and winder along!

Shelli said...

Gina, he's gorgeous!!

Gina said...

Aww, thanks. Isn't he loverly? He is super sweet too.

Katie J said...

Oh, Gina I love it when you talk dirty. Roll up with the swift. Music to my ears!

Beth said...

Welcome, Mr Chesterfield. That face, I agree, ya gotta love it.

Anonymous said...

Oh, it's Chester!

My mother and I picked him up after he was abandoned in a trailer park. He lived in my room for a few hours before my mother took him to her friend who got in touch with Forgotten Cats. :)

I'm so glad he found a loving home, he was so sweet.

Gina said...

Oh hey!! Thanks so much for posting! We're so curious about the how and when Mr. Chesterfield was discovered. Did you and your mom give him the name Mr. Chesterfield? It's a great name for him! When did you guys find him? Feel free to post back or to e-mail me!

the nicole kline experience said...

dear mr. chesterfield,

upon copious deliberation, i have decided you are all that i desire in a mate. you are loyal, gorgeous, a true gentleman, and far more intelligent than my last 4 boyfriends (i'm sure at least one of them is still having toilet-problems).

please find my application attached.



robustyoungsoul said...

Holy cow, my wife and I saw this cat at that same PetSmart adoption weekend and we still remember him ever since.

It absolutely made my day to find out he got adopted that weekend!

Julie said...

I am sooooo glad you adopted Mr. Chesterfield. My husband and I saw him at Petsmart probably 2 weeks before you adopted him. We thought he was incredibly cute but we have several flights of stairs and were concerned about his ability to get around. We ended up adopting Pumpkin from Forgotten Cats a week later. We were talking about Mr. Chesterfield today wondering how he was doing and I stumbled across your blog post trying to track him down. I am so happy to know that Mr. Chesterfield was given a much deserved second chance.

the nicole kline experience said...

to the people posting about mr. chesterfield: he is getting a much deserved second chance with a very loving set of parents!! gina and todd love and adore him. it galls me to think about what the poor guy has been through, but it warms my heart every time i hear his little "mrow!" rest assured, he is in the best hands :)

Gina said...

Thanks for posting!! He is seriously the sweetest cat ever. He is super smart. He knows his name, when it's feeding time, where his beds are, how to go up and down stairs, etc. He's very chatty too. Like to talk to you and sit with you on the sofa. We love him very much.