Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Another pet introduction is definitely in order, I thought this time I would introduce my almost 8 year old cat Zazu!
I met Zazu on 4/30/01, 3 days after his birth on 4/27/01. I was interviewing for a job I ended up taking at a Vet Clinic in Verona, WI. His mama (we called her "Mama Kitty") was taken in for a rescue organization as a pregnant kitty by the clinic. This is done frequently by Vet. Clinics, they will help local rescue by taking in pregnant mamas and then adopt out the kittens. It's ethically a great decision and also good for business - most frequently the adopters are current clients or end up bringing their pets to the clinic.
I didn't start working at the clinic until about a month later so by that time Zazu and his 4 male littermates were all strapping young lads! They frequently had eye infections so I had to put antibiotic ointment in their eyes on a daily basis. I will never forget the moment that I realized I had a bond with Zazu that was a bit more special than that I had with the other kittens. I had them all in a cozy cup on a cat tree while medicating them when Zazu peered over the side of the cup, looked right at me and purred loud enough for me to hear from a few feet away. From that moment on it was love. He used to ride around work on my shoulder all day like a little parrot. But I had just finished my freshman year of college and had one more year in the dorms so knew I couldn't adopt him. I just hoped he was adopted into a great home.
Weeks passed and he wasn't adopted. It got to the point where his litter was almost 12 weeks, I was head over heels for him and trying to find a family member to adopt him (no one wanted a kitten!), and I began to realize that if I didn't adopt him I would never see him again and I didn't know if I could part with him. At that time I was living with my sister (a Veterinarian) for the summer and I worked up the guts to ask her if she would ever consider allowing him to live in her home while I finished up my last year in the dorms with the promise that I would find an apartment to sublet as soon as the spring semester was over.
She actually said yes (can you say awesome sister?!). I will never forget the first time they met. I was with Zazu in my basement room at their house and she came down to see him during our weekend trial period, and said, "You didn't tell me he is an ORANGE KITTY!!" I didn't know it would matter! He then proceeded to climb up to her shoulder (which was quite the feat as she was standing!) and purr in her ear - she ws instantly hooked! Zazu lived with my sister and her husband, her 2 cats and 3 dogs, for 9 months. He was a holy terror at times but my sister really grew to love and adore him.
Since then he's been with me! He's been through 5 apartments since he and I started moving about, and everywhere he goes he adjusts immediately. He's one of the most easygoing cats I've ever met, he gets along well with animals of any species and plays the role of the "glue" in our multi-species household. Everyone loves him, it's hard not to. He and I will always have an extra special bond - he's my best friend for sure.
1) FOOD. We've gone through 4 automatic feeders for him, he was able to figure out how to break into the first 3 models (did I mention that he's extremely smart?), until I stumbled upon my current feeder. The new feeder chimes prior to the meal being dispensed and he charges through the apartment when he hears that bell! (Note: Photo is of him breaking into one of our former feeders)
2) Dairy! Like a true Wisconsin cat...Milk is his favorite but Cheese is great, too!
3) Catnip. He likes it a LOT.
4) Sitting in the most inopportune places at the most inopportune times to demand affection. A Zazu specialty.