Introducing Vande-cat

Go on…pet me, I’m cuuuuuuuuuute!

My second kitty is Vande (it’s two syllables and rhymes with candy) and I wasn’t exactly looking for her when she came to live with us. Vande is older than Isaak by exactly two months but because she came to live with me in early December and because she is such a short, chunky, small cat I often refer to her as the Little Kitty and definitely think of her that way. She is a British Shorthair incase you were wondering.

Long about December I decided that poor “I” was going bonkers all alone at home for eleven hours at a time (I was on ten hour shifts at work) and was being such a pain when I did get home that I decided he needed a playmate. I thought at least he would be entertained and not so lonely all the time, plus I would get some respite from the constant “meowmeowMEOWmeowmeow” that started when I walked in the door and shut up (sorta) when I went to sleep.

Coincidentally we were having a conversation about our cats at work that went something like this:

ME: I have one kitten at home, he’s pretty wild.
S: We have one cat but we have a dog too.
B: We have two cats.
R: I cant tell you how many cats I have.

(laughter from Me, S and B)

S: Huh? You cant tell us?
ME: Oh, I see…it’s some sort of deep national secret. He’d tell us but then he’d have to kill us.
B: Ooooo! Conspiracy cats!
R: Well, no. I cant tell you because I don’t know how many cats I have in my house.

(more laughter)

S: How can you not know how many cats you have in your house?
ME: Isn’t it your house?
S: Maybe the cats own it, he just rents.
B: Oh, there you go…landlord conspiracy cats.
R: No, my wife breeds cats.
ME, S & B: Oh!
ME: I liked the conspiracy cats better.

So we got talking about R’s multitude of cats and after discovering that they were trying to close down the breeding program (not enough diverse DNA in the British Shorthair population I guess. At least here in the States) and get rid of all but a few of their cats. A discussion or two later and I was hauling home a buddy for my wacko Siamese cat.

Brits are interesting critters. They have these weird round eyes and poonched in faces that make them look somehow…off. Sorta like how a cheetah looks in comparison to lions and tigers (but not bears) and the like. Yes a cheetah is a cat but it’s not quite cat like in the face the way the other big cats are. Same with Brits. But where a cheetah looks odd, a Brit manages to look irresistibly adorable. Then again it may be the size and all…I am not sure a three foot high several hundred pound Brit would still be as cute. Regardless, they know how to work their charm.

Vande has several tricks up her sleeve that work every time. First off she has this weird little bleat of a meow that takes about a million ounces of cat energy to get out. At least she makes it look so. She squishes her face all up real tight, opens her mouth wide and “meh”. That’s it. She sounds like a sheep. “meh” Sometimes she gets bold with a “Meh” but that is under dire circumstanced indeed. Still, it’s the funniest thing and you just gotta lean over and pet her after she has gone through all that effort.

If the bleating doesn’t work, she then flops onto her back and starts “putting on a show”. This involves lying down somewhere noticeable, and cute, and rolling over into her back for tummy scratches. If that doesn’t catch you, she will squirm around and look woefully at you with those huge round eyes until you just have to pet her. Trust me, it’s adorable (and oddly very dog like). Once you start petting her, she is all sorts of happy (unlike Isaak who is apt to walk off in a huff after a while or just plain turn around and “bite” your hand) and she would stay on your lap just soaking up the kitty love if you would let her.

Lastly, and something she doesn’t really do as much as have it done to her, if you smooth her ears back I discovered she looks like an alien. She is not so much fond of this but it’s great entertainment at a party; my cat is a gray! It’s also about her only trick (and I have to do all the work). She’s not especially gifted in the area of cat smarts.

The last interesting characteristic of Brits is their coat. Vande’s fur, which is typical of a Brit’s coat, is so fine and dense that she feels like a plush toy. I guess that’s another reason petting her is fun, she feels soft. No, really soft. The down side to all that multitudes of fine fur is that in the wintertime she is her own walking static charge. I have seen the poor cat walk from one side of the room to sniff a sock (ZAP) to the other side to check up on Isaak (ZAP) and maybe eat some food (ZAP) or jump on the couch for a snooze (ZAP).

So why is Vande named Vande anyway? I’ll give you a hint: It’s short for Van de Graaff.


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