Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Meet our Jack

The blog has now reached an important milestone: Ive let my husband have a look. He pointed out one shortcoming I must rectify immediately. I must write about our cat. He certainly deserves a longer story. 

Every cat owner knows each cat has a distinct character of its own. This is true even more so with our housecat who crew up among teenage girls – and dogs. We acquired Jack almost ten years ago for my daughter who insisted on attending a special high school far away from home and we had to give in. The school provided an apartment she shared with two other girls and you might guess the rest. With three riding animal-lovers under the same roof there were soon more pets than people in the apartment. First there was Jack, then my daughter’s Shetland sheepdog, then another dog and finally a second cat.

Come play with me, pal.

During his first year, Jack was only rarely taken outdoors and even then on a leash so he became a proper in-house cat who just spent his holidays with us tasting the joys of the slow life here. When my daughter returned from the school and moved away to live on her own, Jack stayed with us for good. He has since then turned into a spoiled all-purpose cat who must be allowed his freedom to come and go as he pleases whatever the season, whatever the time of the day. In winter, he may spend most of the day sleeping indoors but even then he never uses his litter box unless we leave him home alone for longer than just overnight.

Bit by bit, Jack learned to be a mouser who enjoys the playful chase and loves to leave us treats on the porch by the front door. Still I found it hard to believe when my husband told me a few years ago he had actually seen Jack eat a mouse. I just couldn’t understand the cute silky ball of a creature purring at the far end of our bed would have been transformed into a genuine predator. It felt like losing your pet innocence.

It takes effort to stay this soft and silky, you know.

Please give me a cuddle.

Like all cats, Jack loves to be cuddled but he doesn’t stay in your lap for more than a second. Perhaps thanks to the early years with his best pal the sheepdog shepherding the herd of teenagers, some canine qualities seem to have rooted into his nature, too. Jack enjoys human presence and tends to stay close to us preferring to take his nap both indoors and outdoor in a place where he can hear both of us. We have a 400-metre walk to the mailbox but if we don’t manage to sneak away he will tag along like a dog. He also fearlessly faces any animal as if he didn’t have the faintest idea someone might overrun him in size or strength or could want him harm.

Their mailbox could be a little closer.

I'm not coming all the way in this heat. I'll just wait here.

Not long after he moved to us permanently, Jack once returned to the house in such a weak state he could barely walk. There wasn’t any blood visible but we understood he must have somehow hurt himself badly. We couldn’t get an appointment with a vet but reached one over the phone. We were told we should just let him sleep and then wait and see because cats have a miraculous ability to withstand almost anything. The only thing we could do was to make sure he will drink some water in the meanwhile. He did revive and the vet later found two clear bite marks on his body.

Where did all the birds disappear?
No, I'm not hurt. I'm just sleepy.
Our house is located in the middle of cornfields just a stone’s throw from a forest, and all kinds of wild animals from badgers to bears have been sighted lurking around. We’ve been thinking we should install a motion detection camera outside to document all the night-time activity in our yard but perhaps that isn’t such a good idea. We can already tell Jack is the master of our 250-acre universe even if we don’t know about all his adventures with the wildlife. He is our role model, an inspiring example of how to adapt to things you cannot change and enjoy every moment as it comes.

You may think I'm useless 'cause I'm always napping on this bed on the porch...

..or in this tiny little house of my own in our yard.

But I am the King around here.


  1. Your husband was right Jack does deserve a whole post to himself. The images of him are wonderful and remind me of our old cat who looked very similar.
    Sarah x

    1. Indeed, aren't cats just wonderful. Pretending to be so independent but soon desperately needing some serious cuddling.