Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Our cat thinks she is a dog

Remember Elly?

She is our beautiful "used" cat, as my husband calls her. (Actually, she belongs to our daughter Emily, who does all the yucky work of cleaning the litterbox.) Emily adopted her through the cat rescue program at PetSmart, and she came with a few "undocumented features:"

  • When we first got her, we thought she was a cream colour (with her brown and black markings), but after a few weeks of grooming herself, we realized she is actually white. She was that dirty from being a street cat.

  • She also has one clipped ear because when they found her she had a fungal infection that they couldn't clear up without doing surgery.

  • She also has something wrong with her hips: she swings her back legs out to the side while walking, rather than bending her knees, and she yelps if you stroke her hind end (except if you scratch the elevator-butt zone - that she loves).

  • She has a disorder called feline stomatitis that causes her teeth to decay like crazy and actually break off at the gumline. By the time we discovered it we had to have surgery to have most of her remaining teeth removed (she has four left). It also causes sinusitis and gives her the drippiest nose on the planet. (When she shakes her head, drops spray. Very yucky.)
So why do I say she thinks she's a dog?
  • Mostly because she is one of the most gregarious cats I've ever met. Most of the cats I've known run and hide when company comes. Not Elly. She's right there in the thick of things, daring everyone to step on her tail.

  • She loves loves loves stinky things. Her favourite thing is Steve's backpack after he's been out sweating and climbing for six hours in the hot sun. She will rub herself all over that backpack like she's a pig in mud. If the backpack is not around, she will get up close & personal with any of our day-old dishcloths.

  • She plays fetch - albeit on cat terms. She has a favourite little mouse toy that she brings to the top of the stairs (or bottom, depending where we are). Then she will sit there and meow to draw our attention to this wonderful gift she has presented us. (If she were an outdoor cat, I have no doubt we would be receiving dead critters on a regular basis.) She waits patiently until one of us gets up and tosses the mouse for her to resume her game. Once, she even brought it within my arm's reach, but that is exceptional for her.
  • She won't tolerate being carried around. Like most dogs she will start to squirm within about 30 seconds of being picked up.

But mostly, she is all cat. She sleeps about 20 hours a day, she likes to knead my tummy, and she purrs like crazy. She lounges on my arm while I'm typing (as she is doing right now), which causes her head to bob up and down while I write. She likes me to sing directly into her skull. Seriously. She will come from across the room to climb up on me and put her head right up to my mouth if I am singing.

Yup. She's a quirky one - she fits right in in this family, and we love her.


  1. Haha, my dog thinks she is a cat, as can be seen here as she sits in the kitty bed:!/photo.php?pid=51556160&id=4932596. She chases the laser pointer and WON'T play fetch! She also turns her nose up to treats and food... her bowl will stay full all day long!

    Our cat on the other hand tends to be dog-like too. Such confused animals!

  2. Umm actually the fungal infection she had was clearing up until she scratched at it and it became a bigger mess.

  3. You're right Emily. I keep forgetting about that.

  4. I can't believe you didn't mention how unsure/regretful Elly is about going outside...
    She sprints to any door in the house within 30 seconds (Guaranteed) and pauses, waits until someone sees her, then bolts back under a chair.
    Or, how she eats ANYTHING that falls off the table... at least she tries...



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