What up, blogonites?! Yesterday was my cat Jasper’s 9th birthday, and I thought what better way to commemorate my best feline friend than dedicate this post to him? He’s quite the interesting character.
My Little Monster
In 2008, my husband asked me what I would like for my birthday. I told him that I wanted a kitty, so we went to the humane society to look at cats. I went in thinking I wanted a female cat, but after looking at all the cute little furballs with vaginas I didn’t make any connections. I looked at all the Princesses, Daisys, and Mias, and though they were incredibly cute, they were skittish and shy, and none of them were compelling enough to call my own. Then I hear my husband call from across the room, “Hey Claire! What about this one?”
I approached the cage. The nametag said “Monster,” and inside was an adorable little tabby cat. But the tag also said male.
“It’s a boy,” I replied. “I don’t want a boy.”
“Just hold him,” Husband said. “Maybe you’ll change your mind.”
I took him out of the cage and held the little guy. I put his head over my shoulder and held his bottom and walked around the room. He seemed much more comfortable with me than the other kittens. Mildly satisfied yet still unsure, I went to put him back in the cage, but when I tried to pull him away, he dug his little claws into my shirt and gave the smallest mew. The sweetness hit me like a ton of bricks, and I vowed that this would be the last time I ever had to leave this little one behind. He was to be my little Monster.
A couple weeks later, after he’d been neutered and vaccinated, we picked him up and named him Jasper.
King of the Neighborhood
Side Note: Jasper’s not a small cat. From head to butt he’s about 2 1/2 feet long, has a 15″ tail, and is currently 16 pounds (and only slightly overweight). His claws are also the sharpest I’ve ever come across. The slightest graze will leave you bleeding for a while.
For the first three years of Jasper’s life, he was an indoor cat. My apartment complex charged $100 for an animal, plus an additional $30/month. Being a young college student, I couldn’t afford that shit, so Jasper stayed “in-cat-nito” in my apartment, never to be seen by the outside world. Then we moved to a place on O’Leary Street, a semi-shady part of town near campus, and zero f***s were given by my landlords about cats or dogs. This is when we got our husky Willow (more on her another day), and we decided to let Jasper go outside to give him some space from this crazy new puppy that was enamored with him.
For the first few weeks, he hovered near our place, establishing his territory. The more he went out, the bolder he became. One day, I walked to O’Leary Mart, a little market with chips and pop that was several houses down, looking for a between-classes snack. As I’m perusing the Cheetos I hear a little meow, and up waltzes Jasper like he owns the place.
“JASPER?!” I exclaimed, glancing around frantically to see if I’d be in trouble. “What are you doing in here?!”
“Oh, is that your cat?” the cashier asked. “He comes in here all the time.”
Another day a month or so later, I get a phone call while I’m at school. It’s one of my neighbors several houses over. He tells me that my cat is in his backyard trying to lord over his own cats and steal their territory. He tells me that he’s tried spraying him with water, but he still won’t go away. He gives me his address and I head over there. I can hear him howling from the few houses away I had to park. The moment Jasper sees me, his stops. He hisses, and I tell him to shut up and he does. I scoop him up, to the chorus of protesting little meows, apologize to the man, and take him home.
Another day, another phone call. Jasper’s at another neighbor’s house. Neighbor found him in his closet. He was hanging out in his room when he hears this scraping noise coming from inside his closet. He opens it up, and there’s my cat, just hanging out in this dude’s closet. Apparently he jumped through an open window and somehow managed to get himself stuck inside the closet. Husband went and picked him up that time.
We’d often hear Jasper before we’d see him. We had a wash in our backyard, and we’d hear him howling at some cat or other out there, then eventually see a strange cat running for the hills. One particularly noisy day, Jasper returned with a chunk missing out of his ear, like he’d gotten in a fight with a cat named Tyson. He seemed perfectly fine aside from that. I’d hate to have seen the other cat.
After we moved from O’Leary Street a few years later, Jasper became an indoor cat once more. His prowling days were over, and ever since then we see him gazing out the window, dreaming of days in his prime.
There are many more stories of my monstrous kitty-cat, but I’ll save them for another time. Now he’s officially starting to get old, but I’ll always see him as the cute little monster I got from the humane society. I love you, Jasper. Happy Birthday!
Do you have any funny pet stories? Tell me all about it by Leaving a Reply! I’d love to hear from you.