I was never much of a cat person. Then Zeppelin came into my life and he grew on me over the year I had him. It is nice to have a small furry animal to snuggle with who’s not needy, like Loki, who is self-sufficient, unlike Loki, who can entertain himself, unlike Loki, and isn’t big and rambunctious, like Loki. So after Zeppy went missing, I found myself missing having a cat more than I thought I would.
About a month ago, R and I were driving into town and found a lost, old, little dachshund wandering around on a dirt road near our house. He was obviously very sweet and very old, and we decided to take him to the Humane Society in town instead of leaving him there to fend off the hawks and foxes by himself. We got to the Humane Society and they knew who he was, the little dog had been adopted from there. He was microchipped and they called the owner. While we were there, I persuaded R to glance at the cats with me. I told the shelter manager that we needed a cat who a) has all his claws, b) isn’t afraid to use those claws against the dog, c) can be an indoor/outdoor cat, and d) no litterbox issues. I can deal with a lot of things, but a cat who doesn’t go in his box is not one of those things. The manager looked at another staff member and simultaneously they said, “Archie.”
Archie is the reason they have a sign on the cat room door that says, “Guard cat on duty.” Archie is the cat they have to put away when there are kids in the room. Archie is the cat that on his bio says, “no dogs.” He has a bobtail, and the story is he took on a coyote. The coyote got his tail. The person who found him after the coyote incident brought him to the shelter, where he was adopted from a few months later. The lady who adopted him had a little dog and small children around. Apparently Archie attacks small children and terrorizes small dogs, so back to the shelter he came. And by the time we met him, he had been back for 8 months.
Loki is a big, rambunctious, but playful, dog, and the shelter staff felt that maybe Archie could learn to play with a bigger dog like that. So about a week later we brought Loki to the shelter to meet Archie. The meeting went well – Loki just wants to play – and Archie only swiped at his nose a couple times. A couple more weeks went by as we attempted to get prepared for a cat in the house, and then, Archie came home!
We built two kitty perches so he’s able to get from one loft to the other, mostly to get away from the dog if he needs to. Within the first day of bringing him home, he already had the perches figured out. He also discovered that the woodstove is a perfect jumping point to the windowsill. Later that night, when we actually started a fire in the woodstove, he got spooked by the dog and jumped on top of it. He didn’t make any noise, but very quickly jumped off and ran off to lick his paws. He obviously hasn’t experienced fire very much, and he’s very intrigued watching the fire in the woodstove at night. And he’s now learned that sometimes that thing is hot… so… don’t jump on it.
He also is not very interested in Amelia, which is perfect. She walks right by him like he’s not even there, and he gets out of the way. Only once did he get into a stalking stance like he wanted to pounce on her, at which point I knocked him out of that trance. I told the shelter staff I would be strict with him and the duck, and they were cool with that. Kitty needs boundaries too. Amelia is clearly at the top of this pack. Already Arches and Loki have made pretty great strides in their relationship; they even sleep in the same bed as us with no bloodshed. And Arches purrs. A LOT. I love it. I’m convinced that rescued animals know they’re rescued. And they’re grateful.
He is definitely a little shit. But he’s cool. We like him.