Ok, that may be a little dramatic; sorry Mr. Dickens. But goodness, for two cats with the almost exact fur color, they are so different!
Yes, they are almost 12 years apart in age, and that makes a huge difference too. But Star was 2 when I got her and really, apart from slowing down a little and taking more care with her jumps, she’s just about the same as she always was.
Their big difference is size. Star is a small, petite, 7 pounds with short legs and a short body. Leo is just over 10 pounds, long and lean with tall legs and a long body. He looks like he weighs more, but it’s all fur.
Leo has long, feathery, yet not too thick, fur. Star has the softest fur you’d ever want to touch, not long, not short, kind of middle. I always thought she had a fluffy tail, and it is her fluffiest part, but then we met Leo. His tail is at least 4 or 5 inches longer than hers and the fur on it is so long it looks like a giant plume.
Star has a round little face, a short little nose and big round eyes. Leo has a pointy face, a long nose and tilted almond eyes. We call him little fox face because he looks a little like a fox and is so adorable. I’ve mentioned before that he has a slight overbite, but he also has a very tiny chin. Star has a long chin which makes her look like she’s pressing her lips together in disapproval a lot.
Their big difference, of course, is personality. Goodness, but Star is a cranky little wench! And Leo is a big ol’ goof ball. When he plays, he jumps every which way, crashing into things without a care, just hopping around and going bananas. Star stalks, her eyes go wide and dark and she crouches low and is very deliberate when she attacks. I think she thinks his bounding around is undignified. I think he doesn’t care what anyone thinks.
When it comes to belly pets, Star has to be in the mood and then she will roll over and demand them. She has curly belly fluff and loves to show it off. She will let (read insist) you rub up and down her tummy forever. And if you stop, watch out, she will give you the evil eye until you start again. When she’s done, she’ll either get up and walk off (whew) or try to take your arm off (argh!).
Leo does not like belly rubs. Not in any way shape or form. Which is just awful for me because I love kitty bellies! The only way to get to pet his tummy is to make sure he’s asleep then really lightly rub it. But you have to stop the moment he opens his eyes or you get one of two reactions. He will either get up and roll onto his belly so you can’t get at it (aw poo) or he will grab hold of your hand with both paws, no claws, (awe) and hold onto it as if he was deciding if he should bite or not. Mostly he does not, and when he does, it’s a light little almost putting his teeth on you.
Leo is a random, goofy, little boy. Star is a deliberate, cranky, old lady. But you know what? I love them both just the same. They’re my babies and I’m blessed to have them.
Oh yes, I started out with best of times, worst of times.. I had both today.
The worst was an unprovoked attack, and the best was mega-cuddles. BL (before Leo) Star had developed a very bad habit of attacking my arms early in the morning leaving me with horrible scars. I never knew what set her off, though sometimes it would happen as I was petting her and she might have become overstimulated and I didn’t realize that she was done. Oh my goodness would it hurt though. I had learned to keep my arms under the sheets to take away her target, and if I laid on my side and let her on my hip, she would lose the desire to attack. But since Leo arrived, she hasn’t done that. I don’t know if it’s because she centered her attack mode on him, or if she had enough activity that she didn’t need to, or if I just learned to always always let her on my hip.
This morning, she came in and I settled in so she could get on my hip, but she passed right by it and just launched an attack on my arm from out of the blue! I have a couple of punctures and a deep scratch and I’m still bewildered about why. But I decided we are not going to start this up again, so I made sure she left the room and I shut the door. If she’s going to attack, she is not going to be allowed in.
The mega-cuddles came later. First, when I finally got up and allowed Star back in, she was contrite and wanting attention and pets. I pet her, but I was still leery that she might attack again. She didn’t, so she got the attention she wanted. When I got downstairs, Leo was in an extra cuddly mood. No one has been over working on the house for the last two days, so he’s making up for missed snuggles.
I don’t know how many times he jumped up, crawled up to my neck and shoulder and leaned into my head to sleep. He was a purring machine. When I needed to move him because he would give me a crick in the neck, I would wrap him in my arms and just snuggle and he loved it. I think he’d get warm, so he’d either lay between my feet or on The Chair for a while before coming back and demanding more attention.
All in all, it was a mixed bag kind of day. Attacks and cuddles, best and worst, hope and despair. Maybe you were on to something after all, Charles.