When I adopted a lovely white cat named Beau, he instantly brought spice, song and a lot of fun into our household with his many quirks. My other two cats are for the most part pretty easy going. Their only concerns are when dinner time is, as they sleep in their cozy places and come out for petting or food here and there. With the addition of this big, white longhaired cat, their lives would never be monotonous again. Not with Beau around.
When introduced for the first time, Beau and Blackie hit it off immediately. Blackie is older, thin and doesn’t know he’s a cat. He loves everyone, and he instantly took to
the newest member of the household. When he saw 26-pound Fluffy, though, Beau was intimidated, letting out a horn-blasting "woo", out of fear more than anything else. I now call this the "Beau alarm." He simply is alerting the world that Fluffy is walking by. Poor Fluffy, I know where he is 24-hours a day. He is a gentle couch potato who usually just ignores it. Every once in awhile Fluffy slyly whacks Beau upside the head just for the heck of it. He just can’t resist instigating things just a little. It’s actually pretty funny, nobody gets hurt, it’s like two naughty boys harrassing one another with a game of "I’m not touching you". They sort of have an ongoing like-dislike relationship.
Being highly sensitive, Beau is easily startled by shadows, lights and vibrations on the floor. His most common reaction is to make sounds from small chirps to loud horn blasts. He is the master of communication, and doesn’t let a little thing like deafness slow him down. For no reason at all, unprovoked, he stares up at the ceiling, gets a wild look on his face, fur twitching and eyes dilated as he bellows out a series of loud "woos" that can make you jump out of your chair if you aren’t expecting it. The hair on his back sometimes spikes up, as he gets all revved up, as if he wants to play with whatever imaginary friend he sees up there. He races around with his big, furry, white tail arched, until he gets tired. Beau makes up his own forms of entertainment, as normal toys just don’t do it for him.
I bought a laser disco light to give Beau an outlet for all that energy. The light reminds me of the old Spirograph toy I had as a kid, with constantly moving, colorful geometric patterns being blasted on the wall. Beau can hardly contain his excitement as he chases the lights he sees from the floor. The other two cats find watching Beau entertaining, as they sit on the sidelines. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Another way to wear off some of that intense feline energy is to open the curtains, and let the prism ball that hangs in the window fill the room with little rainbow dots. This is fun for all three cats, as they chase the constantly moving rainbows in unison. Beau and Blackie do their own rendition of Swan Lake ballet as they leap, twirl and bounce in the air. The whole goal to all of this is to tire Beau out, so he sleeps at night. When he sleeps, I sleep. His natural instinct is to party all night long.
It’s always good to keep a highly active cat things to do in general, so they don’t get bored. When Beau bored, all heck breaks loose as he takes matters into his own paws. Shelves are cleared, electrical cords get chewed, and my desk is invaded. Beau likes to get on it and unleash total havoc. First order of business is to stomp on the computer keyboard until it makes all sorts of exotic noises it shouldn’t. Then, clearing papers off horizontal surfaces is next. Important work papers? Be gone! If it’s in his way, it usually will end up in a big pile on the floor. Then, the treat jar is knocked off the desk, to get the food inside. My furry little "wild child" is methodical in his desk takeovers. It’s cute but I have to keep a close eye on him. His sensitivity is actually sweet, and I’ve come to accept his rambunctious, high-maintenance personality. It’s never a dull moment here with Beau around.
Our old apartment had large windows that the cats loved to sleep in. Beau would spread out on his back and luxuriate, but if he saw anyone walking down below, he’d perk up and yell a sonic-boom magnitude meow out the window at them. It didn’t matter if it was day or night. Gophers, squirrels and other critters ran in terror from the loudness. He simply greeted everyone as they passed by, with an angelic look on his face at all times. In our neighborhood, he was affectionately called "Opera Kitty". Some even came to say goodbye as we moved. He had his own fan club. Who knew he would be such a "hit" by giving his daily concerts? I didn’t. Now, his concert career is pretty much over. I live on a lake, with large birds as neighbors. He knows they are bigger than he is, so he keeps quiet. Smart move.
After a busy day of playing, Beau makes a beeline for my lap, to cuddle. He has one eye on me at all times wanting to know where I’m at. He is dedicated and loving, and I wouldn’t trade him for a well-behaved cat any day. In owning him, I’ve come to realize that overly inquisitive and energetic pets add interest to life. Beau has taught me patience, and to have fast reflexes. When I see him perched on top of the hood of my oven, balancing on the drip coffee maker or luxuriating on top of my stereo speakers, I run and bring him down. He rules the roost here. In return, I get a beautiful, loving and dedicated pet. Blackie and Fluffy get a peer who keeps them on their toes. Our household is a more dynamic place with the addition of this lovely cat. Owning a highly active pet isn’t for everyone, but with a little patience and many forms of distractions, it can be trained to mellow out. We all have our own quirks. It’s our job to be understanding and patient with one another’s differences, it’s definitely worth all the effort.