Friday, August 12, 2011

Jasper the Chatterbox

So I'm back again and ready to move on with my fun family fact tour. (I have to admit, I felt a little bit like an amusement park worker or game show host just for writing that down).

Today's featured fuzzball is Jasper.

You are about to get a talking to...

Jasper is a seal-point Siamese. Other than Sadie, Jasper is the only pet that we haven't had since he was a baby.  He takes the cake as our loudest pet. He is constantly talking to right now...he's meowing at me and tapping me on the wrist as I write this.

Jasper's story is what we consider to be a lucky one.

My brother and his then girlfriend (now wife) were downtown one night and found a sad looking fuzzball on a median in the middle of Broadway (not a quiet street).  They scooped him up and took him home, only to realize just how sickly he really was.  They took him to the humane society to be evaluated by a vet where they were informed that he was pretty well on death's doorstep. He was diagnosed with a fairly severe respiratory infection, undernourishment and a nasty eye infection.  He stayed there for a few days getting rehabilitated.

Meanwhile, my brother phoned me.  He was living in a college dorm at the time and couldn't have a pet, but they were worried that no one would adopt the cat they had named Scratchy (I'll give you two guesses how he got that name, but you're only going to need one) because of his illness and - quite frankly - rather icky exterior at the time.  He pleaded with me to let him use the ferret cage in my garage (I had some very naughty kitties that had to be contained occasionally) for "just a few days".  I relented.

A couple of days later he showed up at the house with a goopy-eyed cat with a wheeze.  He handed me a bottle of eye ointment and gave me the rundown on instructions.  Now not only was I going to have to feed and house the disgusting little furball, I was going to have to touch its nasty eyes twice a day to try and get rid of the yellow funk that was currently residing there.

Why wouldn't you love this face?

It really did originally start as only a few days until they could find another home with him. It then turned into a couple of weeks while he got better and fatter.  Of course he grew on me.  He is very sweet and fairly mellow.  He has a permanent wheeze from the respiratory infection that nearly killed him.  But the thing that got me most was how much he and Picabo looked alike. I had to keep him. But...I promptly discarded Scratchy as a name and renamed him Jasper. Why, you ask?'s a little retarded, but I already had a Picabo and a Bailey so I figured I needed a J name so that I could have P, B, & J. I warned you...some days I really should wear a helmet. Scratchy wouldn't have worked long anyway, because he was declawed shortly after coming to live with us.  Some of you might think it cruel, but he is an indoor kitty (as they all are) and my couch needed rescuing. Jasper's been part of the family for six years.  Based on our vet's estimate, he is now about seven years old and he is Collin's favorite kitty. He's the most active of the cats, being awake the most.  He's so freakin' loud you can hear him from the other end of the house.  And being a prior outdoor kitty (unlike the other two) he likes to try and escape from the house when a door comes open.  We've had a couple of close calls since Picabo likes to open the garage door and let them all out (don't'll get that info later). We've found him on the front doorstep after losing him for an entire night when we had no idea that he'd gotten out, so I think he likes it here.

Taking a little cat nap.

We have a few pet names for Jasper because of his little quirks.  He has a habit of sitting in the corner of the family room facing the wall.  You'd think we'd put him in time out.  He'll sit there for pretty extended periods of time, so we started calling him "Blair Witch Kitty".  He is also quite possibly the most uncoordinated litter box user in the house. You always know when he's been there because he must roll around in the stuff.  He always comes back smelling like the box.  We all know it when one of us calls him "Poo Kitty".

Jasper is also a very good explorer and hider. He likes to sneak into my closet while I'm getting dressed and lay under my pants rack.  There has been more than one occasion when I've locked him in, wondered where he was after a couple of hours, and then had to play Marco Polo with him in order to let him out. (This is the one time when his Chatty Cathy nature pays off.) He will check anything out and has a tendency to get stuck because of his exploration.  In the old house, he would get up on the plant shelves and then sit up there and whine because he couldn't get down.  I'd have to stand on the countertops and manually remove him. He is also not the most coordinated of kitties and has frequently fallen off of the back of the couch.

Hiding in an Archiver's bag. He later fell asleep and napped in it for over an hour.

He is very fun to play with.  He's easily entertained and his favorite toy is his collar.  Yup. That's right. Collar. We found this out by accident. Collin took his collar off temporarily to remove the hair that had wound around the clasp.  While it was dangling from his hand, Jasper grabbed it and ran off.  When Picabo came to check out what he had, he promptly growled (he never does that) and ran off to hide under the couch in the living room with it.  Since then, we occasionally pull the collar off of him and let him play with it.

And finally, Jasper's main talent...I guess you could call it that. Jasper loves stealing food, particularly Doritos. He has taken Collin's pork chop straight off the plate and I've caught him face down in my roast.  If you sit the bag of Doritos within his reach, his head is in the bag. You'd think it's cute, but it can be extremely annoying.  We can't eat anything in the family room without him trying to stick his big fat head in the middle of the plate.  In the kitchen, if he hears the can opener he comes running and YELLING wanting to eat whatever is getting opened. He's always done this and I have no idea how he figured out that the can opener means food - they only eat dry kibble.

They will be mine. Oh yes, they will be mine.

So Jasper is our other close call pet.  Not only was he one that really shouldn't have ended up in our home, but we fairly certainly rescued him from death.  Thank goodness too, because he's a pretty cool cat.


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