One year later, I suppose it's time for an update on our little poultry-flavoured beast, Chicken, as he is officially around one year old! (Birthday details are vague, so we're just estimating here.) He's in and out of the shop, mainly because he either gets kicked out for "play-biting" customers, or because he prefers to nap on the couch with Super. However, if you do see him, don't hesitate to let him come over for a sniff - he loves a good rub around his ears. Pros: - He's a pretty good looking cat - He's mostly stopped biting customers - He purrs very loudly Cons: - He occasionally bites customers (out of love, but it's hard to tell mid-bite) - He is incredibly standoffish - He knows/obeys zero commands - I suspect he refuses to acknowledge his own name, even though, in fact, Super will come when I call Chicken as Super is operating on the very slim hope I'm going to accidentally drop some cat food on the floor - He doesn't come when he's called - He runs outside at the cottage all the time, and I both worry he's going to be eaten by a bear, and wish he would encounter a bear so he could learn his lesson and stop running out so much - He drinks from any water source except his own bowl, including the toilet and Super's bowl, which, trust me, is not cleaner than his bowl - He climbs on the back counter in the warehouse to drink from the sink, knocking our flushed and drying pens and nibs willy-nilly. I really ought to get him one of those cat trees I've seen on Knead Cat to keep him occupied and away from clambering all over the counter and furniture. - He occasionally wakes Caleb up from his naps by attacking his feet - He sharpens his claws on the carpet - His original purpose was to catch bugs and possible rodents, of which he has caught none, including literally a crippled fly, buzzing around at his feet (I had to kill it and flush it down the toilet myself)
Chicken spends some of his time in the shop, but I think he prefers to be in the warehouse, where he can watch the people he's familiar with running around. It turns out he's not really a great shop cat, as he only really willingly goes into the shop on his own in the evening or early morning. Sometimes he disappears for hours, and we wonder if he's run out into the courtyard or laneway when no one was watching, as he's developed this habit of slipping outside up at the cottage, but he's always turned up sleeping somewhere.
On the other hand, Chicken is actually sort of a pack animal, and when we come into the apartment after the team is gone, he comes with us, and in the evening if we all venture into the shop, he comes along too. Basically he does whatever he wants, but it's nice when he comes with us. Chicken extremely catty. I realize this sounds a bit silly, but being a dog person, I don't think I quite cottoned on to how catty cats are. He is incentivized by nothing, except possibly filling up his food bowl and only if it's been empty for a while, and knows no commands . Super, who we always thought of as "smart for a dog" but sort of on the lower end of smart for a dog, is possibly a genius next to him.
At times, though, there is something about his very cattiness that is alluring. Chicken can be incredibly loving, in a way that Super has never been able to achieve, possibly because Chicken withholds affection so often and capriciously. Super is reliably loud and smelly and bounds onto you with love, but Chicken purrs and slowly rubs against you and nestles into your chest, and you feel just so very special. I have to admit, I feel slightly more special as a human being because Chicken and I have bonded, and he bites Jon more often. When he comes crawling into my lap, purring as he climbs my chest, I will literally stop everything I'm doing to give him a rub. Yes, I realize how ridiculous it is that I'm allowing a cat to control me in this way, and yet it is just so delightful when he comes.

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April 25, 2017 — wonderpens

Comments

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

Thank you so much! Chicken was meant to catch rodents, but I suppose if he’s not doing at that, then at the very least, he’s charming a few readers. I’m not 100% on whether or not he is adding to the “welcoming atmosphere,” but we’re working on it! :)

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

I’ve heard Gingers are supposed to be the most affectionate! And Chicken certainly is affectionate when he chooses to be. When he rubs and purrs, you can’t help by forgive all.

And I suppose that’s just it! Chicken is too smart to follow any commands, where as Super, our dog, is just dumb enough to :)

I will try your trick, but I suspect Chicken will just be looking at me resentfully…

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

Yes, Chicken is really quite a pack animal when he feels it! At the cottage, Super will certainly always stick by us on our walks, but even Chicken will come along to wherever we’re going, and meow when he feels we’ve gone too far. I never imagined!

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog post!

I suppose you’ll have to live the trials and tribulations of cat ownership vicariously through us! In a way, Chicken was not meant to be a pet cat – he was meant to be on the hunt for rodents. He certainly has his own mind about things though – at night he seems to prefer to snuggle up in bed than prowl and roam for prey, and he also certainly enjoys a few rubs now and then!

Diane

Diane said:

Ah well, he’s a Ginger! Ginger’s have particular personalities, but are dedicated and loyal to the humans they choose to co-habitate with :)

He’s still young, and I found my ginger didn’t really chill out until about 2 1/2-3 yrs of age. They are incredibly smart – don’t mistake his lack of responding to commands for lack of intelligence…quite the opposite.

A friend taught me a trick that worked splendidly: Whenever you want him to do something, picture him doing it in your mind, and send him the visual image while you are saying what you want him to do. I was amazed how much of a difference that made.

Kimberly

Kimberly said:

I have an almost three year old that I adopted as a kitten and she was a very cuddly type of kitten and is still the type who wants/demands to be snuggled like a baby or teddy bear, but now that she’s big and heavy it’s less desirable than you might think (although still adorably cute of her). I’m trying to say: be careful what you wish for; and your Chicken is perfect as is! ;-)

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

Haha – how nice of you to say that Chicken is “perfect”! We sure do love him, but some days he needs some help getting quite to perfect ;)

Judi

Judi said:

So love this “Chicken” post. Your store is cozy and warm and this post just adds to the charm of your store with its wonderful products and welcoming atmosphere.

Wishing you success and joy in all you do.

Pam in Seabright

Pam in Seabright said:

Your blogs posts are a delight and this one made me laugh on this rainy day. That Chicken has his own thing going on, eh? Beautiful photos. We talk here about getting a cat (we’ve had pets in past years) but I think mehhhhh, I dunno, what if they bite or do bad things? I’m the "no more pets " person. I think I just want the freedom and lack of responsibility. Chicken is beautiful but this post helped me realize yes, no cats for us right now. No cats, no cats. Keep these lovely posts coming.

Ange Medwid

Ange Medwid said:

I haven’t been to your store since before you moved! Quite far from Mississauga—-however Chicken is my incentive to make a trip over there. I love shop cats (although a dog person myself) we recently came under the spell of a feral (now sleeping at my feet as I write this) who followed us as we walked our dog…now the dog has passed & we all still go for walks together. Pack animals too if they wanna be!

Susan White

Susan White said:

LOL Great post. Sounds like Chicken is a typical cat.

wonderpens

wonderpens said:

He was so adorable and cute and loving as a kitten that I had such high hopes for him! But I now realize it’s all part of the great deception :)

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