Chicken in the Shop
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.