Tripod's been the "adopted child" for more than six years. He was a cat living wild for a couple of years around the farm, then through a series of events ended up in the house and has stayed ever since.
His wild days still manifest themselves in his hunting ability, his blood curdling growls in his sleep, his fights with other cats who venture onto the property and, of course, his missing limb.
He's showing the signs of aging. I don't know his age and the vet says his teeth are those of an older cat, so who knows precisely. The injury to his front leg that caused the amputation is an unknown too, perhaps a snare, another animal, its hard to tell. And I suspect there's a direct link to his eye on the same side as it never opens fully and in this sketch, lying on his beloved newspaper, he looks a bit like a pirate.
Things you may or may not know about Tripod:
- He adores lying on paper. As soon as preparation is made to light a fire, he makes a beeline for the newspaper laid on the floor, hindering use.
- He only eats human grade tuna and dry cat food, one particular brand. He obviously had never eaten it when he first arrived and would not chew it, nearly choking. I was trying to figure out how to do a Heimlich manoevere on a cat...
- He will not eat freshly cooked fish or meat of any kind. Ever. He looks at it, sniffs it, looks at me in disgust and walks away.
- He will only drink water from a puddle or stream outside, never from a dish inside.
- His three-legged mobility state can go from Tiny Tim the cripple, to seek attention, to faster than a speeding bullet if a rabbit is in view.
- If slippers are left on the floor, he lies down and puts his 1.5 front feet in one of them and lies there til disturbed. Why, I have no idea.
- He despises dogs. He will stalk and physically attack any dog, any size, any disposition. It can be the most cat-friendly dog in the world and Tripod will launch himself at it unprovoked. I know there are foxes and coyotes and hunting dogs in the woods around the farm and I imagine he had his fair share of confrontations in his wild days, so this may account for his behaviour.
- Unless shut in the house when you go outside, he follows like a dog. Anywhere you go. And flings himself down on the ground in front of you, often tripping you. People wonder why I go for a run with a cat under my arm. Well, its because I have to bring him back home because he's followed me and its just easier to carry him than wait for him to catch up.