Tuesday, March 19, 2013


 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.
Yes, this cat is very, very different.  You'd really have to experience him to understand.  He's not your average cat at all, more like a dog in many behaviours.


"JeanneG" said...

But he's wonderful.

Jeanette said...

LOL, you haven't lived with him Jeanne. He has his moments... :)

Rose Welty said...

In my youth, we had some kittens, the mother was killed and so our German Shephard mix raised them. The cats all panted like dogs and preferred dog food to cat food. It was hilarious and sweet.

Nancy Van Blaricom said...

I love your stories about Tripod. More, more ....... In fact, what about some short stories ?

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

sky acted more like a cat when we got her, it was very odd to see :p

there is a 2 legged cat in the UK, that still manages to walk and run, very odd to see. so they cats with fewer legs can be pretty mobile, much to the dismay of the dogs that get attacked :p

Jeanette said...

Isn't that interesting Rose. I guess they do what they see. I'll bet that was cute though.

The information is in my head for that Nancy and perhaps if I ever get enough time I could tackle it. Good idea.

Sky as a cat? Somehow I can't quite see her pull that off Jen :)

A two legged cat being mobile would be unique, but animals do seem to adapt quite well, likely better than people do at times.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

2 legged cat...hops a lot

sky was pretty young, think she was raised around cats

Twinkle Nelson said...

Great cat! Great story, as are all your stories about the not quite humans in your life. Thanks for sharing.