Thumper used to be rather feral and independent. He is Thumper in this lifetime, because he made the choice to come and sleep, eat, and play in our house, as he was never allowed inside his own home, come hot sun, or freezing cold. The name comes from the noise of his vertical travel around the house. You can always tell where he is. (Kathump, kathump, kathump.)Thumper is mellowing, as all cats do, after about the space of nearly two years, now, of experiencing how we interact with felines in our home. We have even made it to the point where we don't have to take him to the veterinarian's to have his nails trimmed. In the beginning he was so sensitive that even a muzzle couldn't contain him, when his nails were being clipped. Since moving to the new house, he is tolerant in allowing me to do his nails as I do the other boys' nails, with little show of discomfort.I have never seen a cat try so hard to fit in and be part of a family and it broke my heart to watch him trying to learn the way to behave with us and our boys with such hesitancy in the beginning.

There were coyotes and other preditors he was hiding from outside, by living in a jeep, (photo right), a kind neighbour left open. We felt hard pressed to say "no" when he graciously chose our home to use for protection after the death of Marmaduke. The previous winter he had been jumping up onto the chimney stack to sleep by our warm chimney on the coldest nights. In his former life he had food placed out on the patio about once a week, and of course that would go the first night, at best, after neighbouring cats, raccoons, crows, coyotes, and other odd creatures helped themselves to his dish. He had not been left water, except by us, either. After we had been feeding him for a short period, we had to catch him to remove the tight flea collar that was starting to squeeze his neck with the added weight on his body.

Left, George, (Legolas's brother), and Thumper at play.

While Max had all his limbs working, it was common to see both him and Hamlet dogging Thumper, wherever he went.

Thumper has become Legolas's best friend and playmate when he can tolerate Legolas's aggressive personality. Legolas will holler for him and he will oblige by coming to play a game of footsies at Legolas's cage door. He is more patient with Legolas's rudeness than the other boys have been up to this point, however, they are starting to act as though they feel they are missing out, and sometimes hover nearby when the games are in progress.

October 4, 2007

Thumper has a new shadow!

Ever since we lost Max, Thumper has been plagued by Hamlet, who has followed him around relentlessly, using Thumper to floss his teeth when he is in an obnoxious mood. Now this has stopped because Thumper has a new shadow. Hamlet is not inclined to want to interact with the new interloper, by the name of Pepper, which is a shame, as our hope was to develop a source of cardiovascular activity for him. The great part about this, as you can see in this photo, is that the attachment is very mutual, and 'uncle' Thumper is finally in his element. See more photos of the interaction at Pepper's hypertext.