and Jackson were strays I brought home and both of them were in
tough straits when I did so. Smirky had been all chewed up by
something bigger including having most of her tail bitten off and
Jackson was out in the winter wild where Illinois coyotes roam
looking for little cats to snack on and she was skin and bones when
we first met.
Of course both of these waifs were used to eating bugs and drinking
from muddy puddles when they came my way. Both of them now are more
finicky than the old Morris the Cat in those pet food commercials.
When they both entered our lives, they at first still had the eating
habits they had formed in the wild. "If it doesn't move, eat it. If
it does move, kill it and then eat it." This habit of wanting to eat
everything the Fak family had, however, didn't last very long with
either of them.
Once they realized their bowl would stay full as well as their
water, they began their metamorphosis into finicky, fussy cats. If
it was something they really liked then they would beg. If it wasn't
they would just go back to their bowl of Friskies.
The culinary exceptions of Smirky and Jackson are fairly common with
cats. They both love tuna and Smirky likes shrimp with just a tad of
shrimp sauce on it. Jackson for some strange reason likes ham and
bean soup but for the most part they have given up their days of
begging. They also have learned how to dictate to me.
Once when the store was out of Friskies, I bought an alternative
brand. When I filled the bowl, they both went over and sniffed and
both looked at me with a "This isn't Friskies" look on their face.
The two refused to eat this imitation and so the next morning, after
giving them a can of tuna to split, I went to another store to find
the blasted proper brand.
They also are extremely fussy about their water. Like a cup of
coffee in the morning. Both of them come into the bathroom to get a
fresh mini-bowl of water while I am in there getting ready for work.
Now the water must be fresh, and in fact they need to see me fill it
from the tap. And if one of them slobbers too much in the drink, the
other sits there with that look saying, "I want my own, this one has
been slobbered in."
The height of pompous royalty came the other day when Jackson sat by
the bowl waiting for a fresh pour. After I did so, I laid it down
behind her and she didn't move. She just gave me a, "I'm facing this
way" look and I decided to test our wills against each other. After
several minutes of Jackson just sitting there staring at me, I gave
in. I put the bowl in front of her and she began drinking.
Now Smirky is
my son's good buddy but Jackson is mine. With all her finicky ways,
Jackson is the most loyal animal I have ever know. Whatever room I'm
in, Jackson is there. If it's warm, then Jackson sits at the feet of
my office chair on a rug. If it's colder, she climbs on my lap,
crawls under my flannel shirt and with her head popped out between a
few buttons she goes to sleep like a baby kangaroo in a pouch.
She loves to play fetch with a little silver ball and when I try to
sneak into the bedroom at night, she always beats me to the upper
left corner where she waits for me to cover her for the night.
The only thing Jackson doesn't do is get up with me when I climb out
of bed around 5:00am.
At that time, she sticks her head out of the blanket and gives me
that look that says, "Look I'm your best buddy but I'm not getting
up at this God-forsaken hour for anyone."
The other day, I walked back into the bedroom to tell Jackson I was
going to work early. I could swear she stuck one of her paw out from
under the covers and waved goodbye. So much for loyalty at 5:30 am.
Smirky, on a pile of clothes heading for the laundry didn't even
Some days I wonder if I have two cats or maybe the two cats have me.