Manolo was surrendered to the shelter because of allergies in the family. At 11 years of age, she decided very quickly that she did not care for shelter life. She came across as aloof at best, but mostly just crabby -snubbing anyone who tried to become friends with her. Needless to say, she was not helping her case for getting adopted! We noticed that when we allowed her to roam free in our conference room or in the shelter lobby, she would turn into a completely different cat. These pictures are of her gazing out of the conference room window and sunning herself on our lobby floor rug. We knew that there just had to be a home for her that didn’t mind her occasional catitude, so we started promoting her on Facebook and Petfinder. She was adopted after 2 1/2 months, much longer than the average length of stay of under two weeks for adult cats! The following update is from her adoptive family.
The story starts out, as other stories have in the past, that we really missed Molly. No pet can take Molly’s place (Buster’s, etc.). But it would be nice if we had a little companion; we would be doing a good deed taking a kitty out of a shelter, especially an older one …
I had been looking on Petfinders for a while and wanted to find another cat with some “Siamese” looks, who was a little older. Wayne was against adopting again, but he was mellowing somewhat. The second week in May, Wayne was away 2 nights, getting some company computer training in Mason City. That’s when I really noticed how empty the house was. On the way up to the lake that Friday evening I broached the subject about adopting another cat. Wayne immediately covered his ears and said la-la-la … but then we began to discuss the fact that it was still quite a while until we retire, and a cat would fill that empty spot in our lives. There was a 12 year old snowshoe Siamese in Wahpeton, ND … and Wayne said, go ahead and check on her. The following week I did … It turned out that she would probably not be a good choice. She had a kidney “dribble” problem and after going through the medical issues with Molly, we weren’t up for a problem that might get pretty bad. I still feel sorry for that kitty. I use “declawed” in my search criteria, but Wayne ran a search without the criteria and found a cat that was a Siamese mix, front declawed, and a lynx-point like Molly – in St. Cloud! This one was a little over 11 years old, and described as a “small” female. Yup – check out this one! The information we received sounded good. The pictures that were on the shelter website looked good too. We both thought Manolo looked crabby in the second picture, but she looked really cute in the third picture. Manolo was in good health and had been surrendered due to a child’s allergies. I spent the last week in May at the lake with my folks, but Wayne and I made arrangements to adopt and pick up Manolo late in the day this past Sunday, on our way home from the lake.
We got to the Tri-County Humane Society out on Highway 10 at about 4:30, and it was Grand Central Station. But I spotted Manolo right away – she was in a big cage in the main room – and asleep during all that hubbub!! I got her to play with a feather toy. When people cleared out, the attendants got Manolo out and we played. I noticed that “small” really didn’t describe her – this cat was big!! Her paperwork said she weighs over 14 lbs.!! She didn’t take to being petted much – she would growl!! She didn’t want to get in either the tiny carrier that came with her and didn’t want to get in our carrier either. With her growling and size, nobody wanted to chance picking her up. Finally a “tough lady” attendant came out, grabbed Manolo by the nape, and plopped her into our carrier (we had taken the top part off). While this was going on, I was signing the adoption papers (I listed you as second contact for the microchip identity). The shelter was closing, so away we went! Manolo traveled well and only meowed a few times.
I had looked up the meaning of “Manolo” … which means “God is With Us” … with all that growling, I had some doubts! Manolo is also the name of a high-priced shoe designer. But it’s a boy’s name. Wayne and I thought she might answer to “Lulu” (which sounds like the nolo part of the name) – so that’s what we started calling her. We arrived home and Lulu explored the lower level of the house. We petted her a little on the sides of her face, but she would always start growling. What had we gotten into!!! She hid under the couch for a while, then came out and jumped on the seat. We had pizza in front of the TV, and she had to check that out – but didn’t beg for it. A little petting produced more growling. We decided it was best to ignore her and let her come around on her own. Lulu left the room and I found her in the office laying by the record player. I scratched her chin a little, but left her be. I came back later, and she had moved to the top of our 4-drawer file cabinet! She continued to growl after just a little petting. We went to bed with Lulu still on the file cabinet. I saw Molly’s picture and got a little weepy, wondering if we had done the right thing.
I got up at around 3:30 a.m., and there was enough light that I could see a cat moving around … so Lulu had made it upstairs. About 5:20 a.m. there was a big plunk on the bed. Lulu had arrived! She came up the bed and crawled on my chest and head-bumped my chin – with force! So I petted her – and she seemed fine with that. I finally had to roll her off – I had a back ache and couldn’t move under the big cat! We got up soon after, and Lulu followed me around as I got ready. She was still a little growly, but seemed to be a bit more comfortable. I started wondering if Lulu had some medical problem – she hated being petted down by the tail. (A little research showed me that some cats are just that way – over-sensitive by the tail – you pet them on their terms!)
During the day on Monday, I took a couple of breaks – Lulu came with 30 days’ free pet insurance, so I signed her up right away in case there was a medical problem. I also tried to figure out what kind of cat she really is. Lulu has such heavy, stocky legs and she’s big-boned all over. And she has “dots” in her fur on either side of her back. I looked up large domestic cat breeds, and I think that Lulu is most likely a Siberian – with a touch of Siamese. I found a picture of a Siberian that looks quite a bit like Lulu – same dots on the sides, and the same striped stocky legs and tail (last picture on the attachment). Female Siberian cats often weigh 12-14 lbs. Lulu could stand to lose a little, but at least, if she does have a Siberian background, she is supposed to be big-boned and stocky. I included another link below with pictures. Lulu resembles the cat on the left – her tail is somewhat like that. Not quite as bushy on the end, but at the top, it looks like the hair is shorter and then bushes out. At first I thought the shelter had shaved a ring around the top, but apparently that is how the fur grows!
After work, Lulu was sleeping upstairs. We had a meeting to go to, and we left her sleep. We got home and Lulu came around and wanted our attention and petting! I was rather surprised that she had gotten over her growling so fast. She must have gotten over her fear from all the upheaval. Lulu didn’t follow us to bed right away, but she soon showed up. She slept at the foot of the bed for the most part, but would make trips up between the two of us. I slept on my side a lot last night to avoid “Lead-blanket Lulu.”
Lulu continues to do well. She has pretty much taken over the recliner chair in our home. It’s the only chair with a “cat cover” on it, so that works out well! She sits on my husband’s lap when he has the foot part of the chair extended. If he leaves the chair for a few minutes, she will completely sprawl out on the seat, taking over the whole thing. When he returns, the two of them stare at each other. Then my husband gives up and sits by me on the couch!
Soon after Lulu moved in, I noticed that she made a funny face … kind of a sneer. I call it her “Elvis lip.” I took pictures of her on the recliner with and without her “Elvis lip." What a face!