Roxy the Rastapoodle  says "adopt a stray"

  My name is Snoozy, and I am the head of the colony of strays that live in Mama's backyard in Miami. 
We get fed nibbles constantly, lots of nice household scraps from beef to shrimp,  ice water in hot weather, and have access to shelter under the house when it rains.
Our backyard is fenced (so dogs can't bother us), and measures about 40' x 75'. We have two big oak trees to climb, and herb beds to roll around in.
When the veggie garden is in, we like to snooze there. Me, I'm an independent kind of guy, but Mama's mother is my 'person' and she brushes me, babies me,
and lets me in to visit.  I cry like a baby when I see her.   I know its undignified, but I like the attention. 
October 2, 2000 UPDATE: I have now begun to spend more and more time inside the house, especially when it rains.
I sleep on the bed, I bop the other cats occasionally, and I hog the food. All is good.

Let me tell you about some of the recent cat-events inside the house, mostly centering around Ike, a former member of our colony, and Pokey,
also another member. Hint: those darn 'tuxedo cats' have a knack for injury and crying, and Mama takes them in. This is the story, as I see it,
of all the latest developments inside the house.

Ike's Story

(April - May history) 1
This guy showed up in the yard one night, crying and mangy. He was three months old. Mama came out every  night at dusk for a month to call him out of the tree and feed him. The poor little guy scratched and scratched constantly, never had a chance to play, he was scared, nocturnal, and infested with worms.
May 21 - June 7
Then Mama got him fixed, wormed, and shaved (oh, the indignity). She says he's very sweet and loving, and named him Ike -The Spike, the Little Tyke. She waited a week until he stopped shedding 'crud' from the mange before she took this pic. Look at that tail! Some cats have all the luck. Mama always swore she wouldn't have more than two indoor cats, but this was -- and is -- the only exception she'll ever make.
Will you look at the length of that tail??????
2  Happier than he's ever been in his life, he purrs, plays, loves everybody. He was really relaxing, laying on his side for the first time. Before, he always slept on his stomach, ready to flee, typical feral behavior. Now, shaved Ike shows off his big, fat belly. He eats constantly, stealing food from the other house cats. Can't blame him, he was on his own in the alley, just a little kitten, scared, hungry, mangy.

A good nickname would be bellydotcom, but its hard to see the belly dot here, since he's shaved. General concensus is that he's part Rex, aka Poodle cats, known for their big ears, oval paws, long tails, round back, ability to 'fetch' (how undignified), purr constantly, and love their humans. Mama is in heaven.
In these 10 days, Ike has doubled in size, he doesn't look like the same skinny, tiny stray, he's BIG.

Rex cats also like height. You can really see how Ike is shaved here, posing in front of Mama's aromatherapy and herb books, thinking of the natural remedy cream that Mary, who breeds Devon Rexs', sent all the way from Canada. I think Ike looks more like a Cornish Rex, and he sure doesn't have the slender body of a Rex, who would, with 10 meals a day?
4  On approximately  June 8, disaster struck in the relationship between Mama and Ike. She had to dip him for the mange 10 days after he moved in. His persoonality changed overnight, and he would run and hide whenever he saw her Mama's heart was broken. Ike peeped from behind something safe, but would run at full speed at any approaching human. The Happy House has turned into HeartBreak Hotel.
Now Pokey (mon) is a former member of our colony. Same old story, he got injured, acted like a gentleman in the house (no spraying), so she took him in. However, when Ike was recovering, feeling like a kitten with no cares for the first time in his life, he started to think chasing Pokey was the best thing ever. Pokey also discovered the ladder, and asked the spirit of Bob Marley to protect him from the wildman Ike. Since Ike didn't like  Mama anymore, all his attentions went to cat chases.
Sometimes Pokey would find refuge on a tabletop, asking the question "why me, why me?"  He also mourned the passing of his era as the 'house baby".  Mama is giving him lots of extra attention.
7 Boodles can just say "oy vay' to the whole soap opera. Boodles turned 16 on July 4, 2004. He never even saw another cat besides Bernie (photo to right) until 1997, when the strays showed up in the backyard. Having a wild kitten in the house, on top of Pokey, who thinks Boodles is his mama (talk about some weird scenes there!), just gives Boodles the blues. So, he's getting lots of extra attention from Mama, too, but still his thoughts drift to..... 8
Memories of Bernie, who Boodles thought was his daddy. Bernie died in Dec. 97, at the age of 20. Bernie never met a cat he didn't like. Everybody loved Bernie and thought he was a humanoid, always wanting to shake hands, always greeting people and very loving. Bernie is buried in a fancy French wooden wine box under his favorite oak tree. What do you put on a Bern/"burn"? Aloes are planted over his grave 'cause that's what you put on a Bern :-).
I, Snoozy, make sure no cat desecrates his grave. Bernie was a gentleman cat and I miss him.

We thought Ike was going to replace Bernie, personality-wise, but remember, Ike is now a standoffish-neurotic scaredy cat after the mange dip. 

Ike's new scared attitude went on for three weeks, and was getting worse.  Then, Mary, the Devon RexCat  breeder friend of Ike's, gave Mama the secret of winning back the affection of scared cats:
Lamb baby food. 
Mama got the magic elixir, and within 1 minute, Ike was licking it from her finger (she had to capture him first, no easy feat). She had him completely forgetting the dip incident in no time, and the change was miraculous! Ike turned into a lover baby, who comes in a flash when called, jumps up next to Mama constantly, demanding and giving love, and purring like a wildman. 
10  Even Boodles noticed the change, and let Ike snuggle with him (but check Boodles face, still not the happiest camper inthe troupe). Ike is soooooo happy. He now thinks he is king of the household. When I visit, he still defers to me, Snoozy, king of the backyard, but I can tell he is very happy, and Mama is delerious. He doesn't overeat anymore, and the belly has deflated. Pokey now enjoys his races/chases with Ike more, since Ike now also spends a lot of time and energy with Mama, giving Pokey a rest.

So Ike now spends his days lolling around, super-relaxed, showing his bellydotcom to the world.
That tail, that face, those big feet, how could anybody resist him? He loves to run and slide on the wood floors.
He's probably tripled in size in five weeks, getting very muscular and tall and long. Very healthy.
He shows all the Rex characteristics, except the wavy, curly hair -- he fetches his treats and brings them back to Rastpoodle before he eats them, he wags his tail like a dog, he has a slightly higher body temperature than other cats,  oval paws, long tail, 'wavy' back and tail posture when arching,  comes running like a dog when called, trots around instead of walking slowly like other cats, etc., etc.
Rastapoodle says Rex babies are now her favorite breed.

November 2000 -- click here to see photo updates of Ike's progress to becoming the happiest cat in the world. :-)

For the origins of the Rastapoodle story and name, see the music page

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