A Hairless Sphynx Cat in a Household of Normal Cats
I bought a purebred hairless Sphynx cat as a companion for my other two, furry cats. Now I have a crazy household, but don't regret it for a minute.
What would you do if you had two middle aged cats, one of whom is overweight and somewhat stuffy in his behavior and the other who enjoys nothing more than taunting his elder stepbrother? Well, if you're addicted to cats like I am, you'd get a kitten to add to the mix, just to spice things up.
Now, since I rescued my first two boys (Jelly-Belly and Skylar) from the Humane Society, I thought it would be interesting to get a purebred kitten this time. So, since I'd dreamed of sharing my home with one of my favorite breeds for quite some time, I made the decision to research Sphynx breeders. I already knew that this breed is hardy and playful, but I wasn't prepared for just how intelligent and playful.
I've had cats all my life, starting from when I was a baby, and I have seen all sorts of personalities. However, Amorius the Sphynx is like nothing I've encountered before. First of all, he looks very different. Okay, he looks like a combination between Golem from Lord of the Rings and an aardvark, but when he looks at you with those soulful eyes, he transforms into the most beautiful cat (don't listen Jelly and Skylar, you two are also the most beautiful cats, I'm just trying to make a point here).
When I'd made the decision to slap down a sizeable chunk of cash for a purebred Sphynx, I started inwardly preparing myself, and outwardly preparing my three daughters (ages 12, 13 and 14...yes, I'm a single mother with a pre-teen, two teenagers, and now, three cats; pity me), for the new addition. I clued my children into little tricks about introducing a new kitten to the household and how we should all shower Jelly and Skylar with love and treats so they don't feel jealous. They understood. I mean the girls, not the cats, of course. And then it was time to put down the deposit on a kitten, sight unseen (except for a photo of the wriggly, hairless babies nursing off their mama). I just knew from the photo that the dark little kitty in the grainy photograph was meant to be a part of our feline family.
After waiting until the breeder gave the go ahead, we drove four hours to pick him up. When we arrived, we didn't see any kittens anywhere, until a tiny, dark shape shot through the living room and went straight under a bookcase. At first, and I'm not kidding, we thought the blur was a mouse or rat, not our expensive, purebred, naked kitten. When we finally teased him out from his hiding place, it looked like his skin didn't fit. He was wrinkled and baggy with the largest ears I'd ever seen, yet he had a certain charm and air about him that just made us all go 'ohhhhh' at the same time.
We drove home, with the girls taking turns holding and loving him, and discussing how to care for a small kitten with no fur. At the time, he was sleepy and not at all playful, so we weren't prepared for what was to come. Once home, we began our introduction. Place the kitten on the couch and shower the other boys with attention, all while pretending to more or less ignore Amorius. It failed miserably, at first. Skylar cowered and ran down the hall and straight under my bed. Jelly sniffed the air and was patient while Amorius approached. Then, fireworks. Jelly hissed, Amorius hissed and if it was set to music, it would have been a hiss-fest.
Fortunately, this standoffish behavior only lasted a week. A week to the day, like they all had calendars and decided one week of hissing and growling was enough. Then, Jelly and Skylar actually started to play with Amorius. They would let him snuggle up to them when he was tired and they even licked his naked little body on occasion.
As Amorius grew, his true goofiness and silly behavior showed itself. He quite literally runs and jumps on the windows, the couch and any other surface that will allow him to spring like a kangaroo. He chases anything, including laser light beams, flashlight beams, balls of foil, straws and anything not nailed down. He loves to pick up toys, paper trash, candy wrappers and his little toy teddy bear, and walk around the house with them in his mouth.
Since it had been more than nine years since I'd had a kitten, I thought I'd treat the newcomer with some special toys. I went to the local pet supply store and shelled out more than $35 on a special gym for cats. To this day, it sits in the living room, untouched. Amorius didn't seem to think a $35 toy was any better than a discarded milk carton ring, and I tend to agree.
We all get a kick out of how fast he can run through the house and really try to get out of his way or else we'll end up like speed bumps. But, instead of getting run over by four rubber tires, we'll be assaulted by four sharp feet. He's now almost six months old and I'm hoping to get him into his first show in a month or two. In preparation, we take him out as much as possible (with a harness and leash) so he'll become accustomed to noise and people.
Most people haven't seen a Sphynx in the flesh, so when they see Amorius, he becomes an instant celebrity. I've had questions like, 'is that a puppy?', 'what is that?', and my favorite, 'is that a rat?". At least Amorius doesn't take offense to the questions and actually seems to love the attention.
Our household is full of activity and perhaps best of all, my overweight Jelly-Belly is finally getting some exercise, thanks to the addition of my precious, albeit crazy, feline gargoyle.