The title is a google search that led to this blog and I thought it would be appropriate for today's lesson: Donald. If you recall, Donald is our orange, polydactyl, crazy, grooming fanatic cat. He is half bald because pulling his hair out is such an amazingly fun past time. And interestingly enough, he does not swallow the hair, he spits it out so I find clumps of unchewed (?) orange hair on the couch, our bed, the floor, and any place else you could imagine. Although Donald is certifiably crazy, he is a sweet boy and quite affectionate with everyone in the house, Finnegan included. Some of the time his meow could wake the dead and he hollers for absolutely no reason. Other times he sounds like a life long smoker with a raspy "Hey, Edith, grab me a beer" meow. And, he is mighty handy with his extra thumbs. Donald has been known to pull ladies' undergarments from drawers, look at said item, and toss them to the floor. Even cats have their fetishes.
The big orange cat has been known to piss off a few people. When he lived with my parents, they allowed him to explore the great outdoors. Rather than venturing into the woods, he elected to break and enter the neighbors' house. Once Donald gained entry, no one is certain quite how, he would settle himself into the home as if it were his. Although this neighbor is a six foot tall man, Donald managed to corner him in a bathroom. Any time the he attempted to make an escape, Donald responded with claws, hisses, and growls. Eventually, the neighbor used a vacuum as his armor and made his escape. He called my parents and sheepishly told them Donald had taken him hostage. This resulted in the neighbor's brother declaring that if he ever adopted a dog, he would want it to be as good a guard dog as Donald.
Besides taking the neighbor hostage, Donald protected my parents' house from the evils of a plumber. While the plumber was walking down the hall, Donald used his thumbs and grabbed the guy around the ankle and would not let go. Suddenly, my mother heard, "LADY! Get this damn cat off of me!" My mother was sure a medical bill would be forwarded to her along with his bill for services.
In Donald's old age, he has mellowed considerably. He is affectionate to pretty much everyone and he is enamored by the contractor we have doing work in our house now. Donald follows him from room to room and when he prepares to leave, Donald sits on the table by the front door and grabs the contractor so he cannot leave. It's sweet and a little disturbing at the same time. We have to sit Donald down and try to explain that Mr. Contractor can not move in with us.
The most interesting part about Donald mellowing is that I believe my husband had a significant role in taming the beast. Ten years ago, I met my husband and my husband met Donald. The two developed a loving relationship and eventually, they lived in sin over at my husband's apartment. This might be the only example in the history of relationships where the cat moved in before the girlfriend.
Donald also has his fans. Oddly enough, my parents' neighbor loves Donald and asks about his well-being. Children adore him and even more bizarre, he is sweet and gentle with them. Well, sort of. Until Donald decides he has had enough or the voices in his head tell him to do something naughty.
Donald is an old man and is starting to slow down. We have noticed that despite eating like a hog - he shoves Finnegan out of the way to steal his food - he is beginning to lose weight. Also, his water consumption in the last month is quite high. This morning I made an appointment for him to see the veterinarian for blood work and an urinalysis. We hope it is something manageable but also realize that he is a seventeen year old cat and he has had a terrific life.
A lump is forming in my throat thinking about life without Donald.