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I love my scratching boards!

I deserve the name Gatsby!

Picture perfect, that's me!

The second week in March I began seeing a little stray cat on my way to and from the subway station each day. It was not your ordinary street cat and would run over to me as soon as I was spotted. After a few days I was able to pick it up and this cat was a real little love. I thought the cat was a declawed female. One Friday I picked the cat up, put it under my coat and started walking home with it. Everything was fine until I stepped off the curb and kitty went beserk and got away from me. It was very upsetting because the weatherman said there would be heavy rain all weekend and, unfortunately, this time he was right. I went back on Saturday and Sunday to the site where the kitty stayed but it was nowhere to be found. After my attempt to rescue it, the cat no longer trusted me and would not let me pick it up.

On Wednesday night, March 25, 1998, I saw the cat again on the porch of the house where it was being fed. This time there was a man on the porch and when he saw me playing with the cat he told me that nobody owned it and that he had been feeding it. He could not take the cat in because he had two large dogs. He said that if I had trouble capturing the cat he would be willing to help. I went home and came back with a carrier and Ron and I let the cat into his hall, closed the door so it would have no place to hide, and got it into the carrier. Ron took me to his vet because my vet would not wait for me. Needless to say, the bratcats now have a new, very kind veterinarian.

At the vet, I told him the story and asked that blood work be done to rule out any diseases that might harm Brandee and Dondee. I also found out that kitty was an intact male, about 2-1/2 to 3 years old and not declawed! It was a long wait for the test results but they all came back negative. As soon as a fairly clean bill of health was assured, I named him Gatsby and had him neutered. He had a URI, parasites and ear mites - all treatable. He joined our little family on April 4, 1998.

The first thing Gatsby did when I let him out of his carrier was run over to the scratching boards. A street cat would not be familiar with scratching boards/posts. He knew exactly what it was there for as he proudly demonstrated his skills. He loves to pester Brandee and Dondee. Gatsby seems to favor Dondee and they play and fight all the time. When he gets rough with her she swats him good and hard and he runs off. Five minutes later he's back again. Gatsy is afraid of Brandee and she doesn't want anything to do with him. If he's behaving, she tolerates him and will even rub noses on occasion, but if he starts smacking her, she pounces on him and starts hissing. He makes his exit very quickly. He is a real little ham and loved having his pictures taken for our site. He just sat there patiently while I snapped away, never budging an inch.

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