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09 February 2019 @ 11:23 pm
A feature, not a defect  
First, thanks to all who read and voted in Idol! I hope you found some stories you liked. I was off last week, but wrote again this week as we start the Top 20. My story is here, with a link to all the stories at the bottom.

Second... let's talk cats.

We went to the county animal shelter last weekend to look at cats, and were surprised to find that they had hardly any. We're looking for a young adult cat, not a kitten, and the last time we were at the shelter (after its major revamp), the place was full of them!

The volunteer who showed us where to find the two (TWO) adult cats they had said that spring is usually the better time. Which is true if you're looking for kittens, but we didn't think there would be a shortage of other cats. Maybe as more people spay and neuter their pets, there are fewer kittens and more older cats get adopted? I hope?

We were not interested in the 15-year-old cat or the 10-year-old cat, so we looked at the ones on "stray hold" and there was a sweet little thing who was about 5 months old. Not available for almost a week, and younger than we were really looking for, so... off to view the adoptable cats at Petco and back to online searching for our area.

We're interested in a little black cat (I know, it may still be too soon) on the Petfinder.com website, but still waiting back to find out how old she is, what her temperament is like, and whether she has any major health problems. For some cats, that information is already shown, but not for all of them. Mainly, we need a short-haired cat (for HalfshellHusband's allergies) who is ideally about 1-3 years old, affectionate, and not FIV-positive. And ideally also not super high-energy. We're open to adopting a bonded pair as well. Still waiting...

The age and health issues are because of our last cat, who was four when we got her, probably FIV+, and had heart and kidney issues. And wound up being with us only five years. :(

Now the reason for the subject line, which is a common saying in my profession (software engineering). Periodically, I've looked around on Google to try to find out why Jinx had such a short, tapered little nose (which made it hard for her to breathe), and bumpy ridge on her forehead, and such a stocky little body. Last weekend, I stumbled upon something that indicated some of those traits point to breed-specific results for Bombay cats. She wasn't a purebred, obviously (with her belly more sable than black), but so many of her weirdnesses fit that breed!

That little nose—I've never seen a cat before with such a tiny nose, or one that tapered toward the bottom like that. The stocky build (Bombays are bred to look like little leopards). How heavy she was when we first got her—a medium-sized cat of 13 pounds, and not especially overweight. Bringing her home in her cardboard box was like transporting a bowling ball—the bottom of the box sagged.

The trilling purr with notes, like this kitten, but more volume and more musical range.

The obsessive devotion to one particular person (here, our son, whom she picked as Her Boy at the animal shelter) is typical too, though that could just be personality.

From the pictures on that page for Jinx, you can see the short little muzzle in profile. It isn't the pushed-in face of a Persian or Burmese, and her nose isn't turned up, but it's just oddly different from most cats. All that time I was wondering where that came from, and it looks like it was a side-effect of a deliberately created breed.

There's still no explanation for that forehead ridge. Other things, like still being playful at age 6, and the sneaky-smartness that led to her hiding in closed cupboards and opening doors... we'll never know whether that was the breed or just her, but she was a beauty and a character and a half, and we sure miss her. ♥

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michelle: #indiecertainthings on February 12th, 2019 02:43 am (UTC)
I guess it's a good thing that there weren't very many cat options? I mean, obviously not good for you, but.

I'm thinking that with the forehead ridges, your cat was part vampire.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Heh-Hehhalfshellvenus on February 12th, 2019 09:08 am (UTC)
It's good in that people may be adopting more adult cats. I hope so!

A vampire cat! I saw the fangs. :)

A coworker suggested that she might be an alien, like some sort of Star Trek character. Which is just about as far as the shows went in trying to create an alien look, a lot of the time. Why think hard about it when you can us cheap nose/forehead prosthetics? \o?
Port: happy d/mdesertport on February 18th, 2019 04:31 am (UTC)
Aw, man, I'm sorry about Jinx. She sounds like a really sweet member of the family. *hugs*

Wishing you luck in the kitty search. ♥
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on February 19th, 2019 03:18 am (UTC)
Thank you. I still wish we could have her back! She was such an unusual little kitty, with so much personality, and I miss hugging her and snuggling with her.