Albert

I want to bring you back a few years and have you visit an outdoor café in Kuwait City.  Two sisters are sitting and chatting about the past and the future, about Kuwait, where they grew up, and about Boston, a city one sister now called home.  As they sat and talked they witnessed a feral cat being struck by a car.  The women ran out and found the poor animal and took it to a veterinarian.  The vet told them the cat was Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) positive, which is like telling a human they are HIV positive.  The vet wanted to euthanize the cat.  The women pretty much told the vet that he would have to euthanize them first.  So the cat lived.  A leg had to be amputated because of the car, but he was a survivor.  Angel, as the sisters called the cat, survived all of the way back to Boston.  Being a feral cat in a one bedroom apartment with three other cats, though….

Three years ago we lost our cat Claudius. He was a great cat.  I wasn’t in any hurry to replace him.  I mean, you can’t replace a child.  My wife, however, wanted a companion for the remaining cat, Bartleby.  Bart was about 12 and had Claude with him for most of his life.  We were just about to leave on a 10 day trip to France.  Bartleby needed company.  We made the drive to Pat Brody’s Shelter for Cats where we had adopted Claudius.

I would’ve loved a kitten, but so would everyone else.  The cat shelter aims most people to the young adult cat room, though there are areas for older cats.  My wife was using a toy to try to entice the cats to play while I picked up different cats to see how they reacted.

There was a cat going crazy over the cat toy my wife was using.  They played and played and played.  I watched and cringed.  The cat was scooting along on its hind end.  The movements were very strange.  I realized it only had three legs.  My wife didn’t care, she liked the energy.

Albert

Albert of the Three Paws

Sitting in an outside area for “retired cats” we were told the story of the three legged Arabian Mau named Angel and how it came to the shelter.  As we discussed the matter my wife continued to call the cat “Albert”.  I knew Albert was coming home with us.  His rescuer might be an angel, but I could tell there was mischief in Albert so the cat came with us and the old name stayed.

My wife, as usual, was right.

Albert has more personality than any cat I’ve ever seen.  More than a lot of people.  As with other rescue cats I’ve known, namely Claudius, Albert seems to be genuinely grateful to us.  He somehow knows we rescued him.  He is loving.  He sleeps with us ever night, despite the boxer in the bed.  In fact, Albert gets along very well with Elliot, the boxer.

Albert

Albert chilling

Albert is great.  He can be a terror and is full of mischief, but isn’t that what you want in a cat?  One issue: he shows affection by biting.  He is a little better than when he first came in.  He would occasionally draw blood when he was trying to be nice.  Now he sometimes hurts but never draws blood.  He learned to be gentle in the way cats learn to use paws with humans, not claws like they use with other cats, even when playing.

The other night I heard purring.  I reached up and Albert softly bit my hand.  I started scratching his chin.  The purring got louder.  He reached over and bit me again, a little harder.  He was happy.  He grabbed my hand and started to lick it with his little sandpaper tongue, still purring away.  I just lay there thinking about the super cat by my head.

Albert

Albert – What’s daddy doing?

We don’t know how much time we have with Albert before his disease gets the better of him but we will cherish every moment we do have.  So far it’s been three years.  We’re hoping for many more.

Albert has been a great companion.  I sent the lady who rescued him an email to thank her.  She’s the real angel.

And Albert just continues purring.  And biting.  Biting me softly with his teeth.  (With many apologies to Roberta Flack)

Albert

Albert – Biting Me Softly

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All photos by Trent P McDonald.

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Note – this is this first of my new regular 1st Monday image Series

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16 thoughts on “Albert: Biting Me Softly

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  2. bearmkwa

    Albert is beautiful! I think animals know when we rescue them from shelters that they have indeed been rescued from death. Our Maryjane also nibbles, but only if Hubby is having a seizure at night or during the day when he’s home. When I’m having a rough night (ptsd) she’s always right by my side, purring away, giving me the anchor that I need. She’s 12 now, and we tried to get her a companion and she, being the jealous little impette that she is, killed it. sigh….

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Albert is a great cat. We do have two other cats, each with their own story and personality, but in ways Albert stands out. Since he has been having health issues, he is now traveling with us, which, despite to car ride, I’m sure he enjoys. Yeah, I see a lot of jealousy between the animals, but luckily no fatalities.

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  6. soireadthisbooktoday

    When I lived in Oregon I happened into the mall for new winter boots and came upon the local cat rescue doing adoptions. Being the sucker I am, I had to stop. A black and white polydactyl stuck his huge paw out of the cage and grabbed at me, yowling his head off. Being me, I did what you aren’t supposed to do and opened the cage and pulled him up in my arms. He snuggled down into my coat, and I was a gonner.

    He had been taken from a hoarder in a batch of between 50-60 cats. Bone thin, HIV positive, he was a complete and total wreck. I took him home, named him G’Kar after a character on Babylon 5, and fed him up. Now, 15 years later, he is still with me. He is ‘odd’ of course, the HIV has damaged portions of his brain, but he is fat, happy, and content, in no pain, and still makes me laugh. I hope Albert has many, many years to come! He is gorgeous….

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. trentpmcd Post author

      He is gorgeous. Our other cat, Josie, came from a hoarder. She had 2 litters of kittens before we received here, the first when she was 6 months. because of this she is the size of a five or six month old kitten but is pure cat. When she came in poor Albert followed her around, serenading her. They were both fixed, but by they Albert acted you’d never guess. He being 3 legged could never catch up. Finally she did slow down enough for him. If there were fireworks we didn’t see any. they quickly just became friends and rivals for affection.

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  10. Uli Higgins

    I volunteer at PBS and remember Angel well. I might even still have some pictures of him from the shelter. He’s a cute little rascal.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Hi Uli. I think Angel/Albert is pretty unforgettable. He has such a great personality. I’m sure you people at the shelter were worried nobody would want to adopt a cat with his issues. When I first saw him, I wasn’t sure either, but I’m glad we did.

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