In Part I of my interview with Dindy Robinson we talked about her animal rescues. This section is all about her adorable cats…
Courtney Mroch: What kind of pets do you have now? Names, ages, breeds, etc?
Dindy Robinson: We don’t have any dogs right now –our last dog died in January after thirteen happy years with us. We have seven cats –all rescues. Gollum is a gray male tiger, about 4.5 years old. When we first got him, he nearly died from a stomach virus. He had very smelly, running diarrhea. We had to wrap him in a towel to hold him because we didn’t want to get the mess on our clothes. We had a hard time finding a name for him, and we went to watch one of the Lord of the Rings movies. There’s a scene where Samwise Gamgee refers to Gollum as “Stinky,” and when Sam said that, I turned to Bill and said, “That’s what we’ll name him! Gollum!” Once he got over his stomach illness, Golly became a very sweet cat. He’s kind of grumpy now but we still love him.
Quinn and Gollum, photo provided by Ms. Robinson and used with her permission.
Then there is Quinn, who is also 4 years old. Quinn is male, a beautiful black and white long-hair. We got him as a kitten and he was a little rascal! He and Golly are VERY close. We named him Quinn because if my husband and I had ever had a little boy, we were going to name him Quinn. We didn’t have a son, so Quinn is the son my husband never had. Quinn is our most affectionate cat. When our dog was still alive, he used to go up to her and ask her to lick his ears, and she was always very happy to oblige. He also has a stuffed animal, a large plush otter that he will sit down next to and knead with his paws.
Next there is Motoko (Toko for short), a female black and white medium-hair. Toko is really my daughter’s cat. We picked her up as a kitten when she came running through my daughter’s apartment complex. She came to visit us when my daughter was having her apartment sprayed for bugs, and she just never went back. She’s going to stay with us now because she’s been with us for so long and is so attached to all our other cats that it wouldn’t be fair to take her away from that. Toko is a little tomboy. She loves to wrestle and play-fight with the other cats. She’s also a jumper and climber. I’ve got a wonderful video of her climbing to the top of her cat tree, going to the top of a closet door, walking across it and onto the top shelf of a bookshelf. She also regularly kneads her paws against Quinn’s plush otter.
Motoko, photo provided by Ms. Robinson and used with her permission.
Then there are Chibi and Sir Robin. We got them when Toko came to visit us because we thought Toko was going back to my daughter’s and we really liked having a kitten around. Chibi and Sir Robin are two years old and are brother and sister. Sir Robin is a male gray tabby and is a real clown. We named him Sir Robin because when I first brought him home, he sauntered boldly out of the kitty carrier, tail held high, ready to take on the world. Then he stopped and noticed Quinn, Gollum and Toko waiting to greet him, and he turned and ran back into the kitty carrier. So, “When danger reared its ugly head, Sir Robin turned and bravely fled!” (from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.) Sir Robin is funny, he wiggles and squirms and twists and turns. He desperately wants to be petted, but he’s kind of feral, so he’s afraid to be touched. So we’ll stop to pet him and he’ll purr as he’s squiggling beneath our hands. We always imagine that he is saying, “Pet me, but don’t touch me!”
Chibi is a black short hair. Like her brother, she is feral, but she’s acclimated very well to our household. Her full name is Kawaii Chibi No Hara, which is Japanese for “cute little belly.” Chibi and Sir Robin were dumped, along with their brothers and sisters, on a friend’s lawn when they were very tiny. They are very close to each other and when Sir Robin hears Chibi crying, he will run to wherever she is to provide support. Chibi has very long claws and spends several minutes each day cleaning in between them and carefully sharpening them. She is also very talkative. She meows, chirps and trills. She likes to sit in my husband’s office with him while he is working on his computer. They usually spend a few hours closed up in there every evening. She doesn’t want him to pet her or anything, she just wants him to sit in there with her. When he comes home, she will run to meet him and meow at him till he goes into his office.
Chibi and Sir Robin, photo provided by Ms. Robinson and used with her permission.
Our newest cat is still an outdoor cat (none of our other cats are allowed outside.) His name is George Caruso, and he’s probably not quite a year old. We first noticed him about a month ago when he came up to our patio and laid down in front of the window, much to the dismay of our cats who were watching him indignantly through the window. They were hissing and spitting and growling at him while he nonchalantly gave himself a bath and sauntered around the patio. We didn’t see him again for several weeks, then this week he came back, and I heard him crying outside. He has a very low, deep, loud meow (hence the name Caruso). I noticed that he was very thin so I put some food out for him, and he gulped it down. So we’ve been putting food out for him and petting him- he’s very affectionate. Once we have a chance to get him to the vet and have him checked out, we’ll bring him into the house with the other cats.
Dindy: I have found that when bringing new cats into the house, the other cats are very accepting of kittens. It is always fun to watch the older cats nurture a baby–they instinctively play games such as “Catch the Tail” with the kitten and make sure someone is always keeping an eye on the newcomer. Bringing older cats into the household has to be done more carefully, and it doesn’t always work out. Our cats are pretty used to animals coming and going, but every once in a while we get one that just doesn’t fit into the family dynamics. If that happens, we try to find another home for the new cat, and so far we’ve been successful. The cats we have right now all get along very well. They have their favorites, but they all like each other and play together–watching six cats chase each other through the house is better than TV! It will be interesting to see how George Caruso fits into the group when we let him in. He doesn’t seem very aggressive so I’m hoping he’ll blend with the others without a problem.