Early Morning Open Thread: Hippie Love

From commentor Leinie:

The picture is of our Hippy. He’s one of four. He’s an old man now, at about 16, but was rescued by Mr. L when Hippy was about 6-9 months old.
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Mr. L was doing IT work at an asphalt plant. An asphalt tanker rolled into the yard, and this shivering, filthy, road-grimey, wet and pathetic looking cat jumped off the trailer. The truck had last stopped about 270 miles away, on the other side of the state, so they figured that’s when the little guy hitched his ride. This was in the spring, and it was cold and wet and he was a mess.
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The operations manager gave him a bath, and Hippy promptly repaid him for that by taking a massive, stinking dump on the guy’s chair in his office. Amazingly, the cat didn’t have any accidents after that very first one…..
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Mr. L looked at him and realized that if he didn’t take Hippy, he’d just have to turn around and go back and get him. By the time he left for home, three days later, Hippy would come when Mr. L called him. The little fluffball has been adored ever since.
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Flash forward about four years, and Mr. L hooks up with me, and Hippy becomes my baby. That cat is the sweetest, most lovable, loving cat ever. Mr. L calls him the universal cat – even people who don’t like cats love Hippy when they meet him. He will let little kids drag him around – we say he’s part stuffed animal. He likes to be carried up on my shoulder, like a baby, and will nuzzle into my chin and neck when I pick him up. He will fuss to BE picked up and carried like that – I’ve been known to walk him like you would a fretting child! He will talk to you, chirping and saying “ow!” He’s hilarious to watch communicate with the other cats, because we’re certain that when he meows a particular way, and jerks his head, that he’s telling the other cat to “fuck off”, and the other three pretty much do, if Hippy says so. He’s long haired and pretty mellow, and loves him some catnip, does our Hippy.
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He has to take steroids twice a week to help him with an issue he has that was described to us as being him allergic to his digestive system, and complications from that caused him to need all of his teeth but 2 pulled (and he’s since lost those other 2.) He lets me hold him upside down, cradling like a baby and takes treats and his pill from my fingers. We were really lucky about ten years ago to find a vet who specialized in cats who was finally able to help us out and diagnose what was wrong with him, and get him to feeling better. He had been a listless and stoic little cat before that, but after his teeth came out and his steroid treatment took effect, he became much more active, playful and rambunctious. That’s mellowed out, as he’s gotten older, but he will still go tearing by sometimes. He is a joy, and sometimes, just coming home and cuddling with him makes the world a better place.
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Will forward pictures and stories of his buddies, Mau Pau, Billy Bob, and Squeak, another time.

22 replies
  1. 1
    HeartlandLiberal says:

    From the picture and your description of his behavior, I would say Hippy has some Maine Coon genes. When he stands and walks, do his rear quarters stand somewhat higher than his front? Does he also have some tufts of fur between his toes?

    We have a 12 year old 15 lb part Maine Coon (Buckaroo Banzai) male who behaves just as you describe. He demands to be picked up by my wife at least once or twice a day and literally cradled like a baby. He is so happy he seems to just go into a dazed trance, and will even drool with delight.

    Also, he and his sister from the same litter, both of whom we took, are among the most intelligent cats we have ever had.

  2. 2
    Nikki says:

    Gawd, I love these stories.

  3. 3
    PeakVT says:

    A hippie not even a Blue Dog would punch. Well, probably not.

  4. 4
    Keith G says:

    //Looks around for Yutsano//

    Kitteh!!

    A handsome boy and a sweet story is a great way to start my day.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    funluvn says:

    He is a real beauty! Great story and such a wonderful relationship you have with your elderly gentleman. Thanks for sharing.

  7. 7
    JPL says:

    Leinie, Thanks for posting the story about Hippy and I look forward to reading about the rest of cats.

  8. 8
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Lovely story, lovely cat. Hippy looks like a total sweetie.

  9. 9
    Josie says:

    What a beautiful face. The sweetness just oozes out. Thanks for a great start to my day.

  10. 10
    shaun says:

    Leinie:

    We too have a toothless cat, a rescue who almost certainly was abused. (She also is mute, which means we have to be especially careful to not close her in closets, etc.)

    A question: What do you feed Hippy since kibble is presumably a non-starter?

  11. 11
    Bulworth says:

    Hippy is beautiful. I think I’ll name my next kitty Hippy.

  12. 12
    Bob says:

    I picked up a very young cat, latter known as Tim, abandoned in a local park. After a few day I gave him a “flea bath.” I was rewarded with a dump on my bed. A few days later Tim needed another bath. Learning my lesson I closed the bedroom door and proceeded with the bath. All was well, until it was time for bed. Opening the door Tim rushed in and took his revenge.

  13. 13
    Annie says:

    Just love this story — one of my favs… Thanks. And big kisses to Hippy.

    PS. Tell him to call my sick kitty and tell her that I am not trying to kill her by giving her medicine….I am actually trying to help her.

  14. 14
    Kristine says:

    A great story to start a Friday–thanks! Scrubble Hippy’s ears for me.

  15. 15
    ruemara says:

    I read this with a younger version of Hippy sitting in my lap, attempting to french me. Love this story! Nom those delicious ears for me.

  16. 16
    JoyfulA says:

    I wonder if it’s just the male cats who’ll go anywhere, even on a bus, cradled on a shoulder. I had a male cat who’d do that eagerly, and the female cats I’ve had since then want nothing to do with being held in that posture.

  17. 17

    Awwww! Hippy has the sweetest, most gentle look on his face. Love these stories.

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne says:

    @HeartlandLiberal:

    Our boy Keaton probably has a big dose of Maine Coon in him, and he looks quite a bit like Hippy (though his patches are configured differently). He is also a really, really smart cat — my husband says sometimes that if he were a kid, we’d be wondering if we should let him skip grades.

  19. 19
    Winston Smith says:

    @HeartlandLiberal:

    I would say Hippy has some Maine Coon

    Maine Coon doesn’t have the white fur.

    That’s a Kurdish Van (descendant).

  20. 20
    leinie says:

    OMG that’s my baby! So cool that he’s on here. I didn’t have time to look at the blog this morning so I missed this!

    To answer Shaun’s question, he actually eats kibble. He swallows it whole. That worried us, but we couldn’t stop him. The Most Wonderful Vet in the world shrugged and said “that’s what he wants.”

    We think he might have some Maine Coon, he does have tufts of hair in his paws. He also has “knickers” on his back legs that made us wonder if he has some Norwegian Forest cat in him. He’s small for a Maine Coon.

    Thanks for all the wonderful comments. He is a love, and seeing him here and reading your comments really made my day.

  21. 21
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Winston Smith:

    Nope — Maine Coons come in any color but pointed (aka Siamese), so there are plenty of black-and-white Maine Coons. Brown tabby is the “classic” coloring, but it’s definitely not required.

    By the shape of the head and lack of a ruff on Hippy, though, I might guess Turkish Van over Maine Coon. Our Keaton has a giant lion-like ruff. He also has the little tiny Maine Coon “meep” instead of a real meow, to the point where people think we have a kitten in the carrier instead of a 13-pound full-grown male cat.

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Now that I look more (yes, I keep coming back to admire the adorableness that is Hippie), he does have more of a Norwegian Forest Cat look to me, at least in the face.

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