Just got Back From Kitty Prison


First things first- I had been meaning to give away Tunch’s completely unused cat tree for months, and finally got around to getting it to the folks who adopted Zsa Zsa. They picked it up at my house at 3:00 pm, live 5 mins away, and at 3:30 I was sent that picture of her climbing higher than Tunch did in six months, although that implies Tunch climbed the thing at all. He didn’t. He slept near it. I actually muttered “god damned Tunch” when I saw the picture, then immediately felt guilty.

Just spent a couple hours at the animal shelter, and I went to look at a senior cat named Snowbell, and she was just adorable, but I just can’t in good conscience introduce her into a home with two dogs. She is super tiny, and has been declawed, and I just think it would be supremely irresponsible to bring her into a home with a JRT. All Tunch had to do was bleed Rosie’s nose once and she never screwed with him again, but Snowbell couldn’t even do that. I don’t think Rosie or Lily would do anything, but I just can not face the idea of sitting in the back yard holding another lifeless cat that I have spent forever pouring love into. I just can not do it.

I did test drive some other cats while I was there, though. I used the same method I did for finding Tunch and found two possible suitors. When I lived in Morgantown I used to take bags of food to the shelter every payday, and I spent weeks auditioning cats when I finally decided to get one. What I would do is open a cage, sit on the floor, and let the cats come to me. For weeks I did this, and they would invariably run under the cage or in a corner. Then when I found Tunch, who at the time was less than a year old and super skinny, I did the same thing. I opened the door, sat in the middle of the floor, and the little bastard climbed out of his cage, walked right up to me and took a swipe at me and then gave his infamous meowpurr bitchy shriek. I immediately grabbed him, paid for him, borrowed a cat carrier, and you know the rest.

There were two at the shelter today who passed. The first was the most inappropriately named cat ever, Nibbles, who has an absolutely ginormous frame and EASILY outweighed Tunch by 5-7 lbs. This cat has never nibbled ANYTHING. He was massive. He jumped down out of his crate, sauntered over to me, sniffed, and went on.

The other was a cat named Beggar who is 6 years old and a Maine Coon mix, about the same size as Tunch, but with these piercing emerald green eyes. He actually came over, rubbed his scent glands all over me and then sat in my lap.

There are also a bunch of cats on petfinder I am looking at. Chubbs, Sylvester, and Roxanne. Going to go back and check out Beggar and Nibbles tomorrow, and if it feels right, who knows.

*** Update ***

Here is a one year old Tunch:

Tunch posing.JPG

135 replies
  1. 1
    Botsplainer says:

    Get Beggar.

  2. 2
    Botsplainer says:

    Leo at my feet


  3. 3
    Luthe says:

    I’m glad you’re turning your grief into a second chance for another kitty. Tunch died all too soon, but he left a legacy as big as he was.

  4. 4
    Violet says:

    How very exciting!

  5. 5
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    Sounds like Beggar has already chosen you.

  6. 6
    JCT says:

    Sounds like you have been chosen…

  7. 7
    Elizabelle says:

    Tunch was super skinny when you got him?

    Does not compute.

  8. 8
    Comrade Mary says:

    There are kitten pictures of Tunch out there. John posted at least one years ago.

  9. 9
    Rob Wolfe says:

    Hardly ever comment but …
    I am getting a malware warning from Chrome when I look at Balloon Juice now.

    Not good

  10. 10
    Comrade Mary says:

    Click the details button, Rob. It will almost certainly report a completely clean bill of health. There are a lot of false positives being thrown up for the past day or so.

  11. 11
    Downpuppy says:

    We adopted 2 cats that passed the character test – truly great cats. First one would go for long walks with us, but caught something & died way too young. 2d was pretty good. There was a neighbor feeding strays (yes, it got completely out of hand) & we took in the kitten that would associate with us. She got cancer at 7. 3rd cat we left up to the Youngest Member. She’s a pure house cat, because if we let her out, she picks a fight & loses. Cute, but a bit of a dud. Also 8 years old & looks good for 12 more.

    In summation, go for it.

  12. 12
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Sounds like you have this under control. Maine coons are generally very nice cats; we once had two brothers (Bill and Opus) who went 22 and 23 lbs ; they were wonderful (if you weren’t a dog).

    Maple is adjusting very well; especially considering the fact that we are having a new roof installed at the moment, and the noise is even freaking out our main cat (the only thing that ever freaked that cat out before was the mountain lion).

  13. 13
    Rob Wolfe says:

    Nope it didn’t. That was why I mentioned it. Same thing happened to the site I used to host my resume and it turned out that someone had replaced nearly every php file on the site with this horrible crap.

  14. 14
    MomSense says:

    I have a Maine Coon and he is one of the best cats I have ever known and I have loved many cats over the years. And if Beggar came up to you and sat with you, I think you have found a friend.

    Coon cats are gentle but will definitely hold their own with dogs and other cats. Mine has a bit of a stubborn streak. I had a big basket on the table that I kept napkins and other things in and of course it made a lovely spot for a nap. My solution was to get a new basket and this is how well that plan worked. http://www.flickr.com/photos/m.....738711293/

  15. 15
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Rob Wolfe: Read the previous post. MM is trying to figure it out.

  16. 16
    JR in WV says:


    You go, dude!

    Get a cat who needs you, you will need then soon enough.

    We’ve gone from 3 dogs and 5 cats down to 1 dog and 2 cats. The first two cats went while M was in the hospital for 59 days with pheumonia/septic shock. M eventually lost one part of a lung, and actually came home with a chest tube still in place.

    I told her about losing the two senior cats not long before her release, and I never really told her how hard it was taking first Rufus and then Harvey to the Vet hospital with kidney failure, then going to the hospital to spend the rest of the day with M.

    Not long after she came home the largest dog also had kidney failure, and we both went with him to the V. hospital where they were very empathic and sensitive and took their time allowing us to be with him as he slid away.

    Since then, we lost a dog and then a little tom cat to the coyotes. Hard…

    But we’re going to get more critters to share life with, and so should everyone who related to furry people.

    Good luck with the malware infestation.

  17. 17
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    When we went looking for our first family dog, the SPCA we went to had a four puppies that were all related. After looking, we picked the calmest one, took it to the room where you could interact with the dog. At that time, I had two boys, 6 and 1. After 2 minutes, we couldn’t get the dog out from under the bench. As we left, the family next too us had gotten the dog’s sister. We traded. This one wasn’t afraid of the kids and we took her home. 12 years later, she can be a handful: 35 pounds of pent up energy. But when our youngest was born she took care of him like a mother. The only problem we have is sometimes she’ll try to turn in the yard at full speed like she is 5, and then end up coming in with a limp.

  18. 18
    JR in WV says:

    The editor seems to be about half broken, maybe because the ads are off…

  19. 19
    Ann Marie says:

    They all sound like good cats. Whichever one you pick will be a very lucky cat.

    When Tye, my first cat as an adult, died suddenly of kidney failure, I was devastated, but I knew I didn’t want to leave my younger cat, Mac, alone for too long. A friend had a cat who needed a home. The plan was to wait a few months for Mac (and me) to adjust to Tye’s absence, but it became imperative for Louie to go to his new home much sooner. I’ve never regretted bringing him into the household.

  20. 20
    Emerald says:

    So glad you looked at Snowbell. I put a link in a thread last night to Max’s comment about her because I was pretty sure you hadn’t seen it when he posted it. I was worried about the two-dog situation with a 12-year old kitteh though. I just hope someone will adopt her! Is she at risk at that shelter if nobody takes her soon? She seems like such a sweetie pie!

    BTW, Maine Coons are the bestest kittehs in the wurld. They are smart, sassy, HUGE and truly loving. (My Emerald kitteh is having an internet romance with a Maine Coon cat named Cicero over on the GOS. He is simply magnificent. Here’s a link to their romantik kruuze diary.)

    I’d sure go for that Maine Coon. They are teh awesome. Just sayin’.

  21. 21
    SIA says:

    @MomSense: How funny! He (she?) is beautiful. Love that expression.

    ETA: ah, reading comprehension…he’s a he. :)

  22. 22
    T. Scheisskopf says:


    I have been worrying and thinking about you a lot. In that time, I have thought “If I was gonna get him a cat, what would it be?”

    All I could think of is Maine Coon, a great breed. This one seems to have chosen you. Don’t argue with a cat.

    But you knew that.

  23. 23
    geg6 says:

    Um, I think you have no say so at this point, Cole. Beggar has already claimed you.

  24. 24
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @JR in WV: mistermix turned them off trying to find the malware/virus.

  25. 25
    MomSense says:


    He is a perfect cat. Great with the kids and the dog and a very sweet companion–but he does what he wants when he wants!

  26. 26
    Mary G says:

    Until I clicked on Chubbs, Sylvester & Roxanne I had no idea Petfinder had an “extra large” category. Too funny.

    Good for you for going.

  27. 27
    Emerald says:

    And BTW, it’s perfectly fine to get another cat so soon after the loss of even a specially loved cat. I did that with Emerald and have never regretted it.

  28. 28
    StringOnAStick says:

    I too think you have already been spoken for by this Beggar fellow. He’s of sufficient size to hold his own with a JRT too.

  29. 29
    Poopyman says:

    Maine Coon with piercing eyes? You are doomed, man. Maine Coons and MC mixes are hands down the best cats ever, and I’m speaking as one who has had 1 MC amongst over a dozen cats in my lifetime. Never met a MC I couldn’t love.

  30. 30
    Arlene says:

    Beggar sounds perfect. I have had Maine Coons for 26 years and they’re the best. My first one, T.C. (Top Cat like the old cartoon show) was an alpha male and quite the hunter. He once tried to bring a dead rabbit in the house, He was 14 at the time. I currently have a brother and sister who are the most lovable kitties. Can’t wait to see a picutre of Beggar.

  31. 31
    RSA says:

    Best of luck finding a new companion, John.

    We have a Maine Coon mix, and he’s not enormous but a good 15 pounds or so. We’re the kind of people who have cats because they’re independent, and ours is that, but he’s also really demanding of our attention when he’s in the mood. Tunch-like, in some ways. But a climber.

  32. 32
    BGinCHI says:

    I feel like I’ve hacked John’s Match.com account. But the pet version.

    BTW, I’m also getting major warnings from Firefox about how dangerous this web site is. Maybe it’s trying to tell me something that doesn’t have to do with malware. Like: get back to work!

  33. 33
    max says:

    @Emerald: So glad you looked at Snowbell. I put a link in a thread last night to Max’s comment about her because I was pretty sure you hadn’t seen it when he posted it. I was worried about the two-dog situation with a 12-year old kitteh though. I just hope someone will adopt her! Is she at risk at that shelter if nobody takes her soon?

    It’s a county shelter – she’s got two, three weeks, tops. I guess we need to form a committee to save Snowball. (I wasn’t thinking about the declaw aspect and the dogs – mine just tow the one around, and the other one, well, claws won’t save him, which is why he is outdoor kitty. He hates the dog and the dog hates him, but the dog has a mouth the size of the cat’s head.)

    As for the Maine Coon, well, I like mine fine, but it does do to note that they’re hairy little bastards, so the hairballs are epic, and they can have flea problems. As in, if a flea gets on them, you’re never getting it off short of chemical warfare, even if you can SEE the flea crawling through the fur. The hair is too thick to get at them. And flea collars don’t cut it, so it’s Advantix or Frontline or whatever all the time.

    [‘My method of acquiring the cat is to have the mailman come to the door holding a bedraggled kitten that’s being vampyred to death by fleas and have him ask me to take care of him.’]

  34. 34
    opie_jeanne says:

    This is Annie, our recent-ish rescue, and that’s her grass that someone put on the sill to get some sun.

  35. 35
  36. 36
    Comrade Mary says:

    @max: You do realize we’re talking about the man who’s cornered the market in Furminators, right?

  37. 37
    Yatsuno says:

    @geg6: Yup. He’s doomed.

  38. 38
    metricpenny says:

    Way to get back on that horse John! So happy to read this.

  39. 39
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    Well I trust your instincts. They brought you Tunch and Lily. And in my worldview, Rosie, too.

    I went to pick up my Aunt’s Maine Coon Cat – he looked so cute and fluffy – and almost threw my back out. He topped out at 35 lbs. And I swear it was all muscle.

    I’m glad you’re looking. A Tunch size hole can’t be filled, but that’s the cool thing about love, you don’t replace, you add another branch to the tree.

  40. 40
    Emerald says:

    @max: I’m in California, but yes, somehow we’ve got to get sweet Snowbell adopted!

    We need a cat bleg for Snowbell!

  41. 41
    James Hare says:

    I miss my Maine Coon kitty seriously. That was one awesome cat. Sounds like Beggar found the right softy to scam food out of. Maine Coons also know how to deal with dogs.

  42. 42
    opie_jeanne says:



    This is Tommy, our Maine Coon mix. The way we knew he was a mix was that he only weighed 15 pounds. We think a coyote got him but we aren’t sure. He disappeared on the first warm spring day here two years ago, slipped out somehow right at dusk.

  43. 43
    Poopyman says:

    @TaMara (BHF):

    I’m glad you’re looking. A Tunch size hole can’t be filled, but that’s the cool thing about love, you don’t replace, you add another branch to the tree.

    When our Nicky followed Fourlegsgood’s Maxx on his comet back in ’07, we thought we’d wait a while, but Mrs. P talked me into going to the shelter just three weeks later, and we came home with THREE kittens.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this ends.

  44. 44
    Princess Leia says:

    2 dogs need two cats. I say save both. And I agree with MAX- let’s spring Snowbell via MARC or some other rescue.

  45. 45
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    @MomSense: That. Made. My. Night.

  46. 46
    Lavocat says:

    Can’t go wrong with a Maine Coon cat. Fuckers are basically stoner dogs in cat bodies.

  47. 47
    Poopyman says:

    Since I haven’t seen FLG around in a while, I’m going to indulge in a little Maine Coon blogwhoring…

  48. 48
    MomSense says:


    Oh what a gorgeous baby. Ugh, coyotes. We had a fisher that took one of my cats years ago and it just kills you.

  49. 49
    Keith says:

    Are you only getting a single cat, or would you get both?

  50. 50
    Just Some Fuckhead says:


    Are you only getting a single cat,

    How would he know if it’s married?

  51. 51
    gnomedad says:

    I actually muttered “god damned Tunch” when I saw the picture, then immediately felt guilty.

    Don’t. It’s another one of the reasons we loved him.

  52. 52
    The Moar You Know says:

    Get them both.

  53. 53
    mai naem says:

    I went to petfinder cats at that shelter. There’s some nice looking adult cats. I like this guy http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/26100313. He looks like he’s got attitude.
    Also you really need to get two cats. Hardly fair to have two dogs against one cat.

  54. 54
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    @Princess Leia:

    Well, I didn’t want to say anything, but if any household was crying out for 2 cats, I think Cole’s is.

  55. 55
    ET says:

    I lost my kitty in February but I am too much of a wimp to get a new one yet. I gave myself a year before I get another but I don’t know that I will last.

  56. 56
    opie_jeanne says:

    @MomSense: Yours is gorgeous too. I meant to say that.

    Tommy was 15 when he decided to sneak out. Prior to that he had only spent time outdoors at this new house when we were with him, and the house we moved from had a walled garden that dogs couldn’t breach and there were no coyotes there. He felt so secure that he would lie on the lawn in the backyard, sprawled out with his belly to the sun. We thought it was hilarious. Here a Bald Eagle would think, “That’s a whole lot of lunch!”

    Our new kitty goes out ONLY inside her carrier and it just kills me.

  57. 57
    Poopyman says:

    @ET: You gave yourself a year before you knew what state of mind you’d be in months later. If you wonder if it’s time, it is. The only warning I’d provide is; if you go to the shelter just expecting to see what they’ve got, don’t be surprised if you get claimed while you’re there.

  58. 58
    CaseyL says:

    @TaMara (BHF):

    2 dogs + 2 cats = 1 seriously outnumbered Cole

    I have this image of John watching a Steelers game with four fur-persons piled onto him: a dog on each thigh and a cat on each shoulder.

    He won’t dare move.

  59. 59
    opie_jeanne says:

    @ET: We waited more than 18 months to find the new one, but I went looking while we still had the Maine Coon mix, right after we lost The One Cat You Get. I felt this sense of urgency, I don’t know, as if she was telling me to look (which is pretty stupid), almost as if I’d recognize the spark of her in a new kitten.


  60. 60
    Redshirt says:

    Team Nibbles

  61. 61
    MomSense says:


    My son just looked over my shoulder and said “that’s a really nice cat” and she is. Gorgeous eyes.

  62. 62
    raven says:

    Apparently I’m the only one here that never heard of a Maine Coon cat!

  63. 63
    Redhead Redemption says:

    Since Beggar appears to have singled you out as a worthwhile human, I hope you’ll give him some serious consideration. Maine Coons are awesome cats! The next time I go looking, that’ll be the breed. I have a Siberian…similar sort of look and personality. Very laid back, sweet yet entertainingly assholish when he wants to be, and holds his own with our Newfoundlands just fine. He does yak up some fairly epic hairballs, but it’s not an everyday event or anything. Of course, I live with a lot of Newf slobber, so my tolerance for grossness is pretty high. Anyway, I’m rooting for Beggar, but glad to see you looking regardless. Whichever cat you bring home will be the right one.

  64. 64
    Dead Ernest says:

    Quite seriously John, both.
    Take both of them.

  65. 65
    Elizabelle says:

    May we discuss seven clinical research beagles being rescued?

    Lovely pics via the Washington Post. You will have to listen to an ad before they let you see the hounds, regrettably. (Bad WaPost. Down! Down)

    The Beagle Freedom Project

  66. 66
    MathInPA says:

    First off, mega-cheers to you for thinking of socialization and adaptation, and doubly so for taking the time to get to know them. I’ve always bonded to my pets, but I’ve heard heartrending stories from people whose packs just wouldn’t accept new members or vice versa.

    Second, let me note that at least in my anecdotal experience, Maine Coons make great dog trainers. When we were first dating, my wife’s calico Maine Coon/other mix was already the elder Grande Dame of her mother’s household pack. She’d taught 2-3 generations of family companion/watchdogs how to hunt, how to behave, and what was acceptable.

    My wife likes to tell the story of how her sweetie would always respond to the youngest– including her as a child!– with gentleness, trying whacks with all claws firmly retracted repeatedly, and even once they had to come out, with dog, cat, or kid, she almost never broke the skin. By the time she was getting old, it’d grown too dangerous around their home for any outdoor cats or dogs (reintroduced fishers for one, asshole-if-we-could-prove-it-we’d-do-something animal endangering neighbors among others), she was more or less comfortable with the way the pack treated her, for well over a decade and a half after her ascendancy.

    Even past that, when she was getting old and creaky and some of the younger animals were starting to get bold, she still had a lot of dignitas, which carried her through until another stray (and that boy’s story is amazingly poignant but ultimately quite happy), probably larger even than Tunch came in and took over the pack leadership responsibilities. He immediately put an end to that nonsense, by keeping the younger animals in line– and deferring to her! We lost her not too long ago, and I miss her dearly yet.

    We didn’t see her a lot once we started renting my mother-in-law’s attached apartment. Like I’ve said before, cats don’t travel well, and towards the end, for Autumn, that meant downstairs period. She always loved to see us, but the upper areas were her territory, and that’s the way she liked it. She came for quick visits, and to make sure that Remus, our dog, was ok and behaving as best he could, but didn’t stick around much. We were not, however, to be without a dog-training Maine Coon for very long.

    Artemis is our current girl, who, like Autumn, until recently, ruled the roost. Friends of a friend posted on livejournal that they’d found a Maine Coon near their apartment over on the mainland, but that one of them is allergic to cats. Given our mutual love for the breed, we pounced, as it were, and combined their name for her– Cheshire– with one we find more appropriate, for Artemis Cheshire. :) She didn’t like Remus much at first, but when she found that Autumn and the other cats of my mother-in-law’s pack had trained him well, she made her dominance clear, and then smugly kept him in line.

    She’s sadly a lot more cranky, temperamental, and doesn’t like other animals as much, but nonetheless, even when she was pre-adolescent and only 10-12lbs, she kept Remus in check. Oh, sure, as an adult, until we got her on a diet, she was 20lbs, but you would not believe this haughty, dignified feline princess at 12ish staring down a 100-110lb dog and making him get out of _her_ spot. Of course, haughty or not, she loved that dog and cuddled the heck out of him when she thought we weren’t looking.

    I do wish we’d corrected more of the aggressive behavior earlier, though. When we got 2 new kittens after finding them under the house and getting them spayed/neutered, she started to chase them around the house. It took time outs in a bathroom with a litter box, squirt bottles, and on the positive side, catnip and snuggle sessions with the kittens and us together to get her to stop chasing them.

    Unfortunately, about 6 months ago or so, we noticed the behavior cropping up again, or so we thought; we were hearing midnight dashes from side to side in the house. Recidivism happens, especially with cats, who get less constant reinforcement. However, upon observation, squirt bottle in hand, we discovered that the most human-friendly young cat, Pippin, who had grown to 20lbs (mostly muscle, but he’s on a diet in addition to a training regime now on vet’s recommendation) had decided to repay the favor now that he’s grown.

    Nevertheless, she still has the dogs and the other cats besides Pip fairly well at her beck and call. When she walks into a room, she is utterly in charge, with loud vocalizations and demands for attention, going from lap to lap. If you get a Maine Coon, you have a significant chance of a large and in charge snuggleboss. :)

    Well, that’s how it goes. Being a cat parent is never done, and it’s a treadmill all the more with generational packs.

  67. 67
    Yatsuno says:

    @CaseyL: I’m sitting here at work giggling at that mental image. I think Beggar has already marked him as the new cat slave however.

  68. 68
    Redshirt says:

    @raven: That’s racist.

  69. 69
    Elizabelle says:


    To me, that cat looks ticked that you did not take her out drinking in Seattle.

  70. 70
    raven says:

    @Redshirt: Interesting how many people think calling someone a coon-ass is too.

  71. 71
    Keith says:

    @The Moar You Know: I got a pair of cats from this site, and even though I only wanted the black one, getting both was definitely the right move. Not sure if they’re related, but they are inseparable. They don’t much interact with my other cat, but those two sun each other together, eat together, and the big male is always cleaning the female. Sounds like if Cole got a pair, they wouldn’t be that close, so who knows? I like having multiples, though. If they don’t get along at first, they generally get used to each other, particularly if they’re the opposite sex.

  72. 72
    CaseyL says:

    Young Tunch!

  73. 73
    YellowJournalism says:

    Your story about Beggar reminds me of Rosie. A sign, perhaps?

  74. 74
    EL says:

    I had a wonderful Maine Coon mix, so I am completely biased toward the breed. He sat on our windowsill meowing and demanded to be adopted. Sad to say he died of cancer at 13, and I miss him still. I now have a 3 year old chubby female who can never get enough petting. She’s a sweetie, and definitely extra large.

  75. 75
    Josie says:

    My two younger sons adopted a Maine Coon when they were living together in Houston. He was very friendly and conversational, but very determined to get outside. When they refused to let him, since they were afraid of his being run over or something terrible, he broke out a window in their rent house to make his escape. The landlord looked a tad unbelieving when he heard how the window was broken. Apollo still lives with the one boy, who is now married, and stays outside most of the time. He has become the official apartment cat and visits different people when he feels like it.

  76. 76
    Heather says:

    Beggar sounds like a champ, but I kind of fell for Roxanne. What a face! However, with two dogs in the house, a boy cat is a much surer bet. They’re just so much more chill and accepting, in my experience. So, I say give Beggar another test drive.

    I found my last cat but one using the “extra-large” search on Petfinder. The current extra-large model found me.

  77. 77
    Redshirt says:

    @raven: Heh. I just read up on the history of Maine Coons. Fun stuff – wiki.

  78. 78
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @raven: Aren’t you more of a dog person?

  79. 79
    Botsplainer says:


    Oh what a gorgeous baby. Ugh, coyotes. We had a fisher that took one of my cats years ago and it just kills you.

    Hate coyotes. When they’re around, the leave big chunks of fawns up close to the house. That’s one of the reasons we like bigger dogs. At some point, they’re going to snatch our big fat cat unless they feel unwelcome, hence the big dog.

    But I have to ask – what is a fisher?

  80. 80
    El Caganer says:

    You’re a good man, to take what is personally devastating and make good things happen out of it. You saved Rosie; it’s pretty obvious she’s trying to return the favor.

  81. 81
    Betty Cracker says:

    I’m in the “all of the above” camp. I can see Nibbles and Beggar tail-to-tail, fending off Rosie and Lilly (as if!). In for a penny, in for a pound.

  82. 82
    raven says:

    @Botsplainer: Did you get my pet insurance info?

  83. 83

    Here is a one year old Tunch:

    That is just not possible.

  84. 84
    Redshirt says:

    @Botsplainer: A fisher is like a tiny wolverine.

  85. 85
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Botsplainer: a fisher is a relative of ferrets and weasels.

  86. 86
  87. 87
    MomSense says:


    Fishers are terrifying. They make a sound that is worse than jackals and they can climb trees, too.


  88. 88
    Botsplainer says:


    Did you get my pet insurance info?

    I did, thank you. I calculated it over a dog’s lifetime and think it’ll work out well.

  89. 89
    PurpleGirl says:

    @MomSense: Great picture. That is a cute cat. Of course, a new basket meant it was for the cat, all baskets and boxes are meant for cats. Size just doesn’t matter.

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    MomSense says:


    I found a video of the sound they make.


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    Elizabelle says:

    One year old Tunch.

    Before he met his inner Botero.

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    raven says:

    @Botsplainer: Some of the general care stuff looks good if you get in when they are young. I want to emphasize that we used the review site and Embrace got great ratings. Linda said something about them not covering if your vet is closed but when Bohdi got into the chocolate raisins they payed for the emergency vet. You do have to look closely and they obviously don’t pay everything but, after we spent 20,000 + on Raven’s cancer treatment we realized we needed something.

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    Botsplainer says:


    I found a video of the sound they make.


    Sounds awful.

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    jnfr says:

    Beautiful Tunch.

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    Mike in NC says:

    We have friends who had a pair of Maine Coon cats and they were great companions.

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    Botsplainer says:


    Some of the general care stuff looks good if you get in when they are young. I want to emphasize that we used the review site and Embrace got great ratings. Linda said something about them not covering if your vet is closed but when Bohdi got into the chocolate raisins they payed for the emergency vet. You do have to look closely and they obviously don’t pay everything but, after we spent 20,000 + on Raven’s cancer treatment we realized we needed something.

    Yeah, I’ve heard too many tales of big vet bills to take for granted. We got lucky with poor old Napoleon – aside from routine shots and having to cut 8 inches from his tail (he’d gotten it caught in the fork of a tree chasing a deer and ripped 3 inches off), we never suffered big vet bills. Even at the end, they were reasonable.

    Here he was – what a great dog, nothing but love out of him.


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    One year old Tunch is unrecognizable as the Tunch we all came to know. I like Tunch in all his avatars, even the slim ones!
    Tunch had too much lunch
    And then he grew a bunch.

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    ellie says:

    I have two Maine Coon brothers and I highly recommend them. When I first got them I couldn’t get over how big they were. They made my normal cat look like a kitten. Someone said they are like loungy dogs. They are.

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    ellie says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention their mournful meowing. It is very loud.

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    rikyrah says:

    isn’t it too soon?

    just wondering.

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    SIA says:

    That picture of Tunch in his youth chokes me up. Darling Tunch.

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    Botsplainer says:


    Aw yea! This is Raven and Bohdi the day we found the Bohdi 9 years ago.

    What a sweet pair. What is the little guy’s breed?

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    p.a. says:

    Tunch was always a handsome cat, but thin he looks positively stately.

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    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @raven: have never seen one of those. Cute!

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    muddy says:

    Tunch had such presence even then! Obviously he did not need his weight to throw around. He’s right there, same as he ever was.

    When I adopted Diarmuid the black panther, I was warned not to try putting him back in his cage after visiting, just leave him in the room. Apparently he had ruined several opportunities already by viciously assaulting the people who chose him. I was going to meet a few cats, but I really liked that one and decided why make the choice more difficult? I told him I was going to put him in the cage while I did the paperwork, and then I would take him right home. He hopped right into the cage. The staff was astounded. I said he had fought off those other people because he was waiting for his real mommy.

    I hadn’t meant to actually take someone home that day, and didn’t even have a crate. I sat him on the passenger seat and told him to sit still, and he did for 20 miles home. He has always been a real good boy, and never assaults me at all.

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    Poopyman says:

    @rikyrah: Only one person can say, and he doesn’t seem to think so.

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    raven says:

    @Botsplainer: We won a DNA test on him. It came back Siberian/Samoyed/Cocker. I was always convinced out vet rigged the contest cuz we spent so much dough on Raven. My bride claims she see’s the cocker in him but I ain’t buyin! Here he is now.

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    Botsplainer says:


    That is some stern visage – I can see what you like.

    I see Samoyed and Siberian, but I don’t see cocker.

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    Quinn says:

    Been reading the blog for years. Love Tunch. Love all the posts about him. I will miss him. From a distance, he was just adorable. After looking at the picture of him at one year…what in the hell did you feed him? lol. Just awesome.

    Also, too: I have a partial main coon and I contest that they are completely insane. You cannot go wrong with a full main coon or partial. The shit they do is simply hilarious.

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    raven says:

    @Botsplainer: She’s a hopeless romantic!

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    John Cole says:

    @rikyrah: Maybe for some, but not for me. I need a cat in my life to keep me in line.

    In all seriousness, I just like the energy and attitude of cats and it makes me happy having them around eyeballing me and just waiting for the chance to go for my throat.

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    Pogonip says:

    Can you take Beggar AND Nibbles? Or don’t they get along?

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    Anne Laurie says:


    But I have to ask – what is a fisher?

    Essentially a very large weasel, nasty habits & attitude to match.

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    Anne Laurie says:

    @Keith: Glad to hear those two are doing well!

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    OmerosPeanut says:

    Who is that white cat at the bottom of the post?

    It can’t be Tunch. The cat is both skinny and looks like he gives a shit about what the photographer thinks. Nice cat, though!

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    Wayne t says:

    Chubbs gets my vote. Any cat described as ‘extra large’ is a winner. Plus he looks like a cat version of Cole.

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    CatHairEverywhere says:

    We has a Maine Coon named Otis for years. He showed up at my gramma’s one day and insisted we take him home. He was a gigantic, affectionate, sweet boy who liked our dog, but could give a stern warning swipe when necessary. Both boys sound great, though. Two cats isn’t so many…

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    brendancalling says:

    That picture of young Tunch made me well up. I’m remembering all the cats I’ve saved tonight, including Baby Henry, who you were kind enough to post. Today was payday, donating tomorrow. You have tons of good karma coming to you.

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    brendancalling says:

    @John Cole:

    Nice observation about their energy. When ex and I split up, she took the cats and it made a sucky situation worse. Within three months, I adopted my two ladies.

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    kc says:

    Eee, baby Tunch is adorable!

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    Ruckus says:

    Four years ago when I was looking for a pet I thought a cat would be best for me. Went to the local shelter and went in one of the cat rooms. All the cats ignored me except for an 8 yr old tuxedo. He came over jumped in my lap and made himself at home. Only problem was after about 20 minutes I couldn’t breathe. That’s when I found out I’m allergic to cats. So I got a dog.

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    JCT says:

    I was living alone and going insane when I decided to adopt a new kitteh last year – had left my 2 dogs and big male cat back home. When I went to pick up my new sweet orange tabby she was being carefully groomed by an older female black cat – so I had to take them both. Their hijinks kept my spirits up and now that the whole family is back together we have 5 pets! Maybe 2 cats would be fun , John.

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    opie_jeanne says:


    Would be hard to do since she’s been buried under a peach tree in Anaheim for 4 years now, and I now live just outside Seattle.

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    YellowJournalism says:

    Take them all and become a crazy cat lady?

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    opie_jeanne says:


    I guess I wasn’t clear. That was a picture of the cat who died suddenly in 2009.

    This is the current kitty:

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    opie_jeanne says:

    Oh my! Tunch at a year old looks a bit like Joe, a cat that we only had for three years, but Joe is a flame point Siamese. He was about 3 when this was shot, and weighed 15 pounds.


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    Don K says:

    That was the technique I used when we got our boy cat Billy, an orange tabby. Our vet had three rescue kitties behind the reception desk.When I came in to pick one, the put the three on the desk and let them wander around. Billy was the one who came over and said, “Hey dude, what’s up? You don’t look half bad for a human.” Right away I said he’s the one, and I’ve never regretted it.

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    Journeywoman says:

    @mai naem: Wow – I second the vote for Toby, he sounds like he’d keep John in line and then some.

    In foster care, Toby has “taken over” and has made himself completely at home. Toby loves people and even socialized during a holiday event with 15+ people around while the other kitties were hiding. Toby loves to have a conversation and will often answer you when you talk to him. He is curious about water and usually gets in the tub or shower after it has been used. He can be such a sweetheart, but still has a lot of spunk when it comes to playing….h e absolutely LOVES a laser light!!! At night, Toby will curl up at the bottom of your bed and sleep with you.

    I love talkers – our previous Siamese used to carry on extended conversations with me for several minutes running. With some encouragement, one of our current Siameses is getting to that point as well. She seems to love it, too.

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    Journeywoman says:

    @Journeywoman: …Though Toby is declawed. Crap.

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    Anne Laurie says:

    John, if it were up to me, I’d take the chance to see if Nibbles and Beggar get along with each other (and Rosie & Lily of course). But I have add that Maine Coons and Maine Coon mixes are irresistable housemates, and will give you countless anecdotes to share with your blogging community. :)

    Two warnings, for fairness: They have incredibly dense undercoats, which mat like felt window-stripping if you get behind on your Germanic grooming standards. Since they also have luxuriant guard coats… and, to be honest, they are not always the most personally fastidious felines… they can look very well-groomed and still have bubble-gum-hard mats hidden in their ruffs, petticoats, and underbellies.

    The other thing is that, pirates that they be, you can go crazy trying to keep them indoors / in the fenced yard. Figaro (who was to me as Tunch was to you) was rescued scrounging the city hall dumpster in downtown Hartford, but he’d been raised to know about grooming tools and vacuum cleaners — since he had no directional sense whatsoever (he got confused about the four floors in our house occasionally) I assumed he’d managed to escape his first home and been unable to find it again. Pooh came to live with us when he was well into his arthritic teens, but he still made a few Daring Escapes (fortunately, into the fenced back yard, not out the front into traffic) before settling down.

    And Kishkan, the Captive Princess, never did accept ‘indoor only’ status. As an adolescent, she showed up on our friends’ doorstep and announced she was moving in — they didn’t want a cat (the female half of the couple was a little afraid of them) but she wore them down over the next week by dashing into the house every time they opened the door. She adjusted to one inter-state move, and even negotiated (less willingly) the arrival of twin human infants, but when our friends had to leave for a country with a six-month quarantine, Kishkan came to live with us, three papillons, and three other cats. She spent the next decade periodically escaping (it’s not easy to keep a determined cat indoors while negotiating multiple aging/incontinent little dogs out), murdering baby rabbits (and once, a chipmunk — usually she just left the tiny bunny corpses on the back steps, but I got called out to admire her chipmunk-catching prowess), and looking unsuccessfully for a better set of cat-butlers. I dreaded the day when she just didn’t show up again, but it was kidney failure that finally took her. And, despite being a picture-perfect Maine Coon in all other respects, she was tiny — barely seven pounds at her heaviest.

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    Rosalita says:

    Damn, I wish you weren’t so far away, we have some really wonderful adult cats in our shelter (Danbury, CT) right now.

    Rossi could sit on Rosie and gain instant respect, he’s like 20 lbs!

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    Mary B says:

    Please don’t disregard a good kitty just because she is clawless. My sister’s declawed kitty punched my German Shepherd senseless, really, he was so dumbfounded he just sat there and then walked way around that cat. He wouldn’t have hurt the cat anyway, he was accustomed to all of my cats but that cat didn’t know that. He just went ahead and ensured it. Plus, I bet your dogs wouldn’t hurt a cat at this point anyway. No vouching for strange dogs, even smallish ones. I lost one of my cats, with claws, to a neighbor’s dog but the vast majority of dogs really won’t hurt a cat especially if they are indoors. Again, so sorry about Tunch. Even my husband who does not read blogs and isn’t all that crazy about cats got misty about Tunch. He was special to all of us. The right cat will choose you again.

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    asiangrrlMN says:

    Awwww, baby Tunch. It’s been so great scrolling back through all the ‘welcome home, Boss’ threads.

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