27 February 2013

Feb 2013 - Dump the Name, Keep the Cat (2)

Before we even saw Clarabelle in person, I thought I cannot live with that name. It reminded me of Clarabell the Clown from the old Howdy Doody show. It was a kid's TV show that I had watched all though my childhood. You have to be pretty old to remember that one though, as it went off the air on September 24, 1960, when I was 12 years old.

I remember that day, as my mom had just remarried and we had moved to Michigan from Missouri. I had kind of outgrown the show at that point, but my younger siblings were watching it. I heard "this is our last show," so for sentimental reasons I decided to watch. At the end, I remember going to my room and crying heartily. I figured it was the last of my childhood days and I would have to start being a grown up.

Anyway, it was a fun show with Howdy Doody being a red-haired cowboy puppet. He had 48 freckles (one for each state in the union, which I just learned today on Wikipedia). The host was Buffalo Bob and other characters were Indian Princess Summerfall Winterspring, Mayor Bluster, and Flub-a-Dub (a creature combination of eight animals). Clarabell was Howdy's sidekick who did not speak but communicated by honking a horn.

Oh, by the way, the original Howdy Doody marionette now resides at the Detroit Institute of Arts.  

It didn't take long to come up with Bella from Clarabelle. I loved the name and it wasn't too far off so she might catch on quickly. Also, I am an Italian-ophile (if there is such a thing) and Bella means pretty in Italian. Everyone we talked too (including her foster mom) agreed this was fitting. And Bella, herself, seems to like it. She usually responds, but that's a cat for you.

Moving on...
We had a 14-day money back guarantee on this Kalamazoo Animal Rescue cat. Well, not really. They thought she might be hard to adopt out and apparently she was. She had been in a foster home since September (near six months) and she was a "nibbler." So they decided to entice some crazy cat people to take the cat by not charging the usual $50 adoption fee plus medical testing and vaccination charges. So no fees involved, but we still had 14 days to return the cat if it did not work out.

By the time we left the foster home, we had no intention of returning Clarabelle / Bella. We had cat biting experience with our cat niece Widget and felt we could handle it. It is a two way street, we had hoped for a cuddly cat which she appears to be so far, and would try to teach her to be gentler. The foster mom advised she had been using the loud command "ouch" when biting seemed imminent and we thought that was a good idea.

She doesn't really maliciously bite, but clamps down (sometimes pretty hard) and just holds. A big plus is that she doesn't add back feet scratch action. We are still trying to figure what the trigger area is. At one point we thought it was head touching, then tail-connect-to-body spot, but so far can't pinpoint a consistent trigger. Of course, the tail twitch is a big sign. If she does that I just shoosh her off my lap, thus avoiding the bite action all together.

But each day has been a little less and less of the attempted biting. And she seems to enjoy a good short belly scratch. We seem headed in the right direction.

Photo is Bella on Deb's lap.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you have visited any of these places, we would love to hear your comments. Or send us recommendations of places we should not miss.