This cat was a gift from the universe. My fourth year of University, living on my own, I had an unquenchable urge to nurture and care for something.
Being a responsible and rational adult, I knew a dog or baby was out of the question.
But perhaps a cat, independent and clean could be the welcome recipient of my love and attention?
Still hesitant to take on a responsibility I couldn't fulfill, I opted to foster a cat from my local shelter.
Bath time (mine, not hers)
Note her bloomers
Fostering quarantines an animal from an environment ripe with URI's and the bleak, overcrowded and underfunded atmosphere typical of animal shelters; but does not oblige you to adopt them permanently.
Now, I had always imagined that if I was to get a cat, I would want a male (apparently more affectionate), short haired (students hate to vacuum) and colorful cat, but when you foster, you take what you get.
Without seeing what was in the tiny cage, I brought “it” home, set it down on the floor and opened the door... out emerged a black, female, long-haired cat.
The antithesis of what I would have chosen, the poor dear had no fur on her back legs or eyebrows.
The anxiety from being in the wild and the shelter led her to over-groom and over-shed. (She had been declawed and was painfully aware of her vulnerability.)
I fully expected her to be frightened and hide for the first little while and was readying every patient bone in my body. Well, this darling girl climbed right into my lap and shook a little; I stroked her until her purrs of fear became purrs of contentment.
So much for fostering, I fell madly in love and adopted her immediately.
Since then, her fur has grown in and she has a luxurious mane and grey tufts on her back legs. (I call them her bloomers)
This combined with her affectionate personality (total lap cat) is what led me to suspect her to be part Maine Coon despite her small size.
She is a classy lady, well groomed with an alluring refinement, reminiscent of black and white film starlets; and so, I named her Gilda, after Rita Hayworth's starring role.
Wow your story is almost identical to mine. I was not a cat person but had just lost my 17 year old dog and was starting to look for another dog but wasn't quite ready.
A rescue that I contacted urgently needed to foster a black male cat. I hesitantly agreed to take him and the rest is history. Ninja is a larger male version of your girl.
Back of Legs
That is too funny! We have a white Maine Coon with blue eyes and I call his pantaloons... lol!
MC who loves his "lion cut" during the summer
I too have a beautiful black/grey long hair Maine Coon named Niles or Niley. I adopted him when he was small and had no idea what he would turn out to be.
I didn't want a long hair cat or a male, but like Gilda I fell in love with him. He is now 19 pounds and has a thick coat.
We live in Tucson, AZ and it is 100+ all summer, I have begun getting him a "lion cut" during the hottest months. He thoroughly enjoys the cut and during winter it grows back beautifully.
I adopted another cat (not a main coon)a year later and after listening to the chirping noises Niles makes, she has begun to copy his chirp until I can't tell who it is coming down the hall!
I am glad you found Gilda.
Looks like Nero
She looks identical to my late male Maine Coon, Nero. She will want to be involved with whatever you are doing. She will love water and be attracted to ponds, small pools, creeks, and puddles, so be careful if you live new a busy road.
She'll bring you mice, birds, and rabbits. Her catewalling will amaze you.
The fur around her neck is known as a "Ruff" and she'll grow to about 14 pounds.
She is extremely friendly and will usually bond with other cats yet be a firece warrior when it comes to defending her domain (your yard).
I hope she has a long and splendid life! :)
I've tried to come up with a word to describe the large back end that my MC has, and you hit it perfectly - bloomers!
Most definitely --- notice the 1940's fox wrap she's wearing around her neck!! She has the soul of a Diva or movie starlet! Simply divine dahrling!!! :)
Yea for Gilda!
by: Lois Eckstrom
Gilda looks like a small female version of our cat Bear, who came to us nearly 3 years ago emaciated and nearly dead. Our Bear is such a social boy and we love him dearly.
He is part of the family. What am I saying.....he controls the family! It sounds like you and Gilda will be good for each other for many years to come. Yea for both of you!
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