|Rusty's family: Loretta and Coco (cat)|
Weight: 13 lbs.
Residence: Pompano Beach, Florida
IQ: 140. Rusty figured out early on that when I picked up my keys I'd soon be out the door and away from him for all or part of the day. He came to know that those keys were "bad," and he would grab my ankle or wrist with his paws and meow to try to keep me from leaving the house. He continued to do this until I took a vet's advice to get him a companion. And so Coco was introduced to our household.
Purrometer index: The first time I took Rusty to the vet, he purred so loudly that the doctor couldn't hear Rusty's heartbeat with the stethoscope. The vet had to distract the cat to get him to stop purring. Now that he's older his purring is somewhat subdued, but his meowing is more intense.
Favorite place to hang out: wherever I am
Favorite people food: grapes, blueberries, cream cheese, chicken.
Favorite thing to chew: plastic bags and wires. I need to be very diligent in keeping these away from him.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how human is Rusty?: 12. He knows when I'm upset and he tries to comfort me. He seems to copy human behavior. I leave water on the floor near his food, but one day I put some water in a dish next to the bathroom sink -- I was brushing my teeth -- and he drank from that bowl. Since then, that's the only place he'll drink -- and he's taught Coco to do the same. He also understands much of what I say to him. He's ordinarily very bold, but if he's on the terrace and hears a loud noise, he'll come inside and look at me as if to say "what was that?" I tell him "everything's okay," and he goes right back out, seemingly reassured.
Temperament/personality: very affectionate; sensitive; bold and/or nosy. If someone comes to the door, he's right there to see who it is.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how obedient is Rusty?: 10. He -- (they both) -- seems to comprehend everything I say. If I stay up late, they stay up with me. All I have to do is say "time for bed" and they follow me into the bedroom. If I open the front door (to pick up my newspaper, say) and I tell him to "stay," he does.
Strong likes or dislikes: He will have nothing to do with my treadmill. When I'm on it he hides, and he otherwise NEVER does that. The first time he hid, he really scared me because I couldn't find him. It didn't occur to me to look under the bed, because he'd never gone there. The machine is noisy, and I think that's what disturbs him.
Cutest thing Rusty does: the way he sleeps. He puts his head on my pillow and he cuddles against my neck. Coco sleeps at my feet, on the other side. It's a large bed, but I'm pinned in to a small space by the cats. When I first come home from a business trip, Rusty won't let Coco sleep on the bed.
Least appreciated thing he does: catching lizards. One day a large frog got into the house. It was quite a scene. The cats went after the frog and I was trying to protect them from it (some frogs are poisonous) and save the frog. I was finally able to shoo it out with a broom.
If Rusty could talk, he'd say: "I love you." "Why do we need HER here?" (referring to Coco). "Where do you think you're going?" If he could talk, we'd be good friends.
Comment: I have no privacy when I'm in the bathroom; he's in there, too.
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