|Shaughnessy's family: Rick, Nancy, and Malachy (cat)|
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Weight: 12 lbs.
Residence: New York, New York and Sheffield, Massachusetts
Origins: adopted from Mighty Mutts, an animal rescue group. He was found on Coney Island or, rather, Shaughnessy found the rescue people. Their van was parked -- the rescuers were looking for another cat -- and when they got back, there was Shaughnessy, in a cage, which had been placed, anonymously, on the hood of the truck.
Significance of name: All our cats have Irish names.
IQ: 180. At the shelter, he would escape from his cage. In the house, he searches out and chews (despite our best efforts to make them unpalatable) any thin wire. He seems to be smart enough to intuit that these wires lead to the outside world, and by severing them he makes sure we can concentrate on him. If the National Enquirer wrote about Shaughnessy, the headline would read: "Family Held Captive by Obsessive Kitten."
Purrometer index: He's not a big purrer; he's a Guy -- doesn't show his emotions.
Favorite place to hang out: He likes to be up high. He claws his way up our clothing to get to the top shelf of the closet. Does he ruin our clothes? If we were fussier, we'd say yes. He seems to prefer tweed, and our shaggy things have become shaggier.
Favorite toy/game: He runs after things we throw -- but he doesn't bring them back; he also likes to be chased. He plays differently with each of us -- he adapts his play to our personalities.
Favorite people food: roast chicken -- but light on the barbecue sauce
Favorite thing to chew: (see IQ above)
Temperament/personality: very sweet; calm and serious, sort of like the head of a family in a Victorian novel, a pater familias; he's great with our other, younger cat, Malachy, but shy with people; he's affectionate in an understated way.
Cutest thing Shaughnessy does: He grooms Malachy, then swats him as if to say "Okay, enough mushy stuff, fight like a man!"
Least appreciated thing he does: besides chewing on wires, he claws on every wood surface that isn't highly polished. He also likes wicker -- he's shredded our laundry hamper. He's very destructive, but lucky for him, he's got a greaat personality.
If Shaughnessy could talk, he'd say: "There's too much social commotion and too little attention being paid to ME!"
Amusing thing Shaughnessy did as a kitten: He would bite our noses (affectionately, we think) when we didn't expect it. Fortunately, he's outgrown that and now we just rub noses.
Observations: If we leave Shaughnessy for more than a day, he punishes us by putting his nose in the air and ignoring us -- until 4 AM -- at which time he meows and scratches at the bedroom door, demanding affection. We occasionally let the cats explore the hallway of our floor in our apartment building. Shaughnessy doesn't stay out there too long, but Malachy would be out all day if we'd let him. Sometimes Shaughnessy comes back in and we close the door not realizing Malachy hasn't come in yet. After a time, Shaughnessy will scratch and meow at the front door to alert us that Malachy is still in the hall.
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