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The mathematical probability of a common cat doing exactly as it pleases is the one scientific absolute in the world.

— Lynn M. Osband

Stanley’s Ads

From One Scottish Fold to Another

As I have been building this website devoted to the Scottish Fold in my life, Stanley . . .

. . . I’ve found some interesting things and had fun trying to share them in a fun way.  I’ve also enjoyed sharing some of the photographs and stories about Stanley.  He truly is a character.  A cat (though he has no awareness of that fact) who is unique and for very good reasons.

Since Stanley and I started this site,  I’ve been planning to add fun or interesting features all Scottish Fold exhibit.  Over the last few months, I decided to start putting those plans to action.  A couple months ago, in my search for Scottish Fold-related subjects, I stumbled upon an author who wrote three books about his unique Scottish Fold, Norton.  Intrigued by the title of the third book, “The Cat Who’ll Live Forever . . . The Final Adventures of NORTON, the Perfect Cat, and His Imperfect Human”, I wanted to find out what happened to Norton, so I purchased all three books and started reading.

Well, I have to tell you that Norton is unique, too.  Raised by Scottish Fold breeders until age six weeks, Norton started out like a “regular” cat does (as opposed to Stanley’s beginnings from birth), but Norton definitely was not like a regular cat.

There are similarities between Stanley and Norton.

  • Stanley, too, is “sage” (the French usage means “calm or well behaved” and that’s my usage here, although I think we can apply the American usage, too, but I may be biased.)  And I should clarify a bit.  I am narrowing “sage” down to mean “calm”.  Stanley is definitely calm.  And mostly well behaved (that’s another story).
  • Both Stanley and Norton are not normal cats.
  • I, like Norton’s owner, Peter Gethers, worry about, talk about and talk to our cats.  I think most cat owners would agree this is probably normal behavior for cat owners.  The other owner behavior, probably more universal than is thought, is that I, like Norton’s owner, would rather sacrifice our comfort for the comfort of the cat:  as long as Stanley is comfortable – that’s all that matters, whether I am in a pose only a contortionist would find comfortable or not.
  • Stanley, like Norton, never uses his claws when rough housing.
  • Stanley, too, enjoys riding in the car.
  • Up at the cabin, Stanley always stayed near, keeping an eye on where I was.  If I got too far, he would call for me.  Norton was similar.
  • I know Stanley well enough to know what he will or will not do and trust that he will act consistently given particular situations no matter what.  For instance, I can accidentally leave rubber bands around and just know he will not eat them.  Even when rubber bands are stored away, if I happen to leave the cabinet door open, Stanley will pull one out (he finds the really large ones) of the wicker basket filled with all sorts of miscellaneous items.  He will bring it to me to stretch out so he can “twang” it or play fetch if I shoot it, but he is not interested in doing anything else with rubber bands.  Norton could also be trusted to act consistently in particular situations regardless of the distractions around him.
  • Stanley is not a lap cat.  He is quite independent and occasionally comes to “sit” on my lap on his own terms, but he definitely is not a lap cat.  Also similar to Norton.
  • And, then, there’s the way they like to relax . . .

I talk about some of these behaviors in the stories about Stanley.  But, back to the books about Norton.

I have listed links to the books about Norton (and other Scottish Fold books, manuals, and magazines as well as gifts) on this website.

As I ordered the Norton books, it turns out there are only three books.  However, a couple of the books were released in the United Kingdom under different titles.  So, be forewarned, if you want to read the three Norton books, they are “The Cat Who Went to Paris,” “A Cat Abroad,” and “The Cat Who’ll Live Forever.”  Any other titles you see are reprints.  Peter Gethers did co-write a book about ‘cats throughout history’.  You will see it here on my site and it is unrelated to Norton and Scottish Folds in general.

And, one more thing about Norton.  I still get teary-eyed about him.  I’m not sure if it has to do with my absolute attachment to and love for my peacock, Peeper, who imprinted on me as he hatched and his untimely death on the operating table at Davis Veterinary School in California nearly five years later as I desperately tried to save him, or knowing what is inevitable with my beloved Scottish Fold, Stanley.  Peter, if you find this, just know I had pen and paper out wanting to write to you even though I found your books over ten years after the last one was written.

January 7, 2012

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