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He has become a much better cat than I have a person. With his gentle urgings, he made me realize that life doesn’t end just because one has a few obstacles to overcome.

— Mary F. Graf

Stanley’s Ads

How to Calm My Scottish Fold and How We Met His Relatives

As a young cat, Stanley was a stinker in more ways than one.  (More stories on those examples . . . like how he treated the veterinarian from a couple weeks old . . . later.) 

When Stanley would get irritable, he would start picking on who ever was around.  At first, that would be Don or I.  Then, when we adopted Iris, she was his target – and pretty much still is to this day.

When Stanley was about seven months old, a very young, skiddish gray and white cat with Siamese-like traits was dumped across the street where all the other long term strays were being fed.  They wouldn’t let her eat, so in a month’s time, she was skeletal.  I began putting food out for her and kept the other cats away while she ate twice a day.  Eventually, she let me touch her.  I thought she was about five months old by her size and maturity. And figured it was just a matter of time when she would be impregnated, so my goal was to tame her enough to catch her to get her in for spaying, then release her.

Well, after a couple of weeks, that happened.  On a Friday, I had her spayed and thought I would keep her in the exercise room for the weekend, just long enough for recuperation.  I was surprised to find her litter box trained, so come Sunday evening, I decided to keep her in just long enough to fatten her up. 

While she was inside, it was clearer how she was abused and by whom.  She ran from men and boys and shied away from me when I tried to hold her any way other than on her back.  She also couldn’t tolerate having her ears, face and tail touched.

Within a month, she was looking pretty good and, in fact, she had filled out so much, she looked more the age of Stanley.  So, she was ready to face life outside.  I hoped she would be more assertive now that she was in better health. 

When I took her to the front door to put her outside, she put on her brakes.  Her front legs went out straight and she planted herself and at first chance, turned and ran back inside.  Don named her Iris.

Over the next few months, hoping she would go out on her own, we would leave the door open.  Even then, she just stood on the threshold smelling outdoors, not venturing a step out.  She’s been inside ever since. 

Of course, this whole time, Stanley has shown his dissatisfaction with this intruder, Iris, being in his space.  But, I digress.

To settle Stanley down, I would load him up in the Camaro and drive him around the block a couple of times.  Riding on my lap with his arms around my neck as he looked out the window, he would start purring and immediately calm down.

On one of these trips, we discovered more of his relatives.  It was amazing.  I saw three Scottish Folds and a gentleman out on a lawn, so slowed down to look, trying to point the other cats out to Stanley.  The man noticed me with Stanley hanging onto my neck, so came over to the car as I pulled over.  We swapped stories.

Turns out he and his wife had moved into the neighborhood about twelve years prior.  They had been raising Scottish Folds, but decided to stop, so soon after moving in gathered them all up to spay and neuter them.  One escaped never to return.  That was the yellow male around the corner across from me.  The couple knew he was there, but could never coax him to return home.

They had six Scottish Folds left.  Male and female, long haired and short haired of varied colors.  All a little larger than Stanley.  A couple of their Scottish Folds had thickened, stiff legs.  One especially ran like a toy soldier, swinging his legs out stiffly.  They were excellent watch animals and kept the neighbor dogs out of their yard.  It was always funny watching them run a dog off in their toy soldier gate.  I hoped Stanley wouldn’t have that problem.

Occasionally, Stanley still gets irritable and I remember the solution:  drive him around.  True to form, he calms down as he settles into my lap to look around, then starts to purr, occasionally letting a contented “meow” interrupt his awkward light purr momentarily.

Stanley, the unusual Scottish Fold.

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