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Cats always know whether people like or dislike them. They do not always care enough to do anything about it.

— Winifred Carriere

Stanley’s Ads

What Is With That Stuffed Wolf Anyway?

This is the story of Mr. Wolf and Stanley, the Scottish Fold.

When I revived this tiny kitten (later to be called Stanley) who was abandoned by his young mother and dying at just hours old and he survived the day at work with me, we stopped by PetsMart on the way home to get the correct feeding formula for him.

Stanley, the Scottish Fold, and his stuffed toy buddy, Mr. WolfOnce home, I set about fixing a bed for him.  I put a towel-wrapped heating pad in a basket, making a snug and toasty place for him.  I figured he needed something to snuggle up to, something that would fit in the basket with him.  After searching around a childless home, I remembered I had just received a small stuffed wolf as a gift for a contribution I’d made toward wolf conservation.  It was at least twice as big as Stanley, but fit and Stanley cuddled up to it nicely.  The stuffed wolf became “Mr. Wolf,” Stanley’s buddy.  Really, more than a buddy.

Stanley, the Scottish Fold, in his "baby" basket today.As Stanley grew, Mr. Wolf became an integral part of his life.  It wasn’t too long before Stanley used Mr. Wolf to escape the confines of the basket, so I found a larger basket, the basket he still occasionally can be found lounging in today. 

Once he graduated to sleeping in a box set on its side, we soon found Stanley and Mr. Wolf all over the house. 

When we first brought Iris, the gray and white domestic shorthair, in the house to fatten her up, Stanley had Mr. Wolf in her room and somehow Mr. Wolf ended up wet from urine.  I couldn’t get the stuffed toy clean, but had received another stuffed wolf the same size, but in a different position, so gave Stanley that one.  He would have nothing to do with it and spent his time looking for Mr.Wolf.

Stanley, the Scottish Fold, and Mr. Wolf in 2008.I ended up putting Mr. Wolf in the washing machine, successfully removing the urine smell along with all of Stanley’s baby smells.  I still had the formula powder, so mixed it up and rubbed it on Mr. Wolf, then gave him to Stanley.  Off Stanley went with the real Mr. Wolf in his mouth, obviously happy and relieved Mr. Wolf was back. Stanley didn’t care that Mr. Wolf’s fur was matted, no longer soft and no longer as cute as “he” was.  I guess he can see through the flaws.  A lesson for us.

I still have the substitute wolf and Stanley continues to not acknowledge it. 

When anyone picks up Mr. Wolf, Stanley gets upset.  You can see his concern.  In fact, when he doesn’t get Mr.Wolf back right away, he becomes nearly frantic.

They are so close that when Stanley went to the cabin for the weekend, so did Mr. Wolf.

Stanley, the Scottish Fold, and Mr. Wolf toasty in a bed together a couple months ago. August 2011.Throughout the years, Stanley has transitioned from being the protected to being the protector of Mr. Wolf; being cared for by Mr. Wolf to being the care giver of Mr. Wolf.  I’ve found Mr. Wolf in the water dish, food dish, litter box, near Stanley’s favorite toys, in bed and in the basket.  So, Stanley cleans him, feeds him, waters him, let’s him play with his favorite toys, and puts him to bed.   When Mr. Wolf is near Stanley’s toys, Stanley will not touch the toys.  He honors Mr. Wolf.

The Scottish Fold feeds his buddy Mr. WolfStanley, now nine years old, still moves Mr. Wolf around.  Right now, Mr. Wolf is sitting next to the food dish with his nose in the dish.  I’m not sure how Stanley got him up there, Stanley now has some trouble getting up there himself.

So, what’s with that stuffed toy wolf?  He’s Mr. Wolf, Stanley’s buddy, a member of his family.

And such is the family of the Scottish Fold in my household.

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