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A Pretty Unique Cat

by Krista Clement, Kelowna BC, Canada


After Yukon went to the RB, DH & I sat around telling stories for a while. DH pointed out that even if all of our cats were exactly the same size and colour, if they were identical in appearance, they would each be completely recognizable in sound and personality.

I'm going to post a few Yukon stories before they fade into memory... Of all the cats I have had, Yukon certainly was an unusual specimen.

Yukon wasn't a "cuddly cat," not a lap cat. It probably had to do with food allergies that made him itchy & sensitive, but he was pretty independent overall. When we got him as a little kitten, we invited him onto the bed. But he hopped right down and insisted on sleeping on the hardwood floor. I was so concerned about him!

As he got older and bonded with us, he did like to be around us all the time. But not on our laps, not even touching. If I called him, Yukon would come into the room and stop about 7 feet away and look at me. "Yes?" he would ask, "Is there something I can do for you? Or perhaps you have some reason I should come closer, such as CatFood?" He would wait to see what I wanted before coming any closer.

Yukon 'specially loved mealtimes. Before we knew about his allergies, we used to give him a wee bit of bacon on Saturday morning when we had our weekend breakfast. After he was cut off pork and beef, he didn't get any table-treats anymore. But he always would come to the table, sit up straight on a chair across from one of us, and participate in the meal, looking from one person to another as we talked. He would check out the table and comment on anything interesting.

He was affectionate from a distance. Sitting at home on a quiet evening, reading or doing homework, I often looked up to see Yukon just a few feet away, gazing at me happily. And if I said anything, he would meow in response. He just liked to be there, cuddling remotely.

The only time he really enjoyed body contact was in the car. As a kitten, Yukon went everywhere that DH went. We had a truck then, and Yukon would stretch out along the back of the bench seat and watch everything from a point just under DH's ear.

If we had two cats along in the car, there was always a major catfight over who sat in the passenger's lap (usually mine, which is too small for two cats). Yukon liked to settle in comfy, facing forward or else sideway looking out the passenger's window, to see the view and 'niff any interesting smells as they came along. He rarely complained about car rides (until he had a full bladder at the end of a long one, of course), and actually perked right up when we got in the car with him. On very long trips he especially appreciated going through the Kentucky Fried Chicken drive-thru window (of course!).

He was a very accomodating cat, always willing to go along with any plans we had. On one ride, we saw a large herd of elk and stopped at the side of the road. Chinook, who had been a rescue cat, immediately growled and hid in the back. Yukon clambered up to get a better sniff out the window! He trusted us implicitly to take him interesting, exciting places and protect him (and feed him) everywhere we went. And we always did. He was a joy to travel with, and we enjoyed our travels together over the past ten years.


Gopher Editor's note:

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