Meet Jack the Cat: Rescued Cat Challenges and Rewards

Last year was a tough year in our little corner of the world.  We lost our oldest cat, Gina, and our youngest cat, Binky.  Gina was nearly 17 and suffering from kidney failure.  Binky had adopted my youngest daughter as a malnourished kitten--and she developed mammary gland tumors and, in spite of surgery and treatment, the tumors spread very quickly throughout her body.    Gina was my cat from her early kitten days and Binky was my daughter's.  Neither of us had much interest in adopting another cat--until we met Jack at a local pet store that offers space for local animal shelters to showcase some of the adoptable cats and kittens.  Today, we wanted to let our readers meet Jack--and we wanted to share some of the challenges and rewards of adopting a rescued cat.

We are sharing this post as today's submission to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  Today (and almost every day these days--J is for Jack!)

Meet Jack

 The Jackster.  Mr. Jack.  Jackers.  Jack-a-Roni.  Jack-a-Rooney.  Jack-in-the-Box.  Jack Rabbit. 
....and a few other more colorful jack-related-names when he is in full blown kitten mode!

He is still very much a kitten.

All Play. 
Wide-Eyed Curiosity.

All. Day. Long.

Dedicated Bird Watcher.

We don't think he blinks.

Not much of a lap cat.  Unless he gets to sit like this.  Nobody understands why.

All Kitten.  All Day.  Drives the Other Cats Crazy.  

Until He Literally Falls Over Asleep.

 Jack has certainly livened things up around here over the past few months!  We have had some challenges--but, the rewards of rescuing him have far outweighed the struggles!

As for challenges:
We were aware that he was pretty rambunctious when we adopted him.  We were told that he wasn't much of a lap cat and everything is a toy in his wide eyes.  They meant it.  Really.  EVERYTHING is a toy.  Every Day.  All Day.  And he doesn't have an off button until his battery runs completely down!

The rescue group told us that he was great with other cats--and that they were not sure about dogs.  We found out that he does, in fact LOVE other cats.  A lot.  He gives them so much "love" and attention that our other cats (all old and mostly senile) aren't sure what to do with him.  He plays hard.  For hours.  Until he falls over asleep.  Then the other cats can rest (and find new hiding places for some peace and quiet!).    He is kind of wary of the dog--so the dog (who is actually a big sissy and is far more scared of the cats than a 60 pound dog should be) has been mostly left alone most days.

Mr. Jackers is a thief.  They didn't know this at the rescue agency.  This cat will literally unzip a lunch bag and steal a ham sandwich in less than 10 seconds.  He will also steal a 5 pound package of chicken from the grocery bag and try to drag it down the stairs to his basement hidey holes.   

He loves the litter boxes.  They did tell us that he was a litter-kicker.  We have had one of those before.  They did not tell us that he likes to lay in the litter box...clean or dirty.  I have never had a cat quite like that before. 

He bites and scratches a lot.  When he's stressed.  When he's tired.  When he first wakes up.  When he's bored.  He is just a biter and a scratcher.  This has taken some patience--and some antibiotic ointment--to deal with.  He is improving and we are all learning.  I keep saying he will grow out of it.  The family keeps reminding me that Gina the cat never entirely grew out of it.  Which is true.   

The Rewards.  
When Mr. Jackers decides he wants to cuddle--he is the best cuddle-cat ever.  He snuggles, he purrs--he settles in for a nap and it is impossible to remember the ankle biting and the sandwich stealing from the day! 

He has been a fun, lovable distraction.  This COVID-19 pandemic has stolen weeks from our family.  And this follows the deaths of my father-in-law and my mother earlier this year.  Jack has kept us laughing--and kept us on our toes (usually with shoes on) through some pretty heavy ups and downs! 

He has given the other cats "something to do".  Gone are the days of sleeping on the back of the sofa for hours on end!  At some point during the day, all of the other cats are up and active.  Whether they are bird watching with Jack or running from or chasing Jack because he started something--the lazy dynamics of the house have changed.

I think he likes us.  I know he likes my husband.  I also know that my husband--who said we could absolutely NOT get another cat--likes Jack best.  They make me smile--and we have not had a lot to smile about this year!

Jack is adapting to life in his new home--and his new home is learning to accept the world according to Jack!  We still need to be patient and help him curb some of his undesirable behaviors--but, it is fun to watch him grow and explore and find his place with us. 

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