Thursday, April 16, 2009

My Life with Bogdan. (Today is his 8th birthday.)

Bogdan, 2001, San Francisco

By The Investor (aka Mom)
Morning Scratch Investor

It's hard to believe a cat I was suppose to watch for just a few weeks has been in my life for more than seven years now, and that today, he's 8 years old.

He is my first cat. I had no idea what I was getting into.

Bogdan came to live with me in my San Francisco flat when a friend of mine, who grew up in a home with lots of cats, visited his friend's sister's home in the Central Valley -- and he felt so very sorry for a little black and white kitten left all day and all night in the garage because it scratched and bit the kids. The parents didn't know what to do with the cat -- a cat that had not held up its end of the supposed bargain of unconditionally entertaining the children.

After getting my approval to take in the cat until he found housing that would accept animals, my friend returned to Manteca, where the 7-month-old boy was still in the garage — waiting for its real home.

And so begins my life with this lovely devil of a cat.

Bogdan, 2003, Sacramento

He's ornery, that's for sure. He's bossy. He's demanding. And unfortunately for my sanity, he's incredibly smart.

He understands how doors open, and we know one day we'll return from work to find him living it up in one of the "off-limits" rooms. We had to put baby locks on all the kitchen cabinets. Bread goes in a bread box — BEHIND a cabinet door. Bathroom doors are closed because he'll unroll all the toilet paper. I'm convinced he persistently and purposefully does particularly bad things because he enjoys to (and knows it annoys me). He understands words (outside, treats, dinner), and in fact as I write this, I just discovered he broke into the cat food because I didn't put the top on tight enough (seriously - just now). He likes his space, and he's not afraid to express it .... bringing me to ...

He has claws and teeth, and he knows how to use them.

He was a terrible little adolescent. He's bitten my nose, my lip, my ear; he's attacked me with claws out from around corners; and he's scratched friends and family (highlights: he slapped my mom in the face and he made a decent gash across a friend's forehead). He couldn't be trusted with our ferrets, and he barely could be trusted with Sara when I first brought her home. He was sometimes a mean, mean kitty.

Bogdan, 2005, San Luis Obispo


But I worked with him, using tips from "Think Like a Cat," a book that helped bring Bogdan and I to mutual understanding, and led to where we are today: mutual respect and love (at least I like to think so).

Oh, and I'm sure it's helped that he's aged.

Bogdan, 2007, Atascadero

And here we are. Nearly eight years later, and he's stuck around (maybe because he's indoor-only...). He still doesn't much like the other cats. He'll hit Sara and hiss at Kat 3. Jeff is far more persistant than the others, and Bogdan has been forced to occasionally share his cuddly cup. I'm not sure why he allows Jeff to do this. Maybe he's given up; maybe he's softened.

Bogdan, right, tolerating Jeff, 2009, Atascadero


But best of all, he's become my little buddy. He's still demanding, but he hasn't deliberatly lashed out at me in years. But I've learned, too, to give him his space. And he now enjoys sitting and hanging out with me when he wants to. As I sit writing this, he's dancing around my feet, nudging my legs with his head. Yeah, we've come a long way.

Happy birthday, my little guy!

Bogdan, 2009, Atascadero

28 comments:

Monty Q. Kat said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRO!!!!!

Jan's Funny Farm said...

Bogden, You sound like you lost your mama when you were itty bitty and never learned how to be gentle. You are obviously VERY loved! Lucky you.

Happy birthday to you-ooo.
Happy birthday to you-ooo.
Happy birthday, spitfire Bogden-ooo.
Happy birthday to you-ooo.

Sorry about the howling but Buddy is a hound.

Daisy said...

Ah, a love letter to Bogdan!

Happy Birthday, Bogdan!

Zippy, Sadie and Speedy said...

Ah, Bogdan, we neffur knew yoo were, well, so nawty! Happy purrthday and a squillion more. By da way, even tho mom hadda carry Zippy around when she first came here and had surgery it took almost 8 years before mom could touch her when SHE wanted. Zippy's still kinda cranky but at least she's learned to apreshiate getting her ears rubbed.

The Island Cats said...

Happy birthday, Bogdan! You sound like our kinda guy!!!

Parker said...

Please give Bogdan a big birthday smooch from me, he's cleary a very smart guy and I like that in a feline!

Lola said...

Happy Birthday, Bogdan! Hope you get some good 'nip and lots of treats today.

You look less ornery - and more content - the older you get.

HotMBC aka The Hotties said...

Happy Purrthday Bogdan!!!

Findlay Furs said...

Wishing you a furry HAPPY BIRTHDAY buddy!
Hope you get lots of cuddles (on your terms) many treats (more than what you can steal) and some fun catnip toys.
purrs Luke

Ailurophile said...

Wow what a sweet story! Bogdan is adorable. And it's great that you have provided him with such a loving home. Happy belated birthday to the handsome Bogdan :)

ML said...

Happy Purrthday, Bogdan.
You's a hansome kinda guy, too.
Love & Purrs,
KC

Karen Jo said...

Happy Birthday, Bogden! I enjoyed reading your story and I really admire your smarts. I am glad that you are more gentle with your Investor now.

Fat Eric said...

Happy purrthday Bogdan! Sounds like you make sure everyone knows who is in charge!

Eric and Flynn said...

Happy purrfday Bogdan.
Haha! Never a dull moment with you. Sounds like you've got a LOT of character.

Poppy Q said...

That was a sweet birthday story by your mom. I fink that bitey and scratchy cats must have been taught that when they was little, so it is not your fault.

I hope you had a great birthday and got some treats, and tolerated some snuggles.

Honey P. Sunshine said...

happy purrthday bogdan, yoo little devil

jenianddean said...

Happy Birthday Bogdan. I'm glad you and your Mom toughed through the hard times to create the relationship you now have.
--Jasper

Charlemagne and Tamar said...

Sorry we're a little late. We hope that you had a wonderful birthday and we're so glad that you have a wonderful home and a family that loves you so!

Charlemagne and Tamar

Angel said...

Happy Birthday,Bogdan! We are glad you found your place!

Finnegan Buddy & Jasmine said...

Happy Birfday, Bogdan!!

Finny Buddy & Jasmine

LC, Ayla, and Iza said...

Happy Birfday Bogdan! And what a great story about yer life. Things couldda gone a whole lot worser!

The Meowers from Missouri said...

happy purrthday, dude! you haf a great life story, an' we're glad you found a wonderful furrever home!! best fishes for a happy year!

The Furry Kids said...

Happy Happy Happy Birthday, Bogdan!!!

Tiger Lily said...

Happy Birthday a little late Bogdan! We hope you had a wonderful day!!

prrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs and tail wags,
Zeke, Sushi, Tiger Lily and Ruckus

Sweet Praline said...

Happy Birthday a day late! I hope it was wonderful.

Tristan and Crikey said...

Happy Birthday, Bogdan! You certainly are a character:)

Samantha and Mr. Tigger said...

Happy Birthday Bogdan and many, many, many mooooore!!!!!!!!!
Hopr your day was great and filled with lots of treats!
Your FL furiends,
and Maverick

The Island Cats said...

Happy Belated Birthday, Bogdan! We hope it was a good one!