Approaching his 13th year of living indoors, Gombah is very content, somewhat too plump, extremely affectionate and thinks we are his parents and we share a 'pride'. Nello actually pats the bed and invites him to join us when we get ready to retire. He probably doesn't remember his "he can't come inside the house" remark. Gombah is one of us; he watches TV with us, dines whenever we do and sleeps when we do. He has his own room (the guest room) because it is sunny and when the sun moves around the sky to another room, so does he with it.
He has more toys than we do, and a wonderful contraption the size of a Frisbee, with a changeable cork board which he attacks with a vengeance to keep his claws sharp. Sometimes he sits on it and whacks the ball attached to it or sometimes lays down and naps on it He loves when we occasionally put catnip on it. It is his favorite possession.
Although he is aggressive with his toy, he is the most gentle of cats, and wraps his body around yours to cuddle. He especially likes to cuddle with Nello and still sleeps on his stomach. I suspect sometimes he is brown-nosing Nello (to let him stay in the house) although his nose is pink.
Yes, we let him keep his claws. It’s for protection if he ever finds himself outside by accident. He has never scratched or clawed our leather furniture. I think that Nello probably sat him down and gave him the rules of the house. I also suspect that Nello speaks Italian to him and the cat understands it. The cat never jumps on tables or counters and turns his nose up at table food. He is the best behaved cat I have ever had and don’t all cat lovers say the same thing?
We had a pet door installed to our adjoining screened-closed in porch, complete with many plants, and Gombah spends many hours in this room, his favorite room, most likely reliving his experiences of once having been an outdoor cat. This pet door is one of the best things we purchased for the cat. He spends 50% of his time on the porch where the windows slide up so he has the full effect of being outside – only separated by screens.
He watches Nello garden from his chair on the porch, and Nello brings him fresh grass from outside to chew on. We even grew seeded cat grass in pot so that Gombah would have his own stash.
Like humans, who take in more calories than they burn, Gombah, whom we spoiled and doted on, put on added weight more than he should have ~ having had the luxury of a feeding contraption where he could graze during the day. He was a nibbler and visited the feeding station more than he should have and was approaching about 15 pounds when he first showed signs of diabetes. Coupled with his obesity (the vet’s word, not mine, I loved him round) and his lack of exercise, his disease became apparent while we were on vacation one tragic year. TBContinued.....Chaper 5.
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