Thursday, August 14, 2014

Love Story

Hello my Dear People of the Journal!

Guess what?

Tomorrow, August 15, 2014 Grasu Paco a.k.a. the Masked Warrior, the Savannah Feline, Momma’s Big Boy, the Lone Survivor (haha!) will be 6 years old. I’ve had him since he was 8 months old and 4.30kg (about 9 lbs). My former husband gave him to me as a gift on Valentine day in 2009. And to be honest I have never been into keeping animals in the house, not because of the mess, but because they might be unhappy. Plus I have always been a dog person. I’ve raised Lupa, my German Sheppard since she was three months old until she passed away following cancer and three failed surgery attempts at the age of 13. Plus, we used to look after Grasu’s sister while her adoptive mother was out on vacation and she left so much hair everywhere (SO MUCH that she almost built a nest wherever she slept!) that when Grasu came in I was thinking that if he too had the same problem I wouldn’t be able to survive it. Too much hair in a small condo is dangerous.
Grasu ws my Best man at the wedding hehe
He could not attend but he was the image on the menu and also the "speaker" for the wedding video.
See, this is how it goes. Grasu is the son of one of the cats my former mother-in-law owned. He had I believe at least two more siblings. They all died several years ago due to certain strange illnesses. And they were skinny. Well, normal weight cats. Grasu has always been this “fit” boy haha. A year after I had him he fell really sick with his stomach. Very high fever, barely moved all day and vomited every night. I was a very worried momma. That’s when we bought a dog basket for him to sleep in (the cat baskets are too small for him hehe). We took him to the Vet Hospital and after some detailed tests I was told that he basically has a congenital problem where he accumulates fat on his inner organs. Untreatable. Actually if you take a careful look at the pictures you see his head and legs are smaller and disproportioned as to his huge belly. That’s because all the fat is stocked in there and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. You can chase him around until he dies of a heart attack and he won’t lose weight. The only way to keep it under control at least every couple of years is to have him on a strict diet at all times. So he only eats veggie food and lots of water. Which explains why instead of a chunk of meat he would rather eat a whole can of sweet corn haha which he does if you let him!!!!

So going back to the time he first arrived into the house. He came stashed into this very small basket, you could not distinguish which was the head and which was the tail. Only fur sticking out. And I’m thinking oh my Goodness, what kind of tiny little kitten is hidden in there! (clap clap!!!). Yeah. We had to tear open the lid to the basket to be able to take him out. Now I understand why they were tied together with wire!!! I was like Jesus Christ, how the hell did you fit in there boy?!? He kept coming and coming, this ain’t no little kitten! Big ass fat boy! Still, for a while until we got him to the vet, despite the weight lifting, I never thought he was so big. When the vet first set him on the scale and I saw the numbers I was like damn boy! His first temporary name was Q7 (from the large Audi car). Then little by little reality sank in and we just called him Grasu. His other name given by his former owner, Paco, didn’t seem to me like a good choice. My boy doesn’t look Mexican at all. Spanish at the most with his Zorro appearance. But I kept it because oh well, that was his “baptism” name haha
He loved sinks since he's been with me.
And he uses everyone's sink! This at Laura's.

A more recent one. The sink has gotten smaller.
Grasu and I bonded from moment one. I have never thought a cat can take after their owner so much. Dogs are more likely to take after your behavior. But cats, they are different. I’ve seen different owners, different attitudes and behaviors and their cats have matched them. I never play with Grasu in such way that I annoy the death of him so he never scratches me ever. And when it came to destroying furniture and door frames and curtains and turning things upside down in the house. Never happened. Partially because every time he would try it I would ask him to stop even if I’d have to do it a 1,000 times and never yelled at him or kicked him. Eventually he understood what things are allowed and what are not allowed.
We take the best of selfies! He pretty much looks the same way I do in every image!

There was a time when I used to come from work and then immediately go to the gym. He was really upset with that. He doesn’t like being left alone. So he kept pushing a flower pot down. Didn’t make much of a mess, but he kept doing it. Every evening. And I soon realized it was his way of telling me he doesn’t want to be alone in the dark two more hours after spending the entire day alone as it was. I know they can see in the dark people but that’s not the point! So, whenever I had to go to the gym, I left a lamp on and turned on the radio. He never messed with the pots again. But do mind that he still acts this way to the day. This is a major thing for him, to be neglected. So I do my best to never come home and then leave. If I want to do groceries after work I take my list and bags in the morning and go straight to the supermarket so when I do get home, I stay. And he knows when it’s weekend! (he is a little bitch in this sense, because he does wake me up at 7:30 knowing it’s weekend but always gets upset if I miss hours on end from home knowing that these are the only two days when I can spend time with him!)
Grasu outdoors.
He is extremely active! hahaha
His best friend Papuc! This picture doesn't do them justice but they really get along very well!

That little buddy there is now as big as Grasu!
I have always treated Grasu as a member of the family. I always say good bye when I leave and ask him to behave. It’s not an old/lonely lady behavior. I did this when I was married and he was still a youngster. It’s polite to treat him as my equal, because even though he may not have the brain power, his emotional intelligence it’s overwhelming! So throughout the years we ended up having a routine communication: I come in and he is always waiting at the door and meows impatiently until I manage to unlock the door hehe then he goes and starts messing with the carpet while I ask him how his day was, if he ate or drank enough water! Especially in summer. He always answers! Haha and he grows increasingly impatient of why I am not already rubbing his belly. Wait up Mr! I need to take my clothes off first! I’ve been stuck in them all day and you’re gonna put all that hair on me, you hairy beast! He doesn’t care, but eventually we proceed to belly rubbing and massage – ‘cause you know, he’s worked so hard all day and I’ve been out on vacation on my job and he needs it more than I do!

Then, up in momma’s arms. Lifting Grasu for a hug is always a good work out. Now that he’s up to 7kg (15 lbs), it always needs just a little extra effort to make it. And then I hold him literally like a baby and it’s smooching time. He is such a lover boy “leo”. He plays hard to get and ignores me then when I least expect it I get a head right in my eye. With love! I keep asking him: “Cate suflete are ma-ta?” (How many souls does your momma have?). Ten I say. One mine and nine of yours hahaha!!! I think it’s fair trade!

When Grasu and I go to the vet, he always puts on a good boy show. He never runs away, he never scratches, he never hisses. In fact, I take him out of the cage and we both sit on the hallway waiting our turn. He sits in the chair next to me and if he ever “communicates” with any of the animals there he always chooses to befriend the dogs, not the cats. He walks up to them and sniffs them or walks past them, observing them gently. I took him for a cat scan once (CAT scan get it? Haha) And the doctor thought of maybe giving him some pill to calm him down ‘cause he had to sit with his belly up. I said, no need doc. I had this small private chat with my boy and then he sat calmly through the whole procedure. The doctor was amazed. He kept saying “You got your momma really worried, didn’t you big boy?” It was that time when he was very sick; has never been that sick again, because now we know what’s wrong and momma is taking good care of her boy.
This was during his recovery time.

For an independent cat, Grasu has always made his own decisions as to whom he likes and dislikes, from children to adults. If he likes you he will stay around. If he likes you more, he’ll play with you. If he is in love with you he will suffocate you and leave all his hair on you haha If he doesn’t like you he’ll just walk away. Also, when he is upset with me he is extremely verbal and ignores me for as long as he can. When we first left on holiday and he was left in someone else’s care (eventhought he stayed home and received that person’s visits) I had to kiss his ass for like three days before he even started purring. And the first thing he did when we came back was to get in the suitcase and rub against all our clothes and leave all his hair on them. THERE! Now it will take you long enough to clean them so you don’t leave me again. Now he understands that if I leave I will always come back. When I first left, my friends told me that for the first two days he barely moved and cried all the time. And that he became restless the day before my return. But not anymore. He’s momma’s big boy and he is careful with not eating too much and being a good kid while I am gone. He NEVER did anything bad. All my curtains are intact except for one time when Emily was here and he started playing like a maniac, he ran into the curtain and fell on it and its 7kg brought down the whole thing. It was so funny I couldn’t even get mad at him.

He is a little bit of a kleptomaniac. He steals everything small and shiny. Stashes them in his secret hideout – which could be anywhere in the house!!! – and then will return them in a few days. So rule no. 1 is never leave my earrings, cufflinks or anything of the sort thrown around where he can get them, so in this sense, he keeps me pretty organized. He also loves to play with dry bread, sliced potatoes and peas if I drop them on the floor when I cook. He will spread them across the house!!! He is an absolute natural when trimming his nails. I used to sit him on my lap to do it. He loves my nail scissors. He ruined about 4 of them dropping them to the floor so they got all bent and useless. He doesn’t like his very much though. Haha. Now, he sits on the bed, I hold his paw and cut the nails. Like a pro at the saloon. I still have to hold him for the back paws because he keeps rolling to the side with his belly so round haha He also enjoys baths!!! He has his own lavender shampoo and my mom bought a big towel with teddy bears for him hahaha And no. He’s not thinner when he is wet! Only the tail hahaha

He has a bed time pattern and a morning pattern. He always wakes me up when the alarm rings. Pulls my hair, rubs his head against my eye, bites on my nose, purrs in my ears. There is no friggin’ way to make him stop. But if I ever come late at home (let’s say 4AM haha) he never wakes me up. He knows I need my sleep. And when it comes to going to bed, about midnight latest, he starts his cleaning routine then goes to sleep on MY bed no matter what I do. And he looks at me like “time for bed woman!” with small Chinese eyes. “I am so tired of you keeping that light on! Don’t you ever sleep!”

The things that Grasu’s done for me? I cannot explain them in words. There is an unconditional love and support that he offers. Whenever I was sick with high fever and sweating my ass off like no other he would sit next to me, regardless of the fact that he was dying with how hot it was. His fur would be wet because of me, but he’d stay there. He can sense when I am tired or what hurts. He never really sleeps on top of me, he likes to stay next to me. But when I am sick with the flu or simply feeling ill, he always sleeps on my chest. During my most stressful times, I would not be able to sleep and change rooms leaving him asleep on the bed. By the time I woke up on the couch in the living room, he’d be there, watching me with eyes wide open. When I come home he’s there, follows me everywhere. Has his own chair where he stays while I cook and asks to sniff and taste everything I use, no matter if it’s union or butter. We have to share the sink space – obviously!!!! – and he always likes to play “predator” with my feet.
A friend of mine said recently that most of his female friends that have cats are single. You know, the old single woman with a cat pattern. Trust me. My cat is not the reason I am single haha There were men in my life whom he saw and went “Nah. Not interested.” Haha and there were men to whom he literally paid attention to more than he did with me when we were together. He is intelligent and independent that way! So I am not sure about the other girls, but I classify my relationships pretty well: Grasu and men. No interference. Unless they have a dog! Hahaha

Ok, I’m gonna end it here with a simple Happy Birthday to my baby boy! I hope he makes it for many many more years. I am looking forward to one day having kids who will find in Grasu an incredible friend and playmate. An animal can convert you into a believer of a different kind. Even mom who was skeptical about having a pet, after she had Grasu for three weeks one time she almost didn't want to give him back against the "too much hair" complaints. He heals and mends and teaches you what it means to care, to focus, to be moderate, organized and responsible. He teaches you to respect another life form other than yourself and your kind. And for those who do not have children, it prepares you in a way for that time in your life when it comes. I don't know if I'll ever have another pet after Grasu but at this point I cannot imagine how empty the house would feel without him.
Mom on her Bday last year!
He loves to spend time with mom and always stays with her when we travel.
Some of his favorite hideouts :)
NEVER leave a closet open! NEVER!

He will try to fit in any space, bag or box no matter how small.
Muah and have a happy long weekend and Happy Name Anniversary for all the Marii and Mariani (and derivatives therefore hehe)! 

P.S.: A huge THANK YOU is in order to all my friends whom in time have helped me with Grasu. Finding someone to trust not only with your precious pet but also with the keys to your house is not easy to find but I have been blessed that way and I am most grateful. It’s a weight taken off my shoulders when I have to run home for the weekends or even more so when I take a two week vacation. So here is my short list of adoptive parents who, either have pets themselves or are animal lovers or have been converted into animal lovers after Grasu “communicated” with them for a bit haha.

Laura and Mariano for always looking after Grasu for weeks in a row when I’m out on vacation! Get ready for three weeks of total bliss with the Fat Ass! There was a time when Grasu’s biological clock has seriously malfunctioned and he used to wake up at 5:30AM. They suffered the consequences! Mariano makes toys for Grasu (I still have one hanging from my bathroom door!) while Laura has basically reinforced the windows so Grasu can look out without the danger of falling. What more can I ask from these people?!!

Simo, Vio and Ale looked after Grasu during weekends. Ale is almost 4 years old and has basically grown with Grasu. When she was a baby she knew his name before mine and she’d pronounce it all wrong, like Gheasu. Haha So friggin’ sweet!

Andreea who now also owns her own Big Boy, used to take Grasu at her place and enjoy his fury round self during the weekends. Or simply come visit him at my place. I guess she figured there is plenty of love around from a “lover boy” like this! You should see her cat now!
Grasu at Andreea's place haha
Codrut and Adela are Grasu’s most recent fans. They’ve been extremely helpful with looking after the spotted boy when I’m in weekends. Basically, it is easy to care for him because all he needs is to have someone around him, so they can just come in, give him more water and check on his food then watch a movie while he either sleeps or snuggles with them. As I said, he can't be lonely! They’re a dream team!

He's actually a good pillow if it comes to that hehe

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