Portrait of a cat: The independent roommate

Portrait of a cat: The independent roommate
Independent Cats: Aurora

Cats have unique personalities. And not all cats are mysterious, elegant, otherworldly enigmas. Or, for that matter, cute, fuzzy, lap-cats.

Take Aurora.

Aurora is 17 years old. A short-haired, non-pedigree tabby, she was born in the spring of 1995. Nita Heerk got Aurora when she was under 8 weeks old (not recommended). Aurora was so tiny, she would crawl under the bed and sleep between the bedsprings while Nita was at work. At night, she would sleep on Nita’s pillow, burrowed in Nita’s hair.

She now weighs approximately 12 pounds.

Aurora quickly grew into a rambunctious kitten. Her favorite game: chasing balls of paper from one end of Nita’s studio apartment to the other. She proved to have quick reflexes as well as powerful legs when it comes to running and pouncing.

In fact, out of all Nita’s cats, Aurora would make the best outdoor cat (all Nita’s cats are 98% indoor cats). Even as a youngster, she loved to go outside. Initially, Nita put her on a leash, but Aurora learned to escape Houdini-like from the chest and head harness by wrapping the leash around a tree and backing out of the harness. These days, when Nita takes the cats on a outing, she doesn’t use a leash; Aurora settles comfortably into the grass and sniffs away.

Despite her rambunctious youth, Aurora grew into a rather reserved cat who is more a roommate than a lap-cat. She doesn’t warm up to visitors immediately although a few are more privileged than others. She enjoys being scratched around the ears but gets nervous about full-body pats. When she feels threatened—at the veterinarian’s, for example—she will sink as low to the nearest available surface as possible and pretend to disappear (this is not easy with a 12 pound cat!).

Despite her age, Aurora gets along with her more active two-year-old “brother,” Bob. Although she often ignores him, relaxing under the computer desk to nap, she will occasionally chase him—and let herself be chased—around the apartment. In fact, Bob’s addition to the household two years ago enlivened Aurora’s life considerably!

Aurora will eat just about anything, including cheese and popcorn. She loves catnip bags. She doesn’t show much interest in toys, no matter how fancy. She likes to watch birds outside the window and sleep in closets with shoes. During television time, she will curl up next to Nita on the couch although it is hard to tell whether she is showing affection or claiming the couch--and Nita!--as her property.

Other independent cats like Aurora:

  • DC from That Darn Cat! (featured on a blog with ads: Cats on Film)
  • Tao from The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford (inspiration for the movie Homeward Bound)

Portraits of the Friendly Cat and the Skittish Cat will follow!