We used to have a long, orange tabby cat named Toby, who I wrote about quite a bit on this blog. When we had Toby, we thought he was a perfectly normal cat, if somewhat demanding and noisy. When we had to put Toby put to sleep because of a large and ominous tumor, (a sad day) we realized what a fascist despot we had been putting up with all this time.
He wanted your attention NOW, he had to go outside IMMEDIATELY, he had an all consuming addiction to tuna that must be satisfied AT THIS VERY MOMENT' ......all frigging day, every day. Toby also had a terrible fondness for getting all up in one's business, with little or no regard for personal space....if he wanted to love you while you were trying to read a book then TOO BAD FOR YOU, YOU ARE GETTING LOVE!! I imagine if Sadaam Hussein was a cat, this is how he would have behaved.
When Toby went, the girls wanted to get another cat right away, but I resisted, partly because I felt it wouldn't be fair to the next cat (you'd want the new cat to "take over" from the old cat.) but mostly because I wanted to enjoy the sensation of a clean house without anyone horking up fur balls all over the carpet for just a few weeks.
After the girls wore me down, we went to the local pet store that has cats from a shelter and found a sweet tortoise shell female with the most beautiful green eyes, and we took her home. We renamed her Luna, and its like she was always here.
We could not have found a more different cat than Toby...for one thing, Toby was a long, thin guy, prone to stretching himself out so long on a hot day that I thought he might never go back together again. (somewhat akin to putting toothpaste back in the tube.) Luna is, to put it politely, a sturdy girl. The first time I went to pick her up I was disconcerted by the fact that my hands did not meet around her generous belly. (I thought that might have been a result of having lived in a cage for a while and not getting much exercise, but no, she's that fat all the time.)
She also has proved to just be considerably more easy-going. When Toby came to live with us, he ran out of the carrier and under a bed and stayed there, more or less, for three days. Luna walked out of the carrier, looked around approvingly and decided "I live her now".
Toby was LOUD. So loud. He walked around the house meowing and yowling in the most despairing manner, like he thought he was the last living soul on earth and begging for the sweet release of death. Five a.m. was his preferred opportunity for this, and he did it regularly. Luna only meows loudly when one of us is outside. (We cant' figure out if she wants to come out and join us or if she desperately want us to come in) She has a little, almost silent squeak of a meow, and she hardly ever does it, except for when one of us is holding her and declaring our love for her while she struggles to break free.
Luna has tragically short legs, like, so short she cannot jump up on counters or tables.This means she generally minds her own business. Toby HAD to investigate everything, even if it had nothing to do with him. And really, everything had nothing to do with him.
The biggest difference between the two cats is their philosophical stance on tuna. Whereas Luna sees it as an occasional and welcome treat that one eats until one has had enough, Toby approached it like a meth addict embarking on a week-long bender. He started urging me out of bed when the birds started singing, usually around 4 a.m, and did not stop hounding me until I got out of the shower and fed him the tuna. And even if I gave him his drug before I got in the shower, that did NOT mean I could get away without giving him more when I did get out of the shower. When he was done eating he would sniff around that dish with a singular determination, just in case there was more tuna he had missed, and then, if you could believe it, he'd come over while I was eating breakfast and demand more! The cheek of him! Once I thought I'd try an experiment; I had read that unlike dogs, cats will only eat until they are full and then walk away, so I figured I'd see if that was true...Really, would a cat eat tuna until he threw up, and if so, how much? The answer is yes, and about a quarter of a cup.
Luna is much more civilized on so many fronts, if a little less entertaining. But she is lower maintenance, too, so I'm ok with that.