Fred is a cat I met when he was having some cage rest back in December. He’d managed to crack his ribs somehow, probably from a fall. The sign on the door warned people not to hug him for a while, something I had a hard time explaining to him. He really, emphatically wanted a proper cuddle, so much so that when I opened the cage door to at least stroke him a bit, he got so excited he started gnawing on my chin.
I first heard others’ impressions of Fred through a few Facebook posts back and forth between Ann and Phaedra a number of weeks back. This gist of the story was that Fred likes cuddling with Ann, but Ann was off work for a few weeks and so he thought he’d try cuddling with Phaedra. Then he changed his mind and bit her instead.
Fred and I encountered each other shortly after. I was taking pictures of various cats in the front yard when Fred approached me and indicated by standing up on his hind legs and stretching his front paws as high up my leg as they would go that he might like to be picked up. He’s a big cat too, which made him even more like a toddler demanding a lift and a hug. All that was missing was a little voice demanding “Up! Up!”
Unfortunately, the bulky camera made it tough to do as he asked just then, so I had to get back to him a bit later. Of course by then I’d spoiled it and Fred would have nothing to do with me.
I had another chance when Ann returned to work. He greeted her enthusiastically, leaning against her, standing up to get more height. And then after observing us talking for a moment, he must have decided I was OK after all and so he came over and did the same to me, this time getting the hug he wanted.
Gaye tells me that Fred came to the sanctuary from the No. 5 Road shelter, where he’d been a nasty enough guy that the animal control worker there warned sanctuary staff to watch out for this one. He’s a lot easier to get along with now, though Gaye says that while he can be nice when he feels like it, he’s pretty grumpy when he doesn’t get his own way. Case in point: when she had to shoo Fred out of the space between the gates separating the front and back courtyard areas – cats love to sneak into anywhere they’re not supposed to be – he was in such a snit that when I tried to console him, he bit me. Not hard, just enough to make it clear that my request for an audience was denied.
Ann describes Fred as “a tough cookie” and admits he does have a few quirks (such as feeling a need to pee on the door to the singlewide), but “otherwise he’s just a big cuddly goof in desperate need of more human friends other than [herself]!”