Introducing Ruphis

Remember Shirley? If not, he’s a ladybug that deserves a revisit.

The Shirley episode convinced Joe and I that a Christmas cat was in order. Though Elle dreams of a puppy, our future camping and lake-living plans won’t allow for a dog, and we’ve always been suckers for a good lap cat. Finding the right cat is tricky, though. We’ve been burned by cats before. We’ve had two lovely cat’s whose characters were epic. We’ve also had two insane barn cats whose temperaments landed them in a barn on our old farm.

After getting to know each other for a week and a half, Ruphis has officially earned his collar. He’s one of the family.

Joe and I hunted covertly for some time, tracking down a young cat (not a kitten), preferably a yellow tabby who loves to snuggle (a.k.a. will let you pet him without nipping), and one who has already been declawed (because we really don’t want to perpetrate that crime, but we’ve seen first hand the damage front claws can do).

The house Maya built.

We found Ruphis (Maya’s spelling – but the name was inspired by Rufus Wainwright) through Twin Cities Pet Rescue. He’s essentially an economic refugee, as his first forever family lost their home during these tough times. This means he’s not homeless due to temperament difficulties. He came with high praise from his foster family and of a very affectionate, if rather lazy cat (the photos don’t lie… he’s a little fluffy… but nowhere near our first cat)

We’ve taken a little more than a week to get to know him, and we can now safely declare that he is ours. His character is above reproach. Each evening he purrs and snuggles with the girls before their bed time, and then with Joe and I. During the day, when Maya’s endless handstands, Elliot’s on-going dance parties, and Max’s grabby hands make life too overwhelming, he sleeps on his cat bed in the basement.

Has any girl ever looked so happy (or any cat so scared? That was his first day, he’s warmed up tremendously).

To be totally honest, he’s a bit terrified of the kids. Elliot and Max to be exact.

He does let all of them pet him endlessly, even purring in spite of himself. He stays put when Elle covers him up with a blanket or tucks a stuffed animal nearby for his “lovey.” He docilely gives in when the girls insist on carrying him around. And he’ll happily nap with Maya while she reads.

He is a timid cat, though. He’s not used to our chaos yet, and he never willingly puts himself in the thick of the action. Even so, he’s a far step above Shirley. Unlike his barn-cat predecessors, he adds virtually no stress to the day.

And I officially have a writing buddy.

Each day he plays more with us, explores more of the house, and spends a little more time with the kids.

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