Our Cats, Julian and Ziggy

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Born: May 1997
Color: Orange and white
Weight: 16 1/2 pounds
Unusual aspect: 7 toes on one front paw, 6 on the other front paw (rear normal)
Personality: Very typical cat- ornery, loving and reclusive, depending on mood
Obsessions: Catnip, twist ties, the plastic strip from 1-gal. jug caps, plants, power cords
Quirks: Likes to chew on our hand, chew objects, knocks telephone over when it rings
Julian was a present from Andy to Valarie in July 1997, when Andy left to go to the CAP encampment. Valarie had wanted a cat for several months at that point, and although Andy had disagreed with getting a cat because they weren't allowed in the apartments at RIT, he eventually got Julian.

The same day that Andy left for the encampment, he picked up Julian from an animal rescue service in Chili, NY. He was advertised in the paper as 'tiger striped'. He was very friendly, and in the carboard carrier that he came with, he kept sticking his little kitten arm out of the air hole to say hi. A note was left for Valarie on top of a can of cat food in the kitchen to "look under the bed", since Julian had hidden himself there and it didn't look like he was going to move.

Soon after, Julian liked to wake us up in the morning by jumping on the bed (he still does most days), then sneezing in Andy's face. Yuck! He quickly grew, then grew fat (20 lbs at one point!). He's on a permanent diet, eating only 3/4 cup diet food each day. However, he's down to a "big boned" 17 lbs.



Born: May 1999
Color: Black and white
Weight: 6 pounds
Unusual aspect: Squirrel-like tail and a mane, but normal hair elsewhere
Personality: Can be shy from time to time, very quiet but playful- climbs up on bed every morning to say hello
Obsessions: Catnip, wresting with Julian, the plastic strip from 1-gal. jug caps
Quirks: Squeaky meow, timid one second and friendly the next, pees on clothes piles :(
Ziggy was discovered one fall night when Val and Andy were coming home. Two green glowing eyes had reflected the headlight of the car and Valarie noticed. After seeing the glowing green eyes four times in a 5 or 6 day period, Valarie suggested we try to pick the cat up. We had talked for some time about getting a companion for Julian, since Julian seemed to be going crazy being home all day alone.

One night Val and Andy had an argument over the milk, resulting in Val going to the convenience store "herself" to buy a fresh gallon. On the way back, she saw the glowing eyes, and stopped the car on the side of the road to get a closer look, and possibly grab the cat. Unfortunately, she locked the door, with the engine running and the keys in the ignition. She wasn't more than 1/2 mile from home, so she walked back, and Andy rode his bike back with the spare keys and unlocked the car. We attempted to catch the cat, but he eluded us that night.

The night after, we purchased a Mag light flashlight to aid us in our search for this cat. It wasn't hard to find him, because he stayed in the same general area. We stopped the car, determined to pick this cat up. Eventually, we chased him into a sewer pipe, flushed him out, then Valarie chased him across the street and finally caught him.. not without getting bitten first, though. The poor creature was scared stiff, was still a juvenile cat, was all wet (it had rained) and had worms. We kept him in our closet of a bathroom for a couple days, to make sure he was OK and didn't have rabies.

Since then, Ziggy was named and has become a part of our family. He is still a very skittish cat, running away at the slightest noise or ruckus, unlike Julian who would lie on his side even if an anvil were falling on top of him. Ziggy still comes onto the bed every night and every morning to be petted. He also has a nasty habit of peeing on clothes that have been laid on the floor. I guess that will just keep us vigilant about keeping the house picked up.

Click on a picture to see full-size version.

An excellent picture of Julian on the sewing table. Taken 6/2003.
Julian learned to lie like this when he stayed at a friends house. The friend's cats like to lie like this, and Julian hadn't done it until after that visit.
Ziggy as a kitten in the kitchen.
Ziggy keeping an eye out for Julian
Ziggy as a kitten
Pay no attention to the man with the camera, Ziggy
Oh! Finally, I have Ziggy's attention
Ziggy sniffing the kitty treats
Andy and Julian have a serious talk
Ahhh. Asleep on the coffee table
Julian as a juvenile cat posing with a rose. Taken in VOQ in Montgomery, Alabama.
Val and Julian having a moment
Either Julian is winking at me, has something in his eys, or is about to spaz out..
Julian lazing on the floor. Taken 22 Apr 2003
"Resting" on the coffee table, about to jump down.
Julian with his favorite toy from 1999, Timon, a happy meal toy from McDonalds. He still has Timon today...
Julian has the backpack covered.
Julian has the backpack covered while Val does her homework.
Or, maybe, Val isn't doing her fields homework... you can almost see the drool...
Julian about to jump inside the side shelf of the desk
Julian hanging out on the bannister, one of his favorite places to go.
Julian doing what he did very well for a couple years there. This was canned cat food, and he was WAY excited to get it. Taken in Alabama.
Julian wrapped up in a blanket. Very cute. Taken with cell phone camera in Spring 2004.
Snoozing on the coffee table, making sure there's no light shining in his eyes.
Julian playing
What a fattie! He's relaxing at the edge of the kitchen, probably waiting for food.
One of Julian's favorite places to sleep when we lived in this apartment.
A game of where's waldo... can you find Julian under the Christmas tree?
Same picture as the previous one, except with a flash. Julian was guarding the presents for us.
Val and Julian having another moment
Julian and Ziggy help Val with her homework, or at least function as paperweights while they snooze. It was late, even for them.
ziggy and julian
Julian in his fat cow days, and Ziggy as a kitten. Notice the extreme difference in size.
Ziggy cozied up in the bed
Ziggy looking guilty sitting in the window sill
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