As you know, Bob, last April we drove to Connecticut to pick up a new member of the family, a recently retired Maine Coon stud, Upper Valley Bahzell P of Blueblaze, call-name Socks.
This is Socks:
Socks is polydactyl (that means he has extra toes; this is pretty common with Maine Coon cats, who trace their Lines all the way back to the barns of Maine, where they sometimes need to open doors and operate equipment. I know some people think that extra-toed cats are "deformed;" this is not the case.). He has papers to go with his fancy name, from TICA and from the Cat Fanciers' Association; and his official color designation is Silver Mackerel Tabby. Socks will be seven years old on April 12.
So, that's the technical stuff. What you really want to know is that he's a sweet and attentive individual. He likes to watch movies with his people; he likes to read, and he likes Classic Rock. He likes to help, and can pretty much be counted on to be in the middle of whatever it is that's going down. Despite being a rather large cat (Maine Coons are called The Gentle Giants of catdom), he's often a lapsitter and a sleeper-with-people. He takes his flying mouse play Very Seriously. He has a charming, growly little voice, rather than the classic Maine Coon squeak. Think Humphrey Bogart. With extra toes.
Maine Coons are known for their good nature, but Socks goes above and beyond. I have never, ever heard him growl or hiss; he has never, to my knowledge, lifted a paw in anger. In fact, if fault could be found with such a sunny little person, it would be that he's a little too unassuming; he tends to disappear into the crowd.
Socks came to us as a semi-rescue -- he was recently neutered and out of a job; he had a sniffle, several bad teeth, and he was seriously skinny. We figured to get the dental situation fixed, feed him up, get the sniffle under control, do a little immune system boosting. We have managed the teeth (he lost seven); we've fed him up; and he's markedly less. . .depressed than he was when he arrived.
The chronic sneezing, despite daily doses of antibiotic (which he takes with minimal protest), continues. Lately, he's developed a constipation problem -- apparently, in order to accommodate his long trips from harem to harem, he developed a larger than normal colon. When he was a young guy, in top athletic shape, he could bring the necessary muscle to bear to operate this organ, but as he's aged, he's let his stomach muscles go (don't laugh; many of us here today have let our stomach muscles go).
All of this is to say that, though Steve and I love Socks, we're looking for another situation for him. Ideally, this situation would be with a person who was home more than away, and in which he would be the Sole Companion and Supervisor, or one of two. He does like the company of other cats. We do not believe that he is a dog lover, nor have we seen him with small children.
We have spoken to the cattery with which he was last affiliated, and the owners have said that he can go to them. We're reluctant to do this because of Socks' extreme good-nature and his ability to fade into the crowd. I think the reason that he got into the shape he was in when he came to us was that he traveled from place to place and was so compliant that no one really paid attention to Socks, as Socks. So, we'd rather try to find him a better condition.
Please pass this note around to people who may be interested in acquiring a really special friend. And if you can help, please let me know.
Thank you for listening.