Friday, December 4, 2009

Unfarm introductions - Mynx

In which we discover how Mynx came to live on the Unfarm, we learn how she and Emmy got along, and we reveal some of the quirks of Mynx herself.

Mynx is our most recent cat acquisition. Not that we often go out actively looking for cats to acquire. Of all the cats that I've encountered here - eleven, that I can recall - eight of them have found me. Mynx was one of those eight, who came to live with us four years ago after she followed me home on a walk.

She was tiny, her coat in rough shape, hungry, white with black spots (picture a holstein cow, in the size and shape of a cat, and that's basically what she looks like), with a tail that is only 3/4 length, with a little bump on the end of it, and - after looking for her home for a couple weeks with no results - ours.

We thought (a bit naively) that she would be the perfect addition to the current cats on the Unfarm - that she and Emmy (our female cat) would get along great, seeing as they had so much in common. They were, after all, both female, both petite, both variations on the black and white theme, and both rescued from homelessness and starvation.

This picture of domestic bliss we had envisioned turned out to look - in actuality - much like extreme hatred would. Emmy and Mynx, instead of curling up together on a rug in front of the fire, would only come within five feet of each other if they were in the midst of a raging, yowling cat fight. These fights were, fortunately, not too common an occurrence - fights are dangerous to both parties, after all, and it is in everyone's best interest to find another way to work out disagreements. Which they did, much to the dismay of our carpets.

They began staging what I can only describe as "pee battles," the rules of which are as follows: one cat pees on the carpet somewhere and the other cat retaliates by peeing somewhere else. They were dividing up the house, staking out their respective territories by scent marking them. While this may be a natural behavior for cats to engage in, it certainly made the house rather unpleasant to live in: while we were often able to figure out which room had been marked, we couldn't always find the exact location. Needless to say, the carpet cleaner was well used.

By the time Emmy died this past April, she and Mynx had established a sort of tentative truce and the Great Pee War was largely over, with both sides sticking to their mutually agreed upon territories. And while we are still feeling the loss of our Little Miss Emmy - the gentlest and most cuddly of all the animals - Mynx seems to be taking rather well.

And so now, of the female cats, it is just Mynx left on the Unfarm. What we didn't know, when we brought her home, was just how shy she is. I don't know if she's really shy, so much as half wild. She is, to put it simply, Mynx.

Here's Mynx in a nutshell: She can not stand to be held, but the moment you sit down she's in your lap and she will lick your hand until your skin falls off. She always drinks water with her paw in the bowl. She is condensed – our vet's word – that is to say, she is not fat, but she is incredibly heavy: it actually hurts when she stands on your stomach. She loves to play. She plays with cat toys, bunny berries, invisible bugs; anything she sees (or thinks she sees.) She only goes outside if the temperature is above 80 degrees F. And even then, only for ten minutes at a time – as it is November now, she won't even look out the window until May, at the earliest. She is, at the moment, sprawled out on the table with one foot on the cable box - she does this when she's gotten too hot from sleeping curled up on top of the cable box. She will spend hours at a time moving from the cable box to the table and back again. And then there's her diet: she likes catnip (yesterday I caught her licking the plastic bag that we keep the catnip toys in) and junk food. I eat apples with those little Laughing Cow cheeses and Mynx is constantly trying to eat the cheese out of the wrapper. She also eats popcorn – both Kettle and Butter flavors – and Sun Chips.

So there you have it: a (perhaps not so) short introduction to our Mynxy cat, in all her quirky glory.

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