Monday, March 19, 2007
Davy, the White Panther
This was Davy, the White Panther. He was a huge, intact male cat about 18 months to 2 years old when he came to our house. 19 lbs. with a 13 inch tail. He could clear an end table in a single sweep with that tail, and never realize he'd done anything. He was totally white with one blue eye and one gold eye. He appeared at our windows one day to watch our cats eating. He continued to hang around our house for a couple of weeks, and our cats were inside/outside cats at the time, so a few scuffles occurred since he was the evil intruder.
I noticed that he appeared to be getting thinner, so I started feeding him. I actually thought he had a home because he was so big and snowy white. After we got to know Davy, we began to think his previous owners had probably dumped him. He had severe petting induced aggression. We came to the conclusion that his people had probably rough-housed with him from the time he was a kitten, and then since they didn't have him neutered, he likely became too much for them to handle, so they off-loaded him.
We had Davy neutered and vaccinated and tried to make him an indoor/outdoor cat with our other cats. He liked to spray doors and windows and beat up on our cats, so that didn't work so well. We ended up installing a cat door in one of our bedroom windows, and made that Davy's room so that he could come and go as he pleased.
Over time we enlarged his area by stacking baby gates across the hallway and keeping our other cats in the living area while Davy had all the bedrooms. Then we installed a home-made gate on hinges that was about 6 ft. tall, but Davy climbed that. So we made a gate that almost reached the ceiling and gave Davy 2 bedrooms and a bathroom. If he was in a good mood when he came in, we would let him into the rest of the house. If he was grumpy, he couldn't come out of his area. So many times he would sit on his side of the gate and look at us woefully with his bi-colored eyes.
When interacting with Davy, I was soon able to discern when he was going to change from sweet Davy into evil, biting, rabbit kicking Davy. It was subtle, but I knew I had to immediately go limp or I would get bitten and scratched very hard. If I tried to pull away, he scratched and bit harder. Neighborhood kids would tell me how beautiful my cat was, but that he was mean. I asked them if they tried to pet him and when they said "Yes", I would say that he didn't like to be petted and leave it at that.
My husband was bitten severely by Davy one time when he tried to break up a fight between Davy and Bow. His hand swelled to twice its size. He also was scratched numerous times while petting Davy because he never quite learned Davy's body language signalling that he had reached his petting limit. I could carry Davy over my shoulder like a baby when he was in a good mood, and he really enjoyed it. But when he wanted down, I knew that I needed to let him down immediately.
Davy loved to play tag outside. I would chase him around the house and then he would hide and leap out at me. I would act surprised, and then take off running in the opposite direction. When he "tagged" me, then I would turn around and start chasing him again. Usually, I wore out long before he did.
Sometimes we thought that Davy wasn't the sharpest tack in the box, or a few sandwiches shy of a picnic, etc. We knew that he wasn't deaf like many all white, blue eyed cats tend to be. But what we've since learned is that white cats with one blue eye are sometimes deaf on that side, and now we wonder if that was one of Davy's problems. It would explain some of his odd behaviors.
Davy was with us for about 3 years when he went missing in August 2000.
Part 2 tomorrow.