Our Family was Adopted by an Irresistible Kitten
Magnet could best be described as a survivor. She showed up one day at our office in great need. This helpless kitten barely old enough to be away from her mother, if in fact she was even that old, was small enough to sit right in the palm of your hand. She was starving and spoke with a needy voice you could not ignore. My husband and I fed her some lunchmeat we had on hand and even though we were not in the market for a pet at all, this little feline adopted our family as her own ... and eventually stole the hearts of Doug, me, and each of our children.
That was June 2004 and now more than eleven years later, she is still a part of our family.
Happy Birthday Magnet
11 Years Old in 2015
That's 77 in human years & she still can jump up on the roof!
A Glimpse into My Personal History with Pets
Two Dogs--Dusty J & Sugar Baby and One Cat--Magnet
The pet I had in childhood was a friendly dog with a blonde coat of long hair and a happy smile. His name was Dusty J. I attached to him because he was my completely trustworthy friend, confidant, loyal companion, and playmate. I loved him so much because he was always there for me. Then when I was seven, Dusty encountered an unwelcome intruder. Dusty tried to defend his home from another dog. As they fought, the bigger dog slashed Dusty's throat.
I saw Dusty J after he had died. I remember the permanent snarl on his face; he definitely had died fighting. I told him good-bye, thanked him for being my friend, and said how much I would miss him. I touched him one more time. And then Grandpa and I buried him on the farm, near the fields where my little dog and I used to run and play. I would go on to have other pets, but I never let myself love them so deeply or get so attached to them as I was to Dusty J. I never wanted to feel this way again.
I personally had no other pet until right before Doug and I were married. Together we purchased a white AKC registered German Shepherd. We named her Sugar Baby. We enjoyed sharing our time with Sugar and she was a living thing we could care for together. We took Sugar to obedience school for dogs and loved admiring her grace as she walked along beside us on long walks or ran around the yard. Then life circumstances dictated that we give Sugar Baby away. We still have fond memories of the time we spent with our beautiful white Sugar Baby.
Again, I felt I did not want to attach to another pet. I also had always been a "dog" person and never really cared much for cats. I could not see myself ever owning a cat. But as I have described our first encounter with Magnet, doing anything but feeding her was not an option. So we fed this starving frail kitten. Then as is always the next step in this scenario, Magnet felt she had found a home at the house where we did the office work for our McDonald's Restaurants; it was not our personal residence. So then how did Magnet manage to get herself away from the office and move into our official residence? That thought begins the next part of the story.
How Magnet Came to Be Our Pet
We Were Clearly the Family She Chose to Adopt
At our McDonald's office, Magnet showed up one day and darted inside the garage when our oldest son came to work. He removed the cat and left. Then later my husband came to the office, same scenario--The cat darted inside the garage but again was expelled. Then later that day our daughter came to work, she too was confronted with making sure the cat was not allowed inside. Then the next day my youngest son and I went to the office and was confronted with the determined cat. We also prevented the kitten from getting inside and after completing the work we came to do, we departed leaving the kitten outside.
My family knew I was not fond of cats and did not tell me about their encounters with the kitten. Therefore my youngest son and I thought that only we knew of the kitten's presence. But one night my husband and I were working at the office and this persistent meow could clearly be heard over any noise we made with computers, telephones, or calculators. My husband gave me a knowing look because he knew exactly what we were hearing. He did not know I had already met the little gray kitten.
So we went outside and found the little kitten eating crickets that were hopping around on the porch. She was so hungry that she was making a strange growling noise as she caught and ate the bugs. We both felt compassion for her situation and went inside for some food. Some lunchmeat was all we had at the office but that was fine with the kitten as she quickly devoured the ham. After this night, we fed the kitten regularly and we all began divulging our previous secret, personal encounters with this little stray kitten who made her new home at our office.
We were fine with her staying at the office. It was only one mile from our home and after all the office had a two-acre yard for her to explore and live on. And this worked for a time ...
Then a few weeks into the future, after working at the office, I left for the day, headed for home. By this time while at the office, I was used to hearing the kitten meow and I heard her this time. Nothing was unusual. Then I drove off, making the one mile trip home. I pulled into my garage, opened my pick-up door and I still heard the kitten's meow. I knew I had to be imaging things, but I was not. The kitten had jumped up on the rear axle and managed to stay put until I got home and stopped the car. She was meowing loudly as she remained glued to her perch. It was a miracle that she made the trip safely and was not slung off onto the road and killed.
At this point, after she figured out where we lived, she preferred to be at our home not the office. We did return her to the office several times but she always managed to find her way back to our home some how. We finally gave up taking her to the office and let her remain at our home. This is where she resides today, almost eight years later. With persistence, Magnet succeeded in adopting our family.
Magnet's Name Has a Story
Clearly No Other Name Fit
Our youngest son Jarrod named Magnet. He thought that any cat that could attach herself to us that strong and would not let go, absolutely had to be named Magnet. Our children thought up many names to consider but Magnet was the one that fit best and it "stuck".
I have also expanded her name to make it a bit more fitting for a female. We also call her Maggie Annette which is a fancy form of Magnet.
What Kind of Cat is Magnet?
Magnet's breed is an American Longhair, verified at our first veterinarian visit.
The Family Dog Magnet Made an Impression On
Meet Macy the Friendly Boxer
Macy belongs to my oldest son and daughter-in-law. This Boxer is one of the most fun dogs I have ever been around. Macy has quite a personality and even speaks up in her own language if she feels she is being ignored. Macy is a happy dog with quick movement and just as her name indicates, she will move as if she is boxing with you. I say all that to introduce Macy as a happy, sociable, easy to get along with, likable dog.
I bring Macy into my story about Magnet because of Magnet's perpetual, out-of-character behavior towards Macy. Macy by nature was out going and trying to make friends with Magnet and for some reason, Magnet was not open to the friendship. As a consequence, Macy received a very unfriendly scratch on her nose from a perturbed, hateful cat. Macy healed and forgot about the unpleasant incident and unfortunately the second encounter between them was just as nasty.
That was enough for Macy, she now forever has the memory etched in her mind that cats are unfriendly. Since her early encounters with Magnet, Macy has never since been friendly towards cats. Her guard is now always up when a cat is around.
This picture was taken when my oldest son and his family lived in Okinawa, Japan. My husband, my youngest son, and I were visiting them there. This is me and Macy looking at miniature crabs crawling along the shore. Macy was not worrying about Magnet here, she was safe with Magnet being fifteen time zones away back in Texas.
Magnet is a Companion
Could she be part dog?
Over the years the most prevailing memory is of the companionship Magnet has given to each member of our family. When spending time in the yard, Magnet is "there", involved in every detail. She follows you everywhere you go, no matter what you may be doing. Whether you are gardening, having a picnic, raking leaves, trimming bushes, carrying out the trash, or just sitting in a chair, Magnet is by your side.
Doug calls her cat-dog because she acts many times more like a dog than a cat. She follows wherever you go and runs to catch up. She comes when called and even rolls over on command.
But she definitely has characteristics of a cat too. She is curious; and sparking her interest is easy with just about whatever you find lying around. Teasing her playfully with tempting objects will keep her entertained until you tire of the activity. It is also fun to watch her try to catch a leaf blowing in the wind. When she catches it and realizes it is just a leaf, she looks at it, lets it go and then nonchalantly walks away as if she really did not want it anyway. Over the years we have bought her lots of toys but she has never shown more interest in store-bought toys than in just a simple leaf blowing by.
Magnet Loves to Eat - Canned Food is Her Favorite
Magnet loves to eat, more than she enjoys playing. Although she prefers canned cat food, she doesn't complain when it's dry.
She Likes Dry Cat Food Too!
Loyal & Loving
Magnet is appreciative often portraying a grateful spirit. Seems she never forgets how her life began.
Magnet's Photo AlbumClick thumbnail to view full-size
Do Cats Always Land on Their Feet? - Foreword Written by Jim Davis--Creator of "Garfield"
Answers to this question and some other cat questions you may have wondered about.
Why are they so mysterious and aloof?
Do they possess an internal GPS?--seems they always know where home is.
Why are cats hard to get to know?
Magnet has always landed on her feet and it is a real mystery how this always happens for cats. They have a great instinct in this area. Even when Magnet jumps off the roof, she lands on her feet.
The Cat's Meow
Magnet has a mellow and gentle meow, not sharp and whiny like many other cats I have heard.
Have you noticed that cats meow differently?
An On Going Conflict
Magnet causes backyard war because she believes it is always open season for hunting birds.
If I could pick one toy for Magnet, it would have something to do with hunting birds. She has always been very adept at catching her prey and watching the feathers fly.
Magnet--A Bird Watcher - And Hunter
This toy seems to be one Magnet would enjoy toying with. Birds however, do not stand a chance when they become her target. She often gets on the roof of our house to get a better vantage point.
Magnet Adds Her Own Touch of Humor
Magnet appears laid back, easy-going, and seems to spend most of her time in the sleeping position. But on the other hand, she often comes to life quickly when provoked. Birds are abundant in our yard and many of them have carelessly behaved, putting themselves in harms way. They probably never even had time to know what happened to them.
One morning when our oldest son was leaving the house on his way to work, he noticed a bird sitting on a rock by our pond. Then from out of nowhere Magnet appeared from behind and the bird probably never knew what hit him. Magnet leaped forward, catching the bird as planned. But the part she had not planned for was continuing forward right into the pond. Splash! Then she quickly exited the pond, dripping wet ... with the bird grasped securely in her mouth. She drooped away, shaking off water as she went but victorious in her mission.
Then a few years later on Prom Night for our youngest son, Magnet put her hunting skills in the spotlight again. Several of our family members and some friends were gathered in front of our house, taking pictures of Jarrod and his date, all dressed up for the big evening. Magnet was just hanging around observing. Then all of a sudden, she took off. A poor bird had been targeted. Magnet jetted 50-75 feet away and was successful again. She then strutted by us all with a rather large bird securely grasped in her mouth. Our daughter's husband commented, "Birds beware of the fat cats--There is a reason they are fat! Don't worry so much about the skinny ones, obviously they are slow."
Revenge of the Birds
Magnet's hunting skills became a relevant threat to the bird community. It also became apparent that the birds were feeling the existence of an undeclared war between them and Magnet. This was clearly the reality in my own backyard when I began to observe on many occasions the birds directly attacking Magnet from their higher vantage points.
Like attack bombers, the birds would fly over Magnet and swoop down towards her head. However, I never observed any of them actually hitting her. In the attempts I witnessed, they would chicken out before contact was made. But, these episodes instigated by the birds definitely aggravated Magnet. She now watches the birds carefully and always sleeps in places the birds are unable to reach.
I also have seen very humorous chatter between birds as they sit on the fence bickering loudly, with Magnet clearly being the focus of their noise. The birds watch her closely as they jump up and down, moving to and fro in the midst of stating their case. It almost seems that they are testifying in court against their enemy, telling of the wrongs they have witnessed her do. Or maybe they are just asking Magnet to have mercy on them and birds of the future. Whatever they are trying to accomplish, it is often entertaining to watch the interaction.
Doesn't she just look so "innocent"? ...
Well maybe not. I am sure I know what Macy would say :)
Magnet wears a pink sparkly collar. The perfect accessory for any princess cat.
Magnet Has Worked Her Way Into Our Hearts
And Is Where She Belongs
I am happy Magnet chose to join our family and that I was open to letting her stay. Her presence has been a blessing and she has given me an entirely different perspective on cats. Our family life has been enriched with her antics, demeanor, and personality. Our children enjoy visiting with her and spending time with her when they come home. Magnet knew all along exactly where she belonged.