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I am not a cat person, but I have a cat.

Updated on February 3, 2014

Our Siamese cat

This is my experience of sharing my home with a Siamese cat, a breed that is known for its very confident personality and loud voice. And behaving a lot like a dog even though it isn't one.

Getting a cat in the first place wasn't high on my list of priorities; it just happened. Within days our hands were scratched and we were wondering if we'd made a really big mistake. And it's not as if we weren't warned. He'd already been bought once and returned the next day because he'd smacked and bitten his first owner's chihuahua.

Then he settled down and quickly became a loved member of the family. We can't imagine our family without him in it. I think the dog can, and she likes the idea.

(All photos are copyright © 2013 Ordinary Woman Press)

Ming

Why did we decide to name him Ming? As a tribute to the Dynasty? Because he's an Oriental? Well, yes, because he's an Oriental. But the main reason is that that is the noise he made as a kitten whenever he meowed. We're not sure he recognises his official name but like most domestic cats, he responds to 'Pusspuss'. And he always comes when he's called, with a loud meow, which we think means 'What do you want? This had better be good because I was busy on secret cat business!'


It's challenging but not impossible to train your cat. You have to get inside its head, understand why it does what it does and teach him to respect you. This is easier with dogs but a dog is a pack animal and wants to please its leader. A cat thinks differently, and it does not have a leader.

It can be done, and here is an audio MP3 and a PDF that you can download to show you how to change your cat's behaviour forever. It's no-risk and guaranteed to be useful.

Which are you?

Humans seem to be divided into two categories . . .

Are you a cat person or a dog person?

See results

Yeah, he yells!

Ming is loud. He doesn't meow, he MEOWS. As in:

OPEN THE DOOR!

WHERE'S MY DINNER?

TURN ON THE TAP SO I CAN HAVE A DRINK!

SIT DOWN SO I CAN SLEEP ON YOUR LAP!

OKAY, THAT'S A BAD THING BUT I DIDN'T DO IT, HONESTLY!

I SO DID NOT BITE THE DOG! SHE MADE THAT UP!

Ming has one kind of meow for wanting something (usually dinner), one kind of meow for 'Where is everyone, I want to play', a mournful kind of meow for 'Where are the kids? They're not here!' and a demanding one for 'Turn on the bathroom tap so I can have running water. Now!'

There's also a pathetic little whiny meow for 'Someone I don't know is in my house, I'm uneasy about this, get rid of them' and a short sharp meow that is probably a cat swear word, which he blurts out when he's been caught on the kitchen counter (not allowed) or scratching the back of the sofa (also not allowed).

But he loves his cat post. He likes to scratch it and then hang off it, then scratch it again before taking the opportunity to grab your ankle as you go past. The cat post always gives up. So does the dog when Ming scratches her!

Play time!

Despite spending a considerable chunk of their day curled up in a comfortable spot sleeping, cats need exercise and stimulation. My cat is a bit obsessed with pipe cleaners and small, rolled up pieces of paper but he also loves feathers. He's got several feather toys which are looking a bit mangled these days. I'm sure he'd like some new ones.

Cat Dancer 301 Cat Charmer Interactive Cat Toy
Cat Dancer 301 Cat Charmer Interactive Cat Toy

Ming has one of these. It's shredded.

 
GoCat Da Bird Pull Apart Rod and Bird Cat Feather Toys, Assorted Colors
GoCat Da Bird Pull Apart Rod and Bird Cat Feather Toys, Assorted Colors

I don't think Ming would mind having one of these, either.

 
Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy, Colors may vary
Bergan Turbo Scratcher Cat Toy, Colors may vary

I've never seen one of these before. Interesting idea.

 

Yeah, he fetches!

Ming is obsessive when it comes to pipecleaners. He has about twenty, all of which he bats under the refrigerator. I regularly fish them out with a ruler and put them in a kitchen drawer. He grabs the handle, uses his body weight to swing the drawer open and takes one. Within minutes it is back under the refrigerator and he is meowing at me to get it out again.

We have to throw his pipecleaner for him to chase and usually he brings it back, but sometimes he runs away with it and throws it around himself. It gets put behind something, like a chair leg or a cushion, so he can stalk it and pounce on it.

There is a particular disdain with which Siamese cats regard you. Anyone who has walked in on the Queen cleaning her teeth will be familiar with the feeling.

— Douglas Adams

Adventure time!

A few things for climbing and scratching, looking down on everyone and planning an ankle ambush.

Go Pet Club Cat Tree, 50W x 26L x 72H, Blue
Go Pet Club Cat Tree, 50W x 26L x 72H, Blue

You can do this, and you can do that! Go, Catboy Slim!

 
Go Pet Club Small Cat Tree Furniture Beige
Go Pet Club Small Cat Tree Furniture Beige

Scratching posts and hidey-holes! Perfect!

 
Go Pet Club Cat Tree Furniture Beige
Go Pet Club Cat Tree Furniture Beige

This could be the Game of Thrones cat tree!

 

Yeah, he bites!

Once a week I strip the beds to wash the linen. Once a week I put clean, fresh linen on the beds. Once a week while putting said clean, fresh linen on the beds I have to deal with the cat, who thinks this is a game for his personal enjoyment. He does somersaults on the naked mattress and I have to wait until he is done with that. Trying to hurry the process does not work.

Then he grabs the edges of the linen and wrestles it. I have to wait until he is done with that. Trying to hurry the process does not work.

When I try to stretch the linen out over the mattress he grabs my hand with his front legs and bites my wrist while kicking me. This is a great game!

SmartCat 3844 Kitty’s Garden Edible Grass Planter
SmartCat 3844 Kitty’s Garden Edible Grass Planter

Because Ming is an indoor cat he has something similar to this.

 

Cat happy hour

Every weekday, when the first of my two children gets home from school, Ming goes crazy. He is so excited about having one of what he sees as his litter mates (ie brothers) home that he kind of loses the plot. He jumps up from sleeping for about six hours and charges around the house, leaping on furniture, doing the length of the hallway many times and pretending he's being chased by invisible forces, with his tail fluffed out to three times its usual size and his eyes dilated into big black pools. The second child gets home and he does another charge around the house and then he settles down for the evening. I think this is because he knows both his litter mates are home safe.

But I could be wrong. He might just go nuts at the same time every day because he's, er, nuts.

And he bites my children if they don't get out of bed when he wants them to. They love him. Most of the time.

You might have bought this for the dog . . .

but I want it.

I want it!

Whatchoo gonna do about it?

Are you a fan of Siamese cats?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Great lens, I have voted the cat one but I actually love both.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @aesta1: Thank you, and he thanks you too.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @shellys-space: I couldn't be without one now. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Not me but my nieces have them. They look really lovely especially your cat.

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 3 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Siamese are my husband's FAVORITE breed of cats. Believe me, he and his crazy cat lady Mom (she admits this fact) know cats and have had many over the years

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 3 years ago

      I couldn't vote in your poll because we have had both a dog and cats, so we are both, though possibly leaning more towards cats. Have never had a Siamese, they sound great. They always make me remember the film "Lady and the Tramp", with the song about the two Siamese cats that create havoc and get the dog (Lady) blamed.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @anonymous: Cattitude! Love it. My mother's cousin has an ordinary domestic cat and she is so astounded by how much personality Ming has that she says to me 'Why didn't anyone tell me what Siamese are really like before I got Harry? He doesn't do anything.'

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @katiecolette: Oh yes, Ming owns the house. Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @norma-holt: Thank you very much, I appreciate that.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @Shell Mayers: Thanks for commenting. I appreciate it.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @Javed Ur Rehman: Thanks! I appreciate the visit and the comment.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 3 years ago

      One of my "foster" kitties is a big, fluffy Siamese. It has taken her more than a year to gain confidence after being dumped in a shelter and shuttled between various rescue groups. Her eyes are blue like Ming's. I will have to see if she likes to play with pipe cleaners.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @anonymous: He likes to be appreciated . . .

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @TreasuresBrenda: He doesn't bite very hard because he's just playing, and then he licks you where he bit as if to say 'Sorry!'

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @LadyDuck: He agrees with you. I hope you get to have one one day.

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 3 years ago

      Mink is so beautiful. I would love to have a cat.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @MaryMitchell: So do I. Sometimes I think I even know what he's saying.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @hobbity: That's very sociable of her! Thanks so much for the nice words.

    • profile image

      hobbity 3 years ago

      I happen to love cats and dogs since I grew up with dogs but since getting my own home, I've had cats. Ming looks gorgeous. My female cat Fizz loves sitting on my desk and has just come up to the computer screen to admire him :)

    • profile image

      MaryMitchell 3 years ago

      Indeed I am and I have two - some people say they can't bear the noise they make, but I think it's great to be able to hold a long and interesting conversation with your cat!

    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 3 years ago from Canada

      No, I have to say I'm not a big fan of cats and I'd be scared if one bit me!

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Ming is absolutely adorable!

    • Javed Ur Rehman profile image

      Javed Ur Rehman 3 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      It was great to read your lens :)

    • profile image

      jimporsche86 3 years ago

      I am more of a dog person but really do enjoy cats as well.

    • Shell Mayers profile image

      Shell Mayers 3 years ago

      I love cat, great info.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 3 years ago

      I used to have 2 Siamese cats that were wonderful! By the way, my cat Bibi has one of the cat jungle gyms that you have posted above.. they are WONDERFUL! And she loves them!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 3 years ago

      I have owned a few Siamese and yours sounds familiar! Yes I invite Ming to meet my 2 cats at

      http://www.squidoo.com/Handsome-my-feral-friend

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 3 years ago

      You had me LOL in this gorgeous story, I have a cat that relates to all those things and her dad was Siamese. When I make the bed she has a game we play whereby I pull the covers over her and she loves it when I pretend she is lost and try to find her with lots of tickles along the way, She also has a loud meow and is very possessive of me. When I sit she is the first to claim my lap and often climbs into it as if I can't see her. Cats are much better pets than dogs for many reasons. Well done.

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 3 years ago

      I do like Siamese cats. Ours is not Siamese, but he surely acts like one. Our Tiger loves running water, thinks he is a dog and enjoys the company of our German Shepherd, and likes playing "fetch" - he can catch a ball in the air. He also acts like he owns the house and is very demanding when he needs something :)

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 3 years ago

      What a delightful story about Ming your Siamese cat! I'm not a fan of owning a Siamese cat but I had a lovely domestic bred Siamese, one that had the coloring, but not the facial characteristics, voice or the personality. My daughter has a sweet Siamese and my sister has a docile Ragdoll Siamese.

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      Oh my...Your Ming is like our Toshi. All male, all Siamese cat with their cattitude. And we've had 5 of them prior to Toshisan which traveled well and all grew old with us - from 19 to 21 years. I can vouch for every one of the above mentioned characteristics. Oh, and I swear Toshi understands English. Might not be addressing him directly but her definitely responds to anything said about him.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @flinnie lm: Thanks. He says thanks too.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 3 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I enjoyed reading about your cat.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @marktplaatsshop: Thanks for the comment. I'm sorry for your loss. Losing a pet is always hard.

    • marktplaatsshop profile image

      marktplaatsshop 3 years ago

      I love cats, and just over a year ago I had to euthanize my oriental shorthair at home he refused to eat and drink due to a severe kidney problem.

      I made every effort to keep him in  a dignified way  with me, but if they do not want to eat and drink you have to make a choice, but I still miss him every day. ^-^

      Great lens I enjoyed reading it

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @favored: Shoes? That's original!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      Yes, they certainly are a bit strange. Ours loves shoes.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @Sitabodang LM: Ming agrees with you.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @Bellezza-Decor: I love my cat's meow. He knows what he wants and so do I.

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 3 years ago from Canada

      I had a Himalayan cat that I thought had a loud meow (part Siamese), but then my next cat, who had no Siamese in him, had an unbelievably loud meow and sometimes he would extend the meow out for several seconds, to make his point. I found his meow annoying, while at the same time the length and insistent quality of his meow, would make me laugh. I miss Teddy and Romeo both still to this day. Now i have 2 girls cats and they are much more ladylike than the boys. They rarely meow, but Panko does moan sort of. First moaning cat i have ever had!

    • Sitabodang LM profile image

      Sitabodang LM 3 years ago

      We had a Lavender Point Siamese when I was a child. Ming has such an interesting face!

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @David Stone1: Some interesting and very accurate observations. Thank you.

    • David Stone1 profile image

      David Stone 3 years ago from New York City

      Siamese and all other cats. The important point about cats is that they are both proudly independent and completely dependent on us for vital needs. I'm amazed how well they balance the tension and how they find enthusiasm over little things. They also will never accept being subservient willingly, and when that does happen, it is always devastating for the cat's mental and physical health. These are very sophisticated animals - who think we're the nuts.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @tonyleather: He agrees with you!

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @Virginia Allain: Siamese are not for everyone, but I couldn't have any other breed.

      Thanks for your kind words.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 3 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm a cat lover from way back, but Siamese are not my favorite type. You've written a refreshing tribute to your cat and enjoyed every word which isn't always the case when people rave on about their pet.

    • profile image

      tonyleather 3 years ago

      What a regal face!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      I'm a fan of any cat!

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @Gayle Dowell: That would mean a lot of cat hair!

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 3 years ago from Kansas

      My motherin-law has a long haired Siamese. Beautiful cat.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @hmommers: Thanks! He thinks so too.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @rob-hemphill: Burmese are great too.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @RinchenChodron: I think most cat owners would say that was familiar.

      Thanks for visiting.

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      RinchenChodron 3 years ago

      Yes, I have had a couple of them. I had to laugh at the bed changing story - it is familiar!

    • rob-hemphill profile image

      Rob Hemphill 3 years ago from Ireland

      Like Snakesmum below, I had a Burmese for 15 years, and adored her. She came for walks around our vineyard and I think always thought she was a dog!

    • profile image

      hmommers 3 years ago

      I am allergic to cats, but I love them. Your cat looks great!

    • Snakesmum profile image

      Jean DAndrea 3 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      I've never had a Siamese, but had a Burmese some years ago. Cats are great pets, and some breeds can convert you to being a cat person. :-)

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @TanoCalvenoa: Thank you! It was fun to write.

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

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      TanoCalvenoa 3 years ago

      I like the perspective this was written from. I've had cats all my life but a few years ago got a dog, and she's great. The cats hate her though, have never gotten used to her presence. She's smaller than them and still tries to get them to play even though they never do.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @Adventuretravels: The yelling is a good reason to have only one, but I like the way he talks to us.

      I'd forgotten all about the Siamese cats in Lady and the Tramp!

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 3 years ago from London UK

      Hi I think Ming is beautiful but I don't think I could cope with the yelling! I have a friend with two Siamese cats and they sing in harmony! hahaha! They can be quite nasty though - and just like the pair in Lady and the Tramp, they work together - can be a bit scary! It was really nice to get to know Ming.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 3 years ago

      @SusanDeppner: Ha ha! My son's friend has a black and white cat called Oreo.

      It sounds like your Oreo inherited quite a big shot of Siamese!

      Thanks for visiting my lens and taking the time to comment.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 3 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Our cat Oreo's mother was part Siamese and Oreo inherited some of those characteristics. I'm familiar with the battle to make the bed and playing fetch and, of course, her loud voice which really developed as she has gone deaf in her old age (she's 20). Oh, and the biting. Yes, I guess she inherited more Siamese characteristics than I had realized. I loved reading about Ming. He's so very handsome!

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      @Tarra99: I think Siamese are brilliant, but they're not for everyone.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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      Tarra99 4 years ago

      For a short time in my own apartment I became a crazy cat lady (4 total)...I should have stopped at the 1st one, he wasn't Siamese, I've always wanted one but people talk me out of them. The cats have since passed and we went back to a dog, which is how I started out with pets.

      I love Ming's face.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      @Nightcat: He's a naughty boy sometimes, but we love him.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      @sybil watson: Thanks for your comment! We'd be lost without Ming. Elvis is a cool name for a cat too.

    • profile image

      sybil watson 4 years ago

      I had to laugh at your title - I'm not a cat person either, but I have a very opinionated, condescending, lovable cat named Elvis who drives me crazy, but I'd be lost without him. Your Ming is gorgeous and I love the name!

    • Nightcat profile image

      Nightcat 4 years ago

      I love Siamese cats and Ming sounds wonderful! :)

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      @PlumberJorge: Siamese are interesting, for sure.

    • PlumberJorge profile image

      PlumberJorge 4 years ago

      I'm a cat person and I have two cats, the other one having four kittens right now. Sadly, I don't own any Siamese cat but I want to if I was given the chance.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: That's a good word for the noise he makes. And he likes to think he's royal.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      Ming definitely looks like he has a very distinct personality. He could possibly be from some royal forgotten cat dynasty. Siamese certainly look regal. I like to refer to their meow as a meowl, sort of a cross between a meow, and a yowl.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      @sierradawn lm: Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    • sierradawn lm profile image

      sierradawn lm 4 years ago

      It was so much fun reading all about Ming! My cats are obsessive over playing fetch too, and bed making is always big time play. I have 3 cats diving under the sheets and attacking the blankets, they think humans make beds just for their personal amusement! Your story was delightful!

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      @VladimirCat: He would say thanks but he's busy, so I'll say it for him. Thanks!

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      Vladimir 4 years ago from Australia

      High Paw to Ming!

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      @cmadden: Ha ha. My dad always swore he hated dogs but guess who the neighbour's dog always went nuts over?

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      cmadden 4 years ago

      A hearty "Meowrr!" to Ming from Callie the Calico, Shadow the Tabby, Sylvester the Kitler Tuxedo, and Odan the three legged gray and white kitty. We had a Siamese when I was growing up - his name was Genghis Khan; my dad swore he didn't like cats, but guess on whose belly Genghis loved to sleep?

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      @Diana Wenzel: I like your cat's name! Thanks for visiting.

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      Renaissance Woman 4 years ago from Colorado

      I adore Siamese cats and miss mine dearly. I had a Siamese, Tai Kwon Do, for 24 years. She converted me into a cat person. Before Tai, I would never had said I was one. I enjoyed meeting Ming and your writing voice. Tai used to do the same thing when I changed the bedding.

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      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      Ah ... why, yes I AM!

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      Torrs13 4 years ago

      I don't have any cats but I think kittens are adorable! I am more of a dog person overall, though.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      @Loretta L: He's crazy but clever and the biting is playful, it's not intended to hurt.

    • Loretta L profile image

      Loretta Livingstone 4 years ago from Chilterns, UK.

      He sounds completely crazy, and great fun. Not so sure about the biting though.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      @SteveKaye: I've seen her. Love her work!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      I have a brown tiger cat. She is fantastic. She now serves as the CFO and president of my photo business. She does a wonderful job, too. Meow.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      @NibsyNell: Yes, he is. At the moment he's trying to kill a cushion. I feel a bit sorry for it.

    • NibsyNell profile image

      NibsyNell 4 years ago

      He seems like such a big personality! :)

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      @lionmom100: Thank you, yes, we think so too!

    • profile image

      lionmom100 4 years ago

      He is a beautiful cat.

    • Meganhere profile image
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      Meganhere 4 years ago

      @FrancesWrites: Thanks, FrancesWrites! He's a beautiful boy, with a little bit of crazy and a lot of smart.

    • FrancesWrites profile image

      FrancesWrites 4 years ago

      Siamese are not normally my favourite, because I had one who was all sorts of messed up, but your cat is clever and lovely!