MissAtoms, you've done a great job with Max! He looks very healthy and happy. I love hearing all your stories about how you fell in love with cats. Like most people, I got involved with cats later in life.
In my case, it began last June. I was working as a web designer for a couple. It was a very, very small company and I was actually working in their house. Well, the first day I came for my interview their male black cat, Midnight, came right up to me and weaved around my ankles. They also had a calico cat, Racheal, who was sitting down in another room staring at me.
As the days went on, Midnight would greet me at the door, jump up on my desk, stick his butt in my face, and let me pet him. He wasn't a lap cat (if you put him in your lap he rebounded out, like a compressed spring), but you could hold him like a baby and pet him for hours. His favorite thing was a cheek scratch; the second I put my hands on his cheeks he sank to the floor, purring away. All this time Racheal would sit in her corner.
After about two months, Racheal finally wandered over to the "work" area. My boss was even surprised, saying "Hey, Racheal's finally coming over to say hi." She rubbed against me, but when I pet her she kind of jumped. She was VERY skittish. She spent the rest of that day hiding behind a couch (but at least she was in the same room as us and Midnight). In the following days, she would stay nearby. I would pet her, and her tail would swish wildly. I didn't know what that meant at the time! One day, she came into the work area and suddenly jumped on my lap, much to everyone's surprise (she's very picky about her people). I was petting her as usual, and her tail started swishing, and she finally bit me. I was shocked! Well, as strange as it sounds, it was this event that finally got me hooked on cats. I really wanted to understand why she did that, so I looked it up on the internet. Well, I found a whole bunch of info, and quickly learned about overstimulation and the signs to look out for.
There was one specific incident that seemed to be the defining moment that she bonded to me. I was doing my work, and she jumped onto the desk for some lovin'. After a few pets, I got back to work. She sat there, on the side of my monitor, not even a foot away from my face, and just STARED at me. I knew by this point not to stare back, so I just continued doing my thing. After 10 minutes, my boss laughed and asked how I could work with a cat glaring at me. She stared at me for another 10 minutes and then curled up and went to sleep! I don't know what that was all about, but I can only guess that she was evaluating me, and in the end decided I was good people. From that day on, she would jump on my lap, get her 5 minutes of lovin' (she loved lap time, but not for a long time), and then go to sleep on my desk. Oh, she was 14 years old at the time, so she did a lot of sleeping. I would take my jacket off and let her sleep on it. Towards the end of my stint working there, they referred to her as my cat
Oh, Midnight still came around, but as Racheal claimed my area as her territory, he went back to wrecking their house.
Racheal has since passed on, but I'll never forget her. We just clicked for some reason. When I stopped working there, I started to want a cat of my own to take care of. I looked forward to seeing a cat everyday! Then, when September rolled around, Snowball came into my life, but that's whole 'nother story