We’ve previously pondered the intricacies of naming cats. Some names are cute, some are goofy, and every so often you’ll meet a cat with a name so perfect that it ought to be retired now that it’s found him.
So it is with Tex.
Take two parts “huge,” add eighteen parts “self-confident” and a splash of “brash,” and you have our massive, magnificent pardner. When we first met Tex, we were all a bit concerned that he’d soon turn Suite B into the wild, wild west.
My proverbial jaw hit the proverbial floor when I met Tex. If he were a human, Tex would be the guy everyone at the saloon calls “Slim” or “Tiny.” He’d need to order his jeans from the Big & Tall store, and his boots would take up the entire welcome mat.
Tex, you see, is colossal. And there’s not a pinch of fat on him. Our gray-and-white guy is pure muscle…and he knows exactly how to use it.
Once again I find myself grateful that I’m not on the “first line of defense” when it comes to brand new cats. I stand in awe of my comrades who first meet and care for newbies like Tex, learning first-hand how friendly they are…or aren’t. From his first day at Tabby’s Place, Tex was compared to the sort of pit bull who gives pit bulls a bad name. Multiple friends warned me, “he’ll wrap all four legs around your arm, hang on with his teeth and then shake his head wildly while he bites you.” How delightful.
So, you can imagine my hesitation going into my first tete-a-tete with the tall Texan. I’d admired him and cooed his pitch-perfect name through the crate bars while he was quarantined, and the big guy with the amber eyes had never done so much as hiss in return. But, today, it was time to meet face-to-face (hopefully not claw-to-jugular). I found myself fascinated by Tex even before we met, and wanted to understand him and love him. Why was the big fella so worked up? What got him so angry? Could he mellow into a gentle grey giant?
When Tex’s quarantine period ended this week, he moved into Suite B, our largest suite. It was widely expected that he would show the same swagger around his 17 new roomies as he’d showed with human beans. All the more reason I was stunned to walk in and find…a very timid Tex.
Oh yes. Tex was bashfully lingering in the back of his open crate, with no sign of wanting to walk out into the fray. Apparently our claw-slinger was…well, yeller.
Until I walked in, that is. No sooner had we met gazes and I said his name, than Tex ambled out in front of his cage, put his enormous paws up on my knee, and stared straight through me. Based on his reputation, I should have been nervous, but somehow I was no longer afraid of Tex. Petting his super-soft head, I discovered the delight of hearing his larger-than-life purr.
The cat with the ego the size of Texas wanted to be friends – and I couldn’t be more grateful. The lovefest was on, and I was sorry to leave this big mush when it was time to get back to work.
Tex didn’t bite, swat, hiss or even give me a leery look on that first visit, and, in my experience, he’s been nothing but a big, bashful marshmallow since. In fact, he still spends most of his time hanging out in his crate, tucking himself away from those scary (!) other cats (any of whom he could easily flatten, if he so wished). It’s quite perplexing how Tex’s self-confidence-bordering-on-arrogance eroded the minute he hit the suite, and even more baffling to see such a muscle-bound titan acting timid around little sprites like Madeline and Matlida.
So where has the “pit bull” of Quarantine gone? Your guess is as good as mine. But, at this rate, Tex is on the fast track to a forever home. Let’s keep our eyes open for the adopter with the heart as big as the west Texas sky. 🙂