After we lost Kit in January 2015, we weren’t exactly in the market for a new cat. However, the universe has a way of making things come to you that you need, whether or not you know you want them.
It was Valentines Day. I’d given my wife a new pair of earrings that morning, and we were going out to take advantage of a sale to buy my mother a necklace for the upcoming Mother’s Day. This involved going to one of several malls around us – but by far the easiest to navigate, The Shops At Orange, or, as we call it, the Orange Mall.
We got the necklace we were looking for, and then proceeded to walk around the mall a bit. There was an NFL player there who’d played for both the Denver Broncos and the San Francisco 49ers – two of my dad’s favorite teams. So we stopped and bought a signed picture for him.
We went into a store that specializes in knives and other neat things, and were looking around when my wife decided she wanted to go across to The Pet Pantry – the mall’s pet store that was directly across from the store we were in.
Like I said, we weren’t actually planning to get a new cat – we mostly went in to look at puppies and bunnies and birds. The thing was, there is usually a cage of kittens in the middle of the floor. That day, however, there was only one kitten in the cage.
I stared down at the Persian kitten. The thing is, we had talked about what my wife would want in a new emotional support pet, since we realized as of Kit’s going downhill that he filled that role for her. And she had been fairly specific – she wanted a white, fluffy pet. We thought it was going to end up being a Maltese puppy, but as I looked down at the kitten in the cage and he blinked up at me, I felt the need to call her over from where she’d been looking at the puppies.
She came over, and it was love at first sight. We asked to hold him and the woman let us. He was calm in arms – a trait that’s VERY important for any emotional support animal. And he kept twisting his head around so he could see whichever one of us wasn’t holding him.
I normally am not a fan of brachycephalic animals – both because I’m against puppy/kitten mills, and because their squashed faces can cause a lot of health problems. But this particular kitten’s face wasn’t as flat as some Persians – he still had a bit of a muzzle and didn’t appear to have issues breathing.
I got his price, and it was more than we had at the time. The woman suggested we apply for credit, and honestly I didn’t expect us to get it…but we did. In fact, we got enough credit approval to get him as well as supplies for him – a scratching round (that’s it in the picture), food, a couple of dishes, a litter box, a scoop, and a bunch of toys.
My wife had already known that she was going to name her emotional support animal “James.” She has knack for looking at an animal and knowing what it should be named. However, this was a Persian kitten (and yes, he is purebred and registered to the CFA), not the Maltese puppy she had thought she was getting. Being a Persian, a royal looking breed, he seemed to need a title. So, Prince James came home.
His birthday is October 9th, making him a little over four months old the day we brought him home. We found out that he was actually a reject from a breeder – due to the fact that his muzzle is a bit too long. And, for some reason, rather than selling the kitten to a local pet shop, the kitten that would be Prince James was shipped halfway across the country to end up as the only cat in a small pet store in Orange County, on Valentine’s Day, 2015.
Prince James came into himself when we got him home, exploring his new room and checking out the toys we’d gotten for him. He had no fear – except of walking on anything soft, and possibly of falling. In fact, we had to give him Kit’s old stairs (he needed them in his old age to get up on the bed with his arthritis) to make him feel safe getting on the bed. His propensity to toddle around, slip on his own fluffy feet, and tumble off of small things earned him the middle name “Tumblefluff” within the first two weeks he lived with us.
Prince James Tumblefluff Ward wasn’t quite enough, though. We added “the First” to his name, just to round it out. As you can see from the above registration card, his official legal name is Cannons Prince James Tumblefluff I.
PJ (as my wife’s mother called him) was an immediate and perfect addition to my wife and my little family. He’s helped us get through a lot of tough times in the little over a year that we’ve had him, and he’s still the sweetest, most precious little baby fluff we could ever have.
However, he hasn’t been without his own problems. He has, like a lot of purebred cats do, a sensitive stomach and is prone to loose stool if he eats treats. So he’s not allowed to have treats, or certain kinds of wet food. And, of course, there was the accident that occurred a little over a month after we brought him home…something, unfortunately, that was my fault.
But that story is for next week. In the mean time, enjoy a gallery of James’ pictures, cataloging his growth into the adult cat we’re happy to cuddle with, today.