More than two years ago, and just a day or two after he showed up at my door, I was curious about the breeding of the cat I would name Lotto.
I had a feeling he was a Maine Coon, and so I googled the name.
Within a hit, I saw a picture of a classic tabby Maine Coon.
Within a hit, I knew that was Lotto’s breed.
The description on fanciers dot com reinforced my conclusion: “Lynx-like tufting on the top of the ears...” (CHECK.) “The tail … at least as long as the torso.” (CHECK.) “ …most distinctive features … eyes … large, round, expressive…” (OH YEAH, BABY.)
Lotto’s personality emerged fairly quickly, and it followed the suggestions of those wise cat fanciers. Here’s more language I found on the site:
While Maine Coons are highly people-oriented cats, they are not overly-dependent. They do not constantly pester you for attention, but prefer to "hang out" with their owners, investigating whatever activity you're involved in and "helping" when they can. They are not, as a general rule, known as "lap cats" … Most Maine Coons will stay close by, probably occupying the chair next to yours instead.
Sure enough. To this day, Lotto hangs around me, and I love him for it. When I wash dishes at the sink, he sits on the counter and watches. When I work at my computer, he sits nearby, on his phone book. (Yes, Lotto has his own phone book. It’s the one I allow him to shred. It spares the others.) As for my lap, it took him about a year to consider its value as a resting place. I think that, because he saw Vesta sitting on it so often, he decided to give it a go. But, prior to that, his trespassings were clearly uncomfortable for him. He responded to my lap as if it were quicksand. He couldn’t wait to move on. To sit above me on the back of the couch. To watch over our world.
Yes, the fanciers have it right in most cases, but I’ve also realized – from reading the website’s descriptions – that Lotto is an exception.
According to the site’s language, Maine Coons “are not as vertically-oriented as some other breeds, preferring to chase objects on the ground and grasping them in their large paws.”
I beg to differ. Yes, Lotto’s paws are large, but the dude can catch, and he enjoys our games most when he’s positioned on the bed. From there, he’ll reach for the heavens.
In the bedroom, I stand in the open area and throw toys. From the bed, which is probably more than three feet off the ground, Lotto catches.
But I should be clear: I have not taught Lotto how to catch.
On the contrary, he has taught me how to throw.
… When I reviewed the website’s language on the Maine Coon’s growth potential, I was very impressed. It stated that most members of the breed “don't achieve their full size until they are three to five years old.” Although Lotto (now 3-and-a-half) has maintained his 11 pounds of body weight for a full two years, his coat has fooled me. Every month, something changes, and he looks bigger. Several weeks ago, when he was walking out of the room, I looked in amazement. “When the hell did you get jodhpurs?” I asked him.
But mostly, Lotto isn’t walking out of the room.
Mostly, Lotto is in the room with me.
… This past Monday night, I returned from 10 days on the East Coast, where I visited my mom, a few cousins, and some childhood friends.
I had a great time, but I also was happy to be home.
Happy to see my two cats.
And within an hour of my having parked my suitcase in the bedroom, Lotto joined me for a ritual he first introduced about a month into our cohabitation. Not two seconds after I sat on the toilet to pee, Lotto jumped in the tub and proceeded to pee over the drain.
It’s something we do together.
And it was totally his idea.
… There are all kinds of ways to make one feel welcomed home.
Lotto comes up with the best of them.