Full Name: Norman Jasper (We were on a very British "Downton Abbey" naming kick this winter. He nearly ended up as The Right Honorable Norman Jasper Crawley, Viscount Grantham. But we thought it might go to his head, so we asked the Queen to skip the title and she was kind enough to oblige.)
Nicknames: Normie, NORM!, Normie Noodles, Ninja Cat, Grover, Muppet Man
Birthdate: 2001-ish (making him roughly 11 years old)
"Gotcha" Day: January 23, 2012
Favorite Activities: Eating!! Serving as a feline alarm clock. Eating!! Watching birds. Eating!! Sleeping in boxes. Eating!! Sitting close by but not snuggling (NOT snuggling!) Telling me his food bowl is empty. Taking every cat toy out of the basket and laying down in the middle of them without playing with a single one. Singing for his supper.
Profession: Ambassador of Teeny Tiny Tabby Town
Old man Norman came to us via the Michigan Humane Society. I was convinced we were looking for a senior girl... a calico or tortie girl to fill the Madame Einstein-shaped hole in my life. I hadn't slept right since she passed. 17 years of a furry someone sleeping behind your knees is a hard habit to break. So we went to the shelter and interviewed every possible option. We talked to old ladies. Met the middle age beauties. But something just wasn't right. After discussing my wish list with the caregivers at the shelter, they brought me a black cat. "I know he's not a girl, but spend some time with him." I had met "Martin" in earlier volunteer visits to the shelter and knew him to be the ultimate love bug, but I never thought he was right for us. After all, he wasn't a girl. This time around... I knew he was mine within the first 2 minutes.
Bringing Norman home might not have been possible without the help and encouragement we received along the way. He had bounced around the various MHS outposts for three months in search of his forever home. Besides being old and black (two HUGE strikes in a shelter environment), Norm needed some pretty significant dental work and the cost was scaring off potential adopters. An absolute angel who fell in love with Norman but couldn't adopt him herself paid his entire $400 veterinary bill to make it easier for him to find a home. The organization Pets for Patriots (which facilitates low cost shelter adoptions for military members and veterans) worked with MHS to get us a discounted, nearly-free adoption. Robyn over at Love & Hisses kept pushing those photos and stories of the amazing Peppers Gang like it was crack on a street corner. Sometimes, it really does take a village. Our village got Norman a forever home.... Thank you!!!! And if you're in the market for a cat....
My new little old man kitty is a bit rough around the edges. He has a scruffy, rumpled look that makes him resemble a well-loved stuffed animal. I tend to think of him as a Muppet. He has a small slice in one of his ears and a few scars on his muzzle and a leg. But they're hardly noticeable... just a reminder that life hasn't always been kind to him. Seeing them makes me all the more grateful that he found his way here (where he inflicts the scars instead of receiving them... just ask Charlie how the only declawed cat in the house left a scar on his nose!)
Thanks to Norman, I have no need for an alarm clock. He starts singing for breakfast around 5:30 every morning. If I ignore him, he wakes up the dog. It's pretty hard to ignore an 85-pound dog bouncing tennis balls off your body. Good thing I love them both.
Norman's favorite pastime is eating. For a skinny old man, he can put away the calories. I imagine he was a stray at one point in his life (or at the very least, he was neglected and had to fend for himself). There is a desperation to him at mealtime that breaks my heart. He has perfect table manners, but if you leave the kitchen all food is fair game. He will try anything at least once. Needless to say, Norm is training us to guard our food a bit better.
This was younger daughter's 11th birthday cake. Norman was unsure of the tie-dye appearance, so he decided to taste test it for us to make sure it was okay for consumption.
Turns out the Norman LOVES paczkis. He celebrated Fat Tuesday with a raspberry filled one.
And who among us doesn't enjoy a tasty chip from time to time?
Kind of reminds me of someone else. :-)
Norman's not much of a "player", but he is fond of emptying out the toy basket just to see what's there. He might roll in the toys a time or two and then he moves on to something else. He's not much of a snuggler either, but he's never far away. If I'm on the sofa, he's on the cushion behind me or on the arm next to me... purring the entire time with a paw resting somewhere on my body. Bedtime is the only time he snuggles. He's right in the crook of my knees most nights. Just like someone else I used to know.
We've dubbed Norman the Ambassador here at Teeny Tiny Tabby Town. He's friendly and loves to meet anyone new... human or feline. He lets the kids scoop him up and carry him around like a baby, even when he's not feeling it. So when Penny (our foster in the front room) was a bit lonely, we let Norman in for a quick visit. He completely ignored Penny, but he sat in her bed, sniffed out her litter box, emptied out her toy basket, climbed her cat tree, and bellied up to the food bowl.
What should we have expected? Now Norman begs to be let into the foster room whenever I pass by. A guy's got to eat!
Princess Penelope was less than amused.
Norman is anxiously awaiting your comments and questions.