...is Lenny's motto.
Most of you know I have numerous cat companions to round out the myriad wild critters and wild mustangs living on the property and Sanctuary. Lenny was adopted after his stray mom and siblings were found 'forever' homes and Len was left behind. It was just a matter of time before I told Excy that Lenny had a home, and it was with us. He was named after the character 'Lenny' on the original Law&Order, whose quips we had always enjoyed. We have never given animals Christian names, but for some reason, it seemed appropriate to me, and it fits his personality.
Lenny is the most spoiled cat in our household (that's saying something), and a real 'mama's boy.' He, unfortunately, would also ride 'the short bus.' Lenny's special. But he's also, well, special. He talks -- a lot -- and his constant chattering and then real conversations with us always lifts my spirits. He is good natured. When he wants attention -- and also 'butt beats' (patting his behind is quite the fetish of his, and a bit embarrassing when he also insists on it from close friends he trusts who visit the house), he will do 'Lenny rolls,' unprompted, but also on command: rolling on the floor from side to side...I will tell him he's on a 'Lenny roll' when he surpasses four side-by-sides. His record so far has been 20 in a row.
For all his sociability with us, however, he is quite the introvert. Most cats prefer a quiet life of routine and stability, and Len is no exception. He dislikes strangers in his home, loud noises, door bells, sudden moves...the list goes on. But there is more to introversion and extroversion than quiet people and loud people. Psychobiology decides how we interact with others - and the key is in our central nervous systems. According to Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking, introverts have a much higher and active nervous system, and extroverts have a high threshold for stimulation.
A few years ago, for almost a week, Lenny went from being my best little pal to freaking out when I walked into the room -- to the point he was afraid to sleep with me, sleep on the bed, or be near me, and when Excy held him and walked up to me in an attempt to show him it was 'just mama,' he leapt from Excy's arms, drawing blood. It tore me up, especially because my other 'mama's boy,' had died a few days before, and I was grieving and also wondering if he somehow made a connection with Scat's death in that pea brain of his.
It took me four days to figure out what I had done, and then it slowly occurred to me I had used a fly swatter close to him as he was gazing unawares out a window. By the fifth day of Lenny's meltdown, as I was on the phone to our vet, tearfully consulting on how to bring Lenny around and discussing forms of 'kitty Xanax,' Lenny walked into the library and seemed a bit sheepish, said he was sorry, and presented his butt to me to be 'beaten.'
It was fortunately been quite a few years since Lenny has been traumatized by me, but last Friday he has decided to be terrified of my new shoes. I bought a pair of Oxfords and love them. Not being able to walk easily, their almost one-inch heel is slightly higher than what I am used to wearing, and I clomp around in them more than usual. My making more noise than usual has been enough to send 'Leonard' (sorry, he has a dozen nick-names, like every cat in the house), over the edge.
I am hoping in time he will get over it, as I am not giving up the Oxfords. We shall see.
In the meantime, I'm doubling up the dose of homeopathic remedies I put in their water.