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Mr. Kiso (my cat)

Mr. Kiso on his favorite furniture


A page dedicated to the idea that family members who can’t type should nonetheless have their chance at WWW fame…

This is the story of a young cat who found his way into the lap of luxury:  from digging through garbage cans to hand selected shrimp and ocean fish dinners.

No one knows for sure how it began…

What is clear is that Mr. Kiso has led an interesting life.  I picked him up from 4 Paws Rescue Team, Inc., a no-kill organization that takes care of some lucky cats in the Northern Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC area.  Back then his name was Shadow, but things evolved over time.

Back in 1998 a woman in Burke began feeding a stray black cat that wandered through her yard.  The cat was a bit skittish, but he grew accustomed to his daily feeding.  This went on for about a year before the woman made an important discovery: the cat she’d been feeding had no front claws!

Understanding the dangers of leaving this poor animal on the street, the lady and her neighbor set a no-kill trap for the cat.   In no time flat, "Shadow" was taken to see a vet who determined that he was male, neutered, and declawed.  It was unclear if he was a runaway, abandoned, or just plain lost, but it was clear that he had been living on the street for some time.

Shadow’s health was good, though he had suffered one other minor injury.  Apparently while licking a discarded can on the street he had cut his tongue neatly into two parts which, when he flicks his tongue, come out on opposite sides of his bottom left fang — a neat trick that you don’t want to try at home.

Shadow lived in foster care for a while until I came across his picture on the 4 Paws website.  I drove out to Burke to get acquainted and brought him home.  For two days, Shadow howled incessantly and stalked the apartment, looking for the other cats that he had left behind.  Finally he settled in and started to feel at home.

In November of 2000, we moved to Pentagon City, where we picked up Tim and Iskra and took up residence in a new house where there were lots of rooms to explore.  Since then we’ve moved eight times!  But each time Mr. Kiso has quickly adapted to his new environs.  He’s a real world traveler now…

From "Shadow" to Mr. Kiso (you can skip this if you’re not into linguistics)

So how did Mr. Kiso end up with his new name?  Well, in Russian the word for "kitty" is kisa.  However, this word refers to a female cat. Mr. Kiso is neutered.   Russian nouns of the neuter gender end in –o or –e. So Kiso became his name.  The pronunciation of kisa and kiso are the same (unless you live in some provincial area where vowels aren’t normally reduced after a stress — but I digress).  Eventually Iskra, recognizing Kiso’s American extraction, tacked on the title of Mr. as a sign of respect.  The rest is history…

–That’s some cat! –He’s terrific!

Mr. Kiso is extremely intelligent.  He can tell time quite well and knows just when to come and get fed each morning and afternoon.  He knows that doorknobs open doors (and plays with them when he wants to open something).

Somehow after being declawed he has learned to compensate by using his "fingers" to hold onto strings and other toys.  He can catch a treat in his paw in mid-air.  He never tires of playing with his string on a pole (which used to have a furry thing on the end that he tore off to more effectively play with the string).

When no one is around, he climbs on Tim’s computer and pulls thumbtacks out of the cork board on the wall.  I once found a stash of electronics behind the couch that he was using to make a bird call. When confronted, he played at total innocence…

One Response to Mr. Kiso (my cat)

  • What a fantabulous picture of Kiso!! 🙂 He’s one of my favorite cats in the world. Hope it does well during the move to Chicago….

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