Rhubarb rhubarb Ruadhàn

“Rhubarb” is just one of our new Maine Coon baby cat’s nicknames.   Rhubarb because it sort of rhymes with Ruadhàn (pronounced Roo-ahn; it means “little red head” in Irish Gaelic) – which would however, make Aoife “Custard” which I’m sure she would not appreciate.   A few of Ruadhàn’s other nicknames are Snot Boy, Mr Squiggle because he squirms and wriggles so much, and You Little Bugger.

He has just turned six months old, and is going to be enormous even by Maine Coon standards, he’ll look like a polar bear by the time he’s through growing.  Maine Coons are the largest breed of domestic cat, the boys can get up to over 15 kg, although 12 kg is more usual, and they don’t really stop growing until they are five years old, so our “little” boy has a way ahead of him still.  I think I mentioned before, he’s a red silver tabby, which is kind of a strawberry blonde* colour, with redder stripes, and white trim – paws, chest, tummy etc.  His paws and legs are huge; his back legs are so long and strong he doesn’t know what to do with them and when he sits down they splay out to the side; as for the paws, well he looks like he’s wearing boxing gloves.

Ruadhàn has a perfect profile, lovely big round head and tufty ears, a big square muzzle, and huge golden almond shaped eyes.  His body too is massive and growing almost in front of our eyes, and his tail is taking on the classic Maine Coon yet rather absurd “tail with cat attached” dimensions.  His head, however, is tiny, very funny to behold on top of this big strong boofy body.  Ah yes, “Pinhead” would be another nickname; cruel yet accurate.  Apparently this is totally normal for Coonie boys; the girls grow much more proportionately and steadily but the boys are all over the place.  The wee face on him is so exceptionally pretty that I can’t tease him for long; he would make a champion show cat but no way am I exposing my cats to any more germs from unknown animals, and I have heard on excellent authority that WA cat shows are particularly rife with bugs and therefore dangerous.  

He’s the sookiest, most pathetic boy cat I’ve ever come across, he loves to roll on his back across my lap, all four (huge) legs in the air and have me rub his chest and tummy and face, while he purrs and purrs.  Yeesh, talk about an impressively loud purr.  Constant too; he purrs if you so much as look at or talk to him.  In general he IS very good tempered, except when he tries and fails, and keeps on trying and failing to get his own way over something (eg, jumping on the kitchen bench, lying on my laptop and deliberately smacking the power button) when he will heave a dramatic sigh and wander off.  And then poop in the shower recess, just to show who’s boss.

The lying on my laptop and whacking the power button is one of the behaviours that’s earned him the You Little Bugger title; I don’t know how he knows, but it is definitely deliberate as is the pressing of the F1 key.  Fucking Microsoft Help, argh.  He’s fascinated by all the computers and hardware in the house, and likes to sit on Tuxedo’s lap following the action on “Guild Wars” or “Command & Conquer”.  I recall Abigail’s favourite was the movie “Star Wars” (Part IV); as soon as she heard the opening theme she’d come running, leap on to the closest lap/chair/sofa to the screen and watch with utter fascination.  Aoife seems to like “Lord Of The Rings”, and “Hot Fuzz” got a good reception.

Blonde is about right, though; he is rather dumb and again, that’s an acknowledged difference between the girls and the boys. All Coonies are intelligent, interested in everything, naughty and playful, great problem-solvers, extremely dextrous with their paws, very affectionate and loyal, and quite dog-like in some of their behaviours.  They love water for instance, and going for walks on a leash!  However, the boys are a bit on the dumb and sooky side while the girls are clever, very mischievous and while smoochy, tend to be a bit more independent.  The strawberry blonde colour is almost pink; amongst Maine Coon fanciers his colour group is affectionately known as “the pink pussies”.  He’s blonde in other ways too.  Tuxedo and I swore we’d never give our cats “voices” – ha, how the mighty have fallen.  Aoife has a posh Dublin accent, while Abigail’s was broad Yorkshire.  Ruadhàn, on the other hand, is 100% Valley Girl.  As in:  “Well, like, whatever, I don’t know, is that my food bowl?  What’s that?  It’s fluffy!  It’s my tail!  Is that a ball, gee I hope it, like, rattles, ooooh hey is that my food bowl?  Hey a fluffy tail!  Like, whatever…“  He seems to get stuck in a loop, looking from food to rattly ball to tail without figuring out what it’s all about or what to do with himself! 

Well, like, whatever, we love him and am so glad he’s joined the family. (if I ever get around to the horrendously difficult task of working out how to insert photos, I shall do so.)

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  • Katie  On Wednesday 3 October 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Haha, I burst out laughing when I read the “Valley Girl” speech! I’d love to see a picture if you get it figured out. Oh and I can totally relate to the “You Little Bugger” nickname … although ours is a little less G-rated! 😀

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