Written by guest blogger Leslie Landa
Back in 2006, a developer purchased a block of houses on No. 4 Road in Richmond to be torn down and replaced with townhomes. One of those houses belonged to an elderly man who liked feeding cats, and RAPS was called out to capture about 16 of them. Most were wild brown tabbies or black and white beauties, but there was one elusive creature that Carol called "the Himalayan" who defied capture until the bitter end.
When this handsome fellow finally had his turn to be neutered, our vet suggested we call him "George Clooney" and the name stuck. Clooney was taken to the sanctuary, where he attempted to hide his large self on the top shelf of his cage. He turned out to be a ragdoll cross and with just one look at his face, and Leslie was in love. She climbed into the cage to see if he was tame and the minute she got her hands on him he became a total mush. Clooney climbed down and onto Leslie's lap and began to kneed with great vigor. Leslie was toast!
"He has to live with us!" she told her husband, who didn't object too strongly as they only had 2 other cats at home. Clooney turned out to be the most affectionate cat the family had ever had, and completely devoted to Leslie, following her everywhere and sleeping on or beside her. His years on the street taught him to be wary, though, so he would run away if approached too quickly or with nail clippers in hand.
Later that year, the Landa family found themselves bottlefeeding a 3-week-old orphaned kitten, and Clooney was smitten. The gentle giant turned out to have strong "maternal" instincts and he bathed the infant as if it were his own. Named Ziggy, the 4th addition to the household grew to be almost as large and has taken great pleasure in chasing poor Clooney, who doesn't understand that it's just for fun. It took 5 years for Clooney to convince the family's oldest cats that they should lick his lowered head rather than swat him, but Clooney finally got his way. He has been totally accepted and can even snuggle with 15-year-old Mocha on a bed or shared lap.