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Cat of the Day
Today's Cat of the Day
Java the Calico Moggie, the Cat of the Day
Name: Java
Age: Ten years old
Gender: Female
Kind: Calico Moggie
Home: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
   Java is the sweetest-natured cat I have ever known. She has almost no aggression in her, no temper, except occasionally when our younger cat Kalimah pushes her to retaliate with a swift nip. Java came to live with us near the end of 2016, after our tabby cat passed away suddenly after 14 years with us. She watched from hiding while Kalimah checked us out, and after a week or so of regular food, chanced a sighting the day I moved their food closer to the house to give it shelter from the rain. She was a very wary cat, and based on what her former owner told me of her first nine years, and what our other neighbours told us of their own interactions with her, she had good reason for that response. Even so, it was clear to us that she was desperate for affection and human contact.

     In those first weeks, we would be out in the yard with Kalimah, sitting quietly on the ground, or lying on the grass, and Java would circle us, getting closer and closer to the point where we could hear her purring, but if we reached out a hand to her, she would sidle away, and if we made a sudden move, she would dash away. If there was anything nearby, such as a verandah post, she would butt her head up against it in an effort to self-stroke, but no hand was allowed to touch her. The closest she got was rubbing her face on my outstretched toes while remaining out of reach to hands. Then some weeks later, I woke to a miracle – Java was asleep on the bed with me, curled up against my calves! I was able to sneak a picture before she realized I was awake, at which point she dashed away like she was in trouble.

     Now, a year later, she is the dearest little lap cat, enjoying long naps between our outstretched legs, or curled up beside us. She still shows her unhappiness if we try to pick her up, so all contact has to be on her terms, but we are happy with what she is ready to give us, and she is so very responsive to strokes when she is in the mood. Java has the softest, silkiest coat I have ever encountered in a cat, almost is if she has no guard hairs, only undercoat, and her white paws are longer-haired than her torbie body, making her look as if she is wearing big white boots.

     After few months had gone by, Java was relaxed enough with us to play. What joy it was, to see a cat formerly so fearful chase madly after a thrown ball, dribbling it around the yard, tossing it in the air and kicking it. She soon grew brave enough to play inside as well, joining Kali in games of chase the shoelace and batting balls of paper around. She is a skilled hunter, and will unfortunately bring us rats, sometimes live, sometimes half eaten and is still hiding some of her kills under the bed.

     Java is a very vocal cat, and particularly when she sees we are preparing to feed her. She will sit tall, with tail swishing a wide arc, making direct eye contact and opening her mouth wide, letting out an extended rising and falling maiow. Her tail can be devastating – long and strong, she swishes it I think as a sign of affection. Objects are regularly swept off tables, and she gets herself in trouble with Kalimah by her injudicious use of the tail swish in Kali's face. She enjoys sitting on a laptop when it is on someone's lap. She has tremendous skill in pressing combinations of keys to for example disable the mouse pad, or take a picture of herself and post it to dropbox, or open all sorts of windows and options during a World of Warcraft raid.

     When she wants something in the night, she can be very insistent, miaowing into my ear, or curling up on my face, or sitting with her furry bum on an exposed hand, or walking up and down the bed rubbing her face on any and all exposed corners, books, etc on my bedside stand. If these tactics don't work, she will lie on me while she waits for me to wake – sleeping on my chest with tail in face, or on my hips, and letting out a heart-rending mmmiiiaaaooww as soon as I start to stir.

     We love our dear Java cat, our furry lady, with her many-coloured coat of contrast, one moment catching the sun like gold, another moment almost vanishing in her camouflage. Every day with Java is precious, and we hope to have many more to come.

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