Mongo was born on 2 Feb 1982 (Ground Hog's Day!) in El Paso Texas. He was quite a little "snot" as young cat, but has mellowed with age. He absolutely loves people & attention, is a very opinionated individual, but is not too fond of small yappy dogs.
Mongo was almost 16 years old when I brought Neko into the house. Mongo can still move pretty quickly and is used to dealing with big dogs. After several months they have come to an understanding. (Gads! I have even caught them being friendly to one another!)
Tag... You're it!Mongo & Neko do play some kind of "tag" together. As long as Mongo walks or is stopped, Neko will either snuffle or ignore him. Certain areas are apparently deemed "safe" (sofa, porch, etc). Mongo will streak past Neko to one of these safe areas, getting as close as possible to Neko and often passing up other safe spots. If the cat misjudges (rare), Neko will only poke him with his nose. TAG! Mongo stops, Neko stops, Neko "owwoows", and Mongo walks off unharmed. Outside, I have seen Neko give chase, but passes Mongo to stand in the doorway and try to block the cat's entrance into the house. I'm not sure what all the rules to the game are, but both seem to enjoy the "chase". If Mongo is unwilling to play chase, Neko will give up and try to talk him into a game of "try to get my ball".
On an odd note: there was a young cat that started sneaking into the yard when Neko was about 4 months old. I have seen Mongo & Neko sitting on the porch together watching this cat. If Mongo got up to confront this cat, Neko would follow, and the moment the strange cat saw them, they will chase it across the yard together. I think this actually irritated Mongo, as HE wanted to stalk the intruder and Neko would race after it at top speed with no sense of timing. One day Mongo had a "standoff" in the back of the yard with the new cat. Neko went blasting out the door and chased this cat over the fence. He immediately ran back to Mongo, a quick ear poke, snuffle & lick, and Neko returned to the house.
Finally the gray cat gave up going through the yard and would walk along the top of our wooden fence. Neko, ever ready for a bit of "cat coursing" loves to chase the cat down the fence into the next yard. The cat, who now keeps an eye out for Neko, usually spies him before Neko gets a chance to leave the porch. Well, one day Neko was hidden from sight and surprised the cat. There stands the cat on the fence all puffed up, Neko hopping around and "oowwoooing" below. I was about to "rescue" the cat before Neko decided to jump up and grab at him, but Neko was bored.... and just walked off! Seems the fun is all in the chase.
Cat Toys & The Rabbit Cage...I keep finding Mongo's catnip toys all over the living room. Today I found Mongo's favorite big catnip sock outside in one of Neko's puddles. No longer bright red, it is a rather dull brown mud-caked "thing". To add insult to injury: Mongo's favorite "feather boa" toy is now a slobber-soaked lump on a stick.
By this time, I have given up trying to keep Neko out of Mongo's food. At first, closing the sliding pocket door to the utility room just enough for only Mongo to pass through worked well. Neko was such a clutz a opening the door! A couple rattles and we knew he was trying to sneak in. Then he learned the secret to the door, and the first clue was either loud slurping sounds or a Mal that smelled suspiciously of fish! OK, on to the next plan. I figured if you can't fight 'em - outsmart 'em! So I bought a wire rabbit cage that opens from the top (easy feeding access for me) and cut out just enough wire from the side for Mongo to enter. Left the pocket door wide open and the first (& last) time Neko tried to filch food - he got his head stuck! Rattle, bang, he's flat on his stomach trying to jamb his head in further, there were are fussing at him, and the food just out of reach! Needless to say the system works until he figures out how to open the top.....
Now Neko has decided to wait for Mongo to finish eating. When Mongo appears, up pops Neko to give the cat a thorough "face washing". Oh, how desperate can we get to have that tastey cat food! Strangely enough, Mongo thinks this is wonderful attention and that he is dearly loved by that dog! I don't have the heart to tell him differently.....
Jan 28, 2000. Tonight after work, we put Mongo to sleep. He was just 5 days short of his 18th birthday. He had been getting rather "puny" and rickety for a little while.. in the last couple of days he started retaining fluids. Today we did x-rays and discovered Mongo had congestive heart failure. He had perhaps a couple days.. a month at most. I didn't see the point of delaying the inevitable or causing him to suffer. He passed quietly among friends, purring as four of us petted him goodbye.
Rest in peace, old friend.