September 2017 Pet of the Month
Name: Finbar (or affectionately, “Finny”)
Breed: Maine Coon Mix
Maine Coon cats are thought to have descended from longhaired Norwegian Forest Cats that cross-bred with an extinct domestic breed here in the US. According to the Cat Fancier’s Association, Norwegian Forest Cats were likely “the cat the Viking explorers took with them to keep their ships clear of rodents, the same job they had in the barns in the Norwegian countryside. Their first arrival on the east coast of North America may have been with Leif Erickson or his contemporaries in the late 900s.” Maine Coons have evolved to survive harsh winters and have large, tufted paws that serve as built-in “snowshoes” and a thick, bushy tail to wrap around their bodies when they're cold.
Likes: Finbar loves to be outside – especially when it’s cold. When we can’t find him, we know to check his “man cave,” the second floor of our carriage house, where he has several cozy beds. He also likes water, which is unusual for most cats, but not for Maine Coons. Finbar does not flinch when heading into rain or snow. He is intrigued by the bathroom shower and, on occasion, jumps into the tub to get wet and then lick himself off. Finbar loves to be brushed (not combed!), even on his belly. He likes to have his ears rubbed and his head scratched.
Dislikes: Finbar does not like strangers to look at him. When we have guests at our house, Finbar will remain with us only if nobody looks at him. I’m not kidding. Typically, he jumps into the window sill and lies behind the lace curtain, where he can see and be with the company, while he remains hidden from view.
About Finny: Finbar is the goofiest cat I have ever had. He snores loudly when sleeping. He prefers to hunt bugs over birds or mice. Closed doors annoy him, causing him to wail interminably, or until the door is opened. He enjoys having his armpits scratched! The only “people food” he likes is bread. Finbar is also adorable – with the sweetest face. That face won him “Top Cat” in the Hill Rag Pet Photo competition in 2011, and “Best Cat” in 2014. We adopted Finbar as a rescue cat from West Virginia when he was 8 months old, along with his female crate mate. Having just returned from a trip to Ireland, we named the cats Finbar and Fiona – two classic Irish names. Finbar is now 14 years old. Fiona died two years ago and I’m not sure Finbar misses her. Fiona was dominant – she insisted on eating first and getting the most pets. When Finbar became the only cat in our house, we discovered that he is a true snuggle bunny. He loves Jan at Sit-A-Pet, who has taken care of him his whole life.
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