How to Live With a Hairless Cat

We bought her for Jack. After two weeks, his allergies to my gorgeous Persian cat triggered asthma, and a dear friend adopted her within hours of me posting the request on Facebook. So a hairless Sphynx cat came home with us in November 2014. We named her Jonesy, after Ripley’s cat in ALIEN.

Back when we still thought she was lovable…

We were so excited to love on her! The breeder told us they were an affectionate breed. The breeder also told us they loved to wear warm sweaters and tube socks to stay warm. Both of these predictions turned out to be dead wrong. I bought her an adorable red and black buffalo plaid fleece jacket. Jonesy rolled around on the floor moaning like she was having a seizure. I removed it. We tried petting her. She would contort her wrinkly, bald body into a u-shape beneath our hands to escape human touch.

Jack’s hopes for a loving pet were dashed. 

I noticed Jonesy the Cat spending more and more time with my mom and dad, who were living in our basement walk-out apartment. Dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 prostate cancer the end of December 2014, and from that point on, Jonesy the Cat never left his side. Dad died in early February, and then Jonesy the Cat decided my mom was her new alpha. As much as her anti-social, nutty behavior drives my mom crazy, she never leaves my mom’s lap. When Mom tries to pet her, she continues perfecting her u-shaped body contortions, even for my mom. She steals pens and paint brushes from the first and second floor of the house and carries them down to my mom, plopping them at Mom’s feet as her offerings.

The most unusual part of Jonesy is her avoidance of Dave, who has always had a way with animals and small children. It’s become the running joke. Rather, Jonesy intuits which of our house guests fear her bald, alien-like appearance or simply hate cats altogether, and those are the victims on whom she foists her obnoxious, laser-focused attention. In the cat world, she is truly the Queen Asshole.

The other day, my BFF Marovich turned me on to the “My Talking Pet” app on her iPhone, which she was using on her employees at work to hilarious effect. Needless to say, I could hardly wait to make this 4-second video of Jonesy, below. I texted it to all of my friends last night and this morning. It got rave reviews. They all agreed it needed to be said. Then I played my new video for Jonesy the Cat. She watched, she sniffed my iPhone screen, and then she jumped down, non-plussed by my creativity. My advice for living with a hairless cat? If yours is as awful as ours, you will experience inordinate relief by doing something like this:

http://bit.ly/JonesieTheCat

While I normally disdain passive-aggressive behavior, this is how far this nasty cat has driven me.

I’ve realized in today’s society, only food and animals are politically correct and safe for comedians to mock anymore. Jim Gaffigan will be the last man standing. Then again, I’m expecting PETA to send me a cease and desist any moment now.

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Baby Announcement: Jonesie, the Hairless Cat Has Arrived

My sister-in-law called just now. She was the first to point out to me that an old episode of “FRIENDS” (apparently I haven’t seen ALL of the episodes after all–who knew?!?) featured a hairless Sphinx cat (clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl6Ke0I5gGA) with more than a passing resemblance to our new cat Jonesie…

Jonesie, the new baby.

Jonesie, the new baby.

who arrived here on Wednesday night. Apparently, Rachel got a little scratched up, as have I (see my collarbone below)…

Cue Up a Little Nugent: CAT SCRATCH FEVER

Cue up Nugent–CAT SCRATCH FEVER 

By 10 a.m. on Thursday, the school had already called. Jack’s left eye had swollen closed and the swelling was traveling down his cheek (and I had swollen right eye to  match), which is how we typically react to cats. By the time Dave hand-delivered Jack a Benadryl, he was already over it. So Jack and I are still allergic to the enzymes in Jonesie’s saliva, but washing our hands frequently seems to be staving off more attacks. Jonesie has been sleeping with me, and aside from being awakened by her need for petting every 3 hours, it’s been going smoothly.

We can’t help but think of REN from REN AND STIMPY every time we look at her:

REN of REN & STIMPY, who bears a striking resemblance to Jonesie.

REN of REN & STIMPY fame, who bears a striking resemblance to Jonesie.

But Jack is in love…and that’s what matters the most to Dave and me. Here’s hoping we’re in for a happy ending with Chapter 2 in our quest for the purrfect, allergy-free pet. (Yes, that misspelling was intentional.)

Jack's Constant Companion

Jonesie, Jack’s Partner in Crime

Meet the Newest Member of Our Family: JONESY, the Hairless Cat

Jonesy, the Sphynx (Hairless) Cat

Jonesy, our new Sphynx (Hairless) Cat

This is our new male kitten, Jonesy. I know, I know, so ugly he’s cute, right? RIGHT?!? Jonesy is joining our family sometime in mid November. Yes, sci-fi fans, you’ve caught the reference. Jonesy is named for Ellen Ripley’s cat in ALIEN. Had Jonesy been a girl, Jack waffled between christening her Ripley or Lumpy Space Princess (an Adventure Time reference).

This is my first rodeo with a hairless cat. From what I’m reading online, there will be many adjustments:

  • Weekly baths (which they resist, just like any normal cat)
  • Weekly nail trimmings (this detail makes me nervous–I accidentally snipped a nail pad on my Himalayan cat years ago and my white bathroom resembled a mafia crime scene)
  • More laundry for me to do

I am told Jonesy will need some little outfits to stay warm, since Dave likes to keep our house temperature set somewhere between, say, “I-think-I-can-see-my-own-breath” and Rocky Balboa’s meat locker. One of our friends already gifted Jonesy with his very own Superman costume. If any of you following me have Sphynx cat experience, I’m open to your words of wisdom.

I’m a firm believer every child should grow up with a pet–it teaches kids empathy and responsibility. (And if there’s ever a concern over whether or not a child is a sociopath, it becomes readily apparent in how they treat animals. And no, I’m not worried about Jack, the pied piper of strays.)

I grew up with a menagerie of pets on a parcel of land from my great grandparents’ farm. Some of my stranger indoor pets included my ginger and white pet mouse Algernon, a crawdad I brought in from the creek that ran on our property, and the salamander I “rescued” one fall, which required weekly trips to the pet store for meal worms. I also had pet rabbits in a hutch outside. Given Jack’s allergies to pet hair, and my absolute phobia of snakes and birds, the Sphynx cat seemed our best starter pet for the new menagerie. Did I say menagerie aloud? Don’t tell Dave, but my close friend–another Denise–is breeding her Standard Poodle next week, so…