Let me precede this entry with a caveat. I am steadily developing a better understanding of Vazra as time marches forward. I’m learning more about his personality, his temperament, his moods, and his overall approach to life (which, in some respects, is rather bizarre, but more on that later). I knew enough about him to rescue him from certain starvation and death (due to his dental problems alone), so it’s not as though I was ignorant of his persona before I brought him inside, but, as with all living things, there’s still quite a bit about him that remains a mystery. What I don’t know is what I would have learned had he grown up with me.
This process lends itself, as it has with all pets both current and past, to the development of nicknames. In his case, however, I am presently unable to call him by any such monikers while focusing on teaching him his real name. Without knowing what he was called when he was abandoned here at the lake, it’s my responsibility to help him learn that “Vazra” refers to him and not some other or ethereal entity hidden in the shadows. I’ve already developed two nicknames for him based on how he acts and looks, but it will be some time before I’m able to use them as easily as I do with the rest of the feline inhabitants of our abode. Given his age, in fact, it may never be that he will know and respond to any nicknames, although I strongly suspect that time and effort will help him associate with his new name.
One of Vazra’s nicknames is Grumpy. It’s not that he’s a grumpy cat. Well, he can be from time to time when he doesn’t get his way, but that’s true of all of them. No, Vazra is called Grumpy because of his Persian features. Take this photo for instance.
It’s the down-turned mouth, the smashed-in face, the overly large eyes, and the general structure of his phizog that all conspire to make him appear less than hospitable. These are typical Persian traits and not unique to him. You’d find as I do, I think, that all Persian cats look like they’re forever constipated. Or something. They just tend to look uncomfortable and unapproachable, as though they’re always having a bad day.
Even when Vazra is skipping about the house demonstrating his insane antics, one might wrongfully assume he’s a breath away from going postal. At minimum, you might conclude you shouldn’t reach out to him for fear of pulling back a bloody appendage in return.
I won’t deny he has his moments of meanness. As I’ve said before, not having raised him from kittenhood means his personality is not as predictable as the others, yet it’s increasingly predictable and subsequently indicative of a bit of defensiveness on his part that I’m quickly learning to anticipate and intercept. That aside, he’s a very lovable cat who is dearly sweet and people friendly. He just doesn’t look like it.
[pardon the quality of the photo; I had to lighten it up to ‘try’ making his facial features more apparent; unlike the other cats, his black fur is solid and absorbs most light, and that makes photographing him a wee bit more difficult if I’m looking to capture something other than just a black mass of fur]