Stewart, the cool cat

Stewart, the cool cat

From life on the streets to agility training fields (for dogs!). Meet Stewart, the cat that never ceases to amaze.

October 8, 2019 By Jonathan Bernier

As a veterinary technician, caring for animals is second nature for Nelly. Even after her work day is over, she wants nothing more than to go home to a household full of happy pets. She is the contented owner of Stewart and Quince, two 3-year-old cats, and Reese, a 2-year-old Nova Scotia Retriever. “It's so great to go home to my pets. Our house is never empty! They always make me laugh. Stewart, especially, is priceless. He is the undisputed leader of the group. He knows it and loves it.”

Stewart, however, was not an easy kitten. He was discovered abandoned and alone on the streets, where he struggled to survive.

"Kittens separated from their mothers are usually more difficult," explains Nelly. “Without a mother to teach them, they don’t learn to socialize and lack those important skills. They can be easily frightened and irritated, are sometimes short-tempered, and tend to scratch and bite as soon as something—or someone—irritates them. They are incredibly territorial."

When Stewart arrived at her home, Nelly already had two older cats, who were 14 and 16 years old. They had imposing characters and were not impressed by the egocentric little kitten. The two older felines often put Stewart in his place. Nelly was patient and committed. She had to be simultaneously gentle and strict, training little Stewart just as his mother would have done. Nelly was so determined that the little kitten be exposed to a variety of experiences, she even took him to the dog-agility training field where Reese, her Nova Scotia retriever, trained. Of course, it’s not easy to train a cat but somehow Nelly managed to do it. And, while Stewart does not race, he has learned to maneuver around some of the obstacles on the course.

Nelly's efforts with Stewart have paid off. He loves to go out on walks—but not just any kind of “walk.” He appreciates rides in a stroller designed for pets … he is one cool cat, after all! But most importantly, Stewart is a happy cat who’s not scared of people or animals. And, every night, Nelly is happy to get home to her crazy band of animals.

Photo: Baby Stewart, on a stroll with his friend Reese.

Credits:

Cover: Catherin Arsenault

Photo: Private collection


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