Today I'd like to share the first part of a portrait session that I did with Kristen and her pets, Ricky and Georgie, in Frick Park a couple of weeks ago. The trees were blooming, and lots of people stopped to talk with us about how brave it was to bring a cat out to the park. They clearly hadn't met this badass cat, and if you've ever watched the Chappelle Show, you'll understand why his name, Rick James, fit so well.
The story of Rick James
Ricky, a gray American short-haired tabby with golden eyes, is not only a sassy cat with a lot of personality, he has been through some hard times. When I first got him from the Humane Society in Sept 2008, he was 7 months old and very sick. He had been rescued as a baby from a hoarder’s house where there were 40+ cats. Because of his condition, he had to be fostered and cared for around the clock. By the time I got him, he was still on lots of medications for his respiratory infection, but getting better. After a month or so, he was healthy and happy, and that’s when I started to realize this cat was very different than others. Not only was he the ever inquisitive kitty, but he played in the shower, repeatedly attacked my fishbowl, stole any kind of food that was sitting out, became best friends with my dwarf hamster, refused to cover his #2s in the litter box, and claimed his place as my little spoon every night.
In November 2008, I took him home to visit my family. I had him in an upstairs bedroom because my dad is allergic to cats. One day, I got a frantic call from my dad, asking where my cat was. I told him he was in the bedroom, and when my dad said he wasn’t, I simply said he is under the bed. When my dad said he wasn’t and that he had found a cat outside, I was really confused. Turns out, I had left a window cracked because it was warm outside, and Rick, being the crazy little man he is, shredded the screen and jumped from the second story into the front yard. My dad had to scramble to catch him and reminds me of it all the time. From the jump/fall, Ricky injured his knees and now walks with a slight waddle. The vet said it shouldn’t impede him, but that he’ll always have slightly bent legs.
In January 2009, I decided to get him declawed after he had torn through 3 sets of blinds. He had to stay overnight after his surgery; that didn’t go too well. They used surgical glue, so he decided to pull that all out and eat it. Then they had to stitch him up at 2am; he decided to pull all of those out too. This led to him having to wear a funnel collar for 6 weeks. He learned to scoop up his food with the funnel, and then lean back for it to fall in his mouth. (If I took the collar off for a minute, he would go right back to chewing on his paws!!)
Essentially, Ricky (full name Rick James) is a crazy cat with a ridiculous amount of personality. Now that we have a dog, they are best friends and can often be found racing at lightning speeds after each other in our living room. Rick has been through a lot, but has one of the sweetest, craziest, and most unique personalities I have ever seen.