When Kathleen first met Roshi in the kitten’s foster home, she knew.
“We visited him once and then, after the visit, decided,” she said.
Under a year old and then-named Timbit, Roshi had interesting markings that caught Kathleen’s eye – white chevron chest markings, with a touch of taupe under his chin. White paws that resemble socks only added to the cuteness.
But it was his temperament that really got Kathleen’s attention.
“He was a happy medium,” she said.
Roshi, whose name is a Japanese honorific meaning “wise, old man”, is Kathleen’s second cat. As a child, her mother had allowed her and her brothers to adopt a stray cat taken in by a neighbour. The cat, who gave birth to a litter shortly before her adoption, went on to live 18 years.
“Having a cat was a big part of my life,” Kathleen said, “but I didn’t want to get my own cat until I was really settled.”
When her and her husband decided that they were finally ready for the responsibility, they found Roshi. Roshi has been with them for about three years.
Bringing him home was not a smooth trek. Since the couple didn’t own a car, Roshi had to be brought home on the subway. It was in the middle of winter but, with a blanket and his favourite toy, he made it to his new home.
After three days of being curious about Kathleen and her husband, Roshi finally settled.
He’s very different from her last cat, who was a quiet lap cat.
“Roshi can get in awkward positions sometimes,” Kathleen said. “He’ll jump up high and it takes him a while to figure out how to get back down.”
In fact, Roshi’s been known to knock things down sometimes, purely by his clumsiness.
“He’s just playing around,” she said. “Sometime’s he’ll be startled and he’ll just jump straight in the air like a cartoon cat… so weird, but it’s hilarious too.”
He used to not be very affectionate and would spend his time sitting on the couch next to the family.
“Now if we pet him, he just sucks it up and immediately falls on his back,” Kathleen said. ”Any time we show him affection, he just laps it up.”
With his playful nature, Roshi is the perfect companion for Kathleen’s son, who the family welcomed about a year and a half ago.
Now a toddler, Leo and Roshi are starting to get along.
“He thinks Roshi’s the best thing ever,” Kathleen said, “I’m sure they’re going to be the best of friends in a couple of years.”