Senior Cat Can’t Stop Snuggling With The New Baby

Squinty had always been a cuddly cat, so it didn’t surprise Elly Zupko when he started snuggling against her pregnant belly.

“I think he enjoyed the warmth I was putting off, and my big cuddly belly,” Zupko told The Dodo. “He must have known something was changing, because we turned our home office into a nursery, but I don’t think he knew what to expect.”

Squinty was abandoned by his previous owners in 2003, and Zupko saved him.

His family had given him up to be put to sleep at a veterinary clinic where my then-boyfriend worked because they couldn’t afford the hip surgery he required, according to Zupko.

“Mango was the greatest cat my boyfriend had ever met, and this is coming from a qualified veterinary technician who deals with cats on a daily basis. To prevent Mango from being put down, we decided to pay for the operation in installments deducted from my [boyfriend’s] wages, and he moved in with me.

The cat got better — his hip healed up nicely, and he started moving around like a cat his age should.

“He’s fully mobile, but he has to take stairs one at a time,” Zupko said. “You’d hardly know he has anything wrong. We also realized a few years ago that he is deaf. It’s difficult to figure out a cat is deaf! For a long time, we just thought he was aloof and a deep sleeper. Turns out he couldn’t hear us.”

Zupko first changed Mango’s name to Steve. Then she started calling him Squinty because of the way he squinted at people, which Zupko thought of as his signature expression.

Zupko began to refer to him as Squinty, and Squinty established himself as a constant in his life.

Squinty has been a part of Zupko’s life for approximately 15 years. He has accompanied me on six moves. He has shared residence with seven different people, five other cats, and two dogs during the course of that period. Our other cat Trova, our dog Fibber, and my husband and I now share a home with him.

“Squinty is so patient with her,” Zupko said. “She’s accidentally hit him when flailing her arms about, but he just quietly accepts it.

He continues to sit calmly with her, whether he’s being bumped or grabbed. If she grabs too hard, sometimes he will use his paw to gently push her hand away. But I’ve never ever seen him get upset with her.”

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