When Ug's owner moved into a nursing home, she was forced to give up her beloved companion. Her son, Ric, was unable to adopt Ug (he had three cats already!), and his efforts to find him a new home came to naught. He discovered the Maine Coon Rescue List and posted a message asking for help. Ric and I live only a few hours apart, so we arranged to meet halfway at the Lancaster exit of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I picked up Ug on June 9, 2001.

He traveled home peacefully in the car, but he didn't seem happy at all in his new home. The first day he was openly hostile--when he wasn't hissing, he was growling. In only two weeks, most of his initial crankiness was gone. Over the next two weeks, his mood gradually improved as he became used to his new home and began to relax. Over the last few months, Ug's disposition has continued to improve. He has become a real joy.

I had seen a picture of Ug before meeting him, but after seeing him in person, it was immediately apparent that he didn't deserve his name. As you can see, he is a very handsome fellow, with a dignified bearing and a wonderfully soft coat. So we changed his name to Sidney. Somehow, we thought "Sidney" suited a cat of such mature demeanor.


At first, Sidney seemed to be the most polite and well-mannered cat we'd ever met. He had no interest in jumping on the kitchen table during dinner, for example, or on any furniture for that matter. He seemed content to stay on the floor. That has changed. Although his manners remain impeccable, he now likes to jump into your lap or up on the bed for a little attention. He still disdains comfortable, upholstered places for napping, preferring the hard floor to the soft bed (despite the evidence these pictures present). I can't say I understand him. For instance, one of his favorite nap spots is at the top of the stairs to the attic. It must be 110 degrees up there! I can understand why he likes to lie on the windowsill, however.


Sidney came to his original owner as a stray, so he is used to the outdoors and would enjoy going outside, I'm sure. We've never intentionally let him out, but he did manage to squeeze out one night through a partially-open door, and we didn't miss him until morning. We searched the house and yard thoroughly, but he was nowhere to be found. As I wondering what to do next, I took another look onto the back porch. There he was, of course, lying there coolly, just waiting for someone to let him and serve him his breakfast.

As friendly as Sidney has become, I've learned to respect his privacy and let him decide when he wants to show affection. There are still occasions when he won't tolerate any attention, so I prefer to let him take the initiative. Most of the time, he's very friendly and a pleasure to be around.

Although Sidney looks like a Maine Coon, he doesn't have any papers, and his voice is unlike the chirping trill I'm used to. In contrast, his voice is pitched on the low side. When he's happy, he likes to give voice to his purr, creating short, low-pitched grunts of contentment.

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