By Victoria Cumings
It was a mouse in the house that led to this beautiful tabby starting a new life with two wonderful pet mom sisters on the Upper West Side. Dexter, at the time named Cheese, was taken in from the ‘Ready for Rescue’ shelter as a foster, to help find any little squeakers living under the floorboards. Four months later, however, this sweet boy is firmly established in his cozy home close to Central Park.
With downy soft medium-length brown hair and green golden eyes, Dexter’s striking face and bushy tail suggest he may be part Maine Coon. His unique name was adopted from that of the WWE pro-wrestler, Dexter Lumis. His pet moms are fans, and thought Dexter shared some traits with the wrestler, both being quiet and liking to hide. This name for a cat also struck them as uncommon and fun!
Dexter was found as a stray in New Jersey at around 2 years old, meaning he spent the first part of his life outdoors. Adapting to his new indoor surrounds took a little getting used to: his pet moms relay a funny story of him spending his first few days in the city hiding in the dark under a bed, requiring them to get down on their knees to slide him his meals on a paper towel, as if feeding a scary monster….
Nobody could call this love bug a monster through. Dexter soon emerged and showed his true stripes – a big cat with a lot of personality who loves being around people. He now rules the roost in the apartment, planting himself on the window sill for some ‘live action TV’, making friends with the pigeon on the fire escape, and punting his little foam soccer balls around the (very New Yorky and very helpfully) slightly sloped floor.
When he isn’t roaming around his kingdom, or silently stalking flies or other small house creatures, Dexter likes to settle in for some television time, and even has a couple of preferred shows. Dance Moms is a favorite, so when it comes on Dexter will stop everything to watch, seemingly most enthralled by the show’s frontwoman. The Bob’s Burgers theme tune is also like catnip for Dexter; hearing it, he comes running. Recently, Dexter took a trip back to the 70s to catch Liza Minelli on the Muppet Show, and then the 80s as his moms introduced him to Bruce Springsteen.
As kitty lovers will know, cats have a natural instinct to dig their nails into things. Lucky Dexter has a cool cactus-shaped scratch post for this, which he stops to have a little claw at whenever he passes it by. Always on the lookout for some TLC, Dexter enjoys being brushed, and hilariously performs a ceremonious flop on the floor to receive a gentle belly rub. Sharp as a tack, dexterous Dexter is also on the cusp of learning how to turn a doorknob. He tries and tries, but so far the lack of proper thumbs has held him back.
Though still a little spooked by loud or unfamiliar noises, Dexter’s social skills are becoming well-honed. He’s comfortable around his cat-sitter and quickly warms up to the occasional guest. Most importantly, Dexter adores his moms: wanting to be with both at once, he’ll often sit in the doorway between them when each are in separate rooms. When they’re out, the pair keep an eye on Dexter via video stream. Seemingly from the camera a little less active when his people are not home, Dexter waits patiently for the ‘human cats’ to return for playtime. Being a two-way device, one can only wonder what Dexter is thinking when a disembodied voice speaks to him from afar!
As with all cats, sleeping and eating feature prominently on Dexter’s schedule. After an early rise at 5am (and not so welcome wake-up call for his moms), Dexter will catch some lunchtime shut-eye, then complement this with an afternoon siesta. At night, after a typical kittycat spurt of evening energy, Dexter will hit the hay, dreaming no doubt about tomorrow’s breakfast. His usual diet more meat than fish, Dexter enjoys the occasional seafood ‘treat in a tube’, perhaps some creamy salmon or tuna. The enticement of a treat is especially useful for distracting Dexter whilst he’s having his nails trimmed.
Once springtime hits, Dexter’s moms have some fun activities in store. Living close to the Great Lawn, plans are afoot (or ‘apaw’) for Dexter to try out a fancy new leash for a visit to Central Park. Given his ease around people, this could be a fun social activity for Dexter, and a chance again to be outside.
Though it’s rare to hear a meow from Dexter, he’s a terrific purrer. He also has a few funny little sounds he likes to make, such as a clickity click when tracking flies and a cheerful chirp when he’s feeling mischievous. Amazingly for a cat, Dexter has never emitted a single hiss, even, whilst tolerating an eye infection, on being ushered into his carrier for a vet visit. This goes to show what a happy, trusting and good-natured kitty he is.
Despite his initial intended role as chief mouse catcher, Dexter hasn’t actually ever caught any mice. Nevertheless, this marvel of a kitty has won the hearts of his moms – a devoted companion, delightful housemate, and joy to be around.
Lovable Dexter, happy on his windowsill watching the world go by….
Cat love ❤️🐾
Love it! Yay, Dexter. Two of my cats were rescues from NJ.
Re: “occasional seafood ‘treat in a tube’, perhaps some creamy salmon or tuna.”
Recalls a time many years ago when “Midnite” (long gone) first tasted Salmon-flavored Cream Cheese. One lick and it was like, ‘Wow! This stuff is great! ‘ (in Cat-Speak, of course).
Another great representation of Upper West Side Felines!
He’s beautiful, nice story! Can anyone reccomend a good vet on the UWS, someone good with cats….
Kayla and Jenna, It was a wonderful article. Thank you for sending the link. Dexter is a very lucky cat to have such loving moms. He is a handsome fellow. Much love. GM & GP
What a beauty! Lucky boy.
So happy that Dexter has a loving home! I’d love to hear his repertoire of sounds: our cat, Freyja, is pretty quiet, and when she does make a sound it is usually a kind of coo, like the morning doves that are often in the tree outside our windows.
sweet. thank you.
What a beautiful, sweet kitty!
Dexter it’s so cute !!! Welcome to the UWS! I love your fluffy tail 😻