My Mau, Satchamo
by Francine Fontana
(Clinton Twp MI)
Hello all! At just 5 to 6 weeks of age, baby Satchamo was lost. Found in the woods, he was alone, hungry, and hissing at everything and anything that moved.
Satchamo, was first named Bullseye, due to his Mackerel markings that resembled a bullseye on his back and sides. Yet, his green gooseberry eyes, spotted belly, and bars on all 4 of his legs with belly flap, and distinctive nose; he was undoubtedly Mau!
I didn’t know the women that found him? I was living in South Carolina at the time and he was found in Oakland County, Michigan.
I called Elaine to inquire about him. We spoke and laughed for a while, as I too was originally from Michigan. She told me he was as cute as could be, but mean. So mean at 6 weeks old, she had to separate him from all the other kitties she was fostering. I told her I’d be up in a few days and I would take him. She said, “Are you sure?”. Yes, I was sure.
Sure, he only needed love and attention. I didn’t think it was anything I couldn’t handle. Yet, just in case, my Golden Retriever, Sophia So`Redd, would be more then happy to assist me. She and my last cat loved each other and he was ferrel. Sophia has an extraordinary mothering instinct and was able to care for any kind of baby.
The day I picked him up he hissed like a lion. Elaine said I didn’t have to take him. I laughed, took him out of his carrier to greet him. He let out a hiss and spit at me. Elaine was sure I was going to change my mind. She asked me again, “Are you sure?”. I just smiled and shook my head yes. I brought him up to my face and asked him why he was hissing. He just looked at me without a word or a hiss. I kissed him on the nose and he opened those gooseberry eyes real wide and just stared at me. I think it was that moment when fell in love with him.
I laid him in my arms like an infant and began rocking and singing to him. Within moments, he reached out his paw to touch my cheek and look into my eyes. It was as though he was saying, thank you.
Soon after he began purring and fell asleep. Elaine just looked on in disbelief. She said that was the first time she seen him content and quiet in 3 weeks.
We drove back to South Carolina that evening. Sophia watched over her new baby the whole way. After arriving home, the 3 of us cuddled on the bed together. Satchamo bit Sophia’s nose and ears within minutes. He tried to hide himself on me but Sophia wouldn’t allow it. She picked him up by the scruff of the neck and turned to the opposite side of the bed. She laid him down, gentle as could be and licked his belly all up.
At first, Satchamo hissed and bit at her face but Sophia was unmoved. She just kept licking him. Finally, he understood she was there to mother him and love on him. He crawled underneath her and buried his head, with his big ears, in her belly and they slept for a several hours together.
Within 2 months he was well trained. Having a distinctively different sound for all his wants and needs. The neighbors would laugh at my little fella fetching the ball with his Golden Mommy or following me around the yard like a duck he did.
Now, at 2 years old, he assists Sophia and I in fostering other little kitties that have lost there way in life. He’s their entertainment coordinator, trainer and Boss.
I don’t think there is a more loving breed of cat or a smarter one! This boy comes running when called, plays fetch, and wakes me promptly at 9:00 am every morning. He also opens the cupboard door and pushes one of his cans forward so I don’t have to.
He won’t eat with the kittens; however, he does stand watch making sure they share. We have 6 bowls in the back hallway for the little one’s. Satchamo stands watch and if someone gets out of line he pops them in the head. He says something to them and they go back to their own bowls.
My most cherished gift from my humbled little hisser is when I call him over, as I do every evening. He comes running and jumps on my lap and I say, “Give Mummy kisses”. He stands up on his long back legs, puts his paws on my cheeks and kisses me. When he’s finished, he lurches his head back and looks at me with that perplexed look of the Mau and those beautifully black lined eyes and mouth as though to say, did I get all the spots Mummy?