Meet Lev

On Christmas Eve we brought home our second kitty, Lev. Here’s his story.

A Brother for Leo

Lev was found on November 03, 2015 roaming behind a doctor’s office with a colony of cats. The agency we adopted him from took him to the vet for care that day; they said he was 3 years old, and must have been dropped off as a kitten. He was displayed in our local Petco almost immediately and named “Dexter.”

December 21, 2015 he was still at Petco. Trevor and I had been looking for a cat to adopt, as part of Leo’s stress seemed to be that he needed a buddy (he’d grown up with friends and been in a single-cat home for over three years with us). None of the cats we were interested in had their claws, which was a deal breaker. For many reasons Trevor and I are against declawing cats, but that’s a conversation for another time.

Knowing that Lev had been in Petco since before Thanksgiving, we felt terrible for him. Alone for another holiday? Trevor and I spent some time getting to know him, letting him smell us and petting him. He purred constantly and seemed so happy to have our attention.

We took one of the flyers that was displayed on the cage and got in contact with the organization adopting him out. The next day, we were approved to pick him up on Christmas Eve. We did.

Lev and his catnip red chili pepper.

Name Change

Although we grew up fans of Dexter’s Lab on Cartoon Network (kudos if you know the show!), we didn’t feel the name Dexter fit his personality. He walks with such swagger and thinks he’s hot stuff. He’d also had a terrible kitten hood, with behavioral displays that indicate he’d lost his mother at a very young age. Battling cars, the elements, and malnutrition, Lev has experienced a lot of hard things.

Because he’s had to be such a trooper throughout his life, we decided to name him the Russian word for “lion”, “Lev” is the romanized spelling. The name was originally suggested by one of Trevor’s friends as belyy lev which means white lion(based on his looks), but we shortened it. Everyone that hears the name is confused by it, but that’s fine by us.

Lev’s Homecoming

Truthfully, I was very nervous over how Leo would react to his new brother. He’d always warmed up to people quick, but animals took more time. When I walked through the door I was greeted with this face:

“Mom…who’s in the box?”

Nothing more. No hissing, no meowing. Just silence and a furrowed brow. What the heck, I thought. Neither one of them are upset, so I’ll let Lev explore. They were both silent as Lev checked out his new digs.

Again, no one ran/hid/hissed/meowed/yowled/arched their back and I was totally surprised with how cool they were with each other. After a bit, Lev tired out and cuddled up for a nap.

They’ve had a couple of spats, but are quickly learning each other’s boundaries. Here are the two of them on Christmas morning.

Leo is so curious, and Lev seemed to not know how to fully cat. He’s learning how to play, eat, and drink by watching Leo. Lev’s also started mimicking Leo’s vocalizations for then he’s hungry, tired, lonely…the list goes on.

Lev still doesn’t understand how to play, especially with Leo, so we are slowly teaching him.

To the Vet

December 28th we took Lev to the vet. Again, I was anxious about how he’d be, but Lev couldn’t have been better.

He was upset about being poked and prodded, but was immediately nice to everyone after. He accepted their apologies eagerly.

A very sleepy kitty, he took a nap on the scale right after I snapped this photo.

It turns out the 3-year-old cat that we adopted is actually no more than 2 years old. He also had terrible ear mites, which is why his ears are all red in these photos; he’d scratched his ears raw. Fortunately, he’s feeling better, which makes him a happier kitty.


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