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Too large to be loved

I've had several Maine Coons in my life, and spent a year grieving my last one. After moving to France, I started cruising the Maine Coon site but couldn't justify spending so much money on a kitten from a breeder. So I went to a rescue site and saw an ad for a cat described as very large, too large to be adopted, and mean-tempered. One look and I knew he was a Maine Coon. I called, and the woman told me he had been abandoned by his owner for 'being too big,' and they rescued him after he had been mauled by a dog. He hissed and hated everyone. I have never, ever known a mean Coon. I told her I would take him. So I drove on the hottest day of the year for 3 hours to "interview" this cat. A woman was fostering him and she had a dog of all things, so the Coon spent a week hiding under a dresser. No surprise. After being questioned by the rescue group, I walked into this woman's home, opened the carrier's door and softly called the cat. His big beautiful head poked out, we took one look at each other and to everyone's amazement, he walked into the carrier and curled up. Anywhere was better than here for him. We drove back home, with the carrier on the passenger seat. After a few minutes, he poked his paw out and we spent three hours with his big paw on my hand on the gear shift. Boubou was home. The vet checked him. He was underweight and matted. We fixed that, and for the next 16 years, Boubou was the gentlest, most even-tempered, loving Coon I've had. He wasn't large, he was huge and very dignified, and my friends adored him. He was also generous, letting me know when a stray that I fed was on my terrace. One very cold night, he actually persuaded the stray - who wouldn't let me touch him - to come Inside. Sushi (as I called him) was now home, and the two of them were friends until the Boubou left us a few months ago. There is no such thing as a mean Maine Coon.

Michel Monet
Toulouse, France