a miju memoir

Note: This post, originally published on my Tumblr, was the first in a two-part series about our cats that I wrote as a birthday present for my husband. The second part is about the girl cat, Peeps.

In the summer of 1999, a small orange cat was born, and Joe Grossberg adopted him the following July from the Montgomery County SPCA. Records indicate that Joe paid $75, made a $20 donation to the organization, and spent an additional $5 on a “box.”

The kitten still had the rather unfortunate name of Tommy Tune when his foster mom, Kim Deserio, entrusted Joe with his care. After some brainstorming, Joe quickly invented a new name and Miju was (re)born.

photo by katie jett walls of red turtle photography

By all accounts, Miju was a rambuctious kitten, a quality he continues to exhibit today. In those early days Joe would come home from work to find Miju bouncing off the walls. Miju was also very soft and very sweet: As soon as Joe picked him up in the shelter, Joe just knew this one was the one he wanted to adopt.

Now fully grown, Miju is deceptively large because of his fluffy coat (which is simply luxurious), but also in comparison with his sister (who is just a very small full-grown cat).

Miju’s hobbies include yowling, eating flowers and other plants, sleeping in the box at the bottom of Salem’s closet, and chasing after his baby sister. Miju feels that focus should always be on him, so, for example, he insists on lying between Joe and Salem when they are in bed. At Passover this year, Miju tried to sit on the seder plate.

The need for attention also makes a very afffectionate cat. Miju is a champion head-butter and loves to sit next to new people (particularly if they pet him).

Miju and Salem engage in an ongoing power struggle for control of what should be Salem’s pillow. He slept with Joe for six years before Salem came along, so in his mind, she’s sleeping on his side of the bed.

Miju’s favorite food is string cheese, and he knows as soon as Joe opens a package. His eyes widen, and he camps out in front of Joe until the treat is gone. Meanwhile, he generally lets his sister eat most of his birthday tuna. However, Miju has to eat the shabbos wet food before she does; in fact, it takes six seconds or less for Miju to appear in the kitchen once the wet food bowl clinks on the counter on Friday night.

Miju is not good at sunbathing or sitting in cat beds. He is good at relaxing on the back of the couch. He loves being brushed with the Furminator and drinking water out of glasses. If he were allowed outside, it is thought that Miju would like to climb trees.

Miju has a heart murmur, a tiny nick in his right ear, mottled gums, and (according to Joe) only five nipples. And he defies convential wisdom about cats by being kind of a klutz. But as Joe is fond of noting, he is still perfect.

All About Miju
Full name: Miju Boon Grossberg

Nicknames: Mooj, Mista Mooj, Mi-juuuuuuuuuuu, Mookie, Mee-who, Mijou, Miju Las Vegas, Mijulicious, Hazzan

Breed: domestic medium hair orange tabby

Gender: male

Birth date: August 15, 1999

Adoption date: July 9, 2000

Total adoption cost: $100

Adoption weight: 7.8 lbs

Current weight: 10.3 lbs

Likes: licking books, batting at any small object that can move, sitting in the highest place in the room, stalking Peeps, grooming Joe

Dislikes: belts, having his undercarriage brushed, grooming himself

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