Ever since she pawed her way into her hoomans' lives, Shelby has won over every bit of their hearts and home. With her mystical history, exotic appearance, and incredibly unique personality — she never fails to impress her fur parents with yet another one of her quirks. She even managed to win over her fur-brother Max, too. The pair of them couldn't possibly be any more different in nature and temperament.
The pawesome fur parents, Courtney and Andrew, adopted Shelby to be Max’s companion shortly after rescuing Max from a shelter. Pet hooman Courtney explains what drove their decision to search for Shelby, “Max is a gray and white shorthair and we got him 7 months before we got Shelby. He was around 3 years old at the time, and we soon realized he needed a pet companion. He was a rescue from the shelter at Phoenix (found on the streets) and he was in a really good condition. However, he was constantly meowing for companionship. And so we had to go out and look for his new kitten friend.” Shelby was a frontrunner from the start, Andrew adds, “There was a free kitten adoption week in Phoenix. We found one litter of kittens. And one kitten had a stripe that looked like racing stripe on his forehead. Because I’m into cars, we named her Shelby for Carroll Shelby, race car driver.”
When Shelby first arrived to their home, Max wasn’t very accepting of her. The couple slowly introduced Shelby, step-by-step, until the cats bonded. Today, they love to play and groom each other. “Many years ago, when Shelby was still a kitten, Andrew and I went for a trip to a river at Arizona. We had brought one of those coolers with a flip top with us, and when we came home we left it by the door opened to air it out. During the night Shelby somehow jumped in it and got closed in. Max, hearing this, jumped out of the bed and tried to get Shelby out of it. He repeatedly meowed so loudly trying to get our attention. When we walked out and opened the cooler, we found Shelby. This is when we knew they truly bonded. If Max hadn’t done this and drawn our attention to it, Shelby would have suffocated in there.” – told us pet hooman Courtney.
Just like most fur parents, Courtney and Andrew genuinely enjoyed watching their race car kitten grow up. To their surprise, Shelby turned out to look a lot different than they had expected. “We had no idea she will turn out to be long-haired! She was 6 weeks when we first got her. As she was growing up, her fur just kept growing and growing. It is also wiry, which we have never even seen before. I was such a fun and surprising experience having her grown her undercoat, overcoat and huge, fluffy tail. It’s amazing. Anywhere we go, people are astounded by the way she looks.”
The couple decided to join forces (and furs) with Basepaws to unravel the mystery behind their mysterious fur companion. “We always thought she was mostly a Maine coon, just because of her markings, giant tail and her size. She is 25 pounds, but she is not overweight. She is just solid, strong and fluffy! So, we did Basepaws just because we knew she wasn’t a complete Maine Coon because of her other markings such a long snout.” – explained Shelby’s fur father Andrew to us.
The current version of the Basepaws report shows Maine Coon, Napoleon and Peterbald cat breeds as Shelby’s closest matches. The couple, however, is particularly interested in learning whether Shelby shares her ancestry with Norwegian Forest cats. “We never actually heard of this breed before Basepaws and when we learned about it, we immediately went online to research it. We found out that Shelby has the same soprano voice as them, she loves attention, but only when she wants it. She owns our house, she knows when she wants to be pet and when not and she talks back to us! And she also really does resemble the breed’s appearance too.”.
Interestingly, Shelby is found to be more alike to Snow leopards than 100% of all cats in our database, to Leopard cats more than 99% and to Ocelots more than 93%. No wonder her feisty and mischievous personality! “She truly does have a huge personality! When she’s doing something she’s not supposed to, like eating Max’s food, we tell Shelby NO, and she walks away and talks back to us – meow, meow, meow. You can totally have a conversation with her. [Shelby meows in the background.] Yep, there she goes!” – said Courtney through laughter. “Yes, the talking back is very funny! She also loves drinking water from the tap. She will never drink from a bowl, she will only drink from the tap. Shelby is not very graceful either. She dips her head first and the she drinks. Then she shakes off like a dog. Max is a lot better at drinking water and remaining dry. Shelby will come to me for a pet – soaking wet from laying under the faucet.” – laughed Andrew with us.
Shelby is a very curious and intelligent cat. When the couple has friends over, Max will hide but Shelby will go and sniff everyone and let them pet her. “She is also very kind. She is always by our side. If I’m not feeling good and I’m on the couch or in staying in bed a little longer, she’s right there on top of me almost asking ‘what’s wrong’.” – added Courtney.
While Shelby owns every room she paws through, Max is a shy doll. During the interview, Shelby graced us with her mighty appearance and greeted us with a few soprano meows. Max didn’t think it was worth it and decided to hide. “Max is more my cat, while Shelby is Andrew’s. He is very shy but very sweet. I can do anything with him. I can carry him around, trim his nails, brush his teeth. Do anything! We can’t do this with Shelby. Shelby always required two people work for her care.” – Courtney.
We found it very enjoyable to talk to Shelby and Max’s fur parents Courtney and Andrew. Shelby is a very smart cat who knows exactly when, what and how to do whatever it is that she wants. Underneath her feisty attitude and mischievous personality, she holds a kind heart full of love and purrs for Max and her hoomans. Provided they’ve deserved it, of course.
Courtney and Andrew, thank you for a wonderful chat and the exotic furs! We are excited to deliver some updates for Shelby and have Max join us on our journey soon too. Meow!