Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rambo, the Taxi Tabby

If you change one letter in the word cab, you get cat. So I wasn’t surprised to hear about Rambo, a cab-loving cat who clocks more miles on the odometer each day than most felines.

Rambo is a gray tabby living in West Palm Beach, Florida. Life was pretty lonely until his owner, cab driver Dan Somers, decided they should spend more time together and began celebrating “Bring Your Cat to Work Day”every day.

I know what you’re thinking, but no, Somers doesn’t make Rambo drive the cab. Instead, he serves as Rambo’s personal chauffeur and lets him ride shotgun.

Rambo, reflecting the wild streak of his namesake, travels without a carrier or a seat belt. This allows him to indulge his passion for feeling brisk breezes through his whiskers by sticking his head and paws out the car windows. Other drivers must do a double-take as he whizzes by in a blur.

Somers says Rambo doesn’t like big dogs, trucks, or trains, and will stay under the seat whenever a drunk needs a ride. Other passengers seem to enjoy his company and so far no one has complained about allergic reactions or fur on the seats.

Cab-driver Dan Somers read my post about his cat, Rambo, the Taxi Tabby, and provided what the media missed – Rambo’s remarkable beginnings. Here’s what Dan revealed:

“Rambo is 8 years old now. I have had him since he was a tiny kitten. My 15-year-old nephew, Tony, was staying with me and noticed commotion at a busy intersection here in West Palm Beach, Florida. A drunken homeless man had been struck by a car and killed while riding his bicycle. Tony noticed a little kitten’s head sticking out of the deceased man’s pocket and brought it home to me.

“I grew up with cats as my grandmother had as many as 25 at one time. The kitten’s ears were not yet erect and its eyes were closed – it wasn’t weaned from its mother.

“We learned that the kitten was taken from a stray litter, but we didn’t know where it was. But I have heard that once a human makes contact with a kitten, the mother cat rejects it and it would die.

“The vet confirmed that this kitten was not yet weaned. He told me how to feed it with a small bottle and special formula. He also showed me how to make it urinate by pushing on its lower stomach, like the mother would have done.

“After several weeks, the kitten’s ears erected, his eyes opened, and he was eating and urinating on his own. Since I was basically his mother, it created a very special bond between us.

“I clearly noticed a major difference in his personality. The normal stubborn cat trait had been deleted and he did most anything I asked him to do. I taught him basic commands such as sit, lay, stay, get in your bed, etc. This cat was special.

“About a year ago I started taking him with me in my taxi nights and he adapted almost immediately. When he got comfortable enough, he started to stick his head out the window and liked the breeze. In a short time, he stuck his head out all the time, even at high rates of speed, with his ears, hair and whiskers blowing back with the wind.

Original Post by Yul on June 26, 2008

1 comment:

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