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.
“Everywhere I went, people would see him. I became very well-known. Local news companies did a story and video, then CNN picked up the story. A lot of pet and animal Web sites discovered Rambo and he is appearing everywhere.
“I have been teaching Rambo more commands and tricks as he is very trainable. I can teach him to do most anything you can teach a dog, mostly because I think he does not know he is a cat! I think cats are as smart as dogs, and in some cases smarter because they are more cautious than dogs.
“I am totally convinced that all cats know what you want them to do – they just don’t do it unless they feel like it. But Rambo does everything I ask without hesitation. If you have the patience to get a cat to do just one command for you, 99% of the battle of training is over. Rambo doesn’t even want a treat or reward for his obedience, just a pet, a hug, a kiss, and a “Good Boy.” It’s remarkable!”
Daniel Joseph Somers III, President
American Eagle Taxi, LLC, and Owner of Rambo Somers
(Note: Rambo’s story edited for length. Full text available as a comment on original posting.)