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Salem joined our family in January of 2003. He's a short-haired, black cat with an uneven white patch on his chest and yellow eyes. He's a big cat, both in actual size and heaviness, and he has a bit of a potbelly that's mostly hidden by his fluffy belly fur. He's also got an extremely long, elegant tail that's very expressive. It goes perfectly with the earnest expression he often has, usually when he's asking for something.

Salem is a very affectionate cat who loves to cuddle on laps, at least as long as the person targeted is sitting in a chair, especially the chair he's claimed as his own. He makes a cute little crooning meow when he's excited to see someone. He likes to sleep in bed with us, though he gets himself kicked out sometimes when he decides that feet moving under the covers are a good thing to pounce one.

Probably his most favorite hobby is bird watching. He loved to sit at the glass door to the balcony and watch the birds outside at their feeder when we lived in our last apartment. Sometimes he wanted to 'play' with his little friends so much that he'd jump into the glass despite knowing it was there. He also likes to chase shoelaces (even when they're in shoes and being tied up) and play with his toy mice. Once he had a ball making an impromptu toy out of one of Bahamut's shed primary feathers. Other activities that he enjoys include licking condensation off the windows and toilet bowl, trying to drink out of the toilet, dipping his paws into the water in the bathtub, and asking to go outside.

He has a mysterious on-going health condition. When we got him, he had watery eyes, but soon we noticed he was coughing as well. Several visits to the vet and we didn't know what was wrong other than it seems to be a chronic condition that was cleared up for a while by antibiotics. The eyes seemed to be an unrelated thing, as the antibiotics didn't clear them up, but eye drops did. Gradually, though, the coughing went away until we hardly heard it anymore. His eyes are still watery, but that varies, at times being better, at times being worse.

Salem was never an extremely energetic cat, but now he seems incredibly mellow compared to the hyperactive Freya. They learned to stand each other in record time and have even become great friends. They are good buddies and like to dash around the apartment, chasing each other around, and play fight, as well as sleep together and groom each other extensively. Salem isn't too much bigger than Freya is, but he still pins her down easily and after mock-biting her a few times, will usually start grooming her as long as she is pinned down.


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