Dancer, the Gecko Cat
Size (Unframed) 24" x 18"
Finished April 2002

Dancer is my cat. He was already a grown cat when I got him in January of 2002. The woman I got him from said she named him "Dancer" both because of his white "leggings" and because he often got excited and danced around the house. He still does that, though its more like racing. He does not usually get along with other cats but he is very affectionate to people. He is very good company for me since I have no other animals.

Dancer LOVES Geckos. Geckos are very prevelant in Hawaii. They are said to be good for the house as they eat unwanted insect pests. My experience has been that they don't do a very good job of this. So I really prefer them to stay outside and not leave their droppings in my house.

When I first got Dancer, before I installed a cat door, so he could go in and out of the house, he would jump at windows anytime he saw a Gecko on the window. He was so excited and fast at this that it was hard to catch him before he had lept at a window and fallen to the floor. I was afraid that, if I left the windows open, with the force his impact, he might go sailing through the window, to the rocks below, taking the screen with him. At that time, I lived in Kona Paradise and my house was situated on a very steep hill of lava rocks and the house hadtwo floor levels. Because of the steep slope, even the lower floor windows were about one story high. The upper floor windows were anywhere from one to three stories high. I was afraid that, if he went through the window, he might hurt himself on the lava rocks below.

Later, after I installed a cat door, he was able go in and out and he didn't leap at windows much anymore. He does often sit on tables or counter tops near a window or on the window sill itself stalking or waiting for Geckos. He also goes outside and brings Geckos into the house to play with. As soon as I see him do this, I catch the poor creature and put it outside, much to Dancer's confusion.

In October, 2003, I sold the Kona Paradise house and bought a house in Captain Cook in an area called "McCoy Plantation".   After we had moved in, I kept Dancer indoors for about a week.  When I finally let him outside, I did not watch or supervise him during his initial explorations and he got lost.  I believe he went into the forest across the road from me and got confused since he was not familiar with the house and surroundings.

Dancer had a microchip and, after six months passed without finding him, I said that, now the only way I would ever get him back would be because of the microchip. After a year had passed, I got a call from a woman living about 2 minutes drive from me, saying that she had my cat.  She had been feeding him for about 5 months and finally took him in to the animal shelter to have him scanned.  They found the microchip and that is how she knew he belonged to me.  She said she has no idea where he was the other 7 months but that he didn't look underfed.  He weighed 14 pounds when he got lost and he weighed 16 pounds when I got him back.  He eventually went up to almost 20 pounds, but he now weighs about 17 pounds. He is still a large cat.

Later I painted another painting of Dancer, a head and shoulders portrait. It can be viewed on this site too.

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