Happy Tail: Merlin brings magic to his home

Merlin cheers things up with his clowning around.

Merlin cheers things up with his mischief.

Emily Steenhout taught her cat Merlin (formerly named Dayton) to sit and extend his paw for a treat. Anyone who has had a cat knows that teaching one to do tricks can be a daunting experience, but Merlin has a prime motivator: food. “It’s his favorite thing. He can’t get enough of it,” Steenhout says.

The Upperville, VA, woman adopted him to be a buddy for her cat, Shiloh. “Little did I know that he would be one of the best things that ever happened to me,” she says. “He is a clown and lights up the room whenever he is in it.”

Merlin was a stray before Homeward Trails Animal Rescue in Arlington, VA, rescued him. Steenhout spotted him on Petfinder while browsing for adoptable cats online.

She says it was her lucky day because he is such a great cat. “At night he loves to sleep at the foot of my bed and is always ready to hop up on my lap to cuddle and give kitty kisses.”

During the day he’s a bird watcher who perches in the kitchen window. He also enjoys playing tag or romping with Shiloh. And then he enjoys a nap in his own cozy bed.

“Dayton’s other favorite past time is to be in the kitchen while I am cooking and to meow, begging to be given some of the food,” Steenhout says. Did we say that food was his biggest motivator?

Steenhout says when he was at the shelter he chewed open quite a few bags of kitty food and apparently other kitties got the idea and followed his lead. “So overall Dayton is a huge mischief maker and clown who is always lovable and goofy,” she says, “and he always makes me smile because he is so adorable.”