Friday, June 25, 2004

Dos gatos

Yeah, I know, it's been awhile. Life, she intrudes.

One of the things keeping me busy lately is the fact that I've acquired a second cat. This is the part where I should probably point out the big "Sucker!" decal on the back of my t-shirt. I am afraid of being That Lady, a little; I've asked friends to stop me before I get to six.

I already had Tulip, a portly gray tabby a friend had gently foisted on me New Year's Day. She is timid and talkative and so mild-mannered that even interactive kitty toys intimidate her: if you poink her lightly on the flank with one of those feather-wand toys, she scurries away in fear. She prefers the passivity of her catnip-stuffed banana, which she can drool and nap on in peace. So I figured it wouldn't be too difficult to introduce another cat...

...especially the one I'd picked out. I'd first seen his picture online, where the accompanying kitty personal ad listed his favorite activity as "hiding" and his name as the peculiar "Baked Bean." I have a soft spot for orange tabbies, and the PAWS satellite adoption center is walking distance from my house. I dropped by to meet this Bean, who crouched trembling at the back of his cage but, even in his terror, was a Slave to the Kitty Brush in my hand. One of us is a sucker.

I brought him home a week ago Tuesday. I was surprised when he hopped out of his carrier and de-huddled: he's twice the length he appeared in kitty jail. In 24 hours, he was squeezing his lanky frame out from under the futon to greet me when I called; in 48 hours he discovered the cache of heretofore ignored kitty toys and threw them all over the living room in drug-induced bliss. Tulip looked on agahst: "What is wrong with that guy?" He chewed on my plants, splashed water out of his dish for fun, and is sitting on the document shredder beside me as I type this. He is not the shrinking violet indicated in his Web profile. (And THAT has never happened to me before, oh, no.)

After a few days of going through every orange soda, snack food, and baked-bean pun I could think of (Frank?), I settled on the moniker Julius. Hee. There's been a lot of trash talking between the cats, but no real fisticuffs that I've noticed. Tulip has voiced her displeasure to me readily ("That guy is STILL HERE!") but seems to have resigned herself to having a big little brother, as long as he observes a few simple guidelines: he may not sit on The Couch, The Bed, or The Mommy. These are her rules, not mine. So far, peace reigns...aside from the 4 a.m. intervals in which Julius has dragged his favorite mousie into the tub and sent it pattering around and around the porcelain ellipse like it's the Seattle International Raceway.

Yes, do stop me well before I ever get to six.

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