Apologies for things going a bit quiet, and for once, impending shows only take half of the blame. The other half is due to our adopting a new chew toy for our cat Alexandria: with Leiber gone, she was threatening to resemble a Thylacosmilus if her teeth didn’t get worn down regularly. Say hello to “Simon.”
Simon continues a 30-year run of adopting homeless cats: he apparently was found as a kitten abandoned at the University of Texas at Dallas campus. Although he appears to have some Abyssinian or Siamese heritage, he doesn’t express it: aside from the occasional chirp, he’s as silent as Alexandria. He also has the thinnest drybrush of white fur at his chest, which is about the only way to tell the two apart without picking them up. He also loathes being picked up: the biggest difference is that he’s as muscular as the typical brisket, and just as easy to put down without dropping when he’s determined to move.
As can be expected at this stage, we’re still assessing each others’ idiosyncrasies, but he’s already earned a nickname because of his habit of looking up soulfully and stage-falling to the ground. Those familiar with the Clifford Simak short story “Drop Dead” can appreciate why his now-permanent nickname is “Critter”.
Anyway, the real fun will be watching him react to the constant packing and unpacking of show season: if he decides he likes riding in the car, we may be in trouble.
“Did you know that, with proper preparation, a human corpse could supply a standard cat with food for almost two months? By the way, we’re out of gooshy food. Keep that in mind when you come home.”
“As if I need to tell you my contempt for you.”
“With a glare like this, who needs explosives?”
“I have become death, the destroyer of worlds. Now get me hummus.”
It’s no stretch to say that Cadigan is one of the stranger cats I’ve ever known. It’s even less of a stretch to say that while Cadigan tolerates me as a source for food and clean catboxes, she’s the Czarina’s cat. She comes running to the garage door when the Czarina comes home, she begs for the Czarina to play with her, and she sleeps in the Czarina’s armpit whenever possible. At least she’s not as big as some other cats to share our lives: if she were a fifteen-kilo monster like a few from my recent past, she’d cut off blood circulation to an extremity.
My real regret in all of this is that Cadigan is incredibly camera-shy in situations where I need proof of odd behavior. She has a tendency to grab a rear paw with her two front paws and rub her face with her rear foot. She’s absolutely obsessed with being able to get into one closet and being locked in, and as we’re heading off for shows, we have to check that closet to make sure we don’t leave her sans food and water for the day. Best of all, she uses her purr as a weapon. When I roll over in my sleep and get too close, she starts a very loud and buzzing purr, not out of glee in realizing that a readily available source of heat moved closer, but as a warning much like that used by rattlesnakes to warn clumsy cattle of what awaits them if they keep moving closer. This rattle-purr isn’t endearing. It’s actually a little scary, especially when something that loud comes from a cat this small.
“Oh, you have to go to bed because you have to get up in the morning? Let me look around for a bit, because I have to find the world’s smallest violin, just for you.”
“It’s Monday. I don’t even.”
More subtlety, more grace.