Last Autumn when Sasquatch, The Cat Who Slept on My Head for 14 Years, died, I thought we’d get another cat right away. Since my first cat as a teenager, I have never been without one and almost always had two as cats seem happier in pairs. But I just couldn’t do it. I looked, but my heart wasn’t in it. I began to think that one cat might be the way to go. That is, until we went away for 10 days last May. Slippers, our big muscular orange tabby barn cat who most of the time seems not to give a crap was downright traumatized by the whole thing. My dad was a great pet sitter and spent lots of time with him, but to no avail. Usually if you go away, your cat is ticked off and tells you so (if you’re lucky, vocally only) for a few days but then things settle down and everything is back to normal. This was not the case with Slippers. I began to think that I might have to get him some kitty prozac because it was two months before he was back to his old self. And even then, he was more clingy than normal. It was clear then, that we’d need to get a second cat before going away again. Slippers can’t go it alone.
I’ll admit to being somewhat relieved at having a practical excuse to get another cat, after all, I display many of the early signs of becoming a crazy cat lady. This proves that I am not crazy. I am practical. Two cats are more practical than one.
However, in spite of my intention and in spite of all the lectures to Jordan, I didn’t make it to the shelter to choose a kitten. One day, while lecturing Jordan on why we don’t get our cats from pet stores, we get them from shelters, a Himalayan kitten in the window at a pet store made me buy him and bring him home. Well, at first, he was marked as sold and I was surprised by how disappointed I was. I stood, watching through the glass as he mewed at me and wished I could have him. Jordan laughed at me. “Ha! Good thing he’s sold or you’d be knocking stuff over trying to get out your credit card and pay for him!” lol. He was right. And we stood cooing over him for another minute.
I was vaguley aware of the store owner answering the phone behind me. I was vaguley aware that he sounded annoyed. I about fell over when he came over and erased the sold sign. “I want that cat! errr.. May I hold that cat, please?” I asked. I was losing the battle to have any composure at all. Jordan was already doing a victory dance. Less than an hour later, we were home with our freshly bathed new kitten. We named him for his colours – he is Smokey Blue.
He loves to watch the Toronto Maple Leafs play on tv. (Mark watches with his eyes closed a lot of the time too.)
And he likes to watch Scooby Doo.
And he loves Play Station and will play for as long as Jordan plays.
This cat is like a rag doll. He loves to be carried around and cradled like a baby. When he is startled, he runs to be picked up, rather than running to hide. He is a cuddle monster. Jordan has wondered if it would be possible to power a car on purr power. We’d surely be rich.
Slippers loves him like crazy and couldn’t be happier. He sits patiently, swishing his tail so Smokey can attack it. And he has already begun indoctrinating the little one. You see, he has wanted his own band of minions for a long time and he sees a Smokey as a good start. He has already begun training him up to terrorise the dog.
Artemis is clueless and actually enjoys being terrorised. Smokey feels he might need a little more training.
Unfortunately, Smokey likes to knit.
Fortunately, knitting makes him very sleepy.
Between naps on his beach towel (Scooby Doo, of course), Smokey is very helpful with school. He is quick to kill any stray papers or erasers. In no time we’ll be clear of the paperclip infestation that has plagued us for so long.
He also makes an excellent paper weight.
Also? That glass of water you just got? You didn’t want that, did you? Cause Smokey just drank it all. (He likes apple juice and coffee too. In a pinch, vanilla soy milk will do.)
All the pets we’ve had over the years and this is the most important lesson I’ve learned: It is always a good thing to have your pet match your carpet. A very good thing.