However, I do love my kitties. Over the years, I’ve had some great and awful cats: Mittens, who died too young and chased three dogs away from my brother Kirk when he was playing outside by himself in the yard (which, apparently, used to be allowed without calling child services); Crook, whose tail was broken at a 90 degree angle when he was porn and who also had a crooked neck, who pissed in my shoe and was a sweet cat for a while before going nucking futs and running away; Guinny (for the beer), who played on the dashboard of my U-Haul on the trip from Hattiesburg to Gaithersburg in 1996 (and was the reason, Foster, my dog at the time wouldn’t look at me for the entire trip — he was in a royal huff). By and large, kitties are the uncoolest cool beasts you’ll ever meet. Calm and collected, at least until the rattle of the food, or the unleashing of the catnip, or the more often than not physical fails. Anyone who says cats are elegant must not work at home or not have paid attention. They can be more elegant than dogs as a rule, but, they are inelegant a lot. I’ve watched two of our three cats misjudged jumps to chairs with hilarious result just in the last week. I’ve also seen all of them do the cartoon cat turn when running full speed — one day I’m getting that shit on camera.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if, when a human did a dumbass thing — physical fail, say something stupid, whatever — they would sit down and immediately start licking their arm as if nothing were wrong and the action were entirely intentional.
Cats are stereotypically aloof. Which boggles my mind because we live with three of the neediest cats on the planet: Chicory, Louie, and Sasha.
Chicory has been one of my favorite Christmas presents ever. I spent the Christmas of 2007 alone, recently separated and the ex had the girls for that first holiday (because I wasn’t going down to Louisiana). Around the beginning of December, I kept going to the Petco around the corner because I was missing my two cats (mistakenly obeyed the apartment rules and didn’t take either with me). Anyway, Chicory was there. And there. And there. No one would adopt him. So my Mom gave me the adoption fee for Christmas. I spent that first Christmas with Chicory, sick, watching westerns all day — High Noon and The Searchers.
He’s dog-like in his affection. He has catchers mitt paws (6 claws, polydactyl — which is close enough to pteradactyl to be kinda cool). He used to fetch — which was awesome. I can barely sit down without him climbing on my lap or shoulder. He has one of his fangs broken off and for the life of me I can’t remember if he’s always been like that. I almost had to bring him back to the pet store because he had an unfortunate habit of biting when he got too excited — and he would plot to attack the girls. I remember him nibbling on my arm once and I popped him on the head and shoved him on the floor. THREE HOURS LATER, he came at me from behind the bean bag chair as a I walked past. Fortunately, we discovered that withholding all affection for days and then hours broke him of biting really fast. Glad we did, because life would be a little more boring without the worlds best leaf hunter in the house. Plus, there would be no one to protect us from the tub monsters on a Saturday morning — which is apparently when the tub monsters wake up and must be chastised.
Louie. Louis is . . . . not bright. He’s the sweetest and most independent of the bunch, but I don’t think someone’s home all the time. He loves to escape everyone else on the deck — and has taken up an unlikely friendship with the neightbor’s dog next door, who also hangs out on their deck a lot. Louie also has mastered the ability of making George move just enough in the middle of the night so he can sleep by her head. He never tries it with, though I have woken up with him on my head once or twice when George is gone. I’ve never known a cat to like to be petted in certain locations — not just on his body, but physical locations in the house. There are two primary ones: upstairs, Louie in the hall, someone on the stairs, petting him through the rails and on our bed or in our bathroom. He’ll RUN from the basement, looking back, up two flights of stairs, stopping only to check that you’re following, in order to jump on the bed and be petted or to go into the bathroom. I’d rather not speculate on the later. Louie was never a proper kitten — he had his moments star-manning Chicory (much to our delight and Chicory’s dismay), but it seems he held it all in check to dole out sporadically over the years because when he kits his kitten on chasing paper or the millennial Falcon on a stick, no shame — he’s going for it.
Sasha is a terror. Counter surfer. Buddha kitty. She went from tiny kitty to pear shaped in a few too short months. She came into the house, hissed at everyone, never backed down, and hasn’t stopped for the past 10 months. Just at a year, she’s no longer a kitten, but she’s still a kitten. She’s the moodiest of the cats — and the mouthiest. George is convinced she knows her name; I’m not quite yet. She’s a hoot. She absolutely adores Oscar and sleeps to him every chance she gets — anytime there’s a loud sigh from the direction of Oscar’s bed at night there’s a 94.5% chance that Sasha has just snuggled in next to him. And, as the GIF I’m wrapping with shows — LOVES a bag (and a box and a bunch of paper on the floor and anything new and exciting). She’s also the excuse for embedding one of my favorite Cartman clips too.