I’m a cat person from a dog family. When I got my first full-time permanent cat, Maxx, I think everyone in my family asked, “Why don’t you just get a dog?” It was a curious question since I was living in a small apartment in the middle of a city. A cat was a more practical pet, but anyway, I like cats.
When I say “full-time” and “permanent” it’s because I had a few other sort-of cats along the way, sharing a cat with a roommate here or looking after one while housesitting for a summer there. Maxx was the first I knew would be around for a while. He was a marmalade-colored stumpy manx with the short, fluffy tail and loping cadence of a rabbbit. He liked to climb up on you and wipe his nose on you, a trait that few people besides my wife found charming. He would climb up on your lap when you were reading and poke his head over the spine to look at you.
Maxx was an only cat for the first seven or eight years of his life, but the a friend of mine had a cat and a son with allergies… so Gilda moved in. Maxx took one look at Gilda and turned around three times. Maybe he was hoping on each turn that the interloper would be gone the next time he wheeled around. They fought terribly until they were united by a common enemy:
Torii. I had two grown-up cats, and wanted a kitten. I found a guy with a litter of cats through a local newspaper discussion board, and when he described the all-black naughty one, I knew that was my kitten. Torii freaked out Maxx and Gilda enough that soon they would hang out together, presumably muttering in cat whispers about the brat.
That was the cat family for a few years… but when Maxx bid farewell, we decided to get Torii a playmate. Bertie couldn’t have been a better pick. He and Torii adore each other, and he’s so good natured he even got along with the increasingly crabby Gilda.
We might have stopped there, but for… well, this story is caught here in its entirety (with pictures). Lucy and Pippi became part of the family one year ago today.
Lucy & Pippi: Part 1
Lucy & Pippi: Part 2
Lucy & Pippi: Part 3
Lucy & Pippi: Part 4
Now that Gilda has joined Maxx (who, we presume, spun around three more times in shock upon seeing Gilda again), we’re a four cat family. I’ve read that cats are the soul of a house, and can’t think of a better way to put it. When I think of home, it’s them I think of: Torii lolling about on the couch, thumping his T Rex tail. Bertie settling into a box. Lucy and Pippi tearing around the house, chasing each others’ tails. Like Mark Twain said (about dogs): if cats don’t go to heaven, I’ll go where they’re going. That’s where my wife will be, anyway.