M. Giant's
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Thursday, March 06, 2003  


As you know, we have two cats we take care of. This week, we’re taking care of five.

Dirt and Banana are in Santa Barbara this week, so we’re responsible for keeping their three pets alive. They do it for us when we leave town, after all. Plus they let us park our car in front of their house because they live close to the airport, which easily covers the favor-cost of the third cat. Good thing, too, because if they lived in the other direction we’d have no choice but to let one of their cats starve.

It wouldn’t be Lou, of course. Banana has had Lou for years, even before she met Dirt. Lou is a beautiful cat with a natural wood-grain finish coat. He looks as if he’s made out of sanded pine when he’s in repose. That is to say, usually. Lou used to come stay with us when Banana left town. We’d close off the basement to keep him separate from our cats, but the barrier was inevitably breached. There was some initial tension between Lou and Strat, but they eventually discovered their common interest in sitting in windowsills and staring outside, and they would swap windows and take turns monitoring different sectors of the perimeter like small, fuzzy, unarmed prison guards. They were so serious about it that you just had to hug them, whereupon they’d be all, “Hey, we’re monitoring the perimeter here! Jeeeez!” There were a few visits to Dirt and Banana’s place that ended with Lou trying to get us to take him home with us to see Strat. But Lou’s visits to us stopped when he and Strat had an unexplained falling out. And also when Banana’s household expanded to include Dirt and Edgar.

Edgar is the black cat, a full-grown ball of furry, ebon energy with the exuberance of a kitten. Sometimes I wonder if he’s part dog. When we go over to feed them, Edgar rushes up to us and either flops at our feet to be petted or orbits our ankles at high speed. Although that may be because his eyes are so close together that his depth perception can’t be so great. Edgar’s fun. He’ll play with you without you having to coax him, and he’s not encumbered with an excess of dignity that afflicts some cats. You can be sitting in a chair, watching TV, and he’ll hop up and make himself comfortable on top of your head. So Edgar gets to live too.

But then there’s Frank, a striking-looking beast. He’s white with blue-gray and black stripes that make his coat look like a spacesuit, and sky-blue eyes. He looks like a cat from the future—the next ice age, maybe. He’s the shyest of the three; normally when we go over we don’t see him come out of hiding for at least an hour. But when we’re the only human the cats have seen in a week and they’ve figured out that we’re the ones feeding them, he’s much more friendly. He “hides” under a kitchen chair where we can see him, rather than under the furnace. And when you do coax him out (or haul him out, as the case may be), he has a purr that you can hear from the next room. He had some health problems last year, but he’s back to 100% now. Actually it feels like 105% percent when you pick him up, but it’s all pure, grade-A cat meat. Considering Frank’s sweetness and everything he’s been through, I suppose he gets his food ration as well.

So, yeah, it’s a good thing Banana and Dirt live so close to the airport. If they ever move out to the suburbs, we’ll only have one option: get a third cat ourselves.

* * *

I normally avoid politics here, but I thought you might want a chance to express your opinion on the whole Iraq thingy. No, I don’t mean to me, whaddya want me to do about it? No, tell U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, who has put up a poll on his web page. Go click, one way or the other (link via Annatopia).

posted by M. Giant 3:36 PM 0 comments


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