M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Wednesday, December 01, 2004  

Hello Kitty

After Orca died, the house felt a lot emptier, even with a new human living in it. Strat especially was acting depressed and lonely. He occasionally freaked out when the front door opened, as if now that Orca was gone, somebody was coming for him next. And more than once he spotted the black stuffed dog about Orca’s size sitting on a bookshelf, and he’d run up excitedly to greet it, and then be disappointed that it wasn’t her. He hasn’t been an only cat for thirteen years, and he’s just not used to it.

So I’d like you to meet Phantom.

Phantom is an eight-month-old surplus barn cat that our Vet-Friend took in. VF is involved with animal rescue, and her house is something of a revolving door for at-risk animals. She knew we’d be wanting a new kitty soon, and she sent us some camera-phone pictures to choose from, including the one above.

VF had Phantom stay in her house for over a week, letting her get over her cold and putting her through a course of de-worming medication. VF assured Trash that while she understood that Orca was irreplaceable, Phantom had similar qualities: namely, shyness around new people, willingness to bond with familiar people, and a certain attitude.

Phantom moved in last week. We locked Strat out of the basement while Phantom stayed downstairs. Her name proved fitting, as she possesses the ability to vanish at will. We’ve got lots of stuff we’re keeping down there, and if she disappears into one of the storage spaces we’re not going to find her until she wants to be found.

Phantom, like Orca, has turned out to be pretty much Trash’s cat. She was purring on Trash’s lap the first night, whereas if I enter the room she takes it as her cue to flee in panic.

Not that I can blame her. On the rare (and by “rare,” I mean “not quite daily”) occasions where I can either corner her in the open or capitalize on her frantic stumbling, I have to take advantage of the opportunity to give her a dose of her medicine. The pills are gone, which is good, but I still have to squirt three milliliters of liquid down her hissing throat every day. The days when I can find her, I mean. I don’t think the two of us are going to be friends for a while. To be fair, she purrs when I catch her and hold her in my lap for snuggles, but it’s hard to say how much of that is due to the aftereffects of the tranq gun.

When she and Strat first came face to face, there was plenty of freezing and glaring and hissing, but no outright fighting. Now I think they’re starting to hang out a little. Phantom emerges from the basement late at night, when I would be asleep if I weren’t helping to feed and diaper M. Tiny. Early one morning, Strat and Phantom were both on the back of the love seat, trying to look out the front window together. Since the shade was drawn that didn’t go too well. And Phantom bolted the second she saw me, so I can’t be sure if they were sharing the lack of view or fighting over it.

As for M. Tiny, Phantom sees him the way the other cats do: as a immobile, bald, occasionally loud cat.

We’re glad Phantom’s with us. We’re trying not to put pressure on her or expect too much of her in terms of replacing Orca. Orca’s irreplaceable, obviously. It’s impossible to expect any one cat to fill her fuzzy white socks.

That’s why in a few days, you’ll also meet Turtle.

Today’s best search phrase: “Slides of the Geritol solution.” Sounds a little sinister, doesn’t it? Logan’s Run as imagined by the Third Reich.

posted by M. Giant 4:49 PM 19 comments


I'm a first-time commenter here (and quite the newbie to your blog). Just wanted to say that I think Phantom and Turtle just might be the cutest kitties I've ever seen. Orca can never be replaced, but I'm glad both you and Trash are willing to give your love to more cats. :)

~ restlessly

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 1, 2004 at 5:14 PM  

You guys are awesome. Congratulations to you all on the new additions.

By Blogger keepergirl, at December 1, 2004 at 5:30 PM  

Curses! The pictures aren't showing up for me. But congratulations nonetheless!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 1, 2004 at 6:16 PM  

Damn, you aren't afraid of a challenge, are you? A new baby, 2 new kittens, and a diabetic cat? I am in awe of your, well, awesomeness.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 1, 2004 at 7:28 PM  

I already love them both so much it makes me want to cry!!

By Blogger DeAnn, at December 1, 2004 at 9:41 PM  

I thought phantom looked sweet. but turtle is beautiful.

By Blogger jen, at December 1, 2004 at 9:42 PM  

Oh, my God.

M. Tiny's toddler years are gonna be interesting. I can't wait.

By Blogger pamie, at December 1, 2004 at 10:50 PM  

Wow. Your new additions are beautiful, and I really look forward to updates on how they all get along with each other and you guys. Especially, as Pamie pointed out, when M. Tiny is a toddler. Hee.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 2, 2004 at 4:46 AM  

It warms my heart when people take in shelter kitties. Especially the slighty older ones. You guys are the best!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 2, 2004 at 5:40 AM  

Congratulations on the new additions! What lucky kitties to end up in such a fun house.

By Blogger Omega, at December 2, 2004 at 5:56 AM  

Well, of course... how could you resist either one of them? LOOK AT THEM.

Five dollars says M. Tiny's first word is "kitty" and the first song he learns on the guitar is "Cat Scratch Fever."

By Blogger Allison, at December 2, 2004 at 6:19 AM  

Phantom & Turtle are beautiful! I know Orca is as happy for you and the new kitties as we all are.

Thank you for rescuing these two!

And WOW...you two definitely are not afraid of a challenge!

You'll never forget this year!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 2, 2004 at 7:19 AM  

While you're at it, you should get a parrot or a cockatoo!
You can never have too many kitty cats running around the house, in my opinion. May Santa bring you lots of catnip for your new and good-old buddies! - Marissa

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 2, 2004 at 8:20 AM  

I'm going to tell a story on M. Giant. I was at their house the night Turtle and Phantom moved in (truthfully, these days, swing a new cat and you're likely to hit a day when I'm vegged on their couch drinking margaritas. We were in the basement, and M. Tiny was in his little seat/carrier thing, chilling out, and Turtle was doing that kitten thing where they sort of rear up on their back feet so they can stalk . . . a spot on the floor, and then they pounce straight down (which made M. Giant say, "Need . . . more . . . feet!", which made me laugh like a hyena). Phantom was appearing and disappearing like a spaz. Oh, and when not stalking the carpeting, Turtle was getting up on the couch behind me and trying to make a meal out of my hair, which was interesting. And I looked over and said to M. Giant, "You have a very active household." And he got this gloriously happy look and said, "We do." They thrive on the crazy, which is why they have a baby AND a cat AND another cat AND a previous cat AND a band AND more fun than anyone I know.

By Blogger Linda, at December 2, 2004 at 8:35 AM  

Oh. My. Word. Cutest kittens in a while!

(Not ever, though - one of our cats had a litter of three identical grey kittens last year. Right now, they're pretty hard to top. Sorry.)

But, wow! Phantom and Turtle are adorable and very lucky little guys, and you and Trash are the bravest new parents ever - good luck!

By Blogger Rebecca, at December 2, 2004 at 10:01 AM  

That is so, so, so very awesome. I want an active household! Don't be frightened - because I don't actually know where you live - but I want nothing more right now than to come over and hang with y'all when we're back in MN for the holidays. What a wonderful home.

- JeniMull

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 2, 2004 at 6:47 PM  

That little kitty mouth of Turtle is w a y cute! I'm so glad that you have some new kitties to share your life. Orca wouldn't want you to be sad


By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 2, 2004 at 11:16 PM  

Hmmm, am I trendy? I picked up a barn cat from a farm outside Lincoln, Nebraska back in 1998. Then my brother gets a barn cat, now you have a barn cat. Barn cats of the world unite! Demand tuna! --Sayer

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 3, 2004 at 2:42 PM  

Wait -- you got 2!!! cats? Are you insane? You must live in a madhouse.

Of course, I too would like to hang at the M. house, if only to watch Trash and M. Giant navigate the madhouse.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at December 3, 2004 at 6:28 PM  

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