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

Wednesday, January 02, 2008  

Welcome Home

I'd like you to meet our new cat. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of him yet, so you'll just have to wait.

We all deal with grief and the final stages of a loved one's life differently. In Phantom's case, whenever one of her fellow cats dies, she quickly becomes a great deal more affectionate toward the humans in the house. After Turtle's demise, it was kind of nice to have Phantom suddenly drop the grudge she's held against me since we got her three years ago and I had to give her daily medicine for two weeks. The shy, aloof cat was suddenly a sweet kitten, hopping up into my lap and purring and curling. And farting.

That's how she acts after a cat dies. Before a cat dies, for some reason she gets diarrhea and then craps all over the place upstairs. Which is bad, since the catboxes are in the basement. It happened in Turtle's last weeks, and in Strat's final days. In both cases, it stopped almost immediately after the other cats' deaths, which was a small blessing in difficult times, at least.

Being the only cat in the house over the past week and a half has been tough for her. The last three nights, she's woken me up at least once by licking my head and neck. She doesn't have anyone else to clean any more, you see. Presumably I'm the dirtiest one in the house.

We knew it would be hard on her, so we got the ball rolling on backfilling Strat's position before he was even gone. We called the same vet-friend who hooked us up with Phantom and Turtle three years ago. Actually, I called her as a surprise to Trash, and Trash called her as a surprise to me. Kind of like "Gift of the Magi," but with a dying animal.

We told M. Small that he got to pick the next cat. One day last week we drove down to the pet hospital way down in Prior Lake, and spent some time in a room with two rescue cats. One was an orange-and-white girl, and the other was a male with long, black fur. They're both around six months old. We had already been leaning toward getting another boy, and M. Small's reaction to the black one sealed the deal. While Trash was holding the kitten, he clawed at Trash's neck and shoulders to get away. Which M. Small thought was hilarious. So there you go. Welcome to the family.

He needed some shots and testing and stuff before we could bring him home, but all of that has been done over the past week. This afternoon I went and picked him up. He was almost eerily quiet in the carrier next to me during the ride home. When we arrived at the house, I brought him downstairs and shut the basement door, to keep him and Phantom separate for now. I set his carrier in the middle of the floor, opened its door, and told him I'd be right back. And I was. I just haven't seen him since. There are few places in the world more rich in hiding places than our basement the week after Christmas, you see. Hence, no picture.

We had also told M. Small that he could name the next cat, which may have been something we'll regret. In fact, he may regret it himself one day. But that's the risk of letting a three-year-old name a pet.

As soon as the kitty comes out of hiding, I'll get some pictures of him so you can finally meet little Excavator.

posted by M. Giant 3:31 PM 14 comments


He'll resurface eventually. When we brought home the latest cat, (also black,) he also disappeared, and stayed invisible for nearly a month, and was very shy for several months more. We referred to him as the shadowcat.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 2, 2008 at 4:21 PM  

Welcome to the M. Family, Excavator! :D

By Blogger Heather, at January 3, 2008 at 4:23 AM  

I, too, have a black cat that was skittish for a long time, but she eventually warmed up to us and the other cats. Also, I love the name Excavator...it might especially apply once he discovers the litter box.

By Blogger dancing_lemur, at January 3, 2008 at 4:27 AM  

Excavator - tee hee! My nephew named his cats "Tut" (he was a year old and couldn't say cat) and "Buzz Lightyear" (he was three and into Toy Story).

By Blogger Bunny, at January 3, 2008 at 5:48 AM  

Well, when M. Small is old enough for the Star Wars phase, you can always shorten it to "Vator" (it is a black cat)....

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 3, 2008 at 6:18 AM  

Shouldn't it be M. Excavator?

I'm just saying.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 3, 2008 at 7:41 AM  

Congratulations on your new Excavator!

I love it when kids that age name pets. When he was three, my nephew named his pet "Shotgun Shadow".

Pretty cool name for a goldfish, huh?

By Blogger Dimestore Lipstick, at January 3, 2008 at 7:56 AM  

As someone who works with John Deere's construction product line, I couldn't think of a better name for a cat. Seriously, skid steer or wheel loader just don't flow right. And you may raise some eyebrows if you named him "backhoe"... ha ha ha.

Well done, M. Small!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 3, 2008 at 8:05 AM  

My kids are awesome at naming pets. We had several Pininki's because the name was too great to flush along with the dead fish who used the name. My all time favorite was a mouse named popdylootis with a companion called apple-doody.
Congrats on Excavator!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 3, 2008 at 11:21 AM  

Chao -- that's one of the reasons we only got one cat. His second choices were "Dump Truck" and "Front-End Loader."

By Blogger M. Giant, at January 3, 2008 at 1:02 PM  

My three year old nephew named my new kitty Stink. She was a stray cat we found on our farm and she had "issues" with cat food.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 3, 2008 at 2:33 PM  

Ha ha! Again with kids naming pets; we have a yellow Manx that the kids named "Butter" which got changed to "Butt Butt" when my roommate's 2 year old granddaughter couldn't handle "Butter." Butter has a black and white sister named "Oreo," also courtesy of the kids. Maybe we should feed them more.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 4, 2008 at 6:42 AM  

My 3-year-old nephew wanted to name his (as yet unacquired) puppy "Uncle Colin Puppy", after my boyfriend (one of his three favorite adults ever). While Uncle Colin was quite amused by this suggestion, all the adults figured that by the time the boy turned 10, he might regret that choice, so he was steered towards something else, like SuperPuppy (fitting, given his Superman obsession).

He did, however, get an enormous stuffed turtle a few weeks later and named it Uncle Colin Turtle.

By Blogger Alida, at January 8, 2008 at 11:16 PM  

Congratulations on your new family member! Good to hear another rescue kitty is finding a loving home.

By Blogger kmckee7, at January 9, 2008 at 8:18 AM  

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