You Picked Her Out

September 3, 2005 at 2:25 pm (Daily Dookie)

An edited repost from January

Gapey put a pic of my cat Desdemona up on her Cats page on her website today–btw check out the gorgeous scenic pics while you're there. She does excellent photography.

Ed. note: Especially check out Gapey's Peru galleries–gorgeous!

But going there and seeing my fuzzybutt made me think about how we got her and how the usual cat-centered conversations go with my Honey, an avowed Dog Person. Forgive me for resorting to Sock Puppet Theater.

Honey: There.
Me: Whyinhell do you have the covers pulled up over your head?
Honey: So the cat doesn't tear my throat out.
Me: Why would she do that? You just fed her.
Honey: Because that's the way she is–she hates me and wants me dead.
Me: She doesn't want you dead, Honey…you're the only one that can reach her food dish since we have to hide it from the puppies.
Honey: She wants me dead. She hates me. I'm not her human, you are.
Me: She likes you ok, Honey, you feed her. Don't forget she loves your beard–she thinks it's a built-in scratching post. She adores that.
Honey: She only likes it because it's so close to my jugular.
Me: Don't be silly–you're 6'3'', she's maybe a foot long without the tail. Who do you think will win a fight?
Honey: ~firmly entrenched in delusion~ She's hated me from the moment she saw me.
Me: No, honey, she doesn't hate you. You picked her out of 50 other rescue cats and took her home with us, remember?
Honey: ~moving covers to cover his pillow too~ She hates me.

Desi came home with us about a month after we got Zeke and Dani. Naturally, with all the dogs around, I was missing Lobo, my cat. Lobo decided to move before I did when I made the move from Eau Claire, Wisconsin to Brighton, Michigan, and I miss her still. But that's another story.

Anyhow, I wanted another cat–yes, Dani's adorable, that's not the point. She's a sleek little thing (aside from the fact that she's twice as wide as she should be) and not the fuzzy, housebroken, bewhiskered fuzzybutt I'm used to having crawl up beside me when I'm in massive pain, just knowing I need something to spread ultra-fine fuzz all over my face. So I tell Honey we have to get a cat–we have the dogs he wants, I want a kittykitty.

He agrees, and decides (correctly) that we should get a kitten so that the puppies will grow up with her and no one will fight. We finally get the chance to get a kitten while we're driving to Hell–on the side of the road is a florist's shop called The Terrorfied Forest, complete with reader board that says, "Kittens–free to good home."

We pull in (mostly because I won't shut up until we at least go look), and proceed to have kittens trotted out, six or so at a time, by the gracious owner of the shop. It turns out these are all feral rescues, whose mamas now sport shaven tummies and cessation of reproductive function. She warns us as we look at the growing sea of furry faces that many of these kittens aren't quite weaned yet. I nod, looking for the larger specimens, hoping that picking an older kitten will mean we've got a fighting chance of shortening the housebreaking and weaning sections of the coming week. After all, the dogs are nowhere near housebroken yet and they're driving me insane as I try to keep puppy pee off the cream shag in the living room, hallway and master bedroom.

Honey made me agree to certain things as we pulled in: No long-haired cats, no boys, no all-black cats, only ONE cat for this customer, and don't even TRY to talk him out of any of the above. I keep this firmly in mind as I scritch, cuddle and pet my way thru the gathering throng, not wanting to miss a neat fuzzybutt since there's four other folks there doing the same thing I am.

"I don't care which one you pick out. This is the one that's coming home with us."

Huh? I look up at him. There's this little gray hairy thing brushing her head against his bearded face. She's tiny, about four weeks old, long-haired, tiger-striped, and has a snotty look on her face. Yes, of course she's utterly adorable, that's not the point–she's certainly neither weaned nor housebroken, she's got long hair and there's that "There will be no pleasing me–now take me home" look.

"Honey, she's…"

"Nope, this is our cat."

Uh, okay, if you say so. I get along well with most cats, so if that's the cat he wants prowling our house 24/7, then that's what he gets. We bundled her into my jacket and took her home.

Nope, she sure wasn't weaned or housebroken, nor did she have any idea how cats groom themselves. Not a problem–we gave her canned food and commercial cat milk for a couple days until she decided Kitten Chow looked good, and she caught on to the litterbox after only three times dropping her impossibly fluffy ass into it.

The grooming? Apparently the dogs decided she was another littermate except for that awful smell, so they licked her until she smelled better. This is how Zeke got the moniker, "Slobberchops"–she looked like a drowned rat for a couple days, then figured out that if she did it herself, the big hairy thing wouldn't do it for her.

And Honey? He likes the kitty ok, but vacillates between rapture when she decides his face is a great place to scritch her head, plotting her becoming slippers in her next life, and Sock Puppet Theater.

All these conversations end with the same words. Sometimes they're said with an "Oh, how adorable!" coo to the voice, sometimes with enough venom indicating that what's death for the cat would be death for the Honey, and sometimes, said in the most normal, devoid of supressed giggles voice I can generate…

"You picked her out, Honey."

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