Thursday, July 27, 2006
My last cat to go on to the Great Cat Beyond was named LittleJohn and nicknamed "Monster". His nickname came about because, when he was a kitten, he was into everything and destroyed so much stuff. I would come home from work, enter my apartment, and see my four-foot-tall three-trunked potted palm lying in disarray on its side on my living room floor, dirt sprawling across the carpeting, and a happy kitten peeping out from under the leaves, ready to pounce. Anything I had left on the dining table would be strewn about, leaking into the kitchen. Ribbons were especially lovely for that cat. Upon glimpsing the massacre, I would shriek, "Oh! You little monster!" The four-foot-tall, three-trunked potted palm ended up as a three-stubbed, four-inch-high potted dead palm very quickly. "Monster" stuck. But he grew into a dignified, portly cat who would sprawl on his back in the sunlight, waiting for me to rub his curly belly hair. Far removed from the "monster kitten" he had been. He was 12 when he lapped at a teaspoon of antifreeze that had leaked onto the pavement beneath our car; he lasted six months after a frantic stay at the veterinarian's during which he wasted away to a bony shadow of himself. One day, I let him out on the back deck to lie in the sun...he never came back. So I was finally ready this summer to get a new cat. Remember this sweet little ball of fluff?
He has entered the Demon Kitten From Hell stage. Many of our houseplants are being shredded. He tangles himself up in OmegaDotter's elaborate creations during the day when we're away, knocks over her stuffed animals which are so very carefully placed this way or that way in some specific order which only OD's mind remembers. (But trust me, she remembers!) He has discovered the toilet paper rolls in both bathrooms. As a result, for the duration, the toilet paper rolls have been taken off the rollers and stashed on the top of the toilet tanks. He drives the Dawg crazy by sitting in his food dish. He tries to sneak into the refrigerator every time we have it open. He chews on the basketry. He climbs onto the dining table and knocks the flowers over and pushes all the paper onto the floor. He tries to jump onto the dining table when we're eating dinner, or sneak a piece of food off anyone's plate if he's on their lap. When I'm sacked out with OmegaDotter in her bedroom and OmegaDad sleeps alone in our bed, the kitten turns into a serial killer who leaps and pounces on OmegaDad's toes, chews his beard, pulls his hair, and, in general, keeps him up all night. But when I'm in bed with OmegaDad, the kitten comes, curls up on my head or under my chin, and purrs loudly every time I stir. He climbs on my shoulders, sticks his nose in my ear, and purrs. He puts up with an amazing amount of physical mayhem from the dotter. He's very, very cute.