October 21st, 2005


A Very Special Announcement

Last weekend I went up to see the nice people at For Paws Sake, who had promised to bring a little orange tabby for me to meet. For a number of reasons, I was considering getting a kitten. I planned for this kitten to be male, hoping that would be easier on Heidi, and orange, because the two sweetest, most loving cats I've ever known were orange.

You know what they say: Man plans, God laughs.

The orange tabby decided he wanted to get away and ended up jumping in the cat carrier of a lady that was there to get her cats' nails clipped. The cat whose carrier had been usurped, Isabella, was relatively calm about this. She was just a sweetheart, pretty and friendly and good-natured. When I remarked on this, Isabella's owner explained she had gotten her from For Paws Sake and those were her sisters in that cage over there. I was so impressed with Isabella that I picked up one of her sisters, a gorgeous medium-haired five-month-old named Katie.

Katie reached up with her little paw and touched my face, and it was all over.

Katie is a mookitty, as I've seen them referred to: white with black spots, like a Holstein cow. She's not yet mastered the concept of feline grace; she keeps falling off the couch while playing. She LOVES food. She's most affectionate when I'm eating, but that's only because she wants my food. The little scamp stole a piece of penne from me the other night.

And how, you might ask, is Heidi doing with all this?

Well, I won't lie and say she was pleased. In fact, I have a bite nearly an inch long on my hand that proves she wasn't. Several people informed me I should be prepared for the two to hate each other for at least two weeks; well, it's been less than one and Heidi's stopped with most of the hissing. They're showing tentative signs of curiosity and friendliness, or at least I think so: touching noses, sniffing butts (gee, I'm so glad that isn't a human thing). They'll even sit near each other.

And though I can't say for sure whether it's Katie's influence or not, Heidi is chilling out. She's much more interested in being petted, and less likely to hide.

Katie was not a replacement for Heidi. They're their own cats with their own personalities. Heidi's greatest joy these days is playing -- her current favorite is a flying-type toy called Da Bird, and when she wants to make her point that she is a deadly predator and not to be messed with, she'll just grab the feathered part and sit on it. In the weeks since she's come to live with me, she's lost noticeable weight as a result of all her playing. Katie's most energetic whenever I'm asleep. Early this morning she knocked over a vase and made a racket. I tried to keep her in the bathroom at first while I was at work, just in case Heidi decided to beat her up; Katie decided she'd had enough of that pretty quickly and ducked way under the bed. They crack me up with the litter box. If I dare look at Heidi while she's doing her business, I'm just asking for it; Katie, on the other hand, will jump in while I'm cleaning.

And last night, with both of them cuddled up to me on the couch, I felt like a very, very lucky woman.
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