Jul 24, 2006


There has been consistent controversy in my household--Boy wants a pet. A turtle, a goldfish, a cat, a dog, a lizard--he doesn't care, he just wants a pet, dammit. And Guy and I have been hard-hearted. We can't afford all the business a fishtank requires (nor do we particularly care about fish). Ditto lizards and turtles, plus those are unhealthy. Super ditto dogs, what with the walking them and No, Boy, you wouldn't want to walk him every day, nor would you be able to, as we won't let you walk around the park by yourself at night. Cats will claw our beautiful ABC Carpet & Home couch that we adore and are still paying for.

However, all that stated, this is not about Boy. This is about me. See, secretly, I've been in his camp all along. Well, maybe not so secretly. I truly don't care about fish and have an aversion to reptiles, but I have named our theoretical dog Bear. And he will remain theoretical, because I disapprove of any dogs smaller than a lab, and love Newfoundlands (Bear is a Newfoundland), and we can all just have a laugh at the absurdity of a dog that size in an apartment. Not to mention the size of the dog's crap--do walkers charge extra for extra-large poo?

But a cat. . .a cat I really did want. I periodically take a look around animal shelter websites, to see what poor baby needs a home today. And the whole clawing thing could be dealt with--I would cry to see that couch damaged, but there are these little soft-paw things you can get, or you can clip, or you can watch it like a hawk and never go to work and then not be able to afford cat food.

But the bigger issue is that Guy is allergic. And his statement "I don't want to be sick all the time in my own home" is quite reasonable. So, apart from the occasional "wouldn't it be wonderful to have a cat?" I've left it alone.

But yesterday, on a whim, we drove up to Buttzville, NJ (really, that's its name) and stopped at a roadside antique store on the way. And there was a little grey kitten there. . .the last kitten, the woman said. They'd been abandoned at birth, and the rest had found homes, and there was just this little girlie left. I held her as we walked around the store, marveling at the idea that a) anyone would take another kitten over this perfect grey one, and b) that Guy had once declared that my daemon (as in Philip Pullman, Lyra, and Pantalaimon) was a grey cat.

I couldn't help it. I said "Can I have a kitten for my birthday?" Which isn't for two weeks, but it's a big one ("Quarter of a century, makes a girl think") and I knew he hadn't gotten me anything yet.

We left the kitten there, and drove off.

Guy, it turned out, was actually willing to discuss it, and had in fact been thinking about a cat for my birthday previous to this encounter with the grey kitten. But he wanted me to actually think about it, as there are several potential problems.

1) The aforementioned couch
2) Guy's allergies--which have been surmounted in the past, but still no fun
3) we're going away in two weeks
4) cats+yarn=tangled and torn yarn.
5) I've never had indoor cats, and Guy has. He says they're against sleeping.

But as we wandered through flea markets, and stumbled across $4 kitten carriers, and discussed possible solutions to the aforementioned problems, it began to feel more and more fate-like.

Suffice it to say, we bought the kitten carrier. We went back to the antique shop. We have a new member of the household.

This is Maud:
(On our horrible Holiday Inn carpeting. We try to ignore it, but Maud likes it).

She's playful, but cautious--a casual explorer, more comfortable poking around small rooms and people's feet, and won't venture anywhere she hasn't been specifically taken. Loves to be held. Not quite clear on the whole eating thing--she got called a tard once or twice for being quite willing to eat off our fingers but incapable of understanding that the same substance sat in her bowl--in larger quantities, to boot.

She gets very tired very easily--nipping one moment, then conked out the next. The red splotches on Guy's neck are sunburn, not allergic reactions. I swear.

She is named after Possession's Maud Bailey, and I refuse to allow anyone to nickname her anything else until she answers to that. My father nicknamed my little sister's cat Johnny Cat, and he never went by anything else. Maud deserves better.


alex said...

Yay Maud!! :) That's awesome!! I'll let Ishy & Bron Bron know...

awwwfancy said...

Screw the tangled yarn--cat+yarn=tangled cat guts and a huge vet bill, that's what. Keep the yarn in Brooklyn and might as well deposit your used dental floss there as well. Plus, never, ever assume that Maud doesn't see "Balloon string" and think "oysters on the half shell." You might get lucky and find that Maud could care less about string. It's sort of an all or nothing situation.

J said...

You can borrow my Bear, Chocolate Lab mix, 14 years old, very wise, can't wait to get his learner's permit - only a few short months before we retrofit the car and I have a chaueffer! His poo is average sized and dutifully picked up by his human. That's 14+ years of crap in a bag, in case you didn't get that.

lisa said...

I'm totally behind on my commenting... Maud is too precious. She's soooo tiny and cute. But I bet she has a monster purr!

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