Archive for March, 2013

A Two Cat Family

I Love The Way You See Things211In the days after our cat Poos died, Doobins regularly talked about how much he missed Poos. Sometimes, he would mention something in particular that he missed, such as having to shoo Poos off the kitchen table. Then came the day when Doobins started talking about wanting a new cat – a cat of his very own.

Making that happen proved to be a two-cat operation. The first cat first appeared to us as a tiny striped kitten afraid to come closer to anyone than six or eight feet. We became one of several households in the neighborhood that would leave out food. But, because he was so afraid, we certainly didn’t say, “Ah, Doobins’ new cat has arrived.”

One night, as Doobins and I walked out to the car, we came upon a grown black cat that we didn’t know. The cat walked right up to Doobins and rubbed against his legs. We stopped and visited with him for a while. He seemed well-fed so I wondered what his story was. After we got into the car, Doobins said he had just been thinking about how much he wanted a cat and then there it was.

“He looks as if he already has a home, Buddy,” I said.

It soon came to seem, though, as if he didn’t. The black cat started hanging around, and the second we were willing to let him cross the threshold to our house, he took full advantage of the opportunity. He was soon lounging about for long hours before heading back outside. Sparkle Girl named him Slinky. That soon became Slinks or Mr. Slinks. Intrigued by the comings and goings of the black cat, the striped kitten began venturing closer and closer to our front door. One day, stripey decided that it was OK for us to rub him when we went out. Doobins gave him a name – Blitz.

Given that Blitz’s whole life so far had been spent outside, I wondered how he would react to such a different world should he ever venture inside. When he did choose to follow Mr. Slinks through the door one day, he acted as if it had always been his home. Mr. Slinks was not happy to share, though, and he soon began spending significantly less time with us. We began to wonder whether he had shown up solely for the short-term mission of introducing Blitz to domestic life.

When Faye and I went on our walks, Mr. Slinks continued to join us, though. Blitz soon joined in, too. As Faye and I walked down the sidewalk, the two cats would run through yards, often scampering along the fronts of houses. It made me feel as if Faye and I were a wagon train and they were the scouts, riding the perimeter to keep an eye out for danger. Blitz and Mr. Slinks eventually came to an understanding, with Slinks sleeping on the bed or rocking chair in Sparkle Girl’s room, and Blitz sleeping on the upholstered chair where Garnet reads her Bible in the morning.

Blitz, as it turns out, is the cat that was destined to be Doobins’ cat. Blitz loves to play, and they start their day with Doobins dangling twine for him to swat or flicking the green cap from a plastic soda bottle across the wooden floor for him to chase. Seeing how much pleasure Doobins derives from Blitz’s presence gives a great deal of pleasure to Garnet and me.

It’s been an adjustment for our dog Faye. Our day used to start quietly, heading out the door together first thing – me walking along looking at the sky, her walking along smelling the smells that beckoned. Now, her day begins with hubbub – cats everywhere – demanding to be the first out the door – and then, on the walk, Blitz pouncing on Faye.

Faye just stops and waits for Blitz to slide off. Her equanimity is quite impressive.