Monday, May 02, 2005

Two Pounds of Sheer, Fuzzy Gall

I couldn't take it any longer.
James, my three-year-old cat, has been inconsolable without Bart, his surrogate daddy cat who I think went middle age crazy and took off a few weeks ago to hit the road, kill some birds and maybe chase some squirrels.
James has been stuck to me like a Bonobo monkey since Bart split. He sits on my lap while I'm online. He sleeps on my stomach and meows if I move. He follows me into the bathroom and stands there while I shower. He meows about 700 times a day- a plaintive, whiny meow that tells me he misses his pal and feels very lonely in my now one-cat home.
I had to finally relent and get James a little kitten of his own.
Enter Nick, a three-month-old, silver and black striped tabby with perfectly symmetrical cream markings on his face that give him a look of royalty. His nose is huge and the leather is a color that could only be described as puce. He's long haired, with that hilarious kitten tendency for the fur to stand straight up like something exploded nearby. His paws are huge, but his little body weighs fewer than 2 pounds.
We worried that James would pounce the baby once we took him from his carrier.
James spent all day yesterday shivering under the couch, consumed with jealousy and fear, with pupils so large his eyes looked like black olives.
Several times, Baby Nick went under the couch to tease James. Nick looks about as scared of 16-pound James as I am of SpongeBob Squarepants.
In fact, while James spent all day yesterday hiding under the couch, Nick explored the entire house, pausing to play with all 50 dozen of James's leftover baby toys.
Because I like big male kittens who mature into large, lazy good old boy kitties, I noticed immediately how much Nick likes to control the entire household.
He thinks getting up on the dining room table and casually strolling around while I eat will remain perfectly acceptable behavior.
He is mistaken.
He thinks it's allowable to attack peoples' stray hands and feet, biting them hard before he skitters away.
That habit has to cease immediately.
He thinks the basket filled with cat toys looks much better with the basket empty, knocked over and the toys spread haphazardly throughout the entire house.
But in reality, he prefers playing with a wadded up sheet of legal pad paper to all the action-packed cat toys that ever were.
He thinks his bed is located in the middle of my abdomen, where he likes to pace around in a circle a few hours before he sleeps.
He is friendly and cuddly, but he likes to determine the length of time he's willing to be petted or held. If I exceed his limit, he stiffens up like an ironing board and screams in a stage voice, "WAHHH," until I put him down. Not meow, not mrrow, he says 'wahhh' like he rehearsed the crybaby pronunciation since infancy.

I think he actually believes his job was to set the house rules for dealing with baby kittens.

He has no idea how mistaken he is. I treat my cats like they are celebrities, and their job in turn is to amuse and entertain me as needed. I am the boss and they are sort of like my furry employees.
I was using a step-stool yesterday and Nick climbed up on the top step with me, oblivious to the dangers of my size 9 shoe mashing his little body to a furry pulp.
This morning, James very cautiously came out from under the couch, presumably to check out the baby. Nick spotted him and chased him back under the couch.
The sight of a two-pound, fuzzball kitten chasing off a 16-pound, muscular adult male cat with home court advantage defies description. It's almost as if Nick's alpha male attitude is so intense, he wanted us all to understand he'd be running things from day one, from now on.
I have known him since he was an infant slurping kitten formula from a baby bottle, and he always behaved in a sweet, good natured manner.
Now just two months later, the little pisher thinks he's Donald Trump.
I just caught him posing in front of the big mirror in the living room.
I could be wrong, but I think I heard him say, "Who's your Daddy, James?"

I think my household is about to get a lot more interesting. James better start buttering up his new pal before Nick uses his paw to open the front door and shove James outside.

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