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[personal profile] lacyunderall
Allow me to preface this with information about me as a cat owner. I grew up with cats, nasty, ill-tempered, male Lilac Point Siamese cats. We went through three during my childhood, and to this day I don't know why I loved them. They were noisy, smelly and mean, clawing me in my sleep or just lazily reaching over and swiping my face occasionally, leaving blood. But the conditioning held, and when I had my first place, I adopted a stray cat, who promptly broke my heart. He'd get into fights, bring in vermin, disappear for weeks at a time and still I loved that cat. He would.not.go into a carrier when I moved, so I left him to his own devices. He never really needed me, but I was convinced I was a "cat person."

I know now that I am not. I hate cleaning litter boxes. I hate that for most of the day, they only pay attention to me so that I'll feed them their once-a-day wet food. I hate all the hair. I hate cleaning up puke. And yet I find myself with four male cats now. Three were my own; one is my boyfriend's. I've had two cats in my life that were THE FUCKING BEST, and they died (Lucy in Hawaii and Scooter in KC). Don't get me wrong. I have a certain amount of affection for them. If I didn't I would have never rescued them from their various situations. But even Max, who I've had the longest, is "Number Two." When his brother Scooter was alive I'd tell Max, "If Scooter ever dies, you'll still be Number Two." Now Scooter's dead, and I have Number Two.

I think that deep down in my heart, I'm a little afraid of them. I know that their memories are short and if Allan and I died here in the loft, they'd be dining on our soft bits within hours. They'd care nothing about the hours fretting over their various illnesses, our worries over their happiness in these environs, the thousands of dollars on food, toys, scratching posts, brushes, dainties and unguents. They'd rip open our abdomens and squabble over our spleens.

Here are pictures of cats who look like what we own (I'm not the cutesy cat owner who calls them "furry companions" nor do I whinge about getting them declawed if they're tearing up my shit...don't even start). They're photos I took off Google Images, because I'm too lazy to move one seat over and look for actual photos (yes, I have them; I'm not THAT big an asshole).

Mackenzie: This one is all Allan's. He's a Mackerel Tabby, three years old, was adopted at six months and he's one handsome dude. But he's a dick. He harangues me with his tiny little mouth, yowling for lunch starting at 8:30 a.m. until actual feeding time at 12:30. He runs at me, trying to herd me into the kitchen. He was afraid of windows until he met Spoogie, and will go absolutely monkey shit over a laser pointer. He attacks other cats without provocation, then hides under the bed until they forget.

Max: Max is part Maine Coon, tuxedo blend, eight years old. He's a pig-hog, and will hoover up anything that falls on the floor, but only if it's within mouth-reach. He'll run for a few seconds and then fall down wherever he is and go to sleep. He's matted because he won't sit still for the curry comb, although sometimes I manage to catch him and cut the mats out and cut the hair from around his butthole. Because doodies get caught there and the other cats will follow him around attempting to toss his salad, which makes me barf, unless I take care of it immediately. I'm not convinced he's innocent in the death of his brother.

Spoogie: Oh, Spooge. He's an American Long Hair, three years old, and that look of vacuous disregard for life and limb? That's real. He's the first one to run right into flame or out a door or up a tree, just because it's there. He has no memory; burning his eyebrows off in a flame doesn't remind him not to sniff candles. He is best friend/lover man to Mac and they spend hours cleaning each other and throwing up the fur.

Louie: A/k/a "Louie of the Chicago Lou Malnatis," "Papouie," "Get the fuck OFF me, Louie!" Louie's a Seal Point Siamese, 12 years old. I rescued him last year, and he almost didn't make it in the family. Getting into death ball fights with fatboy Max seemed untenable, but the old boy pulled it out. He fights with the younger cats on occasion and kinda owns this joint. He sleeps right on the pillow by Allan's head, and one night, he let out a fart that cleared even the other cats out of the room (Allan never woke up...I still laugh about that). His breath is gross and he head butts us incessantly until we pet him. No matter where you sit, he'll jump on you and find wiggle room to own.

Okay, so there's the menagerie. I do love them, but occasionally ask Allan questions like, "Do you suppose we'd get a group discount if we had them all put down at once?"

How do we make this work? Pt. II forthcoming...
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August 2010

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