Miles away, I can hear Jon (one of my oldest and dearest friends) mutter at his desk: “Where’s the goddamn CAT BLOG?”
It’s true. I know that this is exactly what he’s thinking. Not about his business, or his upcoming gigs as a member of the greatest Faces tribute band ever, or about how he’s going to keep himself from being hoodwinked into giving up an entire bag of chocolate Goldfish crackers to his highly persuasive toddler. The fact is that I haven’t delivered the goods in a long time, certainly not since I’ve been on the new platform, and there may be – I don’t know – just SCADS of new readers who know nothing of these cats I haven’t been “blogging” about.
So if you’re just tuning in, or you find that you too have been missing my FASCINATING cat stories, here’s a little Cat Primer, if you will.
First of all, both of our cats are former ferals we acquired when we lived in Jamaica Plain. JP is, among other things, home to a number of feral cat colonies, one of which lived in and around the engineering company next to our house. While we lived in that particular neighborhood, we were part of a small group of folks who managed to trap, lure, and otherwise trick the kitties into giving up their hardscrabble lives on the mean streets of JP. Two of them wound up living with us.
Aren’t they simply the most gorgeous things you’ve ever seen? AND WE GOT THEM OUT OF THE DUMPSTER. People go and buy pretteh kittehs from breeders and pet stores and we almost literally fished ours, scratching and yowling, from the trash. FROM THE TRASH.
(NOTE: I don’t recommend that you go right out and follow my lead. Taming a feral cat is some serious bidness, one that requires at the very least a big ol’ cage and some very heavy duty gloves, to say nothing of inexhaustible patience and a modicum of affection for the wee beasties. There are, however, plenty of no-kill shelters and networks of folks who have tamed these critters for you, and for a small fee, you can get one of your own without having to mop up gallons of stinky cat pee while applying Neosporin to the welts all over your arms. In short, I did it because I’m basically insane, and the outcome has proven to be completely worth the pee and bloodletting, but….just know what you’re getting into before you decide that the grubby little moppet in the alley would make a lovely pet.)
I love them so much it’s crazy. That said, they are generally referred to as “The Assholes.” Perhaps you find this shocking – or even offensive – given the amount of time, money, and affection we’ve lavished upon them. If you lived with them, you’d understand. They are assholes.
This is Foot Foot. She was our first acquisition. She was very young when we snatched her, and was thus easy to tame. She goes by a host of names other than the one we gave her, none of which she actually responds to:
Fatty Fat Fat
Grump the Grouch
Marquise du Crânkypânts
And this is Mephisto. Mephisto was our Great Project. He started as a filthy wiry ball of ornery. And yet, we suspected that under it all was a sweet boy, and we were right. As with his “sister,” he goes by a bunch of different monikers:
For the most part, they dig each other. We had to keep them in separate rooms at the beginning, then we’d arrange “play dates” so that they associated one another with OMG! STRING! FUN! It took some doing, but other than the occasional hiss from Foot Foot whenever Mephisto tries to sniff her butt, it’s pretty peaceful these days. Now they nap together and engage in this hilarious passive aggressive bathing ritual when one wants full domain over the couch: “Hi! Let me wash your face for you – dudnat feel GOOOOD? No – don’t squirm. Just enjoy it. No? Then I will sit on your head. Oh, are you pissed? Are you leaving? OK. Haha, my couch now.”
Foot Foot is all about the houseboy, while it is generally agreed that Mephisto is my pajama slave dancer. Seriously, he loooooooves me. I come home and he runs to the door like, “OhJesusGodyou’reHOMEIcan’tbelieveitohboyohboyohboy!” I get on the floor and rub him down like he’s a dog and his eyes roll back into his head and his mouth hangs open and he just looks so STUPID it’s totally adorable. He doesn’t know any better. It’s like nobody taught him to be aloof and disdainful while he was out there. Foot Foot, on the other hand, is a total snob. She pulls what I call the Popular Girl Cafeteria Move: if you come over and start petting her, she gets up and moves to the other side of the room. BURN. But, see, that’s what you expect from a cat. Mephisto is…well, something’s screwed up there, that’s all. Neither of them are exactly intellectual giants (lotta inbreeding going on where they came from), but Mephisto is just really and truly a dumbass (hence the nickname). Don’t believe me? This is how he “hides” from the vacuum cleaner:
“I is hiding! See? No can see my head!”
Okay. I’m done. Carry on.