Thursday, July 07, 2011

Yes Virginia, There Are Things More Boring Than My Posts About Knitting

I love having cats for pets. I've had cats all of my life--my mother has stories about how Spike and Muffet would "babysit" me very carefully when I was a newborn--they always wanted to be where I was, watching what I was doing. We owned several cats over the years, usually choosing to have them in pairs (and on one particularly ill-advised occasion, in quads). Leaving the cats behind when I went away to university was very difficult for me; the world always seemed like a much lonelier place without a cat to come home to.

Dorian Kitten
(an early shot of Dorian being worn as a hat)

So I was pretty excited when Mat agreed that we could get a cat when we bought the house three years ago. Mat was raised as a dog person (owing largely to his mother's allergies) and he had always maintained that he was totally uninterested in having a cat. We went to the Humane Society here in town, and the cat chose us, as is the tradition in my family.

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Bad Cat participates in tabletop role playing.

Dorian, so named because he was somewhat grey at the time we adopted him, grew into an enormous cat: nearly 17 lbs. at his peak. It seems quite obvious now that he would do so; just take a look at the size of those paws in his kitten pictures. Much to Mat's surprise, he found that Dorian had a lot of personality, and he found himself quite enamoured of our Bad Cat, as we'd taken to calling him. The cat, it turned out, was not at all like he'd imagined: the cat was affectionate, playful, and frequently a bit silly. He also has a fiendish craving for vegetables that makes it nearly impossible to do much food prep without a massive paw reaching up to beg for bits of pepper or lettuce or cucumber or...

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Enormo-tron with Youngest Sister.

Over time, Dorian grew into himself, and then overgrew himself, tipping the scales at 16 lbs. 8 oz. Our attempts to feed him less food were initially successful, but when the hot days of summer hit, his activity level dropped so low that he re-gained most of the weight we thought he'd lost. He also grew lonely during the days when we would both be at work for several hours. We eventually realized that it was time to add another cat to the mix: my parents' reasons for always having pairs of cats were actually pretty solid. Dorian needed a friend.

Enter Hob.

Hob (named after Hob Gadling, a minor character from Neil Gaiman's The Sandman series) came home to us in January. In an unintentionally hilarious contrast to Bad Cat, Hob is what we call "little". We had a hard time picking out a name for him (his shelter name was Jean-Luc, which I thought was awesome and Mat hated purely on the grounds that it wasn't a name that we picked for him) so he actually spent the better part of about ten days being called "the Little Cat". Hob was a stray for a while, which has resulted in a couple of fairly curious behaviours: he eats everything he can find, and he is a wool sucker (likely caused by not being nursed for long enough). It has also given him an overbite--his incisors hang out of his mouth like little fangs.

Tiny vampire cat being groomed by Middle Sister's cat, Jerkwin.

Dorian and Hob get along pretty well, although I'm not sure Dorian has quite forgiven me for bringing the tiny interloper home. They chase each other and play fight (16 lbs cat vs 7 lbs cat is hilarious, in case you were wondering--sometimes Dorian literally holds Hob off with a single paw). Dorian has lost enough wait that he's now appropriate for his frame. There's no sleepy snuggling together just yet, but I imagine it will happen in time.

It's good to know that there are always two things that are going to be happy to see you when you come home--even if it's only because they think you're going to feed them.

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