Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hairy new Russells

Well, I’m not sure if we actually call them “Russells” or not. We haven’t decided yet if we’re the kind of people who consider pets part of the family. In any case, my long-time dream has come true: own a cat. The plan was by default to just have one, especially because I didn’t want to push my luck with Julie (she’s more of a dog person), but the lady we got them from convinced us to take along an extra sibling for better adjustment or good luck or something like that.

IMG_8527Meet Ralph (top) and Remington (bottom). They’re month-old brothers from the same litter, and for some reason the prefer sleeping in the bathroom sink instead of on their cat bed we have on loan. Sometimes they even spoon. We’ve probably taken a dozen pictures of them in the sink. When they’re not sleeping or running away from us, they’re jumping on each other’s heads and chasing each other up and down the stairs. Ralph’s collar has a little bell on it, so there’s a non-stop jingling audible from all parts of the house. That bell will soon be removed.

We had cats when I was growing up, but let me tell you: growing up with cats is different from acquiring new ones. For one thing, by the time I had become a sentient human being, our cats were already well-adjusted creatures. If there was a delicate “let the cats get adjusted to their new home” period, I wasn’t a part of it. Also, we had had our cats declawed, which really made life a lot simpler.

As for Ralph and Remington…well, let’s just say we’re trying to find a balance of training them without traumatizing them. Four days of ownership hasn’t been enough to erase their memory of being torn from their mother, but the fact that we give them food makes them warm up to us a little more each day.

This is an especially difficult process for me for two reasons:

1) because growing up we had this cardboard book called Grover’s New Kitten, in which this beloved Muppet brings home a kitten from the pound, and they have a sweet, joyful time as the cat gets familiar with her new home and owner. grover & kittenThis book was one of my favorites, but apparently, real life isn’t like Sesame Street. What a lie.

2) because I want the cats to love me now. You see, I’ve always loved cats. To me, they’re like people; unlike dogs, they don’t give out affection to everybody—just to the people who deserve it. It’s a special thing to make it into a cat’s “in” group.

Other ways cats are better than dogs:

  • Cats are clean and they don’t stink.
  • They poop in a box and you can take care of it at your leisure. No one can leave a lame party with the excuse that they have to “let the cat out”. They also don’t have to leave awesome parties for that reason either.
  • Cats don’t lick places on other animals that have no business being licked.
  • Cats don’t drool on you or beg for food.

And most of all, cats are just cuter (except those gross long-hair ones) and thus somehow more deserving of sympathy.Milo & Otis I’ve always had a soft spot for them.

  • In the movie Milo & Otis, I always felt sorry for the cat when he falls into the river and gets lost, cold, and afraid.
  • In the Disney Cinderella cartoon, it always made me sad when the cat falls out of the tower window and presumably dies. Even though he was evil, he should have been given a chance to turn his life around.
  • For Christmas one year I was given a book called The Alamo Cat, a heart-breaking tale in which the caretakers of the Alamo befriend a stray cat and then it gets drowned by a raccoon. It still depresses me when I think about it.
  • As a kid, I loved getting calendars of pictures of cats and working cat puzzles (although maybe I shouldn’t be admitting this—let’s just pretend I was sufficiently young for that to be okay).

grover & motherAll this to say, I love cats so much that the sight of one piques my interest. It’s almost like how even the thought of coffee makes me feel a little happy. In fact, if coffee could be a domesticated creature, it might be the only other unimportant thing in life that could rival my love for cats.

Cats—get one. We have two!

On another note…

Ways that having cats is similar to having children:

  1. We disagree on how to raise them and what’s best for them.
  2. We had a hard time agreeing on names.
  3. When it’s bedtime, they run and hide.
  4. They have a high potential to break your things. You realize only too late that your home is not that cat-safe.

Ways that having cats is different from having children:

  1. Children should not be locked in a small bathroom at night to sleep in a sink.
  2. Children should not be encouraged to poop in a box and bury the deed.
  3. If a child tries to jump up onto a surface and fails dramatically, this is not funny.
  4. Children should not be affixed with a collar.
  5. Children should not be hissed at or sprayed with water for disobeying.
  6. One of your expenses with a child should not be to buy a small box with a cage door to transport them.
  7. (Normal) children don’t hiss or have claws.
  8. Children aren’t built with a convenient handle called the “scruff of the neck”

1 comment:

  1. Chase you are too funny!!!!! My biggest argument for dogs (or I should say small dogs) vs cats is they can't jump up on the counters and table when I'm not there. And they love to be petted almost any time if they like you.
    Not that I don't like cats, and of course I will love these two new "grand kittys"! Hope you guys have lots of fun and laughs training them. Keep pictures posted with updates please. Love you both! Myra


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