Monday, July 20, 2009


DAY 1. We adopted two new kittens today! What a lark!

DAY 2. The veterinarians had named the pair Marlon Brando and Paul Newman. Don't like "Marlon and Paul," so call them "Brando and Newman."

DAY 3. "Brando and Newman" too impersonal, as if cited in a movie review by Ebert. Trying "Stanley" (Stanley Kowalski in "Streetcar Named Desire") & "Butch" ("Butch Cassidy").

DAY 4. Slowly introducing the dogs to the kittens. Don't want dogs to scare the little fellows.

DAY 5. HO_HO! Kittens supremely confident, not to say swaggering. Swipe lazily at dogs in passing. "Ho-hum."

DAY 6. Re integration of species. Dilly, the West Highland White terrier, is smitten. In love. Lumbers after the kittens all day long, sober, serious, true dour Scotsman. Only his tail gives him away, constantly in motion like a windshield wiper amid an Oklahoma thunderstorm. "Let me play! Let me play!" He is stunned at how swiftly the kittens dart, dash, climb, disappear. But he never gives up. Trot. . . trot. . . trot. Terrier determination unabated. Trot. . . Trot. . .

DAY 7. Tango, the Corgi, at first tried herding the kittens, Corgis being great herders by breeding and reputation. Ran in wilder and wilder circles, first in one direction, then in another. Kittens glsance up, say "Ho-humn." Nervous breakdown may be in Corgi's future.

DAY 8. Nope. No nervous breakdown. If you can't join 'em, lick 'em. Tango now cleans every feline ear she can get close to. They take it as their due. Tango's thrice-daily games of chasing the ball through four rooms of the house (humans absolutely MUST throw ball when asked; the Corgi stare is effective on very large cattle; who are humans to resist?)--her game of chase is today interrupted by a kitten shooting out at an angle and batting the speeding airborne ball awry. Astonished at first, Tango now relishes the added dimension to her game. We rarely turn on the TV these days.

The kittens' behavior verifies the old distinction: Dogs see that humans feed them, house them, groom them, pet them, walk them, and say, "These humans must be GODS!"

Cats see that humans feed them, groom them, pet them, cart away their odiferous litter, and conclude, "We must be gods!"

1 comment:

Emily said...

Speaking of not needing to watch television - at our house, rather than ordering up boxing matches on pay-per-view we have Ultimate Dog-Cat Fighting Championships - a mixed martial arts combination of kick-boxing, Greco-Roman wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Ripley uses her superior weight to pin down her opponent, while Kato is the master of ground fighting and defense. True to his namesake, the cat lies in wait in the bushes and jumps on the dog when she walks by. Then dog chases cat. The cat decides when the match is over by virtue of his ability to leap easily out of corgi-reach. They seem to have a friendly if competitive relationship. Sometime I will have to capture the wrassling on video.