Archive for November 3rd, 2005

Meet the New Family Member

Thursday, November 3rd, 2005

When Beau Hunk was divorced, he got custody of the dog but lost custody of his cats. He and my cat have never bonded… hell, she’s never bonded with anyone who isn’t me, ever. She’s what he calls “a snotty little puddy”. And she is. Furthermore, she absolutely hates Woo with the burning passion of a thousand suns. Everytime he gets within three feet of her she growls and runs away. Of course, he thinks this is hilarious and frequently chases her whilst squealing with joy, a habit we vehemently discourage.

But Beau Hunk has missed having a cat. We agreed that as soon as we made the move, he would get a cat. He was pretty specific about what he wanted: an orange male tabby that he could let grow into a big brute. It turns out that our real estate agent (who has ended up also being our official city guide, Welcome Wagon and all-around local resource – way above and beyond her duty) is involved with a local rescue agency and they just so happen to have a cat that fit the bill.

Meet Bill. Bill the Cat. For those of you who might remember the old Bloom County comic strip, he was named for the Bill the Cat character. But he’s not quite a cat yet, he’s just a kitten. I keep wanting to call him Bill the Kitten – BTK for short. But I have been assured that I am the only one who is politically incorrect enough to find that amusing.

But make no mistake, he is a real killer. So far he’s managed to kill at least three of my plants, and can be frequently seen engaging in mortal combat with shoes, watches, Q-tips, wrappers and ink pens. (I swear, that Bic almost took him!) He’s learned he can get on to the window sill from the kitchen table, and from there, if he’s careful, he can juuuuuust make it to the kitchen counter. And oh my! but there’s a treasure trove of toys on the kitchen counter!! Not to mention food. We’ve learned you don’t dare leave anything in the sink, or you’ll find it on the floor later. We’ve started calling him a “menace to society”, and trust me, that’s pretty damned accurate.

For the most part, Bill is a good cat. But he seems to have two speeds: running around in a frenzied blur, and sleeping like the dead. Ah, life as a kitten. Woo is getting along well with him, but can sometimes be a wee bit rough on him. Bill is taking it like a trouper and puts up with it. Beau Hunk has done a good job making sure that Bill is used to being picked up, turned around and generally mauled. One day he was playing around with him and found that when you push his ears down, he looks a lot like Yoda.

Hmmm. The force is strong with this one.

The dogs have accepted him completely, and Bill and my dog have become fabulous playmates. My dog will take off running and let Bill chase him, then turn on him and poke his nose at him, sometimes pretending to bite at him. You can tell it’s all in fun, and they play nicely. If anything, the dog has gotten hurt a few times when Bill has “attacked” him and catches a tender spot.

Bill is good at attacking. He likes to attack ankles as they walk by. He likes to attack toes as they sit on the couch. He likes to attack anything that moves. Which occasionally gets him a ride on a foot and a gentle toss, because his little teeth are sharp!! We had to trim his claws because they were like little razors, and when he attacked, it really hurt.

My cat doesn’t really want much to do with Bill. I’ve seen them awkwardly playing a few times, but for the most part, she’s a “get outta here kid, ya bother me” kind of cat. If he gets too close to her, she growls, but mostly, they leave each other alone.

Bill has a great personality, and we are really enjoying him. Everytime I watch him attack our feet or play with the dogs, I imagine the line from those old Foghorn Leghorn cartoons “You’re a chicken and I’m a chickenhawk!!” That’s Bill. Even though he’s the smallest animal in this house, he’s got no problem going for the big kill. We found out today that he has no fear of heights. Beau Hunk had to do some work in the attic and the next thing we knew, Bill had scaled the ladder and was King of All He Surveyed.

A few nights ago I was watching TV in the living room and had my feet covered up in our red blanket. The next thing I knew, Bill was on top of my feet attacking. I had the camera handy and documented the experience:

Anatomy of an Attack
Click an image for the larger picture

It’s Momma feet – ATTACK!! Attack. *yawn* atta…zzz zzzZZZ ZZZ *snort* (I flexed my feet and raised his ass in the air. Huh? Wha? Why’d ya move?

For those of you who are keeping track, that brings the headcount of our house to two dogs, two cats, one kid and two adults. The females are firmly in the minority, being outnumbered two to five. The humans are also outnumbered three to four. Everyday we wake up and hope they don’t figure out how to open the feed bins, or we’re outta here. Beau Hunk and I take a bit of solace in my cat being such a snot and not being friends with the animals – she’s like the swing vote on Survivor. As long as she doesn’t make an alliance with the other cat and dogs, we have a chance of not being voted out.