Monday, May 19, 2008

That Darn Cat

We are a family of five - Neil, Sophie and me and our two cats: Potter and Gomez aka Grumpy and Crazy. Their relationship leaves something to be desired. Potter was my furry baby from my single days. She's a Devon Rex and super affectionate (to me) and has a very sarcastic and interesting personality. She's a cat of hidden depths.

A couple of years ago we decided that she needed a playmate. I'm not sure what drove this decision because it was not as though she roamed the house crying out for a companion. But decide we did and because I am allergic to cats and the only kind I can tolerate are the uber-expensive and hard to come by Devon Rexes, we started researching breeders and found one in Erie, Pennsylvania that had a litter available for adoption in a couple of months. We sent off a check and awaited our bundle of kitten joy. Fast forward two months and Neil goes to the airport to pick up our new baby. We decided to name him Gomez because he's just that quirky. That's him as a kitten. This breed is pretty much bald as babies but then they grow the most beautiful wavy fur. What that means is that they have a few awkward months in there. I liken it to middle school.

I had hoped that bringing a kitten into the house would bring out Potter's maternal instincts. Truth be told, I was a little concerned that she would start loving the new kitten too much and would forget about me. I needn't have worried about that.

Pretty much since the moment he arrived, Gomez's main goal in life has been to torment Potter. Don't worry, he tortures us as well. He has done his best to destroy most of our furniture, including, but not limited to: the dining table and chairs; the living room sofa and side chairs; our box springs; Sophie's crib and changing table/dresser; as well as the carpet throughout the house. I could actually go on with this list but I think you get the point. We did put Softclaws on him and that seems to have slowed down the destruction, although not entirely. He is a clever little thing and still finds ways.

But his greatest delight is chasing Potter through the house. I can't count the times they have torn by, Potter howling and hissing with Gomez hot on her heels with a malicious gleam in his eyes. Potter seems to think that I will either rescue her or that simply the act of getting close to me will stop the G-man, so very often the finish line of this rampage is yours truly.
Unfortunately for Potter, neither of these are the case. I figure, she's a big cat, she can take care of herself. And Gomez clearly has no fear of me.

As I've mentioned before, I'm still breastfeeding Sophie. I generally feed her right before sleepytime, which is usually five or six times a day. On any given day, two of those times will be interrupted by Potter and Gomez racing into the nursery, howling the whole way, whereupon Potter leaps onto the ottoman of the glider where I am nursing Sophie. Almost invariably this will happen just as Sophie has really relaxed and is on the edge of sleep. And rare is the day that this doesn't wake her up and put us back to square one. Much like her mama, she is easily distracted. Why, you ask, don't I just close the door to the nursery? The answer is simple, no greater temptation exists for a cat than a closed door. And Gomez and Potter will put aside their differences and come together for the challenge of getting that door opened. Potter will scratch at the carpet while Gomez rams the door with his head. I haven't actually seen him do this, but that's what it sounds like.

They are also fond of racing across our bed while I am sleeping, typically after Neil has left on those rare days when Sophie sleeps in, or during one of my precious, precious naps. They will generally jump over my body, using some part of me as a launch, that part often being my head.

So at the end of a day full of scratching, biting, clawing, hissing, growling, howling, jumping on everything, disturbing baby's sleep, disturbing my sleep, and generally causing mayhem, I am a little short with the wee beasties. And then Neil comes home from work and Gomez greets him at the door and is all lovey-dovey and he asks how I could possibly yell at the sweet, adorable cat.

And I say, one day, buddy, just one day in my shoes.


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