Monday, December 20, 2004

The Cats That Came for Christmas

So the Lovely Bride and I do what is to my mind a small Christmas - tree up and decorated, candles in the window, Kate makes a wreath with the blow-downs from the inevitable windstorm from early December, baking cookies, last-minute shopping, and preparation for the big feast on the day itself. To this hectic holiday maelstrom, we add yet another element.

Two new cats. Victoria and Harlequin, formerly in the company of brainstormfront, have joined the Grubb Street staff. So far their duties have consisted of hiding behind the bookshelves, where no one has cleaned for seven years.

We have been at a two-cat deficit for several years now. Here's our cat history: first we had the grey-furred, green-eyed Rogue, who was the kitten we purposefully brought into our home. Then the black and white male, Longshot, the stray that followed us home (a scrawny, flea-bitten cat whom, we quickly discovered, had been surviving by eating corn left out for the squirrels). And then Emily, the psycho-kitty calico, who belonged to a TSR editor who was allergic to cats and kept her in the basement. The three did not get along, but settled into an uneasy truce over food, space, and laps.

Longshot passed on quietly a few years back, and Rogue, at age 19, grew so infirm that we made the hard decision and put her to sleep two years ago (That was a very hard sentence to write). So for the past two years, we have been a one-cat household where all the world knows we were a three-cat household. Emily, the survivor, was pleased to rule the roost finally, but we almost lost her earlier in the year. Kate and I made the decision to pamper the grand old dame and, after she passed on, get two kittens to begin anew.

The rest of the world had other ideas. Brainstormfront chose to relocate to Wisconsin, and needed a new home for Vic and Harley, a pair of four-year-old tabbies. So far they have only been mildly traumatized by the new digs, and while they know Emily is about, have not found her (we are keeping the two kids and Emily apart for the first few days so they get used to their scents before letting them both have run of the house at the same time). Kate and I have forgotten about what it was like to raise kids (they are finding new places to vanish into), so its a new experience for us.

And all just in time for Christmas. More later.