Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Cats that Came for Christmas (Update)

So it has been a little more than a year since the household gained its two new members, Harlequin and Victoria. About a year ago a friend, Brainstormfront, moved back to Wisconsin, leaving the two four-year-old cats with us.

The cats are doing well, one year later. For most of the year, they had run of the house, with exception of the top floor, which was Emily's domain. With our elder calico's passing, they now fling themselves throughout the house at high velocity between naps.

Harley and Vic are big cats, as large as Longshot was in his prime, and more muscle than fat. The two are similar in appearance, and only the fact that Harley has white socks on his paws makes her dramatically different than her sister. Harley is the social animal, and during the Lovely Bride's game nights, can usually be found at the gaming table (and often ON the gaming table) demanding attention. Harley is also the escape artist, and never seen a door that she did not want to go through. This has resulted in her being locked in closets on numerous occasions, and at the end of the day, I do a "cat patrol" to make sure the kittens are in the house (and not, say, in the garage).

Vic remains more of an enigma. Very much a on/off cat. She will flee from people, then turn around, jump in their laps, and demand full attention. Then, once her tanks have been topped off, leap away. Of late she has been jumping into bed and kneading the Lovely Bride (this is a bad thing as far as the Lovely Bride is concerned). Vic gets expelled for her crimes, then thumps on the doors until she is let back in. The only way to stop her is to pick her up and lavish attention on her (hold her and pet her and call her George). This mortifies her and she runs off again.

The cats have found the cat toys of Rogue, Emily, and Longshot, and are often dragging, batting, and leaving them around the house. Their favorite toy is a set of rawhide bootlaces from my old boots. Harley will drag them into the room, expecting me to drop everything and run around the house with her (she is usually correct). Vic waits for Harley to get the human to play, then she leaps in as well. Another favorite is the laser pointer, which they know is connected to my hand but don't seem to care. We use the latter to distract the girls from the outer doors (one human brings stuff in, the other distracts the cats).

So the pair of them have settled in nicely. Last year they ignored the tree (since it was here when they got here, and they were hiding behind the bookcases for much of it. Now, they are intrigued the idea of a tree filled with shiny dangling things, and I add to my duties the location and replacement of lost ornaments.

But more about that another time.