Saturday, August 25, 2007

Miso the Cat approves

Miso the CatFaithful readers will remember that the occasion for the first post on this blog was the death last September 14th of Walhydra and Hubby Jim's dear 17-year-old cat, Miso.

This sad event coincided with Walhydra's attending a "Social Software in Libraries" training, one which got her quickly past her stage fright and plunged her into the blogosphere. She sat in that class, distracted all day by her grief, and realized that she had the topic for a new blog's first entry.

Though they both wanted another cat eventually, it proved immensely difficult for Walhydra and Hubby to get past the loss. One doesn't just go out the next day and replace a person one has shared family and household with for 17 years.

Then, about four months ago, Jim started exhibiting the symptoms of "kitten madness."

When he and Walhydra made their weekly Friday night pilgrimages to the Buns and Noodles bookstore (pace Alison Bechdel), he would always gravitate to the cat books and kitten calendars and go, "Aaaaaaaaaaaawwww!"

Walhydra would shake her head knowingly...but didn't feel ready.

Vacation to Mohonk came and went. Jim's trip "behind enemy lines" to a statistician's conference in Salt Lake City came and went.

And finally, a week ago today, Walhydra found herself standing with Jim, staring at rescue kittens in cages in the local pet stuff warehouse store.

"I'm not ready for this. I didn't realize how not ready for this I was," Walhydra kept repeating as she led Jim away down other aisles.

It was no mystery, but it was indeed startling to discover how uncomfortable the prospect of meeting and befriending new cat persons suddenly seemed.

But then, there were these three brothers. Almost five months. Born to a rescued mama who was obviously part Russian Blue.

And they were the only cats making direct, calm, "you will take us home" eye contact.

Before she could get over her qualms, a straight couple adopted one—the middle one, oddly enough.

"Oh, no," Walhydra thought. "Now we have to take the others. Oh, their poor brother, all alone...." and so on.

Tonight as she types, Walhydra notes ruefully how quickly the little bugger... uh... fellows have graduated from "let's hide under the bed all day" to "let's see how high we can climb."

She keeps hearing new, alarming sounds of various sorts from other rooms. That and galloping feet.

The first night that the sweeties climbed up on the the bed to sleep with Walhydra and Jim, Walhydra was startled by tears.

She had reached down to scratch one of them under the chin—and realized, "It isn't Miso."

The memories of that wise old familiar, of all his deep, weighty Quaker manners, came back as they hadn't for almost a year.

But now, several nights later, Walhydra notices how the two little guys are picking up on Miso's habits.

They race the length of the house while Walhydra brushes her teeth. They climb up beside her for scratching while she reads in bed. They play bundling-board.

All you cat folks out there can fill in the rest of the story yourself.

These are delightful little fellows—who've managed to destroy only one potted plant so far. Grrr....

And here they are.

Kittens 1Kittens 2

The foster family gave these two the names Sonic and Pudgesicle...

But, of course, cats announce their own names once they adopt the humans with whom they intend to stay.

Kittens 3So....

The sleek-haired gray with the stripe to his tail, eldest of the original three, will probably go by Flash.Kittens 4The longer-haired youngster, the shy, stealthy stalker, told Walhydra to call him Shadow.

Walhydra knows better than to argue.

And Miso the Cat approves.

Blessèd Be and
Blessèd Be.


Otter said...

Welcome, welcome to Flash and Shadow, kittens are such a joy (except for the incredibly sharp claws, the plant destruction, the unexpected lap landings ;-) )
Enjoy your new cat companions.

Vicki said...

What a gorgeous cat Miso was, but what fun hearing the thunder of young cats on hardwood floors. And thank you for the renaming: "Pudgesicle" is terrible on so many levels. :)

Jim B said...

Congratulations on your new cat partners. It's so amazing how they communicate that we are ready for them! I remember thinking that humans did not domesticate cats, they domesticatted us. Here's to your re-domesticattion.


Yvonne said...

Aww, nice cats. I like them. It's always sad when your cat moves on to the other world (though they do pop back for visits) but it's lovely to get a new cat.

The new names are definitely better than the old, too.