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Monday, December 22, 2008

Habemus felinum?

So, it's cold yesterday evening. As in single digits (fahrenheit, for my metrified readers), with a wind gusting into the 30 MPH range.

CourageMan arrived (apparently my blats of complaint were unnecessary) Saturday (check your e-mail, Woodrow). We visited the DIA to avoid cabin fever and to exhaust the children, and had great chicken enchiladas for dinner. My M-i-L was visiting and we were playing the kids version of Apples to Apples, a neat word association game.

Heather and Rachel cheat--the force must be strong with them.

CM and my wife heard the knock at the door, and CM graciously answered it.

Garble garble garble. Two of the local kids (at least they were bundled up) were at the door.

CM: "Uh, no, that's not their cat."

He then turned to look at me, executing the handoff.

Kid 1: "We saw this kitten at your door, wanting to get in. It'll freeze if it stays outside."

Me: [Long exhalation, followed by extending my hand to receive the Luckiest Kitten in Michigan.]

Another sigh.

Somewhere deep inside, I recognized the Greek-tragic inevitability of what was occurring.

"You're right--I'll take it."

I even mumbled "thanks" for some reason.

Relieved, the kids left, their good deed complete.

He/she/it was a kitten, all right. All of about 3 months old, to my surprise. White with gray spots, golden eyes. In good shape, if underfed.

And delighted to be indoors. At least until Lucy came galumping up to see the visitor at maximum speed.

Then I discovered that the kitten was also fully-clawed.

Must get higher! Must get higher fast!

The disappointed dog was bundled to her cage and after I extracted the cat from my flesh, I sat down with the surprise visitor, who decided it wanted to go hide for a moment. Under the Christmas tree proves to be ideal.

"Oooohhhh...." chorus the children. Except for Louis, whose excited "Eeeeeeeeee!" is his approximation.

Must pet the kitten, who slowly works its way out from under the tree. Maddie insisted on calling it a "she." Heather wonders for a while if it is Spring's Luckiest Cat. No, I knew that for sure--way too small, if similar coloration.

Plus, my child bride confirmed that it is indeed a "she." Lucky was a lad.

Molly watched the proceedings with antarctic hostility. "What fresh Hell..." But she doesn't confront the kitten, nor does she flee the premises. "I'm too old for this..."

Rachel chimed in with a question: "What do we name her?"

As it turns out, Heather has leftover ibuprofen from Louis' birth.

"Don't get attached," warns Canute/Dad.

I got a tin of cat food down and she proceeded to inhale it in two sittings. Explore, flee, clean self, accept petting, repeat. She was introduced to the litter box and is now using it after one encounter with the bath mat.

Ms.-Used-Up-Three-Lives has also learned how to deter the needlessly enthusastic dog with a clawed shot to the latter's nose, who yelped more in shock than pain.

They--those who outnumber me--are calling her "Gladys." Mostly Heather, but Maddie's catching on, too. She's in very good shape overall, although it took her about a half hour to completely shake the cold out of her bones. I think she may have lost some skin on the bridge of her nose, too, but that's small potatoes.

My vote for a name is "Loviatar," given the cold and pain, but that's headed for veto. Maybe I'll split the difference with them. How about "Ice-G"?

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