Hemingway had a six toed cat. He loved that cat so much he kept all the kittens every born and now all the offspring – now numbering more than 40 – still live in Hemingway’s home. Mark Twain also loved cats as well as T.S. Elliot, Yeats, and Dickens.
It seems that it may be some kind of unwritten rule that writers have cats.
We have two.
We also have a dog, but we really don’t claim the dog as we only got him for our daughter. She is good at conning people out of things.
At first, Cliff was hesitant to get a cat. His family had always been more the dog type, but I had always loved cats. Then, when we bought our house, we had a mouse (ha!) and Cliff decided that we really should get a cat.
Off to Petsmart we went to see what kinds of kitties they had for their adoption day. The cat we ended up getting that day was Smokey – a dark grey cat with emotive eyes. It seems that people at animal shelters have no creativity when naming animals and we never changed his name. He was a kitten when we got him, but turned into a hulk of a cat. He never fails to let you know his displeasure as he insists on jumping on you and putting all his 20lb weight on one. single. foot.
Smokey is a good mouser though. Many times I have heard mouse screams in the night, then silence. I have never seen evidence of his carnivorous tendencies, but that doesn’t bother me. We haven’t any real mice issues in the house for a few years so he earns his keep pretty well.
The next cat we adopted was Clarence. We got him while buying cat food at Petsmart. He was a tiny, little thing and looked so sad and lonely in the crate. We had to bring him home. He is a white long haired kitty with tabby grey ears and fur that feels like you are petting a cloud. He is not very good at being a cat and rarely jumps and lands on all fours. Clarence has already broken his hip and had to have surgery as well as wrenching his knee a few times, so he gets a little extra sympathy now and again.
Also, Clarence loves Cliff.
When Clarence broke his hip, he had to be confined after his surgery for two weeks. We set him up in an old pack n play with food, water, litter and his favorite toys. Cliff, being a big softy, would let him out for a short time in the morning before going to work.
Ever since, Clarence will not leave Cliff alone.
He waits at the end of the bed at night for Cliff to finish his nightly routine and pull the blankets over him. Then Clarence runs – yes runs – to drape himself across Cliff’s chest and neck like he was some kind of fur stole from the 1920s. He will stay like that until Cliff finally pushes him off. Then, Clarence sits beside him and stares at him like some kind of serial killer cat. It’s almost like a Police song is playing in his head. You know the one, “I’ll be watching you…”
Oh, yea. Almost forgot about the dog, Marshmallow. Our daughter wanted a dog so we got her one. She isn’t as much a cat person as I am. My requirements is he couldn’t be bigger than the cats.
Smokey could crush him.
He is a pretty good dog, I guess. He is a good watch dog and barks at the strays outside and lets us know the mail person is on the porch. I have to say, we haven’t been murdered in our beds yet, so he must be doing a good job scaring them all off. You know those mail people are tricksy.
When it is is time for him to cross the Rainbow Bridge, I will miss him, but I wont’ get another dog. Too needy.
But I will get another cat.