Thursday, February 7, 2008

Maybe Boris

I continue to ask myself just why I do this. Is there any reason, beyond self catharsis that I bang out my thoughts and feelings on a web log? Perhaps someone will see these words, most likely no one will. But sometimes it is indeed a good exercise to put one's thoughts into print.

"Maybe Boris". At least that is the working title for a new cat around the house. Maybe Boris is a handsome young male all black cat that is as charming and sweet as any cat could be. The antithesis of CD the old grouch, and a genuine sweetness that the little angel-when-she-wants-to-be Emily only shows part of the time. And that is one of the reasons "Boris" is not exactly fitting. The lovely Rachel seems to think that might be too harsh a name for the cat, but he is big, black and burly.... so we'll see.

While I will never give animals the status of humans, I find animals to be far more complex than we sometimes give them credit. Cats have an amazing variety and range in their personalities. Maybe Boris will be the sixth cat have have had around the house, and with each comes a personality that is so completely unique. Of course there are certain behaviors that are common and predictable to cats, but in each they hold a style that is all their own.

I had never realized this until there were multiple cats in the household. And frankly, for all CD's grouchiness, I figured that is what I could expect from any cat, period. CD has been, and continues to be a loyal grouch, impatient with other cats, and enjoys his humans on his terms. Will sleep sprawled all over me, but limits his accepting affection to small amounts of head and chin "scritching" (a cat may scratch a human, but a human "scritches" a cat.)

The late Old Miss Suzu Badcat was something else all together. A hellion in her younger days, according to Rachel. When she joined the family along with Rachel, she was well into her seventeenth year. By that time she was well mellowed out and seemed to enjoy her latter life. (This is CD and Suzu on a chair, in their first year together.) We lost her last year at twenty one... not bad for an old girl!

But I have gotten a bit off track, and maybe some day I will write about Archy, Charlie, and more about Emily as time goes on. Today is about Maybe Boris. We think he was abandoned by neighbors who moved away down the street. For a while, our next door neighbors put out food for him, but that ended when they moved. Out of compassion, we started putting food out for him, as it was getting toward fall and the colder temperatures. Over the course of several weeks, the food bowl got closer to the house, and then last week it moved into the garage. Poor thing was out in the freezing rain, so we set up an old wire bin, a couple of towels and a small heating pad. Once the boy got used to warmth, he wouldn't leave the little makeshift bed!

But he wasn't done. His next goal was to come into the house, and we eventually acquiesced. The last couple of days, he has spent a little time in the house, exploring around, and eventually finding himself in one of those predictable places cats always seem to end up at. The window sill looking out. (Where CD happens to be right now) Of course, it doesn't help the cats that we have our bird feeder on the birch tree right outside the office window! Provides endless entertainment not only for us but for the cats as well.

So we'll see what happens with Maybe Boris. Surprisingly the only disapproval has come from Emily, not CD. "Old Grumblebutt" seems not to care that yet another cat has encroached upon his territory, maybe he is used to it by now. It is the little girl who has hissed and spit at this burly thing twice her size.

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