Monday, November 29

By Way Of Introduction

I thought it might be nice to come clean about my cat situation. You see, I have a pet problem. Mainly cats, though I have dabbled in dogs and various animals from time to time. I went petless for a long time. Years, in fact. But then one day it happened. I moved into a new apartment building (or, we can call a spade a spade and admit it was as close to a slum as my college town had) and there was a pretty white cat that would sit outside and meow for food. Naturally I immediately went out and bought cat food to have on hand whenever she came around. When I got to know the neighbors a bit more, I asked around to find out where she belonged. I was dying to haul her into my apartment and make her my own. Paul resisted my excessive animal sympathies, or so I thought, but eventually he cracked and soaked up nearly as much bleeding heart syndrome as I already carried around every animal shelter.
Soon enough we found that she belonged to someone in the building, but was for all intents and purposes an outside cat. She was obviously not a cat who wanted to be an outdoor cat. Being pure white it was remarkable that she had survived as long as she did in our barely cultivated wilderness settlement. Then, her owner let it be known that he and his wife were looking for a new home for her. Paul and I gleefully leaped at the chance to save her from neglect, especially when we found out that their ridiculous reason for needing to be rid of her was that they were having a baby. Seriously? As though the cat will suck out the baby's breath? Or the baby will get scratched? Unlikely. Especially with this cat. She sleeps, she avoids the unknown, and she meows a lot. This is not a baby killing cat.
And that is the story of how we got Pickle. [Previously with the abominable name Angelbaby]

Dexter came first, really, but his was a story over a long time and isn't mine to tell ultimately. Paul and his roommate at the time decided to get an [unauthorized] dog at their apartment. He was more Paul's dog from the beginning, particularly since Paul had had dogs before and his roommate had not and seemed unwilling to learn what Dex needed and when. Roommate gave Dex his name, after overruling Paul's suggestions. Dexter's tag now reads "Dexter Zolthor". When Roomie and Paul parted ways, both wanted Dexter (despite Roommate's complete inadequacy when it came to taking care of Dex.) but Paul offered to take Dex in lieu of money owed and Roommate didn't have a lot of choice but to agree. The story was actually much longer and drama-laden but as I said, it's not my story. That, more or less, is how I [we] got Dexter.

And here is where many other pet introductions would end. Not ours! When we moved to Virginia, Paul was jonesing for a cat. Initially we thought I would just bring one of my cats from home (I left my parents with 8 cats... ) that my Dad has referred to as my sisters' and my dowry.  Unfortunately my mom wasn't willing to part with any of the cats that would be suited to an indoor life. Paul and i went to visit a no-kill shelter and picked out a kitten. The entire time I was hesitant about the idea of a second cat. I wasn't sure that our place was big enough for three animals. Even when I had filled out the application to be approved as a potential adopter I wasn't convinced.
In fact, when I came home and saw a furry little muffin on Paul's shoulder I still wasn't sure. But how can someone resist an adorable little fluff that aggressively burrows under your chin to purr so loudly your head rattles and eats as though he's never seen food before? That was when I relented and accepted Logan into the apartment. It is also when I found out that black cats are terribly hard to photograph.

Aaaand then there was the fateful day I condescended to take Dexter out in the morning. Usually I will hide out and avoid having to do that at all costs. Well, maybe not all costs, but I certainly don't like having to crawl out of bed and take a stinky dog out to into the freezing morning air. I saw a girl outside, with a black cat rubbing against her legs. She saw me looking over and asked if I was missing a cat. No, but I couldn't leave her out there! Paul and I got her into a carrier, which was easy since she was enthusiastic about being petted and completely unafraid of people (though scared of loud noises).
Found posters and Free Cat posters were made and posted, with no results. She was probably abandoned by one of the multiple apartments that moved out after we moved in. We quietly wondered if the other realized that we were getting attached. Many pleading looks and freudian slips later we admitted to ourselves that she was probably going to stay, unless we found a really good place for her. So that was how we found ourselves with Zelda.

And this is all in a one bedroom apartment. Oddly enough we manage to not smell constantly like cat pee and wet dog. Don't get me started on how many plants we have in the living room alone.

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