Tuesday, October 21, 2008

They Grow Up So Fast

Posted on/at 4:42 PM by The Goddess

Alice is unlike any cat I've ever owned. Her coat colors have grown in. She's not solid grey, as we first thought, but has touches of beige, cream, and peach; a tortoiseshell pattern with a white bib under her chin. She looks like what she is-- an alley cat.

Poor Russell is beside himself. He's been top cat around here for years. His only enemies were an overly loving little girl, my grouchy cat-hating husband, and the vacuum cleaner. Then Alice showed up.

Don't get me wrong; Alice adores Russell. She follows him everywhere. She longs to play with him, eat with him, snuggle up and sleep with him. Russell apparently views her as an exasperatingly pesky younger sister. If he were a kid, I'd be treated to constant bickering and cries of, "Get out of my room!" and, "Quit looking at me!" as well as, "Mom! Tell Alice to stop touching my stuff." Instead, I hear brief spates of hissing and snarling before Russell turns tail and flees to the relative safety of the back yard.

Whenever Russell manages to sneak back into the house, he always greets me with a long, very vocal greeting, he and I going back and forth, "Herro!", "Well, hello, Russell!," "Herrrooo!", "How ya doing, big fellow?", for several minutes, or at least until Alice shows up to investigate the commotion and bat at his ears.

Alice, on the other hand, is the quietest cat I've ever owned. It wasn't always so. The day we found her, she was yowling loud enough to be heard from across the street. Every need of hers was announced at the top of her tiny lungs, and it seemed she needed something every hour of the day. This was balanced by a purr that sounded like Harley. Now that she's older, she's become eerily silent. She'll give a tiny squeak if you accidentally step on her, but other than that, the only other noise she ever makes is a soft little chatter that she makes when hunting.

Oddly enough, it's her hunting habits that makes grouchy cat-hating husband smile. She's utterly vicious , stalking grocery bags, balls, toes, dust mice with equal glee. That wouldn't be so bad if she didn't ruthlessly go for the kill and sink her teeth into my chin, or rake her talons across my scalp after she chased down my hair in a life-or-death pursuit. She spent a good ten minutes leaping into the air, trying to bring down a friend's free-range backside the other day as he stood in my kitchen talking to Mr. Grouchy.

The sight of Alice streaking down the hallway halfway up the kitchen wall never fails to amuse my hubby. He lets her climb all over his stuff, bringing his precariously balanced piles crashing down. He complains bitterly the whole while, but does nothing about it. He even worries about me traumatizing her if I take after her with the squirt bottle for chewing electrical cords.

It was recently pointed out to me that I'm the only one whose voice Alice obeys. Gee whiz! I wonder why? Same reason my kids aren't the ones throwing tantrums at the toy store. Beat them early and beat them often. With both kids and cats, I have only to raise my eyebrows at them to get them to quickly reconsider the wisdom of whatever mischief I can see brewing in their little minds. If only that worked on Mr. Grouchy.


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