Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The other half of the family


My mother was the consummate cat person. While she would have tracked down anyone she knew to have abused any animal, she gave special attention to cats. Indeed, the first picture I have of her alone--well, she isn't alone. She's holding a cat.

So I grew up and into a love of the feline. As a young family, my husband and I had two cocker spaniels. Loved them dearly. They were our first children, proving to the world and to ourselves that we could take care of something and have it survive. That proven, we had the human children. Then the cats found us, and it hasn't been the same since.

It has been said that dogs have owners and cats have staff. Our current employers are littermates, born of a Siamese cat. One look at the picture and you'll see why I don't call them brothers.

Pyewacket, named for the "familiar" in the movie "Bell, Book, and Candle," is a red tabby who happens to be the exact color of our oak flooring. When he positions himself on the stairs, in the way of course, where you cannot help but notice or step on him, he is virtually invisible. One of these days, he will be virtually squished when he trips one of us.

Tuxedo, on the other hand, sports a black and white coat, a "tie" on his chest and half a mustache. Until weight became a major problem, he was capable of leaping to the newel post and walking up the banister rail. When we cast a red laser dot for him to chase, the game lasts about 5 minutes until he is watching the pen, not the dot. We have been found out and the game is over.

So here is the other half of our family in residence and the true bosses of the outfit and rulers of our hearts.

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