Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Country cat comes to the big city

[Since I can't sleep, I figured I'd kill some time and maybe put myself to sleep by writing an entry that falls solidly into the "cute things my cat did" category. Tune out now unless you too have nothing better to do.]

The integration of our new cat into the household is proceeding reasonably smoothly so far. We still haven't really settled on a name for him -- we alternate between "Sandeep", "Sandy", "The Sandman" and "Country" [for reasons that will become clear later].

Sandy appears to have been weaned at a really early age, because he's so affectionate it's almost like he's a dog in a cat's body -- he follows you around from room to room, has no objection to being picked up and held for extended periods of time, starts purring pretty much as soon as you look at him etc. Of course, maybe we've just been conditioned not to expect any of that by Sushi and Mooshi who act like they're doing you a favor by letting you pet them. It's a nice change to have an appreciative cat, a somewhat similar sentiment to Larry David's statement "
It's not every day that you get to be affectionate around something German, it just doesn't happen that often. "

The Sandman is also rather "country" in a Will Ferrell-in-"Elf" sort of way -- he climbs onto [and falls off] everything, is insanely curious and not at all shy. He demonstrated that last part this evening by getting into his litter box and proceeding to do his business while Christina was in the process of cleaning the litter box. Usually cats want a bit of privacy for that sort of thing. Not this boy. Needless to say, Christina was a bit taken aback. Again, this sort of childish enthusiasm is in sharp contrast to our other two cats, who are kind of like jaded Romans and adopt the "Another orgy ? How dreadfully boring ... could we maybe feed another slave to the lions ?" approach to just about everything, including their food -- they refuse to eat the same flavor of cat food several days in a row, or a can of opened cat food that's been in the refrigerator, so we have to make sure we have enough variety for them. Sandeep just hoovers it all up -- old, new, warm, cold, fish flavor, chicken flavor ...

The most interesting thing to observe has been how Sushi and Mooshi react to this new addition to the household. So far, we've kept them mostly separate so they can get used to each other's smell prior to being put in physical proximity. We've put him and Sushi [the more mellow of the two] together to see what happens and it confirmed my long-standing opinion: Sushi is a punk. Instead of taking the "This is my house and don't you forget it" approach, he miaows in a tone that conveys "Why are you torturing me ?" and backs away from Sandy as quickly as he can, sometimes flat out turning around and running away [despite the fact that he weighs at least 1.5 times as much as Sandy and is just generally bigger]. Sandy, in his naive way, of course thinks Sushi wants to play and chases him, which just makes Sushi more desperate to get away ... mayhem ensues, usually ending with Sushi backed into a corner and us taking Sandy away. Mooshi, on the other hand, isn't taking shit from anybody [as shown by the fact that he put Christina into the hospital a few months ago] -- when he sees Sandy, he hisses, growls like a dog and basically conveys "Come get some, if you want some -- there's nothing but space and opportunity between us". So far, we haven't let Sandy take him up on that [he doesn't seem to understand that hissing means "I don't like you very much"], but we'll have to just let them work out their differences [in a supervised environment, of course :-)] sometime soon.

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