I’ve had these two furballs as part of my life since the fall of 1999. They were both adopted, just a few weeks apart, from the Humane Society of Baltimore County.
Guy is usually neither this cute nor friendly. When I went to adopt, I had a clear picture of what I wanted: two kittens. That plan lasted right up until I met Guy. I was walking down the bay of cat cages, running my hand along their doors, when I felt a furry explosion. I stopped, at Guy’s cage, as this cat threw himself at my fingers, rubbing his head against them like his life depended on them. When I got to hold him, the first thing he did was hiss at me.
But that’s okay, because he was scared, and I was in love.
Tippy was a kitten — she was six weeks old when I took her home, the only non black-and-white cat in her litter. She’s a calico, all grays and browns and some subdued tans. Interestingly, when I adopted her, her name was Pipi. I wasn’t thrilled about this, but it wasn’t until a roommates’ friend fed her a bottle-cap full of beer that I came up with an alternative: Tippy. Because this six week old cat was walking into walls, and not in a cute cat-nip way.
Those guys were both retarded.
The first day I took Guy home, the first thing he did — after I locked him in the bathroom for an hour so he knew where the litter box was — was to run under my roommate’s recliner and stay there, right up until it was time for me to go to bed. And right when I slipped into bed and tried to get some sleep, guess who was there? Rubbing his head into my chin, licking my fingers? Meowing? Oh, cat, oh cat — finally, to get sleep and not lock him out of the bedroom (which I don’t think he would’ve stood for), I turned him on his side, put my arm over his chest and ran it up between his paws so that my hand was under his head. And I went to sleep, and he might not’ve gone to sleep, but he stopped trying to keep me awake.
They both have wildly different personalities. Guy can be a very social cat — he was two when I adopted him, and he’d spent those years living in a college frat house. “Attention whore” might be a strong word to describe him, especially as he’s mellowed with age, but his eyes light up at the sight of a bottle cap. He’ll still lick my fingers on occasion, when I’m lounging on the couch and my hands are dangling off the side.
Tippy is very much a woman: she won’t come to me, I have to go to her. Sometimes, I have to chase her a bit around the apartment, but she rarely runs under the bed or goes someplace I can’t pursue her. And once I’ve scooped her up, she’ll rub her face against mine and purr and act content — but only for about a minute or so, then she wants down. When family or friends come over, she’s out and about, an ignorant slut of a furball wanting someone to scratch her rump.
She’s also a complainer. Guy? Oh, if I’m slow on changing the cat litter, or the water bowl could use a cleaning, he’ll just sulk. Tippy? Oh no, she’ll be crying and running about, tail wagging, rubbing up against me, refusing to be picked up and comforted. Sometimes, this can be a real pain because what she’s trying to tell me is, “Hey, open the door to the closet so I can curl up on the unwashed clothes”, but by the time I’ve figured that out, I’ve washed the food bowls, put out new food, and changed the litter.
I felt a little guilty about moving to DC — moving to an apartment about half the size of my previous place. But they adopted very well, and quickly. Well, Tippy did. Guy was traumatized by the move, and refused to move from his cat carrier until I pulled him out of it. He then spent two days under my dresser, but fortunately, he realized he was safe. Now their favorite activity is getting up on the window sill when they’re open and listening to the exotic bird calls from the Zoo.