Squirt is a tuxedo kitty. There are lots of tuxedo kitties in this neighborhood, courtesy of a big old tom that I call Bad Ass. Bad Ass discovered that I’m a soft touch some time back. I frequently see him in the back yard. He seems to hang out there a lot when he’s not out on the town, beating up rival toms and knocking up the local females.
I’m not particularly fond of Bad Ass. He has a real macho attitude.
Squirt is the sole survivor of the litter Patches had last year. Now that Patches has a new litter, he’s around less and less. I assume that Squirt’s a he; I think I’ve read somewhere that tuxedo kitties usually are.
There are three kittens in this current litter, one tuxedo kitty (guess who his dad might be), and two that are an interestingly creative combination of orange and white. They’re at the stage of climbing all over each other and everything else and just generally being almost unbearably cute.
Bad Ass’s main rival is a big orange tom. I like him a whole lot better than Bad Ass, but Bad Ass seems to have chased him off. (Not altogether; just ask Patches.) The orange fellow hasn’t been around enough to be given a name.
The kittens haven’t been named yet either. I’m waiting for my husband to come home. This is the man who named our male Ragdoll ‘Raggedy Andy’. On the other hand, he also named Squirt.
Ragdolls are supposed to be docile, placid, affectionate cats. They’re also supposed not to shed much. Andy is a whirling dervish, and sheds enough that I could fill pillows with his fur. He’s fascinated by running water and everything that I attempt to put out of his reach. My husband says we should be grateful he doesn’t have an opposable thumb.
Mo is an altogether different proposition. He’s a Ragamuffin, not a Ragdoll, which is an offshoot of the same breed. (That’s a whole other interesting story, if anyone cares to look it up.) A myth about both breeds is that they go limp when picked up. Andy does go limp. Mo turns rigid as a very large stick.
‘Mo’ is short for Sumo. He weighs 18 pounds. The vet says he should go on a diet. I say he has big bones.
Mo is a great big lovable dummy. One evening I sat in the bathtub and watched Andy show Mo how to unroll toilet paper.
Fortunately, Mo didn’t get it.
Andy and Mo are indoor cats. Ragdolls and Ragamuffins are supposedly of a non-defensive nature, so shouldn’t be allowed outdoors without a bodyguard. The boys have neighborly over-the-back-yard-fence conversations with the outdoor cats through the security door. Mo gets real non-docile when a strange feline comes around.
Yep, the boys are purebred. Don’t bother to tell me that a truly conscientious animal-lover would have gone to the pound. My husband had cancer, my much loved thirteen-year-old Himalayan abruptly died, and I needed a major treat. Enter Andy, and then Mo. You’ll find pictures of both of them in the Gallery. My husband, too. Happily cancer-free.
I’ve come a long way myself, in regard to naming cats. There were lots of cats on the farm where I grew up. I can still see my grandfather walking across the field to the barn where the cows waited to be milked. A string of cats are trailing after him. It’s a nice memory.
My first cat-naming efforts were ‘Midnight’ and ‘Sunshine’. I even have old black-and-white photos of those two. I got more creative later. ‘Tush’ earned her name because she had worms when I acquired her, and because I was dating a Jewish boy at the time. The relationship didn’t end well. Neither did Tush. She was run over one summer morning on a Hollywood side street.
Keeping cats indoors makes for longer relationships. Which brings us back to the ferals, who might like to come indoors, but I’m not that much of a soft touch.
One evening at dusk I heard a cat calling. I went outside and saw a tuxedo kitty on the carport roof. (I feed the ferals in the carport.) I asked the kitty what was wrong. (Yes, I talk to them.) The kitty told me, in great detail. I sympathized. After this happened a couple more times, I thought we’d attracted another feral , the word having gotten round that there are free handouts at my house. Then one morning the cat hopped down from the roof and came to breakfast, and I realized it was Squirt. Leaner, more skitterish, but Squirt all the same.
He was on the roof again this morning.
Squirt, serenading me.