Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Have I ever mentioned that my parents run a cathouse?

They started off small when they rescued Celia from the local animal shelter 16 years ago. Two years later, my mom added Lucy to the collection. Nine years after that, they graciously took in my cat Oliver when we moved to Hawaii, land of the godawful rabies quarantine. (Even without a quarantine, dragging Oliver to paradise would not have been a realistic option. He is a poor traveler who uses each roadtrip as an opportunity to demonstrate the multifaceted digestive system.)

One day my sister rescued a stray black cat and named him Willis. She kept him for a few months and then left him with my parents for a weekend. That weekend is well into its third year.

Willis does not fit in well with the older cats. He attacks Celia and Lucy, and he bestows upon Oliver the kind of affection generally expressed in prison. Accordingly, the 3 older cats and Willis cannot be in the same room . . . ever. This means that my parents go through each day in an elaborate ballet in which they move cats around their house. Major military campaigns are planned with less precision.

When we came over from Germany for this extended vacation, we brought our cat Eddie with us. Eddie is named after legendary Hawaiian big-wave surfer Eddie Aikau (say "eye-COW") who was lost at sea during an attempt to paddle for help for the crew of a swamped voyaging canoe. His bravery inspired the saying "Eddie would go," and we named our new cat accordingly. It was our promise to each other that no matter where we may go, Eddie will go as well.

Interestingly enough, Eddie and Willis are nearly identical twins. Fortunately, they get along well, and Eddie had adapted to the cat-shuffle schedule. The black kitties spend each night out in the sunroom while the old ladies (Oliver is one of the girls) have the run of the house. At around 10:00 each morning, Willis and Eddie come in while Celia, Lucy, and Oliver are locked in the master bedroom. Shift change happens at about 3:30 in the afternoon and then again around 6:00. At 10:00 everyone moves to their bedtime positions.

This evening I was lying on the couch, watching a movie, and Eddie came to me and snuggled up on my chest. A few minutes later, Willis piled on as well. This was remarkable because while Eddie and Willis romp together enthusiastically, this was the first time we've seen them cuddled up together. Mike grabbed my camera and took a picture to document the event:

Don't they look happy together? The kids and I think a duo this cute should be able to stay together. We are lobbying my folks to let us add Willis to our cat collection when we return home, but my mom isn't sure she's ready to give him up. My father is enthusiastically in favor of the plan, but Mom needs more convincing. Feel free to sign my guestbook giving your support to the "Free Willis" movement.

Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?