By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 7/22/2018
Occurred: 5/31/2007
Topics/Keywords: #Cats #Dogs #Humor #KarenHopeCilwa Page Views: 4063
In which we get a cat.

In today's news, the US first quarter economic growth was announced to be a mere 0.6% (even France's was twice as much); the Bush administration revealed it will take at least 50 years before we can prevail in Iraq; and even the right-wing religious extremists have expressed dismay that the White House has officially recognized Vice President Cheney's grandchild as having two gay parents (his daughter, Mary Cheney, and her partner Heather Poe).

And we have a new kitten.

Zachary and Cassie: Together in a new life.

We actually got the kitten on Monday; but this is our first public announcement. The first I knew of it was when a parade entered the house: Karen carrying a kitty litter tray, Michael carrying a bag of kitty litter, Mary carrying a semi-enclosed, fleece-lined kitten bed, and finally Zachary carrying a cardboard box with a handle on the top and air holes on side, saying, "Guess what we got?!"

Her name is Cassie Gigi Hope Cilwa. "Gigi" was the name my mom, Zachary's great-grandmother, preferred to be called ("G. G." for Great Grandmother). "Hope" is Karen's middle name. (Karen is Zach's aunt and guardian.) And "Cassie" was the name of Zachary's previous cat, a creature whose only joy in life was pouncing on visitors from behind and biting their ankles, and who disappeared under mysterious circumstances. (There was a delivery man with very fat ankles seen in the area at the time, and some suspicion that Cassie may have bit and become stuck and dragged away to the eventual surprise and puzzlement of the delivery man, who wouldn't have known from which of his many delivery addresses she originated.)

The new Cassie spent her first 24 hours in terror after being torn away from her mother and siblings; she greeted every overture from the family with a vicious hiss of the type that in a tiger would instantly be followed by death but in a kitten is only endearing. Soon, however, she learned that the humans in the family meant her no harm, merely stroking her on the back of the head in a way that reminded her of Mommy's tongue baths and so induced her to close her eyes and purr. The family dogs are, however, a different matter.

The two oldest, Astro and Cirrus, have behaved, to my mind, underwhelmingly. They literally couldn't care less about the new addition. They didn't bother to sniff the box she came in; and only if presented with her face to face have they displayed the slightest awareness of her at all—and even then only Cirrus showed a modicum of enthusiasm, with a half-hearted wag of his tail and a slight nod before going back to sleep. (And these dogs aren't that old.)

Perhaps it's because they've never really known a cat. Amber, on the other hand, used to live with Zachary, Mary, Karen and the first Cassie in their own apartment. Amber and Cassie were great pals, since Amber viewed Cassie's attacks of her hind legs as attempts at play. So perhaps Amber thinks that the first Cassie has returned (they do look somewhat similar and, more importantly to a dog, they may smell a lot alike) and that happy days of play lie ahead. Lord knows Astro and Cirrus don't spend quality time with her, unless by "quality time" you mean pushing her out of the way when she tries to eat their food.

Hopefully, though, this new Cassie won't become an ankle-biter.

If she does, well…I have the names of several fat-ankled delivery men and catalogs from the stores from which they deliver. And I know how to use them.