one for one

in the beginning (at least as far as this post is concerned), there were three cats. frida, radar, and kendra. frida was a freak and a mischief-maker, always getting into things, but toward the end was a total sweetheart. frida didn’t like people though, would run from company, and almost murdered the humane society docs when we went in for shots. next came radar, a gorgeous blue-gray cat with a cream nose. she was a freak in a whole ‘nother way, being part siamese, that meant she was part insane. literally. she occasionally would find a shadow on the wall and decide it was trying to attack her. she was about to be 40’d (humane society-talk for euthanized–40 is the room they do euthanasia at HSU), but erin rescued her, realizing that she was just freaked out and needed attention. kendra was supposed to be the normal one, the one we got cuz she was so damn pretty.  she turned out being possibly the most nuts of the lot, having a problem that some vets say may be related to ADHD in cats, where she would eat fabric as a sort of comfort thing.

when we bought our house, we had to designate one room to be the “cat room” because radar would keep us up all night with her yowling and this was especially necessary after gavin was born.  kendra started getting better about the eating fabric thing in the last year, so much so that we were considering the possibility that maybe she was “cured.”   we went away to cali for a few days and when we got back, frida was really sick.  turns out her kidney was failing and we had to put her to sleep.  this was really hard; frida was the normal one, and actually hung out with us and liked both of us.  kendra was/is sweet but sometimes neurotic and often skittish.  radar is a psycho cat who will yowl outside the bathroom when i’m in the living room because she thinks i could be in the bathroom.  radar also would get on my lap (only mine, she hardly paid any attention to erin at all), and insist that she be the only person i pay attention to, putting her head on my arm so i can’t use my hand.  this may sound cute, but it can be rather obnoxious, and when i would move, she would just move back, or choose a new, even more obnoxious position.  then she’d yowl outside the door to the bedroom where gavin was sleeping and wake him up.  she did this fairly frequently, enough that we put her in the cat room more and more so she wouldn’t wake up gavin when he was napping.  and because kendra is/was slightly co-dependent, she had the side-effect of being quarantined also.

so we’re working on the upstairs — finishing the attic so it’s a bedroom where we and the new baby will be.  we wanted to move out of our bedroom early so gavin would get used to us being in a different room and him having the room to himself at night.  which meant that we move into the cat room.  this made us realize that if we’re living in this room, with the cats, after the new baby is born and living in there with us, we were going to have problems.  radar yowled sporadically all through the night for no apparent reason and woke up in the morning invariably between 6 and 7am — i didn’t have to set my alarm for work; without fail, radar woke me up before the alarm went off.  and she wouldn’t stop yowling until i got up and fed her.  and even then, when i tried to go back to sleep afterwards, she still cried at the door.  so that wasn’t going to work.

more than that, she was not good with kids.  she was fine with us, but didn’t have patience for gavin, and swatted at or tried to bite him.  she wouldn’t move if he was bugging her, she’d just sit there until it reached a breaking point and then react.  so we made the decision to take her back to HSU.  both of us felt horribly guilty about it, but it really was the only option for our family with the new baby.  but kendra would not do well on her own, so we made plans to get another cat at the same time or shortly after.

so, okay, i feel bad about having to give radar up.  but whatever your opinion about pets being part of the family and all, i guarantee that if you had great-aunt matilda living with you, who spent her days picking at her fingernails, fussing and complaining, made you feel guilty when you did things without her, periodically yelled and screamed for food or just because, and woke you up every morning pounding on the door at 6am asking for her food and pills, you would find some other living situation for aunt matilda.  and if matilda wasn’t a great-aunt and instead was a sister or mother, maybe it would be different.  maybe not.  but radar was not my mother or sister, so that doesn’t apply.  she was a pet.  she was part of the family but she was not a good pet, and she was not going to be good with a new baby.

so i worked from home on tuesday which gave me time to work on the web site i’m designing, vote in the mayoral primary, do work for work, take radar to HSU, and then later go back that night and get a new cat.  the new  cat we brought home is 5 months old, black with white feet, a white patch on his forehead and white whiskers.  he’s a boy, which is new for us — previously we’d only gotten girls to try to avoid the spraying thing, but we looked at the normal shelter cats, and they all looked way sick, so we were looking at the ones that had been fostered.  most of them were older than we wanted to go, and i really liked this guy (who the shelter had named “yogi bear” >.<  we’re tentatively calling him “orbit” but that might be subject to change).  he seemed more active and frisky than his cage-mates even though he was just chilling on a pillow, he was more interested in people.

he acts like a kitten and is very frisky.  he’s great with gavin, even when gavin is terrorizing him and i think he’ll be a good addition to our family.  the card said he liked cuddling with other cats which kendra liked to do too, sometimes, and kendra acts like a kitten still sometimes, so once they get used to each other (or, more accurately, once kendra gets used to him) we think they’ll be buds.  and we think this cat situation will work much better with the new baby and we really don’t even need a “cat room” anymore, which is another bonus.

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