The Other Children AKA Cats

I Have to Wonder

How many times did Bean use her toothbrush on the cat before I finally caught her? And has she used mine on him, too?

Just lion around.

Pearly white snappers!

Google hasn’t told me conclusively whether humans can catch some sort of ailment from sharing a toothbrush with a cat. This particular cat, who is still young enough to enjoy attacking your feet if you walk by him, was being amazingly patient while Bean performed the cleaning process. As long as she doesn’t examine the orifices at the opposite end, I think she’ll avoid getting scratched.


I’m A Boy, I’m A Boy, But My Mom Won’t Admit It

This morning Trev, as a first act on his birthday, took our cat Tilly for the big fix. We starved her all last night and kept her locked inside (which she hated). Trev said she was very docile about getting into the carrier and very quiet in the car.


"They're taking off my WHAT now?"

About an hour after we dropped her off, the Vet called.

“I’m sorry, Mr Judson,” the Vet said, “We can’t spay your cat. Because she’s a boy.”

Ha ha, whoops. I had expressed uncertainties about Tilly’s sex when Trev first brought her– sorry, him–home  as a kitten, but Trev gave me some side-eye and insisted the painkillers I was on at the time were probably making me see things that weren’t there.

Turns out I did see things– they just won’t be there much longer.

A question for the Internet: what do we call this little boy when he comes home? We’ve thought of Billy, Telly, Timmy– none really feel right.  We know it will be difficult to get Bean to use the cat’s new name, so something similar to the old name is probably best.

Missing A Black Cat

Oh, man. While sorting photos out for my very very belated U.S. holiday post, I ran across this in a folder of oldies:

black cat and baby

"What? She smells like milk. I like milk."

Since we’ve been home, T and I both keep catching glimpses of a phantom black cat out of the corner of our eyes. Trev swore he heard him come through the cat door– it wasn’t Quinn, who was sleeping nearby. It wasn’t a neighbor’s cat, as far as we could tell. And the other day, I was drifting off to sleep and could have sworn I heard him purring down by my feet.

I roasted a chicken this weekend, and had a good old pout when only Quinn came begging for treats. Even the Bean’s asked once or twice, when spotting a black cat in the street while walking: “Zee-sho? Issa Zee-sho?”

Poor old Zeno. We miss him.

Under The Plum Tree With Zeno

We’d only been married about five months when we decided to get a cat– or, rather, when I begged to get a cat, and Trev agreed. When we went to the rescue place, I had my heart set on finding a nice, placid tabby. The lady who ran the cattery, who was blowsy and faintly whiffy of sherry, had other ideas for us.

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She took us to a cage in a back room where the difficult cases were kept. The cats with missing ears, or exotic medical conditions, or laden with kittens were here. She lifted a scrawny, black tom cat out of one of the cages. He had both forelegs shaved from IVs following recent surgeries. He had a wonky eye, from being whacked about the head by nasty teenage boys. I was dubious, but she thrust this cat into Trev’s arms.

The cat immediately began to purr, surprisingly loud and deep. It butted its head against the underside of Trev’s chin. My husband’s eyes grew wide. His bottom lip may have wobbled.

“I like this one,” he said.

And so we brought home Zeno. On account of the abuse early in his life, he was weak at first, and although generally friendly, he was given to clawing people who tried to touch his belly. But he soon waxed fat, strong, and glossy, fed by our too-liberal hand and a steady diet of birds, mice, and treats from neighbors.

He was an accomplished sleeper,  turning up in unexpected places and in daring positions, as is the way of all cats. He enjoyed going out in the rain and would return, soaked and purring, looking for a lap to dry off in. He groomed himself obsessively, accompanied by loud smacks and grunts and snorts that led us to call him “the Pig”.

He was never once impatient with Eve, even when her eager, sticky little baby hands snatched at his ears or tail, and he always greeted visitors to the house by paying them the highest feline compliment possible: he would try to climb onto them and go to sleep. Midwives, mothers-in-law, and guys from the gas company alike got the chance to bask in his purr.

And he loved the garden, napping in the sunniest beds when it was pleasant, and behind the sage bush, or among the raspberry canes under the plum tree when it was too hot.

Zeno had been sick for about a month, and by this morning it was clear he was never going to get better. So we made the hard decision, and poor Trevor brought him home to the plum tree for the last time today. We will miss him very much.

Update: What Quinn Thinks

Quinn in repose.

Quinn in repose.

As we expected, she’s not very impressed.  She sniffs the baby’s head and bedding and runs out of the room if Bean makes a loud noise. She seems to resent that Bean gets more lap time with Trev and doesn’t like the fact that her favorite chair is now my nursing station. But you know what? Tough.


Zeno is also reacting as expected. Which is to say hardly at all.