If it is it doesn't matter

Monday, February 13, 2006

Meet The Family: 1 (Poo)

The family includes five cats, one wife, and me -- and I assure you Em would want the cats listed first too. Rather than introduce them all at once, -- they can be a bit overwhelming in a group -- I figure I'll let you meet one at a time, hopefully every other day or so.

The first one -- I'm going in order of seniority here -- is Poo, our feisty old lady, who actually has been here longer than I have. We aren't sure whether she is 19 or 20. She was an adult cat 18 years ago when Em's then roommate, Roz, found her chained up outside a store on Chambers Street and rescued her, and she's been with Em ever since.

She doesn't show her age much. Occasionally she'll have a 'senior moment' when she stands around looking confused, wondering what she was doing, but I've been having those sorts of moments myself for about 50 years. She looks frail and delicate, but she's got the best appetite of any of the group, and when her plate is finished she'll pick the nearest plate and start finishing that.

Oh, she loves to eat. She's always been bossy, but she's refined it through the years. Now, if I'm a little late with a meal, she lets the whole house know it. If I'm more than a little late, she lets all of Midwood -- my section of Brooklyn -- know it. I try and tell her that I know she's lying when she insists that she hasn't been fed for three whole days -- it's usually closer to six hours since the five cats get fed three cans a day plus dry food -- but she gets even more insistent.

And her 'frailty' doesn't stop her from being part of the 'sparring matches' that our cats have made part of their pre-meal ritual. But it does win her a few special privileges. Our house -- actually we have the bottom floor of the house Em grew up in, we got it when her folks moved permanently to Florida -- can get chilly, so Poo is taken out to the living room couch at night and tucked in with blankets surrounding her. And there are certain 'people foods' that she automatically gets a share of, tuna, other fish, or chicken.

She's not as mobile as when we first moved in here four years ago. The move was a very good thing for her. In our old apartment she was a little too crowded and had some trouble with the younger cats -- she's always been a problem in one way. Somehow, even as a young cat, she never got the page in the cat manual about covering up after bathroom trips, and some of our cats are very formal and would get annoyed at her. To the point where she was spending almost all her time on the kitchen table. (Surprisingly enough, the cat that caused the most trouble for her when she was on the floor was the one who would sleep there with her, you'll meet Kittenz in due time.)

But here she had more room, eight rooms rather than three, and she was freer to wander around without getting into trouble, and the cat room -- we have turned one room completely over to the cats, for their dining room with a closet for their bathroom -- meant she had less trouble. But she still now limits her excursions to the living room, the radiator in the parlor and her own chair in the hall outside the cat room -- even if Em is stiing on it, when she wants it, she gets it.

She no longer comes and sleeps on my ankles, though she's sleep on Em's chest when she's lying on the living room couch, and her purr is a lot weaker. But she's still a loving and much loved member of the family.

And here are a couple of (bad) pictures of her. Unfortunately, I took the batch of pictures you will be seeing here. Em has promised to take some more when we can, and she's a much beter photographer.

But, to introduce Miss Pooness -- Poo for short

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