“I love you, so to speak.”
— Fats Waller
In the past, we’ve had several cats, all precious, with semi-precious names — Silvie, Jade, Topaz, Pearl and Ruby. The last survivor, Pearl, died last year, and we didn’t get another, perhaps because Pearl had been the least lovable of the group.
(I’m not being unfair about that; Pearl would agree with me. “What,” she would ask, “did I have to be lovable about?” That was her attitude, most days.)
Patti Jo and I didn’t really mind the lack of feline company after Pearl passed on. It was quieter. No more litter boxes. Before meeting Patti Jo, I’d always been a dog man anyway.
But Katie came home from college last week, finals over, determined to rectify the situation. On Friday, I picked her and her boyfriend, Jimmy, up at the airport. Friday night they were a little tired, but on Saturday they hit the ground running, and by afternoon we had a kitty.
Although we’ve specialized in Siamese around here — or perhaps because of that — Katie decided to adopt a calico.
She and Jimmy went to Buena Park to get it. Patti Jo warned her beforehand on the kind of cat to avoid — the hysterical, psychotic kind — but she was already preaching to the choir.
I told Booker, our Welsh springer spaniel, that Katie was bringing a kitty home, and he got excited. He knows what a kitty is. Kitties are fascinating, at least until they grow up into cats and refuse to go back where they came from.
Katie and Jimmy returned in the afternoon with a little crate. Inside, way in the back, was Scout — the name Katie had decided on, from “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Scout’s fur color is black around one eye and ginger around the other. She fits in your hand.
Katie took her to the bathroom and put the scale against the litter box so she could step up into it. When Scout stepped on the scale, the needle didn’t move. After a while, she peed in a corner of the litter box, which is pretty good for 6 weeks old.
I didn’t want another cat. Even Patti Jo didn’t want another cat. But Katie says in two years, when she’s out of college, she’ll take Scout with her to her first apartment, wherever that is. For now, she’s a kitten, and it’s hard to dislike a kitten.
So far she’s quite calm. Doesn’t yowl or scream. Booker is duly fascinated, and she only hisses when he gets right up in her face.
So Scout has joined the family, and cuteness rules. I mean, the needle didn’t even move.
SHERWOOD KIRALY is a Laguna Beach resident. He has written four novels, three of which were critically acclaimed. His novel, “Diminished Capacity,” is now available in bookstores, and the film version is available on DVD.