Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Herbie and Guinness

My cats are a huge part of my life so it is time to introduce them. I adopted them in November 2002 – about seven years and seven months ago. Herbie was about two back then, the color of butter-rich cream with strawberry blonde ears and markings. His eyes are pale blue and his fur is intensely soft. Guinness was just one, a brown tabby with golden eyes. (He doesn’t look brown, more like dark gray with white around his mouth and chin, like a pint of Guinness with a fine head of foam.) He came home first. Herbie hadn’t had his operation. (The Humane Society insists on castration.)

While Herbie was suffering surgical indignities, Guinness and I bonded. Prisms hang in my east windows casting morning rainbows that fascinated Guinness. I was fascinated by his fascination, sitting on the floor with him on my lap, both of us in our own ways saying ‘wow.’

When at last I could bring Herbie home, I had to keep him in isolation. Both cats had slight respiratory infections and were supposed to take antibiotics. But isolation and occasional drops of antibiotics get old. On the third day after Herbie’s arrival, I opened the doors to their respective rooms. And they met.

Guinness noticed Herbie first. Herbie was a bit overwhelmed by all the new territory. Guinness did everything but juggle to get some kind of response beyond a cursory sniff from the bigger, more glamorous cat. Wherever Herbie went, Guinness trotted along behind, eager and friendly. And ignored.

Herbie just needed time. As he began to feel comfortable with a particular room he would rest there a while. First the TV room, then the living room. After several hours, he was ready to follow me upstairs. My bed skirt may have been the final arbiter. When golden paws poked out from under the bed toward the little gray tabby counterparts, contact was made.

It was explosive. They scrambled through the house in tandem for half an hour. Later, as the games subsided, Guinness presented Herbie with a catnip mouse.

They were home and we were family.

1 comment:

  1. Cats are the best. They each have their own unique personality. You two sound super sweet.

    Thoughts in Progress