Monday, June 14, 2010

Such a Deal

When my cats, Herbie and Guinness, began their lives with me (see June 8 post) I thought that Herbie – the older and slightly larger animal – would be the ‘alpha’ cat. I was wrong. Guinness has a tendency to bully his adopted brother. It took, literally, years before Herbie dared participate in any game that Guinness and I might be playing. He would watch with one eye from another room (half hidden by whatever wall was providing cover). Even now, he sometimes seems to hesitate to eat until he is sure Guinness is through.

But Guinness has proven to be astoundingly neurotic. Forceful with Herbie, he nonetheless is terrified by any human other than me. Most of my guests think I have only one cat because Guinness hides the moment the doorbell rings. Often he will burrow beneath my bedspread; evidently unaware that the lump he creates gives him away.

It’s not that the two don’t get along. They do. They play, chasing each other around the house; they groom each other, and often cuddle together in sleep looking like a furry yin yang symbol. Their hobbies include squirrel and bird watching and it is fun to see their heads turn in unison as furred or feathered creatures scamper or fly outside my windows.

Herbie is my official host cat. He loves visitors and expects focused affection from all who cross my threshold. When my writers group meets at my house, he will go from lap to lap until sufficient homage is paid. And most visitors are delighted – he is soft and beautiful – until they discover that he drools. He drools when he is happy and when he is frightened and sometimes just because. The worst is when he shakes his head, sending saliva flying.

The moment company leaves, Guinness shows up and we are a trio again. Both of them seem to love me unconditionally. They greet me when I come home from anywhere. Sensitive to my every mood and condition, they cuddle when I need comfort and use their vast repertoire of antics when I need cheering. They wait until they are sure I am sleeping before making their nocturnal rounds.

They provide me with love to give and receive and with something to focus upon besides my own problems or whatever I am writing. All I have to do is provide affection, food, water, clean litter boxes and occasional pedicures.

Such a deal.


  1. I love the different personalities cats have. At times my two act like they hate each other and others times they get along fine. Hard to figure them out, but you gotta love'em.

    Thoughts in Progress

  2. On Herbie's behalf, I should add that he does not drool ALL the time.