Wednesday, May 14, 2008

T to the Power of 2

I talk a lot about Ozzie, my almost 11-year-old Yorkie. He is definitely Top Dog. In fact, he's the only dog. This D*mn House, however, is also inhabited by two other boys, both cats. The incomparable Tigger and Toby.

Tigger is the eldest. I call him the "grand old gentleman." He's been hanging around for almost 16 years. There's a tree that separates the lot we divide with the neighboring property. Tigger was the proverbial kitten stuckin the tree in June 1992.

My mom, recuperating from a car accident, kept hearing a kitten cry. I was running back and forth from a work assignment to check on her and, during one of my stops, heard the cries. I thought it was a bird at first. But, it was Tigger. Once out of the tree, he walked across the porch and through the door like he owned the place. I tried to get him a home, then tried to get a shelter group to do it. They almost succeeded. Almost. So, after an unsuccessful adoption attempt, I just took him home.

In July 2006, just a few weeks ahead of the monster storm that took most of the shingles off the roof and left us without power for a week, the cries of a kitten were heard once again. Oddly enough, they came from almost the same spot where Tigger had been found 14 years earlier. But Toby was not in the tree. He was about 10 feet from it though. I'm convinced that our lot is a staging area for stray cats.

Tigger has the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen on an animal except for maybe a Siamese or a Husky. They are this unbelievable deep green. Just gorgeous.

And Toby is just "pretty." There's no other way to put it, even though he's a boy. We've always found him a little on the effeminate side which is why Mom commonly refers to him as Toby Marie. He is bunny soft and he keeps changing colors, varying between a slate gray and a light gray. His eyes, which were once a bright gold, have now changed to green.

At the moment, he appears to be all boy though, waking me with his yowling every day between 3 and 5 a.m. (He’s desperate for a girlfriend. I would gladly provide him with one – or with a trip to the vet – just to shut him up.)

Toby and Ozzie get along fairly well but Tigger hates them both. That’s why he is the Lord of the Lower Level. If he ever got within a breath of either of them, it would be a forensic file waiting to happen.

Tigger does like people, just not other animals. In fact, he likes both Lawrence the handyman and Carl the HVAC guy. These days, he spends most of his time sleeping or otherwise basking in the sun of his window perch. Occasionally though he will surprise me by attacking one of his toys and running through the basement with the vigor of a kitten.

I hope that vigor sticks around for a long time to come.

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