Thursday, October 30, 2008

Orange and Black

Since everyone else shared their experiences with candy, I thought I'd switch it up a little bit and write about my own personal little Halloween duo. I mentioned my three neurotic cats back in my introductory post. Well, two of them are fitting for this week’s topic – a ten-year-old long-haired orange tabby and a five year-old-short-haired solid black cat. (And as for the third, a fat gray tabby, thank goodness he can’t read, because he already has some serious jealousy issues!). As all people and animals tend to do in our house – these two have garnered many nicknames over the years, and collectively, my husband calls the two of them, orange and black, “Halloween.”

We adopted “Mr. Orange*” (*note real their names have been concealed to protect them from any embarrassment!) from the Humane Society literally an hour before they planned to euthanize him. He thinks he’s in charge of the house. And he will seriously set you straight if you get in his way. When we adopted him, he’d obviously just barely escaped a terrible fight – he was limping and cut and missing clumps of hair. The woman at the Humane Society suggested it may have been with a coyote, which seemed hard to believe given that a cat doesn’t usually walk away from one of these fights, but this cat is as scrappy as they come. He thinks he’s part dog (He waits for my husband at the door every day when he comes home from work.) and part human (He persistently tries to jump on the kitchen table and drink water from our water glasses – no ceramic cat bowls for him, thank you very much!). He covets attention –getting so excited at the vet that it’s always a struggle to get him back in the carrier to come home. He was neutered a little too late in life, so he – and I’m paraphrasing the vet here – still exhibits the mating behavior, even though he doesn’t exactly have the means to carry it out. In other words, he likes to steal my kids’ stuffed animals, drag them into a corner, and have his way with them. And yet he is perhaps the sweetest animal I’ve ever met. He spends the better part of the evening curled up on my husband’s lap, purring

“Mr. Black” was the runt of a litter found abandoned at a gas station. We adopted him from a no-kill shelter – the only one of his brothers and sisters not already adopted. Apparently, it is harder to adopt out black cats. He is kind and needy, and a stereotypical fraidy cat. He takes one look at one of my children and runs and hides – not that I can blame him, when the younger one still seems to think tail-pulling should be an Olympic sport. He completely favors me – any time I sit down, anywhere in the house, he pops into the room and on to my lap with in a matter of seconds. He is also an avid stuffed-animal stealer, though, in his case, I suspect he was taken from his mother too early. He likes to drag stuffed animals into the hallway, kneed them with his paws, and suck on them, as if he were trying to nurse.

But here’s the beauty of my orange and black cats – they absolutely love each other. From the moment we brought Mr. Black into the house five years ago, Mr. Orange took him under his wing, and Mr. Black latched right on to that. The two of them spend most of the day sleeping and curled up together, grooming one another, or playing. Which is kind of amazing, considering that tough, tough Mr. Orange spends the rest of the day trying to bully our sweet fat gray tabby.

So there you have it, our Halloween kitties. And as for the humans in our household—well, we’re sort of being feline traitors this year on Halloween. At my son’s request, we’re all dressing up as Scooby Doo and the gang – Scooby, Scrappy, Shaggy, and me, Velma. But I’m guessing our own little Halloween duo will never be any the wiser. I’m sure they’ll be safely tucked under the bed as soon as the first trick-or-treater rings the doorbell.


Maureen Lipinski said...

At least your cats like each other! My cats barely tolerate one another, although have grown closer since we introduced their Mortal Enemy last year--Rocky the dog.

And "Mr. Orange" looks EXACTLY like the cat I used to have who was obsessed with Barbie clothes and lingerie. So if you notice any underwear missing...

Rachel Cantor said...

Happy Halloween to the scooby gang and all your cats!!!
While your cats like to steel stuffed animals my cat steals pens... It's tough when you try to find something to write with at my house so it could be worse.

Jillian Cantor said...

Thanks guys!

Maureen, My third cat and "Mr. Orange" have been waging battle since 2000, but I guess that's a story for another post!

Rachel, your cat wins the thief award, hands down -- and maybe the crazy award, too. At least none of my cats have had to have drawstrings surgerically removed --yet. . .

Lesley Livingston said...

Wow - do we ever have a lot in common, Jillian! I was chatting with our agent today and the first thing she said was that she hopped over here to read the blog and she thought it was MY post! She was sure that those were two of my cats!

At first glance, I did too!

Happy Halloween to Messrs. Orange and Black!

Bonnie said...

Happy Halloween to Scooby gang.

Tracy Madison said...

Oh my Gosh! I love the pictures of the cats. Love them. We only have one cat, and she's so ornery she doesn't even cuddle with us. Though, Mr. Orange is very similar in appearance to the first cat I ever owned. He didn't even have a name...just "Cat." And no, that wasn't my doing!

But Cat used to like to taunt the neighbor's dog by strolling along the tope of the fence. That poor dog was too short to jump high enough and the cat just tormented her day and night...until one day he tripped and fell right on top of the dog.

Let's jus say he learned and stopped taunting!