Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Halloween Weekend, Part II: Oh, For Pete's Sake

OK, I promised I'd tell you about the biggest thing that happened this week. But first you need a little background information. Really. You do.

Remember this post, where I told you about our new addition to the family, a Siamese cat named Miss (Cleo) Marple? Well, we've had her now for three months and have come to the following conclusion:

She hates us.

Specifically, she hates Lucy and Elaine and doesn't like me much either. She allows Darren to pick her up and pet her. That's about it. She runs away when we come into a room where she is. She slinks around low to the floor and hopes we won't notice her. She hisses. She bites. In short, she's the snootiest, rudest cat ever and is completely ungrateful that we rescued her from certain demise.

A few weeks ago, I had had it.

"We're giving this cat back," I told Darren (before you freak out, her foster home said they would accept her back at any time). "She's obviously not the right cat for us. She needs to be in a quiet, one-person home with no kids."

He said, "Can't we give her some more time? I bet she'll get better; just give her a few more months."

"I want instant gratification," I told him. "I just want a nice, decent cat who likes us. Is that too much to ask?"

I broached the subject with the girls. "We really need to give Miss Cleo Marple back," I told them gently. "She's frightened of us, and she's not nice to you girls. I promise we'll find you a gentle cat who loves little kids."

Lucy fell to the floor, weeping. To the floor, Readers, to the FLOOR. "Moooooommmmmm," she wailed. "You can't! You can't give Miss Cleo Marple away! It's soooooo crrrruuuuueeelll! We promise we love her even if she doesn't like us! Don't give her awaaaaayyyyy! She's had a hard life, and she neeeeeeeds us!" Sobbing ensued.

Elaine, on the other hand, marched up to Cleo. "We're giving you back to Ms Hillery," she informed her. Then she bounced into our room where Darren was. "Dad, we're giving your cat back. And we're getting a nice cat who doesn't bite me and I'm naming her Dolly Bantry." (Dolly Bantry is Miss Marple's best friend, dontcha know.)

Sigh. The drama in our house. It was ratcheted up even more than usual, and yours truly was in the Cruella DeVille role.

Finally, Darren said, "What about...if we had two cats?" Oh, for Pete's sake.

Now when we first got Miss Marple, Joseph told me, "What you really need is Hercule Poirot to keep her company," and I told him to bite his tongue.

But...I live to please these people, so I got back to work with petfinder.com, trying to find another cat whose qualifications basically were now: declawed, housebroken, and adores children and doesn't mind being loved to death and dressed up in doll clothes.

Numerous shelters told me the same thing: have you ever considered a male cat? They all said that neutered male cats were much sweeter, friendlier, and laid-back than female cats. One woman said, "Boy cats are the most loving by far. You know how needy men are."

So, a boy cat it is, though I had to do a little convincing to the girls. Meet the newest member of our family, just arrived Saturday night:

He's 7 months old. Isn't he sweet?

The girls decided to name him Yo-Yo. After the cellist, not the toy, because they love Yo-Yo Ma and also, his hair is black, just like this cat. Please insert all "Yo-Yo Meow" jokes here and get it out of your system.

Since his arrival, he's made himself at home. When you get a new cat, you're supposed to keep them confined to one room for about three days in order for them to get used to the sounds and smells of a new environment. Miss Marple took about 14 days. Well, 14 days and 3 months and still counting. Yo-Yo took about 3 minutes.

He now confidently roams the house. He jumps up on our laps and takes his naps in a chair with us. He allows himself to be utterly manhandled and carted about and hugged and kissed by two spirited little girls. Of course, he is sometimes the cause of bitter custody battles between them, and I have to intervene because at least once he was in danger of being pulled in half. When they get too much for him, he retreats to his covered litter box, which I think is the equivalent of a man taking his newspaper and hiding out in the bathroom.

He scampers around, leaping on windowsills and furniture (OK, we're gonna put a stop to that). He purrs and rubs against your legs, wanting to be picked up, and head butts you if you've stopped petting him.

In short, he's a total love monkey and ideal for us. In fact, here he is as I sit, blogging:

He also loves to sit in the kitchen, looking out the patio door because we have birdfeeders set up on the patio. His tail twitches back and forth as all the birds come. I think it's like some awesome plasma Bird TV for him.

I figure we've done enough good deeds to last us for awhile. First, did you know that of all cats, black cats are the least likely to get adopted? In fact, they have a 50% less chance of being adopted than any other cat. I guess people a) are superstitious and b) don't think they're cute enough. Yo-Yo begs to differ. (I just can't stop saying "Yo-Yo." It's too fun.) Second, we've still got Miss Snooty Marple and allow her to co-exist with us.

So there was our entire Halloween weekend, complete with the adoption of a little black Halloween cat. Named Yo-Yo.

See? Can't stop saying it.


Laura Brown said...

What a sweet story! He's a beautiful kitty, too.

Melanie said...

Three cheers for Yo-Yo! I love that they chose to honor Mr. Ma! Now, the cat loves all of you which is of the utmost importance but I just have to know - does he enjoy the works of the artist for which he's named?

Alice said...

Yes! He loves to lie in the sun on the kitchen floor while I play Yo-Yo Ma doing the Bach cello suites. I can tell they've already made some sort of connection.

The Farmer's Wife said...

Black cats are my FAVORITE!(We have a brilliant 11 year old black cat named Houdini Marie, and hold all cats up in comparison to her. They are all found lacking...)

And it's true...male cats, neutered or not, are lovers.
I'm SO glad you found a sweetie!

Miss Cleo Marples will never, ever forgive you. And I think you can live with that...

(And I love that you can holler, "Yo! Supper!" and no one will be offended.)