July 8th, 2003



I own three cats. They're all of a type my father-in-law calls "tuxedo," meaning that they're black and white, medium-haired, standard-issue cats. The oldest of the three is about six and she's deeply neurotic. She was feral when we got her five years ago, and she's never trusted anybody. She will live in the house and eat the cat food and never leave our property, but she will not allow herself to be petted or touched in any way. Well, it's her right.

The other two are brother and sister. They look exactly alike, except that the brother is half again as big as the sister. The brother has gone native and never comes in the house. I fear that if we ever move, we'll have to leave him there. He lives on top of the house and kills birds and squirrels and gives the possums a run for their money. The sister is small and acts like a real housecat. She sleeps in the clean laundry if it's not put away within 30 seconds, sheds all over the couch and cozies up to the baby early in the morning.

Then, there's Ginger. I don't know what his real name is, but he seems to think that he lives in our house. He comes in the cat flap (or the bedroom door, if it's left open). The other cats know that he's not to be in the house and at least once a week there is a wee-morning-hours fight between him and one of ours, culminating in huge tufts of cat fur left on the floor, and occasionally a little blood.

This morning I went outside to take the cover off my motorcycle to come to work. I put the cover on to protect the seat from the sun on days when I don't ride, and to keep the dew off because nobody wants a wet butt. This morning as I was pulling the cover off to fold it up, there was Ginger on the seat. The little bastard has decided that under the cover and on the seat is the place to be.

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