Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Forward Progress Continues


In our last episode, we discussed how much fun it is to own cats. Watching Quint and Hedge play continues to be vastly amusing and nearly always causes me to laugh out loud whenever I see them at play. Actually, I don't even have to see them to enjoy their romping about the house, I can hear the galloping and jumping and the occasional crash or thud as they careen off the walls, run sideways across the living room furniture, and slide down the hallway using the throw rug as a vehicle. Periodically throughout the day, I make the rounds of the house and straighten up the pillows, flatten out the rugs, and re-hang the curtain rods to make ready for the next game of "chase" or "hide and pounce" or whatever else the two of them create to keep themselves amused. That it is amusing to Carol and I as well makes it all the more rewarding to them.

Since we last met, Quint has been to the veterinary hospital where he was transformed from a Tom cat to a house cat. I sometimes wonder if neutering a male cat causes him to retain more of his kitten-like behaviors, instead of becoming a more serious and territorial animal. I suspect that there may be something to my theory, but someone else will have to do the research to verify it. I'm content to reap the benefits of perpetual kitten-hood, especially since I'm the kid who never grew up.

Quint and I and Carol thoroughly enjoyed the holidays. Hedge enjoyed the parts where there were no visitors in the house and disappeared into parts unknown when there were, most of the time. He did make rare and brief appearances so that our friends now believe that we really do have two cats and not just one real cat and one imaginary one. Stephanie came over a couple of weeks ago and actually got to see Hedge for several minutes before his shyness got the better of him. He is making great, if slow, progress, though, to the point where often he will sit still and let us pet him for a few minutes. Recently in the evenings after I finish brushing Quint's teeth and fur, I am able to go over to where Hedge is curled up in his cat bed and brush his little face and back. It's quite rewarding to have made this much progress with him.

Quint continues to thrive and jump and play, and has achieved a healthy balance of time spent with both his human and cat companions. Hedge, at about 9 months old, is still quite a small cat, about 4 1/2 pounds or so. Quint weighs about 10 1/2 pounds, so he has a bit of a weight advantage during the wrestling matches which the two engage in. Still, Hedge holds his own and the chances are dead even as to whether you see Quint chasing Hedge or Hedge chasing Quint. I suspect that Quint holds back a bit to make the games more even. He's just that kind of cat. He continues to be a kind, gentle mentor for Hedge. It is a constant joy to have them in our lives and we are immeasurably richer for the experience.