May 17, 2007

Can't make head or tail of this contraption


When my friend Keith Kelsey died several years ago, I decided that, if I ever got a dog, I'd name it Kelsey. Of course, my chances of ever getting a dog were limited by the fact that all of the creatures inhabiting my house are either cats or cat lovers, so the name of my dog wasn't actually much of a debate.

To compound the odds, I recently learned I'm my own worst enemy. My wife had been hinting around that we needed a new cat. So I went out and bought her one, of all things, and in the process further eroded my voting bloc.

One of my daughters had found this baby cat, still in a cradle in Vermont, and first thing I knew, here I was spiriting it into the house so I could pull the surprise of a lifetime. It was a brand-new, shiny, white Siamese, which brings the cat population in our house up shoulder to shoulder with the humans. The dog lobby is thus down to 1-5.

Possibly to placate me for another bitter defeat on the dog front, my wife allowed me to transplant the name of my imaginary dog onto her new cat. Thus, Kelsey was a brand-new, shiny, white Siamese cat instead of a slobbery mutt.

Like any responsible pet owner, my wife did her duty by relieving the kitten of its womanly prerogatives as soon as nature would allow.

The other two cats, who are also Siamese but darker and slightly bigger, were not crazy about their new sorority member from the beginning and in the intervening six months have not softened their position. Oh, they chase each other around the house, all right, but I get the feeling Kelsey's the only one doing it for fun.

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