Thursday, April 24, 2008

How perceptive of Algebra to see that I need bathing

I'm sitting here right now being given a very thorough bath. I recently had a bath, but apparently Algebra (momma Siamese) thinks I need another one. She's bossy and she doesn't take "no" for an answer. She's a no-nonsense kind of cat. I suppose if I'd had five litters I wouldn't have much patience for foolishness either.

She's had a birthday in the last week. I'm trying to do the math and I think she just turned seven. She was born on the front porch. She lived outside for a long time. She had no interest in coming in (which is why she had so many litters). I'll never forget going out the front door and she was sitting there (at five months old) with a blue jay wing in her mouth. She was very proud of herself.

Algebra is so pretty. She's an apple head (round) siamese (eeek, she's washing the underside of my chin now) and her eyes are so blue. I remember trying to name her. I knew that Becca had to approve of the name or the cat would be called something very different than what I wanted. I offer the evidence of Algebra's father. He was a two week old furrball that Mark and James found and brought home. I wanted to call him Jazzpurr Johns (a nice name for an artist's cat) but I got overruled and he ended up being Smooge. He was a butt, always had a cattitude. Becca never forgave me for calling the chihuahua Tinker. She wanted to name the dog Monster Truck.

Algebra was always gorgeous. We could tell right away that she was a keeper. I can remember when she was a kitten. We'd be in the floor in the den and Alan would freaking torture her and she'd run off and then come right back. I guess that's how she got her name. We were sitting in the floor of the den and trying to come up with an acceptable name and I was brainstorming and throwing things out at Becca. I got to the point that I was reading book spines and said "Algebra" and Becca said "yeah, I guess that's all right."

So she has been ever since.

She had her first litter on her first birthday. Gordito was one of those. He's a freaking matching bookend to her. He went to live with Virginia for years but came back here when Virginia went to England. That first litter was five boys and a girl. The boys all pointed out Siamese. The only girl was solid black. We named them all after Mexican food. There was Taco and Nacho etc. They were all very pretty and adopted out.

The next batch were also very pretty and the boys were HUGE. Harley went to live with a friend's daughter. Then there were Pickle and Pumpkin. They are solid black. Pickle has green eyes and Pumpkin has orange eyes. Nintendo aka Steele aka Meatloaf the brother was a giant among cats. I talked to Harley's mom and she said he was a giant mutant cat and I let her know that his brother was also large (18 lbs large). Pickle is asleep across the foot of the bed right now. Nova (Novhinda) was also out of that batch. She's living down the street now. Nova had delusions of grandeur. She thought she was a black panther when she was a tiny kitten. She would loll in the holly bushes on a branch looking all cool and then would twitch and fall out and hit the ground.

Algebra was a feisty wench. She went missing for a LONG time and we thought that we'd lost her forever. We pulled up in the car one night and I saw her on the sidewalk across the street. I rejoiced and went to pick her up and she had one of those terribly long shoestrings tied to her collar. I wrestled with her and got the shoe string off and she had a FIT and attacked it and swatted at it and hissed at it and marched right up to the front door and said "I'd like some food please." I'm guessing that someone picked her up and thought it would be nice to take home a pretty cat and tied her up with the shoestring.

Algebra has been a bit of a floozy in her day. We'd get a litter weaned and she'd take off again only to appear back when she was again gravid. She showed up in August and threw a litter on the back porch and took off. We didn't realize that she had abandoned them until a day later and we were in a mad scramble to feed newborn kittens. It didn't work out very well. We didn't know much about raising newborn kittens. We'd always done okay if they were a few weeks old. They died one by one and it was tragic. Except for one. We researched and contacted the local Siamese rescue facility. The lady there was wonderful and she kept us going and we ended up focusing a lot of time and resources on saving this one kitten. We learned so much about keeping the wee ones alive and after losing all but this one we were desperate to keep her alive.

She's a brat. We named her Maude Lebowski. She's a tuxedo calico and she's bossy and fussy and thinks she is in charge. She's built just like her Siamese mother but looks so different. She's the one that tries to eat the printer when we print something off. She's the one that tries to sleep on my head at night. She has cattitude raised exponentially. She's in charge and will swat the hell out of anyone that disagrees. She's about to be four.

Algebra had one last hurrah and came home with a belly full of fur. Lalique was born just before midnight on August 2. He was a greedy gut and was always the first to food. He's about the longest cat I've ever seen. He sleeps over my feet most nights and doesn't budge much even if I kick. He's got silver feet and is so pretty and he's MY baby.

We finally caught up with Algebra before she could breed again. She seemed irritated after her trip to the vet and her little "procedure." We noticed that she stayed closer to home and after a while we brought her in. She didn't think much of that. She'd always been outdoors and she resisted.

She's finally settled in. All of the other cats are her offspring. Sometimes she tolerates them. They mostly defer to her. Lalique is the most tolerant. I think that he had some memory that she was his mother. He lets her clean him up. Algebra and Maude are distant and don't seem to fight, but they also don't seem to speak to one another. It's like they are mutually invisible to one another. Pickle has issues. She's usually a lover in every way but she launches against her mother at the most random times. We've had to fuss at them both in the last week for being ugly to each other.

Algebra is the great-great-great-granddaughter of the first Siamese that we had. Rose was a nurturer. She looked after all of us. She'd be proud of Algebra and all of Algebra's children.

Dogs come when you call. Cats have answering machines.