It has meant no end of sneezing fits for Michael, and 14 years worth of tufts of cat hair in the corner every time I sweep.
Since November of 1999, my life has been consistently populated with at least a Me + 1. He has been a faithful, if foul-tempered, companion by the name of Ash Ferley.
He IS very much a foul-tempered cat. He has always been this way. As I suppose it must go with people as well, he is just an asshole.
It's just who he is.
I have come to accept this about him, and have learned to just look on it as a personality quirk. It is only fair, as he seems to turn a blind eye to my own glaring personality flaws in return.
(We are always tough but fair.)
And several years ago, while we were still living in Downtown Birmingham, we brought home a little stripey kitty with spots on his belly, and named him Muscles.
Then Ash and Muscles became a duo, and it was them against the world.
I like to think that they were great friends.
I hope they were.
And then, several months ago, we very suddenly lost Muscles. . . .After a suitable mourning period, we decided we were ready to tempt Fate to break us down once again, and brought home another kitten.
Her name is Waylon.
She is incredibly sweet, and utterly fearless, and relentless, and perhaps just a little dumb. But really charming, nonetheless.
But since Muscles died, Michael and I have both noticed the strangest little changes regarding Ash.
When Muscles passed away, Ash himself looked as if he was on the brink of death. He was getting old-ish, for a cat. And he just started looking really skinny, and slow, and more like a paw paw-kitty.
Then Muscles died.
And now Ash has. . . blossomed. His coat is fuller and brighter. He has put on weight. He looks. . .robust. Better than he's looked in YEARS.
And we haven't changed his food, or anything else.
He has just done this on his own.
And so, it is with this heavy on our minds, that Michael and I have been forced to conclude that when Muscles died, Ash stole his life force.
He is, essentially, now two kitties in one.
And, at some point in the future, I can TOTALLY see myself walking around and talking to him and being all "AM I TALKING TO MUSCLES NOW? OR IS THIS ASH I'M SPEAKING WITH??"
(He hates it when I am sarcastic. NO sense of humor.)
Also, while we're on the topic of strange cat-things, Michael is convinced that Waylon intentionally tried to trip him and make him tumble down the stairs the other night. Possibly to his doom.
And Ash has allergies, and has been going to extraordinary lengths to sneeze in our faces.
And, just moments ago, Waylon demonstrated a passing fancy for the taste of Took's two-tarts.
Life with cats is AWESOME.