Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Beasts

For Christmas this year, Catherine and I gave each other cats. We'd wanted to get litter mates and thought we'd look for a male and a female (like Jojo and Maggie) or two females: we felt that with two males, even brothers, we'd have to contend with a constant pissing contest (figuratively speaking). However, Robert, who runs Social Tees Animal Rescue, convinced us that he had four sweet and loving brothers for us and that two males wouldn't be any trouble at all—especially after they've been neutered (which all of the animals at Socials Tees have been). So we chose two of the brothers—one who was extremely affectionate and outgoing and another who was more retired and standoffish—and brought them home.

The first night, they broke the handle on the toilet (I told them to just jiggle it lightly but they obviously weren't paying attention) and, at 3 a.m., they pulled over the Christmas tree (which, in fairness to them, we'd neglected to tie so that they couldn't pull it over). It might have nothing to do with maleness—it's possible that two females would have done the same things—but we're not convinced.

We waited almost a week to name them so that we'd have a sense of their personalities. We toyed with lots of brother names: Julius and Arthur; Cain and Abel (immediately dismissed); Jacob and Wilhelm; Gregg and Duane; Ernest and Julio; any two out of Albert, August, Otto, Alfred, Charles, John, and Henry; Virgil/Morgan and Wyatt; and, of course, Alec and Daniel/William/Stephen (but ultimately realized that Cain and Abel were better options). Then we started to wax literary and I was very much liking Dmitri and Alexei (since neither of them really seemed like an Ivan) but Catherine nixed that because while she grooved on Mitya as a nickname, she didn't like Alyosha.

In the end, we chose literary names but ignored the brother aspect: the white cat is Spenser and the black cat is Marlowe. Or, in a 20th century literary vein, the black cat is Marlowe and the white cat is Spenser. I don't know if their names actually suit their personalities, per se, but maybe that's a good thing: at least Marlowe hasn't tried to start a bar fight and neither of them has pulled a gat on us—yet. But they've only been with us three weeks.

Photo by our good friend, Stefan Hagen

1 comment:

Caroline said...

You and Catherine are so very literary but I have to say I think you missed a big opportunity with Ernest and Julio. Oh well.