Squawk Radio

Friday, August 25, 2006


My seven-year-old daughter has been promised a kitten for the entire summer -- said kitten to arrive once we returned from Italy. So...yesterday was our first day back. We all woke up at 4 am with jet-lag -- but jet-lag did not stop the enquiries about the kitten. No, sir!

So the family bundled into the car, practically at the crack of dawn, and went out kitten trawling.

Here's our first catch of the day.

Her name is Rosie. She's unbearably sweet and cuddly. She purrs all the time and loves to wrap her paws around your hand and give you a bath.

And here's Charlie! You know how it is...one thing lead to another, and Charlie was reaching his little paws through the cage at the Humane Shelter, begging to be taken home.

Charlie has been a revelation to me. He purrs All The Time. All the time! He's utterly boneless and apparently lives to be loved. I never knew cats came with so few neuroses (all my previous cats have been models of various psychological ailments, though very dear). He doesn't seem to care much for playing, or leaping at imaginary mice, or baring his claws at my furniture.

We had planned to raise our kitten to be a deathless warrior, leaping from tree to tree and attacking the neighboring bird and mouse population. After all, my previous cats loved being outdoors. But this morning we had a family meeting and decided that perhaps these two kittens should just be indoor felines. The problem is Charlie. None of us have any hesitation saying that if a car came up to Charlie, Charlie would run to meet it...purring. Ditto for a big dog or a fox.

Charlie loves the world, and that tiger gene seems to have gone missing with him. Rosie spent a respectable two hours under the bed before crawling out and deciding to explore her room. Then she curled up on the end of my daughter's bed to sleep...waking her owner up at 6 am by switching her tail on her nose. In other words, respectable cat behavior. Charlie slept on his back, one leg in the air, spawled in the middle of a bright pink carpet. No curling up, no hiding, no attempt to look like an intelligent feline.

I know I'm not alone in falling in love with a small animal the moment it entered your house (or bounded into your hands). But the animals I've loved before have all been respectable examples of their breed -- whereas Charlie is definitely a mutant gene. Anyone else have a cat, dog or other animal who defies the breed? Posted by Picasa
Eloisa James, 7:14 AM