Monday, January 31, 2005

Alias Anything You Want

Those who know me well know if I've had one life long goal it is to coin a clever numerical catch phrase that one day becomes a part of the American vernacular.

I've always been fond of phrases like "it takes two to tangle/tango" and "two's company, three's a crowd" and "it's one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, four to go."

So here's my latest attempt: "It takes four to curl." Yes the phrase probably doesn't mean much to anyone but me and a few thousand Canadians but it has become my favorite motto of the day.

In my struggles to learn the nuances of the game of curling I have learned that it is advantageous to play with a full squad even though the rules allow you to play with three. You lose sweeping if you have get by with a trio however.

My phrase took on meaning beyond the slippery tonight as membership to my household grew by one to four. Yes I know if I can only teach my now compliment of three cats to curl, I'll really be on to something.

I've been told a two cat owner is no big deal but a three cat owner has sped way past the line that separates the eccentric from the crazy. But for me that line was obliterated a long time ago and it has nothing to do with my growing fondness for all things feline.

The idea of adopting another cat came to me this past summer when I added an upper wing to my house. There certainly was more than enough room and though I irritate myself even more than I seem to irritate my best friends, there is something I have found personally gratifying about taking in another soul in need of a good home. If that is to be my purpose I can live with that.

After the late great Mr. Max passed away the thought of another cat in this house seemed to be difficult to fathom. But when I met Thompson and Diego-san my feelings for adding some purring company to my life seemed to be something I wanted to do. That Thompson was a "special needs" cat with his missing front leg inspired me. Still reeling from Max's death I could never go through losing a cat again unless of course I had two cats so there would be one around to help me cope. So was the theory.

To find two who play together all the time was exactly what I had in mind. But after a couple of years together it occurred to me that if something were to happen to one of the boys- the other one would be devastated. Thus the idea of taking in a third was hatched.

Yes it's been pointed out by more than a couple friends that what I essentially was proposing was creating some type of emotional backup system. And where would it stop? If three why not four? All I could picture was myself as an elderly man with a household of fifty cats. Then one evening on my drive home a cat darted in front of my car and I heard the dreadful sound of the THUMP of my tire rolling over the body. I got out and the cat was limp. There really wasn't anything I could have done- I hadn't left myself the mandatory out. And I vowed that in memory of this strange (but I'm sure sweet) soul I'd make it up by taking in another in need of a good home.

I didn't do much looking (let alone deep thinking about what I was doing) but I knew if I was going to do this what I was going to do was adopt a kitten. I had heard it might be easier assimilating another cat into the home if it was younger rather than struggle with three adults bickering about who really is in charge (sounds like every meeting I've ever been in).

I read about a litter of kitties all born with extra toes. So I called and was told about another kitten who had been brought into the shelter having been abused- apparently injured by a child the cat's back leg was lame. Now mended I was told how sweet Dribble was. So sweet that he had a stalker who caused him to be removed from the web site and renamed "Stevie" to throw the stalker off.

I was told he was sweet and watching how much he enjoys others company, whether feline or human, I was immediately won over. Tonight is his first night in his new home and though he has been segregated in the downstairs bedroom, exploring his new surroundings while hearing the curious sounds of his soon to be full fledged roommates- he can't stop purring. He's a playful little guy with a little limp- a reminder of his recent past. This place now has three cats with 10 1/2 good legs between them. That's plenty to someday become the town's most fearsome curling team. You can bet on it.

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