It's never been my goal in life to be a lifelong Minnesotan. If I were to spend my entire ordeal on this earth in one place I think in some sense I'd view that as a failure of a significant sort. Therefore I'm reminded at how out of place I constantly feel this time of year. Though I'll never quite understand the appeal I'm sure it's fair to say that by most accounts this year's great Minnesota Get Together was just as great as last year's which I'm sure was just as dandy as the year before.
I did indeed make an appearance at the fair again this year and besides the alligator on a stick that I rapidly snarfed down I think my favorite part was seeing the "State's Largest Boar." Of course I carry the exact same title on my business card except for a slightly different spelling. Yawn.
The State Fairgrounds are within walking distance of my house and it's this time of year that all the current occupants of the house watch all the traffic come and go during the day and jump late at night every night when the fireworks boom overhead. For one of us four it's a brand new experience (like much of his life is) and it serves as a reminder (as much of his presence does) of how wonderful it can be to look at life through a fresh set of eyes. Yes many of my friends still think my living arrangements are a tad eccentric being the sole so called soul living with not one, not two, but three kitties. The feline factor in this house is undeniable but as I continually search for potential new career paths I may be deluding myself on my latest round of thinking- that I'd make a darn fine cat psychologist.
Last month when I visited my friend Alex in San Diego I finally got to meet her cat Moussaka, who Alex has told me is on kitty Prozac to help deal with depression and anxiety issues. Deep down I was hoping I could figure out what Moussie needs to help make her more well adjusted. The only basis for this daydream was that all the occupants of my own house are undoubtedly broken in some way, shape, or form. Likely the most stable of us all is Diego-san, the strutting , dashing, handsome black haired cat who in his own mind is in charge yet often times comes across as quite needy and insecure. He's the stereotype of his species- moody, unrelentingly curious, and forever needing to be the center of attention right as he disappears from sight.
Diego-san still seems unforgiving of my decision to bring in the young Theo who constantly follows him around, getting in his space and interrupting his mischief. Theo is half Diego's size and yet he doesn't hesitate to chase Diego around and Diego will inevitably run away and hop up somewhere where Theo can't reach him.
I was told when I adopted Theo that his back legs had been crushed when a child sat on him and when I brought him in for his first checkup the vet admitted he was amazed at how well Theo was walking because there was some doubt at some point whether he ever would walk again. The adoption woman from the shelter that I got Theo told me she thought he may also suffered from some brain damage from suspected abuse since he seemed more than a tad spacey. Theo's got these great big eyes that seem to take up more than their allotted space on his black and white face. He never quite ever looks straight at you and this gives him the appearance of not having a lot going on in his small noggin. I love the way he has worked himself into the routine of this house however. He loves to race the other two boyz (and sometimes the other three boyz) up the staircase into the upper wing. Diego-san has taught Thompson the benefits of drinking water straight out of the bathroom tap but it's Theo that usually pushes the other two out of the way to get his thirst quenched.
The glue that holds us all together though is Thompson. I'm quite fond of Thompson who isn't exactly the most social being that's ever existed. He's reluctant to come out of hiding whenever a guest is over. He's reluctant to make an appearance whenever something interrupts his normal routine of sleep, being fed, more sleep, and more food. More than Theo or Diego-san, Thompson loves to watch the world outside from a favorite window (which happens to be the same window Mr. Max used to love to sit and watch things transpire). Thompson is also the greatest napper of the three, resting his head on my chest closer than is natural, unimpeded by the missing front leg that got caught in a trap one fateful day.
I can't fathom, nor can I stop thinking about the days Thompson sat caught in that trap, his leg rotting away as he got sicker and sicker. Sometimes I get sad watching him hobble around, struggling to keep up with the other two. Most of the time I watch in amazement at how he doesn't seem to be bothered by the cards life has dealt him. He loves to clean Diego and Theo. He loves to lie next to them, his lone front paw draped over their chests. I love how the morning routine involves rolling out of bed and stumbling to the shower and when I finally open the door Thompson is always right there, wanting me to rub his belly, craving attention for the one and only time during the day. He then races Theo and Diego down the stairs for another breakfast, more than holding his own.