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by N. Lambert

~ Sometimes the veil between human and animal intelligence wears very thin - then one experiences the supreme thrill of keeping a cat, or perhaps allowing oneself to be owned by a cat. ~ Catherine Manley, English writer

Sally is a huge long-haired pussy, looks Persian. She's nearly two. Mostly white, with brownish and dark gray over her back, tail, between ears, and a teeny black and tan spot to the left of her mouth. Lazy as a hound. Will not compete for attention. Loves to be brushed. Produces enough excess hair per day to make a long-haired people wig. Sits on screen porch for hours playing mind games with Miss Blackie, birds, squirrels, leaves, air, shedding profusely. No claws on her tootsies. Eats like a hound, too. Weighs a ton.

Lucky is Siamese and gorgeous. He preens constantly. Loves to blow in my ear, either or both. Brilliant navy blue eyes, red in the dark. Whip-like tail. Dark as Siamese get -- caramel body and dark, dark brown paws, tail, and face. Has that lean and hungry look, but, thanks to the vet, no longer knows why. Still, a lean, mean machine. A one-woman tom. Skittish, even of me on occasion, and won't appear at all to company. When Sally is let out on the porch, Lucky runs to the bed and turns over on his back, legs sprawled, begging to be rubbed. Has no shame. Zero interest in the outdoors. Reigns supreme upstairs; stays up there for hours. Runs wildly up and down the stairs; sounds like storm troopers. Back claws only. Eats like a bird. Light as a feather.

I got these cats, along with covered litter box, pet taxi, and brush, for free. Their former owner, a 10-year-old boy, has cat allergies and was forced to give them up. They and I bonded in an hour at their old home; I brought them with me that same afternoon. Sally lounged in my lap on the way home; Lucky cried in the pet taxi in the back seat. Within a couple of hours, they started making their way, together, through each room in the house, hissing wildly at each other at each stop. That was that. I am their person; they are my kitties. Miss Blackie is much relieved not to be forced into the house periodically. She is murdering red birds with abandon, eating all but the beak and tail feathers and bringing the remains to the carport door for me to admire. She and Sally occasionally visit on the back porch, with caution. Friday is pleased to have Miss B. outside with him full time.

I believe I shall become a cat poet.

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