My first 2 kids are of the feline variety. We adopted Seamus from a very chic Back Bay pet store a few months before we got married, and Shannon was adopted a year later from an Ashwaubenon farm. We (only somewhat) jokingly told our friends at the time that we had cats to practice our parenting skills. Our cats would be entirely neurotic, but our kids would turn out normal.
They aren't terribly photogenic, as you can see below. Seamus is on the left. He's a big 10-year-old cat, part Maine Coon, with a clubbed tail. Shannon, who will be 9-years-old in a couple of weeks, is on the right. You can see she's quite a bit smaller than her catmate with silkier black fur. And, yes, for you estute blog readers, that IS the carpet of our Yonkers apartment, so you know this picture is at least a couple years old.
I've already posted that Seamus is an aspiring hockey star. I didn't mention his almost pathological obsession with Michael Jackson. As a young black kitten, we often caught him wearing his red leather zipper coat and sequins-studded glove. We had to make sure not to turn on the news during the trial, and most recently, after the sale of Neverland. Shannon, unfortunately, under the great pressure of the mainstream media towards middle-aged female cats (the Desperate Housecats culture), suffers from an eating disorder. Although we've spent some couch time discussing body image, she still has difficulty with mirrors and photographs...which explains why at the last second, she most often turns her face away from the camera.
As so often happens, when our daughter arrived, the cats unwittingly became the forgotten children as our routines began to revolve around the person they referred to as Tiny House Ape. They realized she was a permanent fixture and began developing their own relationships with Tiny, who usually drank things that tasted pretty good to the feline duo. As she grew into Small, Loud House Ape, Shannon decided that it was time to stand her ground. She spits whenever Small comes too close, and spends a great deal of her time avoiding her entirely. Seamus, on the otherhand, prefers human contact, and found that while Small watches the Flashing Color Box, he can often sit next to her without being on the receiving end of one of her bone-crushing hugs.
Today, I managed to remember (okay, chose not to avoid) to bring the laundry basket from the bedroom to the basement to do some laundry when I discovered that, not only have the cats been sleeping on the white flannel duvet cover, now black and furry, but also in the top of the laundry basket on the yellow towels from the guest room. Yes, also black and furry. I grumbled at whichever one chose to say "Mom? Food..." as I tripped over him in the kitchen with the laundry basket clung to one hip. I scowled after emptying the dryer lint tray of matted black fur. Thought about what sort of effort it might take to shave them. Hey, I have plenty of Barbasol and disposable pink razors! Yep, I know. No catnip bubbles for me today. No Pounce either, even though we know it's the way you get us to eat the hairball medicine.