Meet Pearl, the newest addition—all 1 lb. 1 oz. of her*—to our boisterous multi-species househould:**
Pearl's ultimate origin is unknown, but her proximate origin is as follows: The other evening, there was a commotion down the block—a bunch of kids and their pet pit bull (on a leash but with no one holding the other end) were all whirling around some unseen (to me) cause of the commotion, shrieking and laughing. A small commotion-eddy broke off from the larger commotion-vortex—two boys racing up the sidewalk and then up our walkway. At the foot of our steps they stopped and thrust a small kitten at me. "Can you take this cat?"
I'm not in the habit of taking kittens from strangers. I answered with caution, "Where'd you get that cat?"
A (near-)breathless story tumbled out:
"Wefounditaroundthecornerunderthathouseand [gasp] wetookitcauseitwassosmallandtherewasn't [gasp] ..."I missed some of the minor details, but the basic facts were clear:
- The kitten had no traceable ownership.
- A bunch of unsupervised kids and their pet pit bull did not make a particularly good foster family for the little creature.
And then, of course, well, she was really teeny-tiny and really cute. And then the girls saw her. And then, within the hour, I'd named her.*** And then, well, that pretty much sealed the deal...****
So Pearl is here to stay, keeping busy with a long list of kitten-ish activities:
- Frolicking amidst our pillows while we try to sleep.
- Growling her teeny-tiny growls when Penny tries to maternally nuzzle her. (Penny, dog though she may be, is a devoted feline-lover.)
- Receding submissively when Delilah hisses at her. (Delilah, cat that she is, feels absolutely no love for any feline upstart that hones in on her well established kitty-territory. But she'll get over it.)
- Squirming, wide-eyed, as June lugs her from room to room. (Pearl is precisely the right size to match June's Criteria-of-Totability, though she is somewhat wigglier than the typical objects of June's tote-fixation.)
- Squirming, wide-eyed, as June rocks her like a baby, coo-ing at her.
- Attacking books as the pages turn.
- Attacking feet as the toes move.
- Attacking just about anything and everything within her teeny kitty reach.
* As of a few days back. She's been eating ravenously since then, so she may have put on a couple of additional ounces.
** Though our household may be diverse in species, it is trending towards extreme asymmetry in gender, I being the lone male, now outnumbered six-to-one by the fairer sex: one lady-human, two girl-children, one lady-dog, one lady-cat, one girl-kitten. But I will stand tall as a Bastion of Testosterone in these ever-encroaching Estrogen Seas.
*** We're partial to giving our animals old lady names. (We're also partial to giving our kids old lady names. And in fact, we briefly considered "Pearl" for our second-born but decided we couldn't quite pull it off. But it's perfect for a cat. (And weirdly, I was flipping through the channels last night and briefly settled on some random movie with Sylvester Stallone and that-red-headed-actress-whose-name-I-can't-remember-right-now, and prominently featured in the scene was a calico cat named Pearl.))
**** The rule is simple: Don't name any animal you intend to give away. (Just like back on the farm we had the rule: Don't name any animal you intend to eat.)