Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bringing Up Tuxie

Last summer, we had a close encounter of the canine kind. But once the family realized I truly wasn't "just pretending" to be a crank about the prospect of taking care of a dog for the next 17-to-21 years, the dealio fell through.

Ryan levied a two-day "Mom sucks" campaign before launching into, "Well, we should at least get a new kitten."

Cut to two weeks ago. Enter Tux.  Tuxie, for short.

We've already had Molly, the Maine Coon cat, for three years. She's awesome: beautiful, playful (with me, and a little with Cara), sweet (to me, and a little with Cara). Perhaps best of all, she sleeps by my feet and learned early on not to wake me up before 8:30 a.m. on weekends. What more could you want in a pet?

Ryan: "I want a new kitten. One that will sleep by ME. One that will sit by ME. Molly is YOUR pet."

Pets are funny that way. They gravitate to the person that feeds, pets, grooms and cleans the litter box for them. Weirdos.

But I always wanted Molly to have a pal for those rarified times we all leave the house for more than half a day.  Or, God forbid, actually take a vacation.  I feel like Molly feels like we're abandoning her.

Molly: "Seriously, this is not a problem. Don't be bringing in a new feline on my account. I'm good--really. In fact, I'm begging you... "

Me: "Molly, meet Tux!"

Molly: "God dammit! Doesn't anybody listen to me around here?!"

Tux: "What's her glitch?"

If anyone has ever seen the children's book or TV show "Little Bear," Tux looks like Cat.   He's not a kitten, but a one-year-old rescue.  He's quite handsome, black with white down the front and on his paws -- like he's wearing a tuxedo.  Awwww, aren't we clever?

I wanted to name him George Clooney.  But nobody else around here was on board.   But the cat IS so handsome he deserved the title.  And both know how to rock the tux look.  Plus, how impressive would it have been to be at the grocery store talking about what to get George Clooney for dinner?

Random Evesdropper: "George Clooney is at your house for dinner?!"

Me: "Uhh, yeah.  Like, all the time."

Molly: "What's wrong with you? You're in major need of a vacation.  Go ahead and take it.  And take George Clooney with you.  Freak."

Before you side with Molly and say we upset the apple cart and destroyed her quiet, happy life, Tux was rescued from a Dunkin' Donuts parking lot.  The good people from the Save The Animals Rescue Team (S.T.A.R.T.) offered him through the Totowa, NJ, Petco adoption event.

So we brought the little guy home (okay, he's big for a cat, and bigger than Molly).  But he was SO grateful to not be eating frozen coffee grounds for dinner.  We followed all the instructions about keeping the cats separated and giving them a slow introduction. Well, when Tux first saw Molly, he was happy!  Happy to see another cat!  Happy to have a playmate!  Happy to have humans feeding him and a warm home!

In turn, Molly decided to show everyone where the term "hissy fit" comes from.

Molly: "WHAT. IN. THE. HELL?!?!?"

Tux: "Hi, I'm new around here.  What's your na...?  Aaaagh!  That's wicked bile breath, sister!  No offense, but I didn't smell anything nearly that bad out back of Dunky D's.  You need to fix tha...  HEY!  Aaackk! Fine, I'll back away.  Oh my god, fix that."

Molly: "You know, hissing hurts me.  I've never even had to DO that before.  And now you're giving me crap about my breath?!  It's SUPPOSED to be offensive!  Boys are IDIOTS!"
So Molly spent the first week hiding from Tux.  Since he's a boy, and only one year old, he thinks galloping up and jumping on her is a great way to say, "Good morning."  But she's three and, like me,  not a morning person -- we don't want to deal with pleasantries until 5 p.m. or so.   She refused to eat or drink water with him around.  I had to carry her to her litter box so she would use it.  She was becoming an anti-social wreck.  I felt awful.

On the other hand, she mostly spends her days sleeping.  Lately, she seemed sorta bored.  Tux had the potential to add a little life to the party.  So what WAS her glitch??

Tux: "Seriously, I'm telling you.  She has diva issues."

Me: "She's being a brat, Tux, but come on.  You invaded her space.  And would it actually kill you to just WALK up to her instead of RACE into her face??  Could you just chill the hell out a little?"

Tux:  "Look, I'm a dude.  I do everything bigger and faster."

Molly & Me: "We know!"

Tux: "I eat fast."

Molly: "You eat like a pig is more like it.  Did you ever hear of NOT knocking your food all over the floor??  And stop eating MY food, by the way!"

Tux: "Ya snooze, ya lose."

Tux: "And I run fast.  Faster than you."

Molly: "You're a clod.  You crash into everything.  You already broke a vase!  I'm so glad they didn't name you George Clooney, you klutzy lug."

Tux: "They should have named you Mariah."

Molly: "Oh, my God.  I didn't ask for a bratty brother."

Cara: "Welcome to my world, Molly."

Ryan: "Tux, we're gonna be good, good friends.  Hey, ya wanna know what girls hate?  Farts."

Tux: "Right on, brother."