Yesterday’s post was rather heavy, so today I thought I would turn to a lighter subject: our cats—Sherlock and Ms. Watson. A few days ago it occurred to me that while I frequently write about the dog and include many photos of him, I seldom write about the cats. It seemed only fair, then, to devote some time to them.
I suppose I should just come clean and admit I am more of a dog person than a cat person. I don’t dislike cats—far from it—but somehow I’m just more attuned to dogs. However, because we feed the birds, we have a mouse house. Several years ago, we tried going without cats, and we had a mouse invasion. Oh, the little creatures were all over the place—even in my office—and while I have nothing against mice, I do want them to stay outside. So we have cats, and they are a very effective mouse deterrent.
Sherlock and Ms. Watson are litter mates. (Clif, a fan of the quirky detective, named them.) I got Sherlock and Ms. Watson as kittens from the Humane Society in Augusta. Neither has a tail, and, yes, the cats were born that way. We get a surprising number of questions about this. I hope we don’t look like the kind of people who would chop off the tails of two kittens. Because we most certainly are not. Sherlock has the stubbiest tail, and with its puff of fur it looks almost like a rabbit’s tail. Ms. Watson’s tail is a little longer, and she is able to twitch it when she is irritated.
Unfortunately, she has ample cause to be irritated because Sherlock is not what you would call a nice cat. You might even call him a punk. Sherlock drives Ms. Watson away from choice spots, say, on top of the buffet, so that he can have the spot for himself. He bites her back hard enough to leave small marks. He periodically chases her through the house, and she hisses as she runs.
Since Ms. Watson is a timid cat, Sherlock’s aggression is a trial for her, and we intervene when we can. Fortunately, Sherlock is also rather lazy, content to nap much of the time and leave Ms. Watson alone. However, when Sherlock gets too feisty, we put him on the porch, and especially when it’s cold, this calms him right down. Five minutes later we let Sherlock in, and he has lost the desire to pick on Ms. Watson.
Despite his bullying personality, I am fond of Sherlock. And Ms. Watson is a dear little cat who would like nothing better than to be in my lap when I’m on the couch.
But guess who has that spot?