Checking out where music comes from.
So, a cat has taken up residence at Casa Flor. At least temporarily.
A few months ago, Mr. Brooks leaned up against the doorframe of my room and had that nervous/excited look that always worries me. “I have something I need to tell you, and I’m not sure how,” he said.
It turns out that he had ordered a cat off the Internet.
A Peterbald kitten, to be exact, from an East Coast breeder. The original plan had been for it to arrive and live with Mr. Brooks and CPOS in Denver, but CPOS volunteered for another four-month stint overseas, which meant Mr. Brooks would be staying here … and the cat would be living with us for a while.
Most cats and dogs make me sneeze, which is why Mr. Brooks was so nervous. He had hoped that because the cat’s a hairless breed, it might cut down on the dander that usually triggers allergic reactions — although that’s not why he picked that particular breed. (He just thought they looked cool, I think.)
They decided to name it Roswell, because of its slightly alien-looking face, but I refer to it as Catastrophe, mostly because of the timing of its arrival. Peterbalds are apparently social breeds, so this one follows you from room to room, just to hang out with you. Right now it’s also fascinated by running water, so if he hears a tub or shower or the like, he comes skittering in to observe. (Me this morning: “Jesus, cat — I almost peed all over you! Get your damn head back!”)
I think the cat is also fascinated by me because I treat it exactly like a cat would treat a human: indifferently. Mr. Brooks is always scooping it up and holding it Mr. Bigglesworth-style, but if it looks at me and stretches its paws up like it’s going to crawl up my leg, I’ll say, “Oh, hell, no” and back up. On the other hand, I’m also the one who knows that there’s anchovy paste in the refrigerator. … So, basically, I’m outcatting the cat: “I ignore you. Now, I offer you a gift. Get away from me. I like you.”
I don’t think poor Mr. Brooks realized what he was in for: The breeder laid out all these crazy ground rules of ownership. Like: because the cat doesn’t have hair, she says its body temperature runs higher, so it needs extra protein. So as a supplement to cat food he has to cook chicken breasts—by boiling the crap out of them forever, she said—and then chop them up. Like, the ratio of chicken to hard cat food is 3/1. Casa Flor smells like boiled chicken a lot, and the nonstick pot is looking especially bad because Mr. Brooks is prone to falling asleep while the chicken is boiling.
He also went out and bought a heating pad for the cat … but the pad turns itself off after three hours, so every once in a while I’ll receive a plaintive text like the above. There’s also a blanket for curling up under … but when I start turning down the lights in the house for the night, I inevitably find the cat hanging out far away from the lap of heated luxury, perched instead on a chair in the dining room — which is the coldest room in the whole house. And it’s not like that spot has a view of the outside or anything: I think he likes the fact the chair is upholstered, but also “covered” by the dining table, which makes him feel cloistered away somewhere.
I think we’re at the two-month mark, which has been a good lesson in Picking Things Up Off the Floor If You Don’t Want A Cat Playing With Them. (And also, Don’t Attempt to Tie Your Shoes With A Cat Around.) I haven’t morphed into one of those people who buys feather wands or laser toys, but I did toss it a chunk of cooked chicken from last night’s stew dinner. C’mon — I’m not that heartless, and I feel like if any cat should be rewarded, it’s one that knows well enough to keep a respectful distance.
|WHAT SAM WORE: 11/25/13
|The shirt: Navy cotton cardigan from J. Crew,
over a long-sleeved cotton button-down, on clearance from Hollister.
|The pants: Khakis by Chip & Pepper, from Last Chance.|
|The shoes: Jack Purcell sneakers by John Varvatos for Converse, from Nordstrom Rack.|