Thursday, April 23, 2015

Pet Post II - The Electric Gossamer Boogaloo

Between the resident fuzzly poobahs, Penelope has historically taken up much of the pixel space around this blog, since she and Gossamer the Editor Cat came along. He came first, but she made her splash, and got me barfing up words in excess from the beginning. Goss has his own fame and fans, of course, but let it not be said I have more attention for one kid over the other.

Still perhaps the nicest cat I ever expect to know in my life, Gossamer’s major claim to drama in his kittenhood was the stupid froth about his name – long since buried by SMART people who appreciate all the cultural resonance of his sobriquet, and who dig the reasons I could not call the boy Velvet, for Maud’s sake. Since then, self-training as cats tend to be, and limited as his trick-doing interests and abilities are by design, he’s more interesting in more low-key ways than Penelope.

But interesting he is; I find myself constantly engaged by the little grey guy. He’s still a forgiving puss; gets stepped on by his lummox/person once or twice every week, but never holds it against me (though his rubbing up against me is often the cause). His eyes, if anything, grow greener and greener as he matures; his own fake-birthday will be May Day, and he will be three too, as is Pen-Pen.

At three, and especially this season, as he sheds and slims down again to his non-winter coat, he’s still the smallest cat I have ever had. Still the nimblest, too – and cats as a genre are not exactly clumsy things (though that one cat of mine sometimes had to pull The Fonz “I meant to do that” after a slip). He’s the lightest thing on his toes I’ve ever seen, and his leaps still look as perfect and smooth as old slow-motion falls filmed then run in reverse.

And, of course, I am obsessed with his toes. His front paws are the cutest I have ever seen (and Smikey Cat had some formidably sweet mitts on him), and that back leg with the lightning bolt on it still has the funniest way of kicking out when he is going at a kitten-trot. He’s the most herd-able cat I’ve ever seen, too; it’s rare he won’t go where I need him to, but he does hate the rare occasions I need to close him behind a door to, say, move furniture or things like that.

The longer we live together, the more he curls up on me physically. With summer, this may change again, but as of now he still likes to climb onto my hip or my back and knead and hang out. This weekend, when my back was bugging me, he somehow knew how to be precisely the right heat, and right weight, and curled up on my tailbone, helping me out with the soreness. And there are times he seems to know JUST where to knead, which is the best thing ever.

It’s impossibly sweet, of course – an animal actually resting on you like that. He does it when Pen is allowed on her corner of the bed on a Saturday or Sunday sometimes, and all I can think is – if this is being a Pathetic Old Pet Lady, I am lucky in my pets. Pen has learned her territory, and Goss cedes his own roaming spots to settle down on mama herself. Or if I have a weekend nap, he tucks in behind my knees, like I’m his fort, hiding and warm and quiet as can be.

Last time I had friends over, he literally walked over them to get to me at one point; when he was a little ‘un he used to do that about as much as he’d be friendly to others, but it had been a while since he so pointedly preferred me in front of others. I didn’t pretend that wasn’t a bit gratifying; but am glad, too, he’s a nice little fellow to my friends and especially my mom and stepfather.

Like most of the cats I’ve had (he’s the fourth), he uses his voice seldom, but it’s a sweet sound when he does, and he still make sleepy-kitten noises if I pick him up from a nap or the like. His purr box is quiet, too, but he uses that frequently. And he drools when he’s getting really good pettin’s or kneading; some things do not change.

His editorial demands have become more sophisticated; as a three year old, of course Gossamer is no longer satisfied with simple ax-wielding, and demands diversity, as well as a wider point of view to buffer against unreliable narration. He’s a benevolent dictator in this, but a great little helper with the keyboard. Indeed, I have to cede the laptop to him from time to time (… if not cede the laptop to neglect, in favor of attention to him).

As Janet has observed, his tolerance for dog stories is constrained, but he doesn’t demand feline characters necessarily. Just a good story; and I try to oblige.

He’s encouraging regarding the work in progress.

But he does say it’s dumb I keep calling it Wippy. He has a thing about stupid names; go figure.

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