03 March 2009

Shaggy Cat Story

Shaggy Cat Story
03/03/2009, 9:10 AM

Yesterday was a frustrating day to try to practice law through a computer. Westlaw was broken until about 4 p.m. Moments after that, our firewall malfuctioned, making the entire Internet virtually inaccessible.

Imagine me, 21st Century lawyer dude, having to walk to the actual law library and pull actual books from the shelves! Lucky for Westlaw, my tender little fingers managed to avoid paper cuts.

In times like those I try to remind myself how spoiled we have become by the speed of today's computers. I was going to write something about bringing home that first Commodore 64, connecting it to its tape drive and a small color tv, and staring expectantly at it while it stared back expectantly at me. Ready:_

Fortunately for all of us, I was not able to find a satifactory conclusion for that story, but I remembered a quite different one from the same small off-campus apartment that the cat-lovers among us might enjoy. Really. Both of you. I wonder if you've ever seen anything like it.

Jasmine was a rescue cat. She looked like a Maine Coon -- long hair, tri color, feathered ears. She was about 10 years old and weighed 14 pounds at her peak. She had lived with a little old lady whom I never knew, the friend of a friend, until she was preceded in death by her human. We let her move in with us.

Jasmine, it turned out, had a bladder stone the size of a peach pit, and eventually the stone had to come out. While she was in the hospital, we adopted a very young kitten: Cato, a tiny, sleek black short hair.

As one expects, Cato in our little apartment took on the role of a quantum particle. Jasmine, also following the standard script, hissed and lunged. We were patient, slowly trying to introduce them, but keeping them in separate rooms during the day when we were gone.

One day Jasmine was sitting on my wife's lap as Cato buzzed around the apartment shifting from one energy state to another. In a moment of inattention, we let Jasmine dart toward Cato. She went straight for the neck. She was gone and we couldn't catch up, couldn't stop her, could only hope there weren't too many pieces to pick up. They disappeared from view.

We looked around and under the furniture in the dining room. Nothing. We searched in the kitchen. They were nowhere in sight. There was nowhere else they could have gone. Knowing it was silly to try, we starting opening the low kitchen cupboards, most of which were filled only with our early post-graduate poverty.

Sure enough, that's where Jasmine had taken Cato, and that's where we found them. Jasmine had one paw on Cato's shoulder, holding him down, while her mouth was busy...

...bathing him.

For several amusing weeks after this, we, and Jasmine, allowed Cato to attempt to nurse. Once we realized that this was roughly as irritating to Jasmine as it was amusing to us, we discouraged it.

We figured that Jasmine must have though her surgery was a C-section.


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