Sunday, 6 March 2011

Mr Giles and Roland of Gilead

Since I mentioned one of my cats in the previous post, I feel I should elaborate. I've been putting this off, because nothing screams stereotype like two ladies living together who have cats and lots of scented candles, but it's going to have to happen sooner or later.

Other Half and I have two cats. They are like our children. The slightly tubby black mongrel cat with the huge yellow, vacant eyes is Mr Giles, named of course after my favourite Buffy character. The handsome, gigantic, grey, 21 pound Maine Coon raping machine is Roland of Gilead, named after the gunslinger character in Stephen King's Dark tower series. I admit, I am a massive geek.

If you've ever read any of Terry Pratchett's witches books, you might see Roland's resemblance to Nanny Ogg's cat Greebo. The advantage Roland has over Greebo, apart from not being fictional, is that he is extremely docile. He will happily let himself be dragged around, tugged into a better hugging position or slung over your shoulder in a fireman's lift, provided you have the physical strength this action requires. However, he does not trust strangers and as soon as a human guest enters the house he will scurry away like a coward and watch from a safe distance. Anything else, however is fair game,, up to and including next door's sheepdog. We tried to get him neutered and the conversation with the vet was as follows:

Me: How is he?

Vet: Everything went fine, he's just coming round now. He'll be quite sleepy for a few hours. Er..

Me: What?

Vet: The thing is, he's quite...well-endowed...

Me: Excuse me?

Vet: He's got a lot of... he's...his testicles are really huge.

Me: (mouth hanging open) This is not a conversation I ever thought I'd be having with anyone.

Vet: So, we tried to get rid of all of them, but you probably shouldn't let him near girls... just in case.

Me: I didn't pay you £50 to 'sort of' neuter my cat!

Vet: He's a force of nature, what can I say? (grins and does a kind of proud male camaraderie nod at Roland)

Mr Giles, on the other hand, is a special kind of cat in a totally different way. He has no social boundaries whatsoever. Any guest is immediately treated as his new favourite person and he will cling to them like a baby monkey, crooning to them in soft, slightly creepy purrs until the guest has to politely ask that we detach him and/or possibly remove him from the room. We suspect Giles is mentally deficient for many reasons, not least of which is that one time (sadly, not at band camp) he set himself on fire and didn't notice. After Other Half and I had shrieked in terror and patted him down, checking that he wasn't singed, he just looked at us for a long moment, sniffed the air and then wandered off to his food bowl without a care in the world. He is definitely male, however he does like to carry small soft toys around in his mouth and try to make nests for them, so for a while he had us really confused. He often disgraces the dignified "Mr" part of his name by eating disgusting things off the carpet in full view of company, like Roland's hair.

If you've ever had a pet, you may have had the urge to speak in baby-talk to him or her. I advise against doing this while your partner/family/friends are in the house. You might not be able to look them in the eyes  for weeks or even years after they've heard you saying things like "who's my little fuzzy-wuzzy man? wuzza-wuzza-wuzza?" or "if you bite me again, goddamit, I'll bite you harder" or "if he doesn't want to spoon THEN HE DOESN'T WANT TO SPOON AND YOU JUST HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT."  The lines of love and motherhood are difficult but we must walk them.

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