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Auxiliary Cat ‘Maynard’ Welcomed
Because I am a man who likes to be prepared, I have recently welcomed a new cat into the house.
You may wonder how this constitutes “being prepared.” Simple: I already had one cat, an orange male named Charlie. However, I find it prudent to have a backup cat ready, just in case Charlie is busy sleeping when I need someone to curl up in my lap while I’m trying to read a magazine, or to sit on my head when I’m trying to sleep, or to meow loudly outside the door when I might like a moment to myself in the bathroom.
Therefore, when a buff-colored male kitten became available, I invited him to stay at my house and he accepted.
His name is Maynard. It used to be Woody but that went against my policy of giving animals names that have some sort of meaning to me. Charlie, for example, was named after jazz great Charlie Parker, continuing a pattern established with his predecessor, an orange male named Dizzy, after Dizzy Gillespie.
Now, one could argue that Maynard continues the trend, seeing as how I do have a few recordings by the trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, but to tell the truth, that’s not what I was thinking. I named Maynard after Maynard G. Krebs on the old Dobie Gillis TV show.
For my money, Maynard G. Krebs (the G stands for Walter) is one of the greatest characters in television history, right up there with Barney Fife, Mister Moose and Sonny Drysdale. And I’ve always considered it kind of a shame that Bob Denver, who played him, was more likely to be associated with Gilligan’s Island. Gilligan was a dope. Maynard was cool.
Anyway, back to the cats.
We’re all getting along splendidly now but I can’t say that was the case the day Maynard came home.
Maynard was fine with the idea. He jumped right into the household like he’d been here all along. He also jumped right onto Charlie, who looked up at me and sighed, as if to say “Why did you do this?” then went upstairs to the guest room and shut the door.
Maynard, of course, was oblivious. He was too busy racing from room to room, looking at the fish tank and climbing onto the furniture. At least, he was until he met my dog, Cookie.
Maynard went into his full Halloween cat routine – arched back, fluffed out tail, and that sideways-hopping thing cats do when they think they’re being tough. It’s the feline version of the Ali Shuffle.
Cookie gave Maynard a sniff. Maynard batted her on the nose. Cookie stuck out a paw and pinned Maynard to the floor. Maynard squirmed out of it and sideways-hopped around some more. Cookie looked up at me, sighed, and then went upstairs and knocked on the guest room door.
Things have settled down since then. The cats get along fine now and Cookie puts up with them both. And for me? It’s fun having a kitten in the house again. I like the goofy energy Maynard brings to the place. The backup cat plan is, by all accounts, a roaring success. Or a meowing one.
So much so, in fact, that I think it may be time for an auxiliary dog. I’ll keep you posted.
© 2011 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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