Archive for November 19th, 2004

Feline Friday

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In what we understand has become a tradition of sorts in some parts
of the Blogosphere, we have chosen today to inaugurate our new CAT-A-GORIES section in the right-hand margin of the Dowbrigade News.

Although we confess to being remiss in our application of categories,
due to the influence of Shimon
Rura
and his creation Frassle, we have
resolved to reform. While we’ve gotten pretty good at applying categories
to our new postings, we are waiting for a prolonged period of intellectual
idleness to go back and post-categorize our earlier work.

The Featured Feline in our photos and in our life is Chiqui (pronounced
Cheeky), a nickname which means "little one" in Spanish. He wandered
into our life back in ’96, a few weeks after we returned from a two-year
road trip to Ecuador. It was mid-September, only a few days into the
busy Fall semester, a cold and drizzly day. We were trying to readjust
to the American academic rhythm, new apartment, new woman, new students,
when we heard a soft but insistent mewing from one of the administrative
offices at work.

It was Chiqui, and at that time he was indeed tiny. Turns out one of
our administrators, long moved on to greener pastures, had gotten stuck
in traffic that morning on her drive into town down I-95from New Hampshire.
Trapped in the break-down lane she noticed something moving on the pavement,
opened her door and scooped him right up off of the Interstate. She figured
his mother had found a hidden birthing spot in the woods nearby, and
that Chiqui had wandered away from the rest of the litter while his ma
was off getting fed. If she hadn’t picked him up he would have probably
been squished pretty quick on I-95.

We took him in and took him home.  He fit in our pocket.  Norma
Yvonne had never had a cat before and thought something was wrong when
he started purring. Today, Chiqui is a healthy although neurotic 16-lb
Male Tabby, and Norma treats him (an Honey, the smaller cat in the photo)
like the dear misbehaving children she never had. Perhaps because of
his homeless traumatic youth Chiqui does not trust new people or places
and
usually hide when visitors appear.  Once, when we moved, he spent
a week in a suitcase in a closet before he came out to explore the new
digs. His obsession with burrowing has gotten him trapped behind the
drywall and in the heating ducts on numerous occasions.

We continue to believe people can learn a lot more from animals than
animals can learn from us.