Life in the Land of the Rising Sun

Thursday, June 01, 2006

The New Fuzz in Town

It was the second week in May. I had just come home from ye olde academy. I'd parked my BLUE RAV4, gotten out, hefted that 20-ton black thing I call "my briefcase", and started walking toward the house. My daughter was outside washing a plastic dish for some reason.

With a wide, much-too-innocent smile on her face, she looked at me and said, "Papa, please don't be angry!"

Uh-oh. What was it this time? Had she flunked a test? Had my son broken yet another window? Had one or both of them turned either my computer or Studio Moodio into a pile of unhappy trash? Nope. It was something much less disastrous...and something much hairier. They had brought home a new, fuzzy member of the family.

Last year the kids adopted two abandoned cats. One of them was that lovely and very friendly calico, Mint, who after some initial problems became a very good and much loved member of the household...only to suddenly die in my arms of that strange sickness that had afflicted her from the beginning. The other was a tiny, little, white kitten whose eyes hadn't even opened yet. I knew its days were numbered from the beginning, but it actually wound up dying because Mint had slept on top of it and smothered it (and then she, herself died a few days after that). Ever since then, the kids had pestered me about getting a new cat, and I'd been very tempted to get Mao's next Christmas present at the pet shop. As it turned out, fate beat me to the punch.

You see, someone had dumped a mother cat and her kittens at the kids' elementary school. The mother cat had then been hit by a car, leaving just the kittens. The kids of the school had then taken care of the poor, little orphans, and then they'd divided them among themselves and taken them home. My kids had wound up with one of them, a black-striped tabby they'd named Tora (tiger...unoriginal, I know...).

I have to admit I was rather worried about him at first. His eyes were open, at least (and a wonderful shade of BLUE), but he was awfully tiny, and he could barely walk. He seemed perfectly healthy and happy, though. Amazingly, he was also fully housebroken. Feeding him was a bit of a problem at first because he kept trying to nurse and had a heck of an awkward time trying to drink milk from a bowl. Still, he made it okay. Now he's eating solid food from a bowl. Not only have his eyes changed color, but he has grown some during the past few weeks. Now he can even climb up to the top of Mint's old kitty tower, now his favorite place to sleep, which also gave me a good opportunity to take a picture with him actually holding still:

He's a very friendly and affectionate thing who hates to be alone, but he seems to believe in tough love. He loves to be picked up, but quite often he'll purr and lick your hand for only about a minute before he starts trying to tear a chunk out of it. Yes, he's a feisty sort who loves to play...and a bit on the aggressive side. He's only totally friendly when he's tired, and it takes a lot to wear him out. I imagine he'll mellow out as he gets older, but for now we just have to put up with some scratches here and there...and enjoy every minute of it.


  • Congratualtions on your new home Tora!
    You are lucky to have a family with two kids to play with and that cat stuff. And don't let that Moody guy fool you - he has a big soft spot for cats.

    By Blogger Momo the Wonder Dog, at 9:06 PM  

  • so getting a cat when i get back!

    By Blogger saba, at 10:07 PM  

  • He also has a big soft spot just above his occipital lobe.

    Congrats on the fuzzy feline.

    By Blogger Don Snabulus, at 1:39 AM  

  • Sweet little thing! We've got three kitties, and though one has a nack for peeing on our couch (we keep plastic there now), we love them all.

    By Blogger DewKid, at 1:44 AM  

  • Nice tiger stripes.

    By Blogger Happysurfer, at 6:14 PM  

  • meow... meow meow meow, meowww...

    Tora will understand. :-D

    By Blogger YD, at 7:35 PM  

  • What an adorable little tiger! I just love little meowing furrballs. =)

    By Blogger Kurakat, at 9:35 PM  

  • how adorable!!!! look at those little eyes.... you can tell he's a handful! what a wonderful new addition to your family.

    =^..^= meow

    By Blogger tooners, at 3:12 AM  

  • kawaii ne... tora-chan ha...

    By Blogger Lrong, at 12:58 PM  

  • Achoo!

    I've always had a special place for cats, in my lungs!

    By Blogger Pa've, at 8:51 AM  

  • Aw, kwitcherbitchin'!

    By Anonymous Some unwashed hippie, at 9:51 AM  

  • U know, our family had the similar cat (same tiger stripes) before in our rural hometown. It was killed by one neighbor. (weep..weep..) :-(

    By Anonymous L.C_D, at 1:54 PM  

  • Tora! Tora! Tora!

    old movie, on "The incredible attack on Pearl Harbor"

    hmmm... my nagging machine (aka mum) always say, anyone who loves animal will loves life, and anyone who doesn't will be moody and bitter.

    About time to change your nick to Happy Minstrel

    By Blogger Robin, at 5:23 PM  

  • Robin, if I became a happy minstrel a lot of people would be upset, because I will have totally messed up their world.

    By Blogger The Moody Minstrel, at 12:11 AM  

  • What a sweet Tora!!! :)

    By Blogger Selba, at 6:18 PM  

  • She is too cute .... what a wonderful home she's going to have. Full of music and creativity.

    Just don’t let them in the studio ☺ My wife loves to let them sneak in the studio so they can be in the cool air. I try not to let them go where all the wires are, but usually that’s where they like to lay down.

    Enjoy your new furr ball.

    By Blogger Alfanan, at 7:54 PM  

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