Friday, April 15, 2011

The Marriage Bed is Covered with Cat Hair

My husband is a dog guy, from a dog family. Luckily for him, the cat I got off of Craigslist a couple of years ago is pretty doggy.

Frank is a tall, lanky cat with a genetic mutation-- polydactylism-- that gives him extra toes. He has six in the front and five in the back, for a total of four extra toes, and it makes his front paws look like mittens. Frankenstein, the family I got him from called him.

Frank is harness trained-- or at least, he'll wear a harness while he wanders around outside, pulling me along at the other end of the leash-- and he greets us at the door when we come home, jumping up and pawing at us. He's tall enough that he can snag his front paw on my pants pocket when he stretches, and he can pull food down from the kitchen counter.

He's constantly trying to steal food. When I first got him, he jumped up into my lap while I was eating a peanut butter sandwich. We stared into each other's eyes as I lifted the sandwich to my mouth, and just as I sank my teeth into the bread he stretched up, sank his own teeth into the sandwich, and sat back to munch as if nothing inappropriate had just happened.

He also sheds like cheap chenille. I found a single Frank hair in each of my ears the last time I cleaned them.

He has one really weird habit. Maybe he wasn't properly weaned, or maybe he just doesn't get the concept of kneading. When he's feeling snuggly, which is usually about midnight, he climbs into bed with me, jambs his mouth into the soft part of my throat just below the jaw, and makes a snuffling sound while he kneads my trachea as hard as he can. With claws. Frankula.

Patrick adjusted pretty well to the cat household (we have two cats now), and he loves that Frank is big and boisterous and fun. The very best part is that now Frank goes for Patrick's neck 50% of the time. ("No punch, Frank! No punch!") But there's nothing like a cold wet nose suddenly applied to one's leg to bring conjugal interaction to a dead halt.

Frank is the best kind of pet, a self-confident, nosy, bossy, cheerful animal that takes up more space than you'd expect and demands to be included in every family function. And as an introvert, I find it great to be around an extrovert that can be shut up in the bathroom when he gets too annoying.

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