Both Cats Now Self-Cleaning!
Alice and Trixie were actually born on Staten Island but we don't talk about that (much). There are too many Republicans on Staten Island (even more than the unfortunate number who make Dyker Heights and Bay Ridge seem so scarily suburban). Still, if I'm writing about Alice and Trixe, I must take that skeleton out of their closet, if only briefly.
It was about seven years ago that Lady Lucia rescued two, scrawny Siamese kittens from the woman she calls "The Crazy Cat Lady of Staten Island." The CCLSI had a filthy, stinky house filled with filthy, stinky (but beautiful; adorable) cats; rescued strays and ferals who'd been brought indoors while still young enough to domesticate.
This was a few years before Lady Lucia and I became a couple. We were simply friendly church colleagues. But she knew enough about me to realize that I was a Crazy Cat Lady myself ('though cleaner and living in Manhattan). She figured it would be a good idea to ask my advice about dealing with the stink Alice and Trixie had brought back to Brooklyn with them.
I thought I knew a lot about cats. I had been a Cat Person since early childhood; had read oodles of cat books, including Roger Caras' totally brilliant "A Cat Is Watching." I'd read Cat Fancy magazine and attended cat shows. Still, I was telling Lady Lucia the truth when, in response to her email, I wrote back: "I never heard of a cat smelling bad! They are perfectly self-cleaning. They smell delicious all the time, except for the first 30 seconds out of the litter box. I've always wondered how it is that cats manage to smell like baby powder..."
Still (even though I'd never heard of a bad-smelling cat) I had a solution ready for Lady Lucia to try. "Wipe them down with baby wipes," I wrote. "It won't upset them the way a water bath would. It will feel like they're being licked clean by a Mom Cat."
So, Lady Lucia tried my baby wipe trick and it worked. Soon, Alice and Trixe were clean, shiny and free of the Stench of Staten Island. They were still a little bit skinny at that point but Lady Lucia gave them lots of extra treats every chance she got (feeling, she told me, "like the witch in Hansel and Gretel.") I never missed a chance to ask Lady L. how Alice and Trixie were doing, and was pleased to hear that they were getting healthy and sweet-smelling, without ever losing their sweet, sisterly attachment to each other.
Trixie The Snowball
You can probably tell that Trixe has lighter fur than Alice does. French Vanilla ice cream white. Because of that, I call her all sorts of silly nicknames, like "Vanilla Bean" and "Snow Ball."
Alice has a naturally tilted head. When I first met Alice, I thought she was tilting her head on purpose. It seemed like deliberate, extreme cuteness. But Lady Lucia told me that Alice's head had simply started to tilt when she was a few months old, and that the vet had assured her that it wasn't due to any serious health problem. I think Alice's head tilt makes her something even more than perfect!
Alice, sitting on the kitchen counter; displaying her sweet, tilted head.
Alice's somewhat darker Siamese coloring is, of course, just as delightful in its own way, as Trixie's pale version. I call her things like "brown sugar cookie." Yum!
Alice's Brown Sugar Coat
Alice and Trixie both like to jump up on top of our high bookshelves, but each Brooklyn Goil does it with her own special attitude toward the altitude:
Trixie The Mountain Lion: Don't Mess!
Alice Gets High in High Style
Well, y'all know I never met a cat I didn't love. I knew, even before I met them, that I would love the Brooklyn Goils a lot. At the time I moved in with Lady Lucia, I'd known them for about six months and was already calling myself their "Mum Number Two." They didn't argue. Cats know who loves them and they had already made it clear that I was totally theirs.
I think the only human they might love more than they love me (if love can be quantified, which it really can't) is Lady Lucia, their "Mum Number One." But, no matter how much they love their very own humans, there's nothing in the world like the totally mushy love of two sister (or brother) cats, who were born into the same litter and got lucky enough to spend the rest of their lives together:
Alice and Trixie: Sisterly Love!
Yes, I do, very much, miss the "Uptown Cats" who are still living with my ex, Iggy. I visit them every week (despite the ongoing awkwardness and uneasy peace of my relationship with Iggy) and would never want them to not be in my life. If you love cats, you love them forever. I have also been taking some very cool pictures of them during my visits (since acquiring this awesome BlackBerry) and will do a post about them some time soon.
Writing this post has comforted me tonight, though, as I spend a Sunday evening in the company of Alice and Trixie, with Lady Lucia far away (she had to go to Vegas for her job; left this afternoon and will return Tuesday evening). For the next three nights we'll have to really comfort each other, as we all miss her. I hope she can hear the purrs (mine, Alice's and Trixie's) all the way in Vegas, as we think loving thoughts of our Lady Lucia/Mum Number One.
Purrrrrrs, blessings and well-wishes,