An update on our adoption by Taku:

We have been displaced. Our landlady downstairs has catfood and a dog that's not quite so high-energy (intimidating?) as our dear Lion Hound. The cat disappeared for a few days. I finally ran into my landlady, who was desperate to find out why the cat wouldn't use the litter box she provided, but insisted on being let out. Apparently their warmer apartment, older dog and (presumably) better tasting kitty kibble, has ousted us from the running.

Nyssa, for her part, was hurt by the move. A few days ago, she cornered the cat in the yard (asking her, no doubt, why she hadn't been around for the past few nights.) The cat had few words, but a sharp swat in reply. Nyssa came back with a bleeding scalp and is now working on healing up the newest of her collection of scars.

In related news, my friend Janelle told me that there are people who cross-breed Border Collies and Burmese Mountain Dogs - the very breeds we were trying to decide between. So we have our next cat (a Maine Coon, whose name we have already picked out) and dog all lined up. Our house is filling up, and we don't even have one!



Peter and I were watching Princess Mononoke last week when we heard a sound outside on the porch. The stray cat that has been hanging around our building (and has been fed by the landlord's wife somewhat sporadically) was sitting on my mat. She meowed louder and louder until I came outside. I have tried to get close to her before, but she would have none of it. She was still a little skittish at first, but the initiation was hers this time. Once I got close enough to pet her, she walked right past me into the house and up to Nyssa's water bowl. The cat must have known that we have a huge dog; they have had several stand-offs in the yard over the last month. Nyssa, who had been sleeping on the couch, was all eyes and ears as her territory was invaded, but she's been smacked across the muzzle enough times to know better than to tangle with a strange feline. The cat explored the apartment for about 15 minutes before Nyssa could contain herself no more and got up to say hello. The cat didn't even flinch, just looked at her and raised a warning paw, then trotted back into the kitchen, keeping herself between the hound and the door. I put her out after that, but she was sitting on my front mat when I left for work the next morning. The next night, she was back and wanted in. I opened the door for her, and showed her where I'd opened the bathroom window so she could get in and out without a butler. It was late, so I shut myself in my bedroom, hoping she and Nyssa would work out their differences without waking me up. The next morning, Nyssa was stretched out on the couch and the cat was curled in a ball on the comfy chair. I hadn't heard a peep out of them all night. The cat left through the window as I was getting dressed, but met us on the back porch and gave Nyssa a kiss on the nose before we got into the car to come to work. When I got back from my sister's this weekend, the cat was waiting and trotted into the apartment with us when we arrived, even after Nyssa chased her around the yard. When I had a good hard cry later that night for no good reason, she curled up next to me (on the other side from Nyssa) and hung out until I was all dried out. So I guess we passed the adoption inspection. Peter has decided to call her Taku (yes, we know the red elk in the movie is male, but the cat doesn’t know any better and the name fits.) Now I'll have to add cat food to the budget.