Our New Cat

On Friday, Alisa, Becca, and I went to the Philly SPCA and adopted a 3–5 year old cat. Her name, the one we gave her, is Leto (get the backstory on her name at Wikipedia). She’s small and grey and very shy, or perhaps afraid. It’s hard to tell, since she spends most of her time avoiding us or eyeing us up from afar. And apparently that’s the norm, as much as there is a norm.

Well, Alisa and I deal with this situation in very different ways, which makes sense, considering that she was the real motivator for getting a cat in the first place. I pretty much ignore Leto. She skitters by or edges around the couch and I glance up at her and continue doing whatever I’m doing. It’s not as though I don’t want her to hop up next to me and start discussing typesetting, or just sit there and purr. I do. But, I don’t expect it, or need it, and this is the important part. Alisa, on the other hand, radiates intense need, supernova levels of desire and longing for the least bit of acknowledgement, of progress.

And I think Leto knows this.

Like most cats, I’m betting Leto likes the warm rays of the Sun, and right now Alisa is sending off more intense UV-love than a tanning salon in Pittsburgh. What does Leto have to lose? Alisa is, on Day 4, slowly constructing a kind of cat-playground in the area of Leto’s ’safe place’ in our kitchen, which is under a chair in a pet bed. Included in this pet playland is a second bed-like area. For Alisa. To lay in. Near Leto.

Can you feel the heat? Leto: 4, Alisa: 0

Anyway, my theory is that cats give Alisa a degree of attention inversely proportional to the amount she bathes them in. And, thus far, cats seem to give Alisa as much regard as I give teen dramas. In fact, Leto is so good at this little game, I decided to show you some pictures of her around the house, to give you an idea of life with our new family member.

Leto's bed, under a chair

Leto in the kitchen, relaxing in her bed. Doesn’t she look comfortable?

Our TV and TV stand

When she’s not in her bed, she’s reclining in the living room while we watch movies or hang out.

Alisa's closet

Leto has only been in there once, but you can tell she’s right at home in our bedroom.

From what I can tell, having a cat is a lot like owning bottomless food and water dishes, along with a sandbox that magically fills with crap. Not sure what all the fuss is about…

2 Responses to “Our New Cat”

  1. Alisa says:

    ouch! well, I’m doing my share of ignoring, but it is all feigned. maybe she can tell. we were almost playing together last night. everytime she would start to paw at a toy (read: knitting needle, stick with feather) she would remember that she’s scared and doesn’t trust these wacky folks. Then I would “ignore” her some more. i think we’re making progress. she played by herself last night while we were asleep (or at least she woke me up a couple a’ times). and that’s a first. up until now, we’ve just heard her creeping around at night, exploring. Progress I say!…

    My spouse is LAME!

  2. chris r says:

    Yeah, you’re right (about the progress). And my disinterest is actually a bit fake, too. I’m looking forward to Leto showing herself more and it’ll probably be because you went to such lengths to make her comfortable.