Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Four Cats of HOFC, and Annie the Great!

Our apartment is called, "The House of Four Cats." Just a flat full o' cats and a dog...and a few people. The gray cat below is Ghost, so named because of his foggy grey fur. Ghost is known for being a bit of a troublemaker, an instigator in the tradition of Woody Woodpecker. He'll often clean his claws on the love seat, tearing it to shreds, which then compels a strong reaction from the humans in the house. Annie the Dog picks up on our being upset over Ghost destroying the furniture, and she gets all excited and barky. Thus begins a kerfuffle among the generally peaceful residents of HOFC. Ghost seems to enjoy getting us riled up.

This orange cat below be ferocious, and is likely suffering from a severe mental illness. He sleeps curled up next to my father every night, and never leaves his side during the day. Panther is his name, and he will hiss, spit and bite if he doesn't get his way. All the cat's know to give him a wide berth. He is also a, "Seat-Whipper." If he, my father, gets up to pee or make a sandwich or whatever, Panther will take his seat and refuse to move. He'll growl and hiss before he moves. He kind of pushes my father around a bit. But the two of them are like a married couple. I can hear my father talking to him late into the night.

The House of Four Cats was so named back in 2009, when there were literally 4 cats living here. Since then, Annie has come into our lives. Originally from an animal shelter in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Annie is a mix between a Dachsund, Jack Russell Terrier, and, oddly enough, a Chihuahua. Clearly, they are doing hideous dog experiments down in San Juan, to bring together such a strange mix of dogs, to create an Uber-hound! And that she is. Nancy and I love her, even though she sleeps in the bed and Nancy's allergies often flair up when Annie sleeps on her face. Sometimes, I wake up and find her draped across my face, as well. Long dog. Since Nancy has a strong affinity for breathing, we need to work on keeping her at the foot of the bed, or off of it. Annie is a good watchdog. If she hears or sees anything suspicious (sometimes it's just Nancy, Ken or I), she'll provide a hearty, "WOOF!" Just one. It's been known to give us quite a start. Also, the kids in the neighborhood love her. Whenever I take her for a walk, a crowd of children gather, Annie flips out and wants to play, and I have a massive panic attack. She'll lick my hand when I panicky, and that helps. Dogs are quite understanding.

The 3rd and 4th cats of The House of Four Cats are Impy and Fluffy, and Fluffy is Impy's mother. If you know me at all, you've heard this story at least 10 times, as I'm fond of telling it and quite proud of myself. I'll tell it again. Three years ago, during a thunderstorm with torrential rain, my neighbor told me that a cat had given birth to a litter of kittens. When I went outside and surveyed the situation, I couldn't help but notice that no one in the crowd was doing anything! So I dove into the mud, reached under the stoop, and scooped out Impy (no more than 2 hours old) and Fluffy, and two three more kittens. Sadly, one beautiful blue-eyed kitten didn't survive, but the others thrived. Two were adopted out, but we kept Impy. We love each a good cat/human way. We kept Fluffy, too, of course. Nancy and Fluffy have taken a shine to one another. They tell each other secrets about me, and then they laugh and laugh.

Impy and Fluffy have an ability that runs in the family, which is the ability to screech and "rowr" very loudly. And Impy can squeak with vigor, over and over again. As Nancy and I try to sleep at night, Impy frequently jumps up on the bed and looks for a place to settle. If either of us raise our hands to pat her, she squeaks. If we do anything, she squeaks. She's a squeaker. If you walk by her and without giving her a pat, you get a "Rowwwwr!" Late at night when I don't see her, she scares the shit out of me with that little scream.
That' s the cat situation at the House of Four Cats. It will always be the House of Four Cats, even when some of these suckers croak. It's a cool name. Here are some photographs of our happy household. Ignore the dates, the camera clock wasn't set. 

Annie bounds through the snow!

Impy needs a nap

A temple of some sort down the street. It would be cool if it were the House of Four Cats  exterior. 

Ghost looking cute

Man bites dog

Fluffy, chilling behind the kitchen table

Nancy waitin' on the "T"

Panther, the attack kitty

My father , Ken, annoyed on phone

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