Sunday, November 30, 2008

Gidget needs a buddy.

Life with Gidget was going deceivingly easy. Other than routine vet visits such as shots, spaying, and yearly checkups she very little trouble. She had one UTI, which after a minor freakout, I realized was minor and easily treated with some antibiotics. Around 3 years after i brought Gidget home, I was driving aimlessly around San Diego one day, just killing some time before heading home to get ready for work. One left turn led to another and I found myself in front of the San Diego Animal Shelter. I figured that I could just go in and look around. No harm in that right?

Well, the helpful staff told that if I saw an animal I wanted to meet to let them know. I hadn't even walked 15 feet into the cat ward when I saw him: 18 lbs of sleek black fur with the brightest Amber yellow eyes staring right at me. Even though I swore I was "just looking" I wrote down this guys cell number and went to find the staff member who had steered me over to the cats. She brought me inside the little enclosure, removed the mini jaguar from his cage and handed him over to me. Immediately he grabbed on to both of my shoulders and began to purr and headbutt me with his black velvet face. There was no "sleep on it" or time to decide. This little lovebug was coming home with me. After all, Gidget certainly need a buddy to play with when we were gone, right? The shelter worked explained that he was around 1-2 years old and had been turned in by his previous family for playing too much with the kids. Wow, what an awesome excuse to dump your pet at the pound... I had to wait a few days to bring him home since he needed to be neutered, but the paperwork was all signed. I decided to name him "Webber" after Chris Webber who was one of my favorite basketball players at the time (Go Kings!). I waited 3 loooong days than I rushed back to the shelter to being my new buddy home.

Gidget was not impressed. The queen bee seemed to look at us with seething hatred for bringing this rough housing rapscallion into her domain. It was the first time I heard her now all too familiar "Gidget growl." It's reminiscent of a grumpy old man who grumbles about the neighbor's kids blasting their music too loud. Bless his heart, Webber loved to hide and pounce on Gidget when she was walking across the living room. At 18lbs, he outweighed the Gidge by a cool 10-11lbs. He never hurt her, but he certainly got on her nerves. We dubbed the attacks "Webber death roles" as it reminded us of the term used to describe how a crocodile wrestles down its prey. Webber would jump on her back and then role 2 or 3 times with Gidget wrapped underneath him. I began to question whether or not Gidget truly "needed" a playmate. Like me, she may have been just peachy being an only child.

Despite the "death roles" and "Gidget growls" Webber and the Gidge got along rather well after 6 months or so. They would leave the house together and come back later in the evening usually within a few minutes of each other. Gidget would then retire to my room for the night, and Webber would typically stay out with me and the roommates entertaining us with his antics. His favorite thing to do was to pull out stacks of DVD's on our TV stand, lay down in the vacant spot for no longer than 45 seconds, and then go about his merry way. If we dared to re-stack the movies, they were promptly removed for another 45 second hiding spot. His other trick was "climb the tree." For this, we would stick out our sweatshirt clad arm at a 45 degree angle from our body and say "Webber kitty, climb the tree!" and he would twitch his tail, jump up and wrap his entire body around the arm. It was certainly our house's fun little parlor trick to show guests when they came over. And of course, anyone who knew me back then knew that the cats would follow us to our favorite watering hole, The Catalina lounge. I lost count of how many times I would have to snatch up both cats, hike back up the hill carrying two furry bodies with flailing legs. After awhile, the novelty of it wore off and it just got annoying. We would think they were nowhere to be seen, and then right as we are at the base of the hill we hear two jingling bells and see two pairs of eyes making their way down the hill to join us. One evening I thought, "oh what the hell, I wonder if the bartender will notice if they are here." She did, and she didn't even bat an eye. Turns out, she lives on our street and my whorish cats would spend some days hanging out with her on her patio while she watered her plants. She was tickled to have them in the bar on the slow nights. Man I miss that bar.

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