Nutmeg & Dala
We all know that blogs were created so people could talk about their cats. If you have a blog, you are legally obligated to talk about cats at regular intervals or else. A quick search says I’ve mentioned cats 65 times on this blog over the years, but that’s not nearly enough and the blog police have sent me a warning. So you’re getting a cat post today.
Dala, whose full name is “Queen Amidala Curlytoes,” is 14 this year. I don’t know her exact birthday, but she was a year old when I got her in September 1999, so I’m guessing she was born in August of 1998. She is the nicest cat I have ever known – to humans, anyway. She purrs if you even look at her. She loves to cuddle and sit on your lap, especially if you happen to be my wife. See, I’ve known this cat for 13 years and she’s always loved me, but when I got married two years ago, all of a sudden I’m not as awesome as I was. Now she’ll only get up from her nap and go to the door if it’s my wife coming home. Me? Meh. “Seen it.” She’s still nice to me, but she’s not as forcibly wonderful to me as she is to some people (my wife).
A little over a year ago, I took Dala to the vet for the first time in a long time. She was throwing up very regularly, for a while it was even once a day, and she was very thin. The vet couldn’t figure out what was wrong with her, but gave her a steroid shot and put her on some special food and it worked! For a few months. Then she started back in with the throwing up. And you know, no matter how much you work with a cat to get them to throw up on the linoleum, they won’t listen to you. Often it seems like they miss the linoleum by two inches or less just to mess with you. Carpet must be a better target, I guess.
Took her back to the vet, another shot. Worked for a couple of months again. This time the vet started throwing around words like “leukemia” and “untreatable,” but also used the words “not sure” and “more tests.” Dear vets: do not use the words “leukemia” and “untreatable” if you’re still “not sure.” Thank you.
This time they gave her another shot, but also gave her a pill “in case there are worms we haven’t found.” A few weeks later, I had to give her one more pill. Ever given a pill to a cat? Try it some time. You’ll be amazed at how much stronger a 12-pound animal is than you. It took two of us, but we finally got her to eat it. That was before the new year. I’m happy to say that not only has she not been throwing up, she’s also put on (a lot of!) weight. She sleeps a lot, but there are moments when she’s ripping around the house and playing where you’d swear she was a kitten. She even chases her tail, the only cat I’ve ever known personally that does that. It’s funny, though, that after she runs around, she is completely conked out for a couple of hours. I understand getting older, Dala!
Then there’s Nutmeg. Nutmeg doesn’t like anybody but me. She has had several different permutations of a full name, but no middle name has stuck for long. I still think of her as “Nutmeg Tsunami,” but that’s because if I had known how she was going to turn out, I would have named her “Tsunami” and called her “Nami” for short. Also, SoBe made a beverage called Tsunami that was Creamsicle-flavored, and was orange-white like Nutmeg is.
Anyway, Nutmeg doesn’t like anybody else. She’ll tolerate my wife most times, but more in a “putting up with” way than anything else. Anyone else that has ever tried to pet her or even move within two feet of her generally gets hissed at, and since her breath is terrible, it’s a two-fer. The real shame of it is she has some of the softest fur of any cat ever, so it’s a shame no one else can pet her.
Nutmeg is turning 10 in August, technically a “senior cat.” She’s been on diet food for as long as Dala has been on her special food, since we have to feed them separately. Nutmeg has not lost any weight at all, a fact you might be able to discern from the picture above. I’ve had her since she was four weeks old and I love her dearly, in all of her crabbiness and misanthropy.
These two might as well be named Yin and Yang. They have squabbles almost daily, but they also take a lot of naps together and groom each other. In a lot of ways, I feel they represent both sides of me – I’m generally nice to people and I genuinely like a lot of people, but I also tend towards crabbiness and will avoid meeting new people if there’s a legitimate out for me.