Pixelated

©2021 Michael Raven

Kitten incoming…

I’ll admit that I am looking forward to the new kitten coming into our house. To me, it’s always fun to take the time to train them as much as they’ll accept training (most, in my experience, only train as long as you have something they want — like treats). And I have the usual hopes that he will be the first cat we’ve owned to take to harness and leash training so I can haul him around in public.

But am I enthused? I’ll have to admit that my reception is a bit lukewarm still after losing the last kitten, a Maine Coon we named Ghost, to an allergic reaction to anesthetic during a routine neuter. He was our third Maine Coon and a real charmer, with smarts off the charts and likely to hit that “adventure cat” status with a little bit of patience (and cooperative weather, which our summer did not have this year). The loss gutted me in a way I still haven’t fully gotten over, even several months later. While everyone else in the family is ready to carry on, I still have little chats with him in the dreamtime while we play games.

This new guy is a ragdoll instead of a Maine Coon, ostensibly because they are even more people-centric than Maine Coons (our other two our counter-examples which are very selective about people-time). Everyone decided for me that I needed to have the feline equivalent of a puppy in the house (without the negatives a new puppy can bring), so they decided that a rag doll was in order because they are generally big like Maine Coons and are attention whores.

Tentatively, we’re going to call him Pixel (after Heinlein’s The Cat That Walks Through Walls), although I have also proposed Grim, Grumpkin, Thorn (short for Blackthorn), Rag-narök, Absinthe, and a few other increasingly silly names (Krampus has come up, but was nixed by my twins). I honestly am not into it this time around, so it will probably go ahead as Pixel (although Thorn got an eyebrow rise from the teenager).

Saturday is the big day to journey to pick up this little guy. And, while I look forward to it, I am also not as excited as everyone wants me to be. Like I said, I love having kittens (and cats) around… But I don’t think Pixel will solve the problems that everyone else thinks he will solve. I’m sure he’s going to be a fun little guy to have around, but my expectations are firmly in check as to the overall impact.

Maybe I’m a little gun-shy after Ghost. Or maybe I think laying such heavy expectations on such a little lad is unfair.

He does have great eyeliner, though.

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