Cats Working Welcomes “The New Kid”

By Max and Roc

Roc: Since we lost Adele on September 12, I’ve made Max’s life hell. I didn’t realize how much I depended on Adele for company, even though I annoyed the shit out of her most of the time. Max was taking the brunt of my frustration and loneliness.

Max: Karen was devastated to lose Adele, who’d been here over a decade before I ever showed up, which was the very day after Adele lost her BFF Yul to kidney failure. I think she wrongly connected dots on those two events and always blamed me for Yul’s departure.

It was hard to live as Adele’s prey. Once she was gone, I finally felt free and loved it. Then Roc started hounding me constantly to wrestle, which we haven’t done since he was tiny and couldn’t beat me.

Roc: Karen put up with our scrapping for about six weeks before she found me a new friend going by the name Kappa, but whom we’ll call “The Kid” for now…

Max: The Kid and one brother were six weeks old and half dead when they were brought from Northern Virginia to the Richmond Animal League. There was no info on what happened to their mother. The Kid was malnourished, dehydrated, underweight, had ear mites, an upper respiratory infection and a heart murmur. The works.

RAL got him better and neutered him before placing him in a couple of foster homes. Then blood started coming out of his butt for no reason they could find.

Karen had hoped for a younger kitten; this one was nearly five months old now and on the verge of becoming a hard-to-place teen. But he was extroverted like Roc, so Karen decided he deserved a shot at a better life.

Karen had the Man Cave upstairs equipped for the slow introduction new cats are supposed to get. But once in the front door, The Kid shot out of his carrier and explored every inch of the house while Roc and I sat there going “WTF?” The Kid even ventured out on the beams!

To impress on you how dangerous this is, here’s our living room. For us big cats, it’s routine to leap from the beams to the kitty perch or the bookcases. It’s an Evil Knievel move for a kitten. (The Kid did fall off the middle beam soon after, but miraculously missed the furniture on the way down and didn’t miss a beat.)

Roc: The Kid and I were hanging out and playing within an hour of his arrival…

Max: With the heat off me, I could watch those two knuckleheads roughhouse from my comfy chair…

Roc: The Kid did spend his first night in the Man Cave just to calm him down. I spent the night camped outside his door to make sure he was OK. Who could resist this face?

Max: The next day, he wasted no time checking out Karen’s desk, where he learned how fascinating a cursor can be…

Roc: He jumped right in helping us keep tabs on the neighborhood from the big kitchen window…

Max: I even let him help me with squirrel patrol on the deck…

Roc: It was nice to have company at meals again…

We were getting along great, but I’ll admit I was surprised when The Kid followed me into the “locker room” to watch me do my “business!”

Max: Halloween night, Karen let him try a little ‘nip. I think he liked it…

Then we all joined him on the kitchen table to get in on the action…

Roc: The Kid soon revealed an intense interest in all things culinary. Karen can’t keep him off the counter. He has no fear whatsoever of the stove, on or off…

The Kid’s first Sunday, Karen made a big pot of chili, which he had to inspect…

He was also desperate to try her homemade beer bread. That’s right. Beer…

Max: The Kid can devour a 5.5 oz. can of Friskies Shreds in about two minutes (which means stealing Roc’s half). Karen hasn’t had a plate of food he hasn’t attacked since he got here. This morning he went after her breakfast…

I know it looks like a puke on a plate, but Karen said it was Potatoes O’Brien with a couple of eggs thrown in and it was delicious.

Roc: After breakfast, The Kid stole Max’s food (Max eccentrically eats in a mine field of Karen’s junk, the coffee table)…

Max: Karen bought The Kid “Da Bee,” a stick toy which was his favorite in his second foster home. He’s already on his second bee after demolishing the first one. This is Karen’s attempt to capture him playing cute with it…

She also tried for a nice portrait of him, but he preferred to look like he’s in Witness Protection…

Roc: He’s claimed the late Cole’s favorite teddy bear. The teddy seems happy to have a kitty again…

Max: The Kid’s got salt-and-pepper fur, a long, lanky physique, a daring and adventurous spirit, and a love of the kitchen, booze and cuisines feline and human, so we’ve named him…

Tony Bourdain

16 Responses to Cats Working Welcomes “The New Kid”

  1. Mary Hunter says:

    Absolutely adorable! Especially with the teddy bear. (He actually looks like he’s smiling!) He looks much like my cat, who is a tuxedo kitty. I’m so glad you found a new little furry friend and able to give him a good life!

  2. Bonnie C. says:

    Congratulations on the new addition. He’s lucky to have found you.

  3. catsworking says:

    Thank you, Mary and Bonnie! The house is actually quieter now than it was when Adele was alive. She was very vocal when putting Max and Roc in their place. Now, Roc and Tony go off and play together and Max naps. Last night they were stuffing mouse toys under the fridge and trying to fish them back out (which ended up being me lying on the floor with a flashlight and a stick toy to do the dirty work for them).

  4. Randi says:

    What a wonderful addition Tony is, already checked out every corner of your house, and now playing with Roc. He sounds like he is very adventurous… just like Tony Bourdain – so miss his shows, but saw one that showed the “behind the scenes” today.
    Have fun! 😀

  5. bassgirl23 says:

    Welcome to Tony! Love the name….seems to really suit him with all the interest in your food. Tuxedos are great – both of mine are tuxies (more black than white) and their personalities are fantastic. Sounds like he’s settling in well, and is lucky to have such a good home.

  6. catsworking says:

    Randi and bassgirl 23, when I first saw Tony, something about his personality made Bourdain pop into my head. We forgot to mention in the post that RAL guessed his birthday to be June 6, just two days shy of the anniversary of Bourdain’s death.

    He has huge paws and a very long tail. The vet remarked on his big ears. “I handle a lot of kittens and know how their heads feel. When I ran my hand up his ear, it just kept going!”

    I think he’s going to be a bruiser. He eats like a sumo wrestler.

    It’s nice to have some joy in the house again. Adele had a very long, labor-intensive (for me) decline, and I’m still in mourning for her. I miss my best girlfriend. But I knew Max and Roc would most easily accept a boy kitty, and a little diva girl wouldn’t want to wrestle with Roc. Max probably would have run away if I made him live under another dominatrix.

    I wouldn’t call Tony a tuxedo because his legs and whole undercarriage are white and his nose is pink. He looks more like he’s wearing a mask and cape, with a white collar around his neck.

    Max is a true tux. All black, with white whiskers, some white on his tummy and white feet. And a milk dribble on his chin.

    Tony’s been here three weeks as of tomorrow night, and I think he’s beginning to get that his name is Tony. He never responded to Kappa. Max and Roc totally know their names. Roc comes 99% of the time when called. Max, being shy, not as much. But Max always perks up when he hears his name. and if we have eye contact, he will usually come to me and obey some commands.

    Right now they’re all having siestas. Max on the couch in the Man Cave with Tony right below him on the floor in his carrier (go figure, he likes it in there), and Roc is on a cat bed on top of my inkjet printer beside me on the desk.

  7. kitt says:

    Best wishes to you & all your loved ones. I just adore “meeting” THE KID. Love those cat pixs!!!

  8. Donna says:

    Guess what guys…….before I got to the big reveal at the end of the post I was already thinking of your new brother as “AB” in my mind! He will definitely inspire you to new heights! Congratulations! Happy culinary exploring….PS….do you think he has a talent for writing? Because I think he does

  9. catsworking says:

    Donna, right at this moment he is tearing all over, running up and down the stairs, with Da Bee in his mouth, bouncing the stick off the walls, leaping in and out of the tub. He’s definitely in his maniac stage. He’ll be 6 months old on December 6.

    I do think he may show some literary chops once he calms down a bit, and even get Roc and Max off their duffs to do some blog duty.

    When I met him, his name with RAL was Kappa, but I kept calling him Zappa. Channeling another fine kitty we both knew.

  10. dellachiara says:

    Well, you certainly have the perfect new name! Welcome Tony! You are obviously quite the character, just like your beloved namesake. I wish you and your mum and siblings many happy years together!

  11. Ida says:

    Lovely post – and congratulations on your new kitty-addition. And what an appropriate name, I feel like I’ve heard that name somewhere before 🙂

  12. Anita says:

    Karen, that is beyond perfection in every way. Tony! He has that adventurous spirit for food and exploring the world and seems to have a great wit too. I’m so happy for you. And he is so lucky to be part of a home with you, Roc and Max.

    Do your kitties like Thanksgiving turkey? Mine would go nuts just with the smell of getting it ready and this was before we even put it in the oven.

    He was so bad we would have to put him in the garage and then he would howl at the door that was by the kitchen. Of course, he was always the one that would get the first bite. He is gone now and I would love to have another but it is hard to travel with one. As you know.

    Happy First Thanksgiving to Tony and may he love every morsel of turkey he gets to eat.

  13. catsworking says:

    Thank you, Ida. And Anita, to say Tony has an “adventurous spirit for food” is to underestimate it by 1,000. OMG, this kitten is going to give me and Roc ulcers. (Max is keeping his distance and only likes boring dry, so he’s almost immune.) Roc and I can’t enjoy a meal without defending our plate from this ravenous beast to the death. Tony wants to devour EVERYTHING. He arrived at the shelter at only 6 weeks old and not fully weaned (he’s working on that with an afghan on my bed). He must have been found in some dire situation desperate for food because he’s got huge food insecurity. Well, that must be a fact. He was underweight and dehydrated.

    This is coupled with unbounded curiosity about all things edible and a total lack of concern about hot stoves. He can’t jump to the counter from the floor yet, but he’s mastered the leap to counter from nearby kitchen table, which starts from low step stool > windowsill > table. That reliable route is like the Appalachian Trail for every kitty who’s ever lived here.

    Instead of fighting him off, I will try to get photos or video of this so he can do a post himself about his culinary philosophy. I am beginning to feel like I’ve REALLY got a cat who’s channeling Anthony Bourdain here.

  14. catsworking says:

    dellachiara, welcome back, and thank you. It does feel good to have a little character who reminds us of Bourdain. Watching little Tony learn and grow into the big, strapping, devil-may-care cat we know he’s destined to become is a daily miracle, even if he does drive us crazy at mealtimes.

  15. Randi says:

    Karen, he will at some point realize that he can get all the food he wants, but it may take a while. Meanwhile, I hope he doesn’t burn his little paws on the stove, but I’m sure you’ll have an eye on him when you’re in the kitchen. I bet he is over the moon having a found a home with you, and getting new playmates. 🙂

  16. catsworking says:

    Randi, just in the past few days Tony seems to have slowed down his gobbling a bit. When he starts eating normally, I’ll know that HE knows he’s here for good. After two foster homes, he’s probably still confused about permanence. And he had a vet visit two weeks ago that had him a bit panicky. Every time he’s been in a carrier for a car ride it’s to be dumped in a new situation. The vet may have been the first time he ended up back where he started, and he seemed relieved when he returned to this house with Roc waiting for him.

    In the past week or so he has staked out a few napping places as “his” spots, which is a good sign. Max and Roc are fine with it, also good.

    I have an electric stove with hot coils (you can see it in the blog post), so whenever I finish using a burner, I cover it with the teakettle or a pan until it cools down just to keep Tony from stepping on it. So far he hasn’t burned himself, but he will walk around the back of the stove while something is cooking, which is scary. He won’t be able to do that much longer as he gets bigger.

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