Cats Working Welcomes “The New Kid”

November 17, 2019

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


Hello, My Name is Max

August 18, 2011

By Max

Yes, the rumors on Twitter are true. Cats Working has a new member. I was sprung, like Cole and Adele (and the late Yul) from the Richmond Animal League.

RAL neutered me at 8 weeks and enrolled me in vocational training at 10 weeks (I’m 18 weeks old now), which is how I can type. RAL don’t shelter no unemployable freeloaders. 

In the joint, they called me Venice, which was unfortunate because Karen’s long-ago ex-husband was named Dennis. But I had no problem starting my new life with a brand-new new collar and a brand-new new identity.

Karen thought I looked like Oscar Hammerstein (yeah, I know, what was she smoking?), but I kept ignoring her until she consulted a character-naming book and read about 2,000 cat names on the Web and finally pulled Max out of her butt.

At LAST! She guessed my REAL name!!

So, since all Karen’s cats have been named for famous humans, my full name is Maxwell Perkins Wormald.

It’s taken me a few days to pull this post together because Karen wanted it illustrated. But this is how they were all coming out because I’m really fast.

That's me, after leaving a little present in Cole's big-cat box.

And then I had to learn how to use a PC. (I’m used to Mac.) I couldn’t wait to get right to work in Karen’s office first thing Monday morning, but my learning curve was interfering with Karen’s work.

I never knew watching someone type could be so much fun!

I literally sat there for HOURS, mesmerized.

When it was my turn to type, I noticed that Karen has an ergonomic keyboard. I really love it!

I quickly realized I type much faster when I sit on the other side of the keyboard.

In fact, since I arrived, I have spent most of my days hanging out in Karen’s office, and I have already learned how to keep this from happening whenever I jump off her desk.

I hadn't been there 10 minutes before all Karen's projects went flying.

Karen moved one of the cat beds in for me, but I found her recycle box just as comfy.

Trying to prove I'm not a golddigger. Hope it's working. I won't always fit in here.

I wasted no time in letting Karen know that even though I’m named after an editor, I can’t be trusted with manuscripts.

Best to dispel early any notions she has of making me her file clerk.

Speaking of trust, yesterday while Karen was trying to take a nap with Cole and Adele to get back in their good graces, I snuck upstairs to use Cole’s box instead of the tiny kitten box Karen gave me. I hate to be treated like a child. Unfortunately, the toilet paper was hanging beyond my reach, so I had to make do.

Glad she doesn't buy that cheapo one-ply stuff. I'd have to unroll twice as much.

My first night “home” (ah, I love how that sounds!) I slept in the room that Cole calls his “man cave,” and I think it left Cole feeling displaced and a little grudgy. But he has nothing to worry about. I moved out the next morning and I’ve had the run of the house ever since, including the coveted crow’s nest of the kitty perch.

Do you think it's true, what they say about boy cats with big tails?

I won’t say Adele and Cole have been mean to me, but they haven’t been exactly cordial. I’ve been using my considerable charm to steadily wear them down.

Who could resist this sweet, innocent face?

It’s working. Last night, Adele shared a game of laser pointer tag with me, and then sat me down for a pow-wow. I did my best to show respect for her vast wisdom. Now she lets me touch her nose.

Why does she keep calling me "Grasshopper?"

Before the evening was over, we were all hanging out together and nobody was hissing, so I think this is all going to work out.

Day 4. Our first group photo. I arranged that lamp shade.

Since I’m named after Hemingway and Fitzgerald’s editor, I know Karen set the bar for my blog posts very high. Cole says that until I get up to speed on current events and start having intelligent opinions — which I suspect he thinks will never happen — I’ll be handling the cat beat.

Adele keeps repeating, like a broken record, “Write what you know.”

So I just thought I’d pop in and introduce myself.

PS: Kittens play hard, but we also rest hard. Here’s me discovering that the bed in Karen’s office isn’t half bad!

Not my most flattering pose, but at least I'm not drooling

 


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