Sunday, July 10, 2005

She seems to recognize that my human fingers and nails are the equivalent of her feline toes and nails.
I know this as she goes to work on washing my finger using the same lick and bite technique she uses on her paws. I cooperate by turning my hand and spreading my fingers the way I see her doing.
This is Rainbow Shooting Star, third cat who lives with us.
She spends much of her time perched on top of the tall dresser, and will reach out and grab you with a claw if you walk by without scratching her head. In fact, this is how she ended up with us as a kitten, reaching out to grab my daughter after she had put her down to look at another kitten. Despite outweighing the other two cats, she is lowest on the totem pole, and is the only cat that still fears Joey the dog. She greets you when she enters the room, with a decidedly satisfying thump as she jumps down to the floor, and then a loud "hey I'm here" meow. She waited patiently in the bath this morning while I showered, then pushed her way into the cracked shower door after I grabbed a towel (do you dry off in or out of the shower?) and rubbed herself on my wet legs, licking drops from the shower door and off my legs until I shivered with the tickling of her whiskers and stepped out. She is the middle girl, which made Rainbow princess to Lydia's queen and Acorn's jester in my daughter's 7 year old order of all things royal. Rainbow Shooting Star has three names because when she joined us her mistresses' favorite doll was a Native American woman with three names. Rainbow for her tabby stripes rising up like ribs from her golden sheened potbelly tummy, and shooting star because she has the less common tabby pattern of dark star shapes at the top of the stripes along each side of her spine, which is also marked by a dark stripe. White chest and paws, green eyes, and a pink triangle of a nose outlined in black, as if someone took a sharpie and then filled it in with crayon. She is polydactyl, a word requiring me to look up spelling, the extra toe trait is thought to have descended from cats brought over to Boston by the Puritans. Supposedly a favorite as witches familiars and Norwegian ship's cats, known as good mousers. If we pet her much, she drools with pleasure. Exacerbated by the time she rolled off the garage roof in the middle of a midnight fight with Acorn, and lost one of her incisors, which with the ragged ear scarred by a raccoon fight leaves her looking a little pirate-like for some reason. One time she carried a live starling through the catdoor at 6AM and let it loose in the bedroom, squawking and flying all over the room shitting as she pursued it until we caught it in a towel and set it loose outside again.

Although I'm no starling lover, I decidedly prefer waking to having my fingernails groomed.
(Note: I've updated the previous two catbird posts to include pictures of Lydia (June archive) and Acorn (May archives) if anyone wants to see. I finally read that little thing that said blogger will let me upload photos off my PC now. whoo hoo!)

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