From One Cat to Another…

We’ve had our youngest cat, Luigi, for just over a year now. September 2006 was a rough time for M. and I. The cat we’d had since shortly after we got together, our Oliver, passed away due to undetermined causes. He was only 8 years old and we had expected him to be a part of our lives much longer. M. said he felt like he’d lost one of his best friends.

After Oliver’s passing we debated whether or not to get another cat. We had our 7 year old, Clyde. Would he be lonely when we were at work? Would he totally hate a new little brother? I started looking at the humane society’s website and eventually saw our newest family member – a little black kitten named Luigi.

Normally, I would not keep others’ names for my cats. Oliver came with the name Teak when we adopted him. Clyde had no name, he was born under my sister-in-law’s porch, but he did come with a bunch of fleas! But Luigi seemed perfect. The group of kittens he came to the humane society with were all named after the video game series The Super Mario Brothers. M. and I both are avid video game players, so it seemed fitting this was our baby and he had a video game name. The name stuck and our Luigi he is.

I’ve been thinking, if Clyde had a conversation with Luigi when Luigi first came to our home, what would it have sounded like? Possibly like this:

Cly (in a hissy voice): I don’t like you, but I’m going to tell you some stuff about living here anyway.

Lu just stares, raptly attentive.
Cly: I’m the big brother now, and I make all the rules in this house. You don’t have to worry about listening to the people here, I’m the one you need to worry about. Here’s some things you need to know:

  1. I will not play with you. You may try to get me to play with you, but I will hiss and growl – this will be a true testament to my utter displeasure that you are trying to entice me into kitten play.
  1. You will not walk by me or even look at me. If you cross any boundaries with me you are going to get a hiss, a growl, and a prompt swat to the face.

  1. I own the prime real estate here – if you see a nice place to lay or sun yourself, assume that is my place and stay away from it
  2. While you may be young and energetic, I am the most beautiful boy these people have ever seen and I am the love of their lives – don’t even try to win their hearts. Those belong to me.
  3. These people sleep way too late. I used to wake them up by knocking things off nightstands and dresser, and batting at things on wall. I am giving that job to you now. I want you in the bedroom early in the morning. Use that loud whiny voice you have to get them up. You can jump on them too. Yes, that would be good, loud meowing and jumping.
  4. You may not eat any of my food, however I reserve the right to raid your food bowl any time I wish.

Lu doesn’t say a thing, just goes over and picks up a toy and begins playing. Clyde gives him a look of disgust and walks off to take a nap.


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