Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Meet Loki

Over the year since we got Persephone, we've taken to calling her "Little." Friday night we brought home our second little, Loki. She's an eight-month old barn kitten who was rescued not long ago. And she's so adorable, to wit:


We opened the door of the pet carrier after a fairly quiet ride. She wandered out, saw Persephone and bolted for the basement where she proceeded to explore everything she could get her paws and nose on/into. She was leary of the giants, but after a time she warmed right up this "petting" business and started purring loudly. She's smaller than Percy, so we've taken to calling her "Tiny." She has bigger paws and longer limbs and tail so she's just a mess of black fur and appendages. She has a tiny fluff of white at the end of her tail and a little triangle on her chest and the rest is black as night. She's hard to find in the shadows, which is unfortunately where she's had to spend a chunk of her time because of this:


Persephone has not, shall we say, warmed to her. Her first response was of the hissing variety, only the second time she's ever hissed at any creature (the other being Chewbacca, the in-laws large chocolate lab). We didn't think they'd be all Milo & Otis in minutes or anything, but Persphone has taken to hunting the poor thing whenever she runs out of things to do. She's still being affectionate with us, except that now she knows she's not supposed to bat at Loki and scare her, so if she's in the hunting mood, she tends to run at the sight of our approach and stay well out of water-spray range. I was really upset about this cruel behavior, but I frankly admit the animal world scares the ever-loving crap out of me with its lack of moral conscience. I'm not so much with the watching crocodiles eat baby gazelles on Animal Planet. K has a better understanding of this diva-cat syndrome, and so does the rescuer from whom we got both of the cats, so we called her and have been following her advice, hoping against hope that they'll settle in to some routine where Pooper doesn't feel the need to smite her a few times a day.

All this puts into perspective the naming process. We were originally looking for a male cat to name "Loki" since he's a male god in the Norse pantheon. There were no males at the time, so we figured since she was recently spayed, it wasn't like it mattered, and hello, it's the 21st century, I'll play with myths if I like. She's living up the name in that she's inquisitive and smart, but the true cruel strategist is Persephone. Loki should really have her name with its connotation of innocence from the story of her being kidnapped into being the Queen of the Dead. Still, the names are set, and some battle lines have been drawn in our very own Clash of the Titans. They even have some fight songs - Persphone alternately hisses and meows loudly and Loki lets out this throaty and threatening roar (though she never attacks first) which sounds like an un-mufflered car ramping up (as Persephone gets closer) into a power drill whine. If it weren't so frightening to watch, the sounds they make would absolutely hysterical. The humor even shines through at moments, like when we tried to go to sleep on Saturday night only to hear the low rumble start under one corner of the bed and hissing on an opposite side. Ah, the peaceful life of the cat owner.

I really hope it works out to keep her. We've already fallen in love with her. We just don't want to wound her poor psyche for life over this, so we're keeping a close watch and letting the decision hang in the balance for a week or two. We never thought Percy would be so hardened to Diva Cat status in just a year, but she is. Let's hope she has some flexibility in her yet or we'll have to say goodbye to this tightly-packaged cuteness:

10 comments:

Mair said...

She is totally cute. I've suggested another cat, but Joshua thinks there's no difference between having 2 and 50. So, now you know that he will be thinking of you as "cat people" from now on. But, that won't change a thing. Anyway...I've heard that the best way to warm them up to each other is to let them explore each other's smells but not actually be around each other. Keep one in one room for awhile and let them meet each other through the gap under the door...don't share litter boxes at first, etc. Anyway, I'm sure it will work out just fine.

In other car news, I think Moses is losing weight! YAY!!!!

Megan said...

She is so completely adorable!! I love black cats (my own cat, Stella, is a little black ball of attitude). I hope Persephone learns to like her!

~Churro

Jackscolon said...

I'm not much of a cat person, but I am a big fan of naming animals after things like Norse mythology. So, good work on that.

K said...

Mair said:
I've heard that the best way to warm them up to each other is to let them explore each other's smells but not actually be around each other. Keep one in one room for awhile and let them meet each other through the gap under the door...don't share litter boxes at first, etc.

Funny, that's how *I* got to know *your* husband. I guess he seems like a cat-person to me. Some sort of...catman.

Plankiest said...

Yay! New kitty! She is so cute! And she matches your new template really well. That means you have to keep her, no matter what!

lvs said...

I wouldn't worry. It's pretty typical behavior when a new animal comes into the house - although it may take Percy more than one or two weeks to warm up to Loki. It might take quite a long time. But they always find a way to live with each other. At least, this is from a pet lifer's standpoint...

Cap'n Ganch said...

Unlike dogs, cats are very anti-social creatures and also highly territorial. So when a new one is thrown into an existing territory, with no means of escaping it, some new lines will be drawn. Usually with blood.

Sybil and Rocky didn't take to each other to well when I moved back home, and I tried to keep her isolated in one room, but it was too hard to do and so they just had to duke it out for a few days. True, there were some bloodcurdling warbles from all different areas of the house, and because Rocky was gargantuan compared to Sybs, I was probably too protective, but eventually they learned where the other liked to walk and began to avoid each other. Now they're starting to play with each other some. And this is after almost 3 months.

It probably won't help that Loki has tons of kitten energy and that Pers is probably tamed down significantly since you got her. It's like forcing a highschooler to watch her fifth grade brother every day for life.

So yeah, they'll get used to each other. Just keep some antiseptic handy.

Mair said...

K - perhaps Josh is a catman, not unlike Tobias (just more manly). Anyway, why haven't you responded to my email!?!?! You're almost as bad as your wife!!! hehe. (just kidding, E!)

Em said...

SO painfully cute!

Don Quixote said...

Loki is beautiful! Our first cat, Einstein, never EVER accepted our second cat, Fermi. In fact, he took about 4 years to forgive us for bringing Fermi into HIS home.