I have GREAT news!
I have finally broken Topher down, and he has agreed to put up my Christmas tree this weekend! It took me longer than I thought it would — I must be losing my touch.
Sadly, this will be our first Christmas without Baxter. We got Baxter when my unamed daughter was in the second grade. We rescued him from the Humane Society when they were at their old location. Topher and I went down there to get her a kitten for her birthday to help teach her responsibility. We walked around that old, dark facility forever, not seeing one that really “jumped out”.
We found a cuddly little kitten with sweet eyes just laying there, looking docile and calm, so we asked to spend some get-to-know-you time in the visiting room.
I’m not sure what happened once we got in there, but this cat suddenly thought it was a squirrel — on caffeine. It would somehow teleport to every corner of that tiny room simultaneously — one second she’s behind me, then I blink and she’s has Topher’s shoestring in her mouth, then I blink again and she’s underneath my chair, or in the corner, or jumping up to play with the doorknob. We were trying to calm her down long enough so we could pick her up, but for a cat named Edith Ann, she was traveling at light speed.
Topher tried. At one point he bent down to pick her up, and she scurried up his back and started clawing up the back of his head (I haven’t mentioned that this squirrel had eagle talons yet have I?)! “Get it off of me!” yelled as he spun in circles, trying to swat it off his skull.
I was in shock watching what was happening but returned to my senses and tried to pull it off of him. This tiny little cat looked at me with evil in her 8-week old eyes and hissed in my face and made this guttural Chewbacca noise. This cat was possessed!
It finally sprung from Topher’s back and landed on my leg — now mind you, I am standing up so devilcat had it’s talons deep into my thigh. I’m trying to kick my leg to get it to release her grip, but every time I try her claws just slide down my leg, filleting my skin. Finally, once I started getting light-headed from blood loss it jumped onto the table and returned to her docile, content, no-worries-in-the-world, adorable kitten stance.
Topher and I flew out the door leaving Satan’s cat all alone, stood in the hallway to catch our breaths, and Topher actually put his foot against the door to keep it shut — not sure what he thought might come through, but he wasn’t taking chances.
I can’t imagine what we looked like to other people there. Leaning against the door we were both breathing hard. Topher had trails of blood soaking through his shirt all over his back and scalp. My pant leg was shredded, and you could see the blood dripping down my leg, and my hair looked like I had just been in a typhoon.
The humane society lady then walked over and asked if we would be taking the cat.
Seriously, could she not see us? Not only no, but hell no!
As we were hobbling out the door for first aid, there we saw a big black and white kitten with the fluffiest fur you ever saw sticking it’s giant paw out of the cage to touch us. It was beautiful.
We tentatively stuck our hand through the cage to pet it and it nuzzeled right up to us. We cautiously took the new cat into the visiting room and there he just sat in our laps and purred sweetly. The only thing that made us nervous was the fact that he had these ridiculously ginormous paws. The humane society volunteer told us he was going to be a huge cat.
We had a winner!
My daughter was thrilled with him and we named him Baxter. The lady was right, he grew to be a very big cat. We purchased a cat book for the kid from the school book fair and discovered he was a Norwegian Forest Cat (they’re called Wedgies). They are show cats, and if he hadn’t been neutered, he could have been show-worthy.
What that also meant, since they originated from snowy forests, was his fur was so dense he was waterproof. Every year we would put up the Christmas tree and without fail that silly cat would shimmy up its boughs before we could string the lights. The Vet said to use a water bottle to squirt him. Makes sense.
Tree goes up. Cat goes up. Cat gets squirted. Water beads-up. Water rolls off his coat. Cat stares at me with that “Is that all you got?” look.
I have oogles of stories about that giant, fuzzy cat, but I’ll save those for another day.
Topher and Baxter bonded quickly, being the only boys in the house at the time. And years later, when Charlie was introduced, the three of them formed The Boys Club and were practically inseparable my husband, the giant black cat, and the tiny white dog. Topher goes to the couch. The other two follow. Topher goes to the bedroom. The other two follow.
He took it hard this summer when Baxter got sick and declined quickly. Their boys club took a major loss.
On a brighter note, I have some behind-the-scenes photos to share. Since I started Restoration Redoux, life has changed a little bit. One of the more challenging tasks is inventory. Furniture isn’t too easy to store, and it sometimes looks a little crazy around the house.
Here’s an older shot of my living room with some pieces ready to list. Notice how it looks the way I imagine the Teletubbies’ living room would.
Here’s another shot of my living room as we were taking a photo of a piece. Notice how we just shoved everything off to the side to make room. Classy. I know.
And one more of our garage. These are pieces currently junktastic. Waiting to get transformed to Funktastic! If I ever get brave enough, I’ll show you our basement store room. (It’s really, really junktastic…)
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