For this week’s interview, I again ventured out of my species comfort zone into the meow-y, mouse-y world of the Cat. Ackshully, ever since I broadened my interview-ee horizons a while back, I’m getting much better with cats. Maya Stewart is just 4 months old, slender and graceful, still real liddle, short black an white fur, an gold-green eyes.
Maya was right at the door with her Mom. “Hello, Mr. Bonzo,” she said, doing that rubby cat thing against me an my assistant’s legs, frenly as anything. “I’m Maya. This is my Mom, Barbara. My big sister Pavi’ll be around pretty soon.”
“It’s a pleasure, Miss Maya,” I told her, getting out my notebook while she settled into her Mom’s lap. “So, tell me about yourself.”
“OK, well, me an a buncha other kittens had recently arrived at the Humane Society. See, the thing about kittens, Mr. Bonzo, is, lotsa times we’re ACKsidents, an our humans can’t keep us, no matter how adorable we are. It’s like this human, with a funny name I can’t remember, wrote: ‘The trouble with a kitten is THAT, eVENually it becomes a CAT.’
“Anyway, Mom’s a Humane Society volunteer an, soon as she saw me, she said, ‘I MUST HAVE that kitten!’ An as soon as I saw her, I said, ‘My MOOW MARRGHH meoow mmmaaamow!’”
“’Scuse me?” I interrupted.
“Oops, sorry! I said, ‘I MUST HAVE that Mom!’ But the Human In Charge said I was already picked to go to this pet adoption uh-vent at Dyer Au-duh-MO-duv. There was this big showroom which usually has lotsa cars in it but was showin’ us cats an dogs off that day. About a zillion people were oooo-ing an ahhhh-ing over us cuz we were all spiffed up an irresistible. Most of ’em got ’dopted. But Mom stuck to me like glue so, after my check-up an the No-Kittens proSEEDure, I got to come home with her! Wasn’t that purr-fect?”
“Totally Cool Catnip!” I replied, hoping that wasn’t too much of a stretch. Just then, this sleek black cat came strolling in, plopped down on a little cushion and began casually licking her little white paws. “Hi, everybody. I’m Pavi, Maya’s big sister.”
“Delighted!” I said. “You both have really cool names. How’d you get ’em?”
Pavi started to answer, but Maya piped up, “Oooo, lemme tell. See, our Mom is a ballet dancer and teacher, so she named us for famous Russian ballerinas: me for Maya Plisetskaya, an Pavi for Anna Pavlova. PLUS me an Pavi are real graceful. Pavi even has white ballet slipper paws. AN my o-RI-ginal name was WILma, for Garfield’s Sake, which we all thought was totally dopey for me.”
“How’d things go when you first got here?” I asked.
This time, Pavi jumped in. “At first, Maya hadda stay in the guest bedroom with her food an potty box, until we (mostly me) got used to havin’ another cat around. She was still on kitten food, an if she could, she’d gobble up my adult cat food in two seconds and then have tummy troubles. PLUS, Maya is a kitten who only knows one speed: full-meowin’-out! I mean, it was like a NASCAR track around here. She’d rush at stuff full speed, knock over potted plants, fly up an down the stairs at 100 miles an hour. Mom still calls her a Weapon of Mass Destruction.”
Maya crossed her little paws delicately. “I just happen to have a lot of energy to use up an, when my Inner Lioness comes out, I HAFTA let her run Wild an Free! Anyway, I’m still a kitten. That’s What We Do!”
Pavi rolled her golden eyes an winked at me. “Well at least you should teach your Inner Lioness about the traffic patterns around here.” She turned to me. “One time, Mom noticed her makeup brushes had begun to disappear. Then one day she caught Maya red-pawed, carefully placing them all in a row on the rug.”
“But,” said Maya, “that was just cuz I saw Mom using liddle brushes to paint pick-sures of cats an dogs sittin’ in flower gardens an thought I could do it, too, but I didn’t have any brushes. Or paper. Or paint. Or thumbs. So it didn’t work out anyway.
“Hey, Mr. Bonzo,” she continued, “you should see our nice little screened-in back porch. We can climb way up or just lounge around. When we wanna go out there, we have a special liddle door from the laundry room. It’s safe, too, cuz we can see the garden but we can’t ackshully GO out there, so we can’t get grabbed by scary animals that want to have us for lunch.”
“Sweeet!” I said. “By the way, how did you ladies make it through that hurry-cane?”
“We freaked out,” said Maya.
“Totally!!” said Pavi.
“We knew it was comin’ even before Mom did. I bet that happened to you, too, Mr. Bonzo. Animals have way better in-stinks than humans.”
I nodded. Everybody knows that.
“We kept running around, meowin,’” said Maya. “When the hurry-cane came that night, we hid under stuff and listened to it making scary noises. Then we heard some REAL BIG KA-BOOMS! Scared the catnip out of us. Every single hair stood straight up. We looked like fluffy balloons.”
“What happened,” said Pavi, “was a big ol’ tree fell on Mom’s car and smushed it. An another big limb smashed right into the front window, but didn’t go through ’cuz Mom had just got special window covering called anti-terrorist film, thank Garfield.”
“Woof! That was some experience. I’m glad you’re okey-dokey now. Got any favorite toys?”
“We love our feathers-on-bouncy-sticks,” said Maya. “I’m also very fond of Mom’s socks. She says I’m part retriever cuz I sneakily retrieve ’em from the laundry hamper an bop ’em around. An, no matter what Pavi says, we BOTH enjoy Zooming Up an Down the Stairs. It’s good exercise.”
Heading home, I was realizin’ that, during the whole innerview, I wasn’t thinkin’ about Maya an Pavi bein’ cats. We were just three animals havin’ a fun time together. Woof! That is a big step for me. Big.
Till next time,