he is, i suppose, the son of dude, altho in a roundabout kind of way. before i moved to Boston, i lived in Brockton with toph and eric, sometimes rachel, and dude. life in brockton is a whole 'nother story; the important bit here is that eric's parents had feral cats living in their back yard that they refused to spay or let in the house. of course, the females dropped litters with frightening regularity. eric didn't really have the money to get the cats altered, and fighting with his parents about it was kind of ugly. but he did rescue the kittens when he could and find homes for them. one of the kittens was a little white fluffball with a tiny grey patch on his head, and david bowie eyes - one blue, one grey. eric fell for him, and named him dude. dude was an adorable little kitten and provided us (and himself) with endless hours of amusement.
unfortunately, dude managed to make a break for freedom one day, and we were never able to find him. i should say that all the cats in my life are indoors cats, altho when i lived down on the Cape, our cats came and went as they pleased. once i moved to the Big Bad City, it just seemed more sensible to keep the cats indoors, as the traffic is too much of a threat. i hope dude found a new, happy life; i'd like to think some other family took him in, or he turned into a neighborhood cat, silently stalking his beat, hunting those vicious squirrels, and getting handouts and love from all kinds of neighbors.
after we lost dude, two more litters appeared in eric's parents' backyard. i'd moved to boston by this point, and had my own room but not much more. so of course, the sensible thing to do was get another cat. 8) strat looks just like dude, down to the grey patch on his head, altho both his eyes are blue. there are those who claim his head is a bit on the small side; i say his tail is incredibly fluffy and throws off the proportions. in all fairness, while i do defend my white cat to outsiders, there is probably some truth to the inbreeding theory. strat ain't the brightest kitty on the block. he is adorable and affectionate, and very much a lap cat, which i appreciate. stanz never really got into the being held or sitting in laps thing. strat, on the other hand, will leap into anyone's lap with abandon. while sitting at my desk in just a t-shirt, this can cause a problem. since cats don't wear clothes, they seem to have no concept of bare skin, and the fact that claws on bare skin is Bad. i've tried to reason this out with white cat. it hasn't been too successful.
strat loves tomato sauce. actually, he loves food in general. when i put canned food down for the both of them, stanz will eventually walk away, daintily licking her face, having restrained herself from finishing the last bits. strat quite happily moves over to the next plate and gobbles down all the leftovers. thankfully, he has a high metabolism and works off all the calories. he's a pretty healthy little horse, altho we did have a scare earlier this year, when he got a bladder infection and was peeing blood. poor kitten was very unhappy, and i was scared for him, having lost one cat to diabetes, and another to FUS. we're very lucky to have Angell Memorial across town; they saw him in the middle of the night and prescribed antibiotics and pain pills, and white cat was back to feeling fine in a few days. what i didn't get was why they gave the same bubblegum pink antibiotics to him that they would give to people. i mean, couldn't they have at least made it taste like tuna? plus it was liquid, and there's nothing like the ignimony of a white cat spitting and drooling pink stuff. at least this time, tho, i could squirt the stuff down his throat and make sure he took the medication. last time, it was little yellow pills. do you know how many of those i found spit out under chairs and furniture, people? i was finding them for months. very tricky little cat. he found many devious ways to dispose of the hated yellow pills.
one of his favorite toys is the plastic pull tab-ish thingy from milk bottles. it's gotten to the point that i tuck them in my pockets if i'm out and get, say, a Fresh Samantha, so i can bring it home for him. it's not as if there's a dearth of plastic tab thingies in the house; vacuuming usually turns up a dozen or so in different corners of the house. but it's such a habit now that i often don't realize i've saved them until i go to empty the pockets before doing laundry.
strat usually perches on my recliner, if there isn't a lap handy. he's so funny, because he really sits in the chair - kinda sits on his butt, leans back against the pillow, and puts his paws up on the arm, curling them in Buddha-kitty style. it's the cutest thing. wierder to witness is the inside out cat. he's kinda skinny, and when he stretches out full length on the floor, he twists around so that his back legs are pointed one way, and his front legs are pointed the other way. sort of like a twizzler. of course, more than anything, his favorite thing is to sleep on laundry, preferrably clean, and the darker the better. did i mention he's a white longhair?
the shower is a love/hate thing for him. he seems fascinated by the shower, and will sit there for long periods of time with his head tucked under the shower curtain, between the curtain and the liner. but he rarely gets in to lick up the water, which makes no sense to me, as he'll drink water from any other source he can find, like the seashell bowl on the back of the toilet. more often, he'll shoot out of the bathroom as if he just saw the most frightening thing in the world. he also hates the vacuum cleaner, hissing at it violently; i always announce the vacuum before dragging it out of the closet. and the ironing board is a close second. actually, i'm not too keen on the ironing board either, as it squeaks violently when i open it up. one of these days, i'll actually oil the hinge.
my favorite thing about strat is how much he loves sitting with me. he'll curl himself up into this tiny little package and balance on my lap while i'm working on the computer. he watches TV with me. he curls up against my stomach when we all get into bed. he's a portable fuzzy heating blanket when i don't feel well, stretched out on the couch; i can drape him across my stomach or whatever part hurts and he's happy to stay there and look out for me. rather uncat-like behavior, but one of his charms.