Sunday, October 22, 2006


I've received more than a few emails in the last two weeks asking about the black-and-white kitten that showed up at my door while I was down sick.

I was reminded of those emails a few minutes ago. My study is situated in the middle of a long hallway. At one end of the hallway are two bedrooms. At the other end is the den and another hallway, which runs perpendicular to the first.

For the last thirty minutes, I've been trying to write my post for the day, but I keep stopping to laugh at the tableau outside in the hall. It's like something out of a cartoon.

First Bob, my two-year-old cat, went flying down the hall on his way to the den. He was closely followed by Dinah in hot pursuit.

Next, Dinah came tumbling down the hall in the opposite direction, chased by Bob.

There was a moment of complete silence. Then both Bob and Dinah went racing down the hall toward the den. This time, Tribble, my almost-twenty-year-old cat, was chasing the two of them.

Dinah is, of course, the name I gave the kitten who showed up two weeks ago. The name is courtesy of Lewis Carroll.

I took Dinah to see Timm, my vet, last week. His judgment: She is between six and eight months old, is negative for the dread feline diseases like leukemia, and weighs a little more than six pounds. Contrast this with Tribble who weighs ten pounds, and Bob who weighs almost twenty pounds.

All has not been sunshine and roses in our little corner of the world. Bob has shown a surprising animosity to sharing my large bed with Dinah. And he gets downright hostile when she beats him to Tribble's food dish for the leftovers.

For her part, Dinah, who is no bigger than a minute, is amazingly aggressive in protecting what she perceives as her turf. I've stepped between an awful lot of fights in the last two weeks. If they were evenly matched, I'd probably let them work it out themselves, but a weight difference of fourteen pounds seems dangerous to me.

Through it all, Tribble has remained above the fray, refusing to be intimidated--or even annoyed--by the kitten. Dinah is VERY careful around Tribble, giving her a wide berth.

Since Lucy, my beloved border collie, died in March, 2005, I've anticipated getting another dog when I was ready. I DID NOT want a third cat. I may run an ad to find Dinah a home of her own. We'll have to see.

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