The Thanksgiving Cats


It’s ironic that Norman, an inveterate dog lover, acquired both our cats on or around Thanksgiving.
First came Toulouse (our calico), found in the parking garage of Four Points Sheraton, where Norman works. Waiting for his car, one of the valets casually mentioned a kitten was trapped in the garage; mewing for several days.
Norman was furious and bawled out the valets right there. “You left a cat in the garage?! There’s no food or water source–it’ll starve to death. And it’s freezing out!”
Norman spent the next hour combing the garage, finally tricking the kitten by rubbing his nails over some wicker furniture the hotel was getting rid of.
He took home a squalling little bundle of cat, so filthy he originally thought she was dark gray. It turned out that was merely dirty and a bath revealed her pretty calico coat. We decided to name her Toulouse, for the street the garage is located on. Actually it’s Toulouse and Bourbon Street but none of God’s creatures deserve to be named for that cesspit.
We thought Toulouse was dirty from exhaust fumes in the garage, but it became apparent we had a cat with a fetish–dirt. Toulouse simply loves dirt, rolling around in it and then howling when I give her a well-deserved dry bath.
Two years went by and another cat came screaming to our door on Thanksgiving Eve, while I was at work. In shot our orange refugee, nee Shady but soon renamed Spaz due to his clumsy nature.
I joked to Norman that it was his fate to be adopted by cats on Thanksgiving but this was no laughing matter to Toulouse. SHE was the Thanksgiving cat, our adopted darling and quite determined to remain an only child.
Toulouse, however, hadn’t banked on the will of Spaz. Seeing the pampered life a housecat led, he had no intention of returning to his street life. He made himself right at home and eventually Toulouse had no choice but (grudgingly) accepting Spaz. They still aren’t the best of friends, but they do a protracted sniffing of each other when they come home. Sometimes we see Spaz staring at Toulouse as she takes her dirt bath like he’s thinking, “Would ya stop that?! We’re cats; we don’t roll in no dirt. You’re embarrassing me on the whole block!” (For some reason I envision Spaz with a thick, Brooklyn accent.)
It’s been two years since Spaz, but I’m keeping my eyes peeled this Thanksgiving afternoon to see if any new cats join us. Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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