Many, many pictures of my cats

I recently brought my kittie, Battle Cat, into the vet to check on some drooling he's been doing.  As I understand it, cats are the classier pet and drooling isn't part of their regular behavior. Turns out he's got a couple of bum teeth that need cleaned, maybe yanked, and a surgery booked for next week. Some of my most miserable moments in life have been centered on trying to do post-surgical care on a cat so nobody is looking forward to that.

The vet was one that Battle Cat hadn't seen before and when she introduced herself, she was a little taken back by Battle Cat's name.  I mean, if you knew you were about to try to pry open a strange animal's jaws and poke around in their needle sharp teeth, wouldn't you rather it be named something more encouraging like 'Totally Relaxed' or 'Weak Guy'?

Battle Cat is actually just under 5 pounds of fierce chill.  Both our cats, litter mates (and nearly identical) are small for house cats and not fighters.  They are beta-males (thank you Christopher Moore).  They were rescues and so badly nourished when we acquired them as a foster family nearly thirteen years ago that they were unable to determine how old or even what sex they were.  Eventually it was decided that they were about a year old and male but were sized at about three months with the attendantly sized genitalia.  Poor boys. And there is a long gross story about worms I can revisit another time but probably won't because I actually have, unfortunately, many horrible stories about cats with worms, I don't really want to think about any of them again.

Also, if you are wondering how we started as a foster family and ended up being the forever home, it's because we are weak.

The point is, Battle Cat today is small, dorky and shy. Really, the only time he gets a little intense is when I'm a few minutes late with his daily treat time. Then where did his name come from?

When we received our tiny, sickly foster kittens years earlier, they were bestowed the names 'Button' and 'Tiny' by the lady who removed them from their location and put them into a vet's care.  It's always kind of bothered me that a woman who interacted with our cats for a whole twenty minutes gave them these most humiliating labels.  They already had so many disadvantages and deserved so much more.   Stronger names, such as Tiger or Cowboy or Dirk (which I've always thought was a stoically masculine sounding name). Something with spirit.  But, through the weirdness of fostering and then vet check ups, these poor cats were officially known as Button and Tiny for a tragic amount of time.  

Tiny Cat, the brother, is less happy (though more smug) than our Battle (Button) Cat.  Or he is happy, but only when curled up in a warm safe bed with one of his people who is reading or sleeping and generally not moving around anything more than their fingers, with which they are to pet him.  Yes, he's lazy.  He loves to spoon when I lay down for a nap (I have just embarrassed myself enough with that confession that I may have to quit the Internet).

Most of the time, Tiny is hiding somewhere and difficult to find, unless you open the treats bag or sit down to read a book.  Then he'll suddenly appear and stare intently at your hands until you relent and give him what he wants.  Pets or food.  I don't even think Tiny recognizes there is a whole body attached to his beloved hands.  He's really only interested in the one feature and what I can do for him.

Tiny as a kitten hadn't totally developed his run and hide schtick yet and instead of hiding when approached, he would cowered down and try to become one with the floor.  "That's funny," says my husband, "He's totally like Cringer from He-Man." Because The Man was a huge fan of He-Man. Like all normal adults.

Cringer didn't stick.  It's just not fun to say and you feel sort of bad when you call the sick kitten, like you're making fun of him.  It's not really fun picking on someone who doesn't fight back.  Nope, Tiny Cat he stayed. But the nearly identical cat right beside him, the feisty, fun one who loved to play and cuddle and fought off all those disgusting parasitical worms eventually, definitely appeared to be Cringer's tough fighting alter ego, Battle Cat.

That one stuck.

The fun thing about sticking Tiny with his unfortunate name is that it's become ironic, as he's the cat who, while maintaining his small stature, still managed to make himself look like a fluffy shoe box with his short legs and body and barrel round tummy.  That kitty loves his treats and lazing around.


Battle Cat, on the other hand, has recently retired as a house cat and decided to start venturing outside.  He basically patrols the our and the neighbor's yards, making sure that all the sunny spots with good dirt to roll in are safe from intruders.  He's had confrontations with blue jays, rabbits and skunks and lived, so he's not totally helpless.

All of this naming trivia, of course, I didn't explain to our most recent vet.  Mainly because we had no time for chit chat when the exam begun and we were confronted with a mouth full of cat halitosis. Almost as terrible as worms.

As we await Battle Cat's surgery next week, I have dubbed him Battle Breath, as it seems more suited.


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