Friday, October 22, 2004


Remember when I asked if I was cruel?

Meet Smudge -- or, more formally, SmudgyCheeks. Smudge joins us today from the St. Paul animal shelter. I have no idea how we're going to keep Smudge out of Ram's food, or Ram out of Smudge's. Free Image Hosting at But Emma has worked hard at her reading vocabulary, and we felt a big reward was required. They don't get any bigger than this.

Smudge is about seven weeks old. He's the first confirmed male in the house outside of me (if anybody knows how to determine the gender of an ornamental goldfish, please let me know). I hope this means I'll have somebody to drink beer and watch football with.

He'll be spending the night in Emma's room; we've set up all of the kitty essentials in there for him, and perhaps they'll bond better this way. It also gives Ram and Izzy a chance to get used to the idea of another cat in the house without having to confront the reality of it face to face.

We're optimistic that our girls won't make a big thing out of Smudge's presence here. We've got three things working in our favor. First, they're old and he's very young; they really shouldn't see him as a threat at this age and size. Second, he's a male. In the past, back when we lived in the country, we had cats visit us from time to time. Strays, neighborhood cats, whatever. Ram and Izzy were always more accepting of the male visitors than the females. And third, he'll be Emma's cat; Ram will still have me, and Izzy will still have Kristi. And Ram and Izzy will have to put up with far less of Emma's attention, which can only make them happy, I think.