Our Cats: Dixie

Dixie in the Sweet Spot

This will be the first of at least two entries on our cats.  We are cat people, at least for the time being.  The history of this development goes back to 2002 when our daughter demanded (!) a pet, and not some lame-ass terrarium pet, but a fully-vertibrate, pelt-wearing animal pet larger than five pounds.  I managed to move the discussion from the problematic dog category to other ones.  When we were settled on a rabbit (to be living free-range inside the house), I decided to go with the Nuclear Option: a cat.  Hence we came to be owned by Dixie.

Other cat people will understand that last sentence completely.  Dixie is your typical American shorthair tabby calico.  She is mainly gray with some brown, and has coloration on her face that makes her look like she wears one eye with eyeliner.  She is the product of a shelter in Kentucky, coming to us quite small and active.  At this point almost nine years later, she is showing signs of being elderly as her six boobs are sagging visibly.  I am relieved she can’t read English.

Now, the irony of pet ownership is that you never really know to whom the pet will bond with.  Yeah, you see this one coming, right?  Anyway, like all major pets, Dixie (named by our youngest daughter for a street on Fort Knox) was ostensibly our daughter’s, though somehow my wife and I fed, cleaned, and scooped poop only between the two of us.  One of each of our daughters has claimed Dix as “hers” over the years.  The truth is, Dixie has decided that I belong to her.

As other cat people know, there are advantages to being owned by cats.  You can put out a big pile of food and leave the toilet lid up and you have automatic pet care during vacations.  No walking is required, and for true housecats, the main sacrifice is small, hairy pieces of your living space.  That and the constant disdain with which only a cat can treat their humans.  Dix is a master of this.  Completely unresponsive to calling, begging, or other verbal cues, she merely rotates her ears around while presenting you with her back to let you know she registered the fact that you uttered her name, all the while staring down a fly buzzing in a ceiling corner.  This is the cat equivalent of the middle finger: F*#!k off you, I’m busy.

In her advancing cat years (7:1 ratio like dogs, making her 63ish), Dixie has become intensely warmth-focused.  This is, in large part, the reason for her decision to make me her human.  I am warm, generally, and when I am comfortable I usually tend to be completely immobile.  Thus, I am her ultimate warming pad.  I cannot estimate the number of total hours of television programming I’ve missed because Dixie was perched on my chest making biscuits (the odd tenderizing motions cats do with their wee little paws) on my moobs (English: Man bOOBS) prior to actually laying down there in a hairy purring catloaf.  Each night I will inevitably wind up with a furry tumor pressed against my snoring (loud purring to her) bed-turd self.

While this is always endearing, I’d note at this point that Dix has a hair issue.  Most pelted animals shed during summer months.  Dixie’s Shed Gene has her constantly in summer mode.  If you’ve read a comic book in your life, you know the funny, wavy lines artists like to use to indicate a smell or sound emitting from the comic character.  If Dixie were a comic strip cat, she would have hair wave lines, emanating from all surfaces of her furriness, leaving a white, nose-tickling cloud in her wake much like Pig Pen from ‘Peanuts’ emanates a cloud of dusty dirt wherever he goes.

I’d also mention that Dixie tends to have binge/purge bulimia, leaving moist and chunky landmines on the floor as rewards for our attentiveness.  She is also the dominant cat of the house, regularly bitch-slapping the shit out of our other cat, Smudge, for reasons along the lines of “its Tuesday.”  My sister-in-law Jackie nicknamed her Yelly-Head because she will verbalize loudly in the morning when she decides she needs someone to come downstairs and get coffee and sit still so she can warm up.  Most amazing to me: when I put my boots on each morning, she somehow knows the sound of cotton slipping against nylon and suede, and comes running to catch at the long ends of my combat bootlaces as I tighten and tie them.  Immediately afterward, she flops onto her back in her best cheesecake pose, writhing in kitty-esque ‘S-es’ hoping you will warble “pretty girl” in falsetto and scritch her tummy.  This is our morning ritual.

I only hope she lives another nine years.


2 Responses to “Our Cats: Dixie”

  1. outkast86 Says:

    Dogs are better!

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