Wednesday, August 1, 2012
My pets are from some illustrious stock. Dakota Moon’s father was named Luxor, after the Egyptian city known for its “high social status and luxury, but also as a center for wisdom, art, religious and political supremacy,” according to a History of Luxor (Thebes). Luxor was a registered Triple Grand Champion with The International Cat Association. He was a big ragdoll, officially a blue bicolor, while Dakota takes after his mom in coloring as a seal bicolor, and is rather small for his breed. But his front paws are the same as his father’s—splayed outward. He also has a great temperament. Still he’s a bit of a prima donna. Lately, he’s been demanding different kinds of foods, he gets finicky really easily these days. So I have to rate the kinds of foods he likes, trying to please him. He soon tires of even his “favorites.” Next, he’ll demand only freshly cooked meats warmed to the perfect temperature. Such a spoiled one. Is that what his people had in mind for future generations when they chose the name Luxor for their cat? The epitome of luxury, he is surely a premium prince. This is a chicken and egg argument, but did we spoil him because of his father’s name or was he spoiled despite his name? Who knows? Maybe a little bit of each. Dakota means “friendly” in the Sioux language, by the way.
There’s an advertisement featuring an Irish setter with the caption, “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.” That always makes me think of Singer. She has doleful eyes set in an almost perfect face that just make you love her. And her father, speaking of elegant, is Dante’s Inferno, a champion who made it all the way to Westminster when Singer was two years old. Singer’s heritage, like Dakota’s, is top of the line, and her conformation, athleticism, and health show it.
Sometimes I imagine Luxor, who is now old (born in 1995 so he would be 17 years old) and Dante, who is at least middle aged, meeting each other. What would they be like together? Singer is so respectful of Dakota, and it came without any training or little prompting, so I have to wonder if she didn’t sense Dakota’s standing in the world somehow. Dakota, who was so equanimous even during Saylor’s trying puppy years, has now turned pretty competitive and jealous. Whenever I take Singer outside to throw some balls, Dakota meows to go out, too. If I pet Singer, Dakota wants equal time. Now I keep a special mouse toy on a string in the cupboard for Dakota up above his food. I play with him to help him feel special, while Singer watches like the princess she is. Saylor would never allow me to play with Dakota, she would always grab the toys. But Singer knows that Dakota feels threatened by her, so she watches with a ton of grace and good will.
But then again, I think these guys both have some inbred trailer trash in their lines somewhere. They both have proven they can be little outlaws and get in trouble with the likes of alley cats and ghetto dogs everywhere. Just tonight, Singer was licking up the floor with gusto for every drop of food she could scavenge. And Dakota loves to curl up in the darkest of corners, as if he were dreaming of being a hobo cat, owned by no one. Just when you think you get them figured out, they fool you. Just like a good novel that you can’t put down.
One more thing: Singer has a mesmerizing soul mate in the neighborhood. We were walking as usual and a man across the street starts waving at me (I usually am listening to my iPod, so I don’t pay attention.) I finally looked at him and his black and white standard poodle, then looked ahead to where he was pointing. I couldn’t figure it out, I saw nothing. I took out my earbuds and he hollered, “There’s a rabbit up ahead.” Then I noticed his dog, mesmerizing, just like Singer does. I laughed and pointed at Singer and told him they were both mesmerizing. He thought I was a dumb female and said they were pointing. Well, I knew that but…I like my description better. We both stood and waited while our dogs mesmerized until the rabbit decided to run away.