Tony came home with a cat in the fall of 2004. I was still in college and Tony, who was still my boyfriend then, was working at his first job. A coworker of his was giving away free kittens, and Tony decided he just needed to have a cat, sight unseen. Long hair or short hair, the coworker asked. Tony went with long. To this day, my vacuum and I curse that decision.
The kitten rode on Tony's lap on the way home that night. I saw him and, without really giving it much thought, said we should name him Victor. He looks like a Victor. Tony hated it. But Mike and Pete, our roommates, seconded the name, and Tony got out-voted on his own cat's name.
That night, Tony put Victor in the upstairs hallway, shut the bedroom doors, and blocked off the steps, so the kitten couldn't get into any trouble while we were sleeping. But the poor thing was scared and kept crying when it was time to go to bed, so Tony slept the whole night on the floor in the hall with Victor. The two of them have been best buds ever since.
Now, it's been eight years, and Victor and I get along, but we've never developed a bond anywhere close to what he and Tony have. Seriously, how can I possibly compete with the guy who slept on the floor in the hallway? But I do try to win Victor over in little ways. Like planting cat grass.
Cats like to have green in their diet, but it's hard for an indoor cat like Victor to get it. So I plant cat grass, which is actually oat seed, for him in a little pot.
I leave the little pot on the back patio. When I water my garden, I let Victor come out with me, and he makes a beeline to the cat grass. I keep it outside because he somehow makes a gigantic mess with it. And he also manages to make that pretty little pot look like a complete wreck:
I have two pots growing at a time. I put the first one on the ground, fully grown, for him to eat. That's when I plant seeds in the second pot on the picnic table, where Victor can't get it. By the time the second pot sprouts, the first post is totally destroyed. And it goes on and on.
From the archives: