One day (May 11 to be precise, a Monday) Leslie heard a high-pitched sound of distress coming from some bushes near our house. The source was a little black furry thing. The feline-human bonding process began almost instantaneously.
We performed a modicum of due diligence to determine if the kitty belonged to anyone. We asked a few neighbors, none of whom claimed him. We put up a single small "Found Kitten" sign for a few days. No bereaved little girl appeared asking for the return of her cat.
A week later we took Pyewacket to the vet. The contract he agreed to was simple: we'll take care of him for life. In exchange all he needs to do is be cute and affectionate. Oh, and he never gets to go outside again, ever. He gets extra bonus points if he remembers to use the cat box.
Leslie named him Pyewacket after the Siamese cat in the movie Bell, Book and Candle. You can watch some scenes of Pyewacket in this video (just remember that Frank Sinatra has nothing to do with it.) That was one seriously well-trained movie animal.
The name Pyewacket was originally one of several imps (along with Elemanzer, Peck in the Crown, Grizzel and Greedigut) described by "witchfinder general" Matthew Hopkins in 1644. I'm sure he knew where-of he spoke.
Our houseguest Isabel gave Pyewacket his doctoral honors. The name has stuck in that form. Dr. P. is not to be confused with Mr. P. the peacock who lived in our tree the first year we were in Pasadena, shown here confronting our mackerel tabby Big Boy.
Dr. P. is getting along as well as might be expected with Chowderhead, our big red dog. Our two older cats, however, are not so accepting. The male, Crackle Pop, is curious but standoffish. The female, Spackle Puss, thinks that this new rival is evil in the flesh. Spackle is seriously unhappy about the extra pussy cat on the premises.
I tried hard to catch some of Dr. Pyewacket's cuteness on video. His dark color makes him hard to photograph. The good pictures happen when you're quick and well-lit. I edited the best scenes into a short video. Then I added a frightfully over-composed soundtrack.
Watch as Pyewacket is tormented by his humans! Marvel as he drags a mouse by its tail! Thrill as he meets the dog! Laugh as he chases the evil laser dot! Snicker as he swipes at me for not wanting him to chew on my computer cables! Guffaw as he attacks the camera! Marvel again as he sings along with the music while he rides on my shoulder.
Someday, when Pyewacket is older, heavier and not nearly so active we'll show him this video and say "You were so cute. What happened?" Meanwhile, here are some pictures of our other pets. First the brother sister team of Spackle Puss on the left and Crackle Pop on the right, shown dozing in their natural habitat.
Then, Chowderhead waiting to be given a treat and Crackle resting his head on my thigh as I sit at my computer.
Finally, just because, here are some pictures of other animals, real and imagined, photographed in the more-or-less wild.
Here's a Mixed Meters post with video about dinosaur puppets at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (where Leslie works on worms). Another post which delves into the history of the dueling-dino image after discussing the Rite of Spring.
There are plenty of other Mixed Meters posts about cats and/or dogs. Check them out. You know you want to.