Thursday, June 29, 2006

The 9th Voyage of SnoopBlab, with Lil' Pip

At least once a day, our two male cats -- Blabber and Pipsqueak -- wage friendly war on one another, scattering clumps of hair about the living room carpet. Blabber, an amiable Maine Coon, typically maintains a battle stance of lying on his back, feet in the air, his shaggy belly proferred to the world, and scooting in circles around on the floor à la Curly Howard, as if anticipating the direction from which Pippy (a lethally athletic Siamese mix, black as a ninja) will next nip at his hindquarters. Then comes the clinch... and inevitably, after some ouchy, plucky talon sounds and a short yelpy meow or two, they separate and glower at one another, defiant, jurassic, their tails thrashing around behind them. That's when either Donna or I, watching from the sidelines, observe that they look like they are being animated by Ray Harryhausen.

Blab and the Pipster disagree about who should be napping on the comfy chair. Fur will soon fly. Blabber's.

Today is Blabber's 9th birthday -- and also that of his standoffish "twin sister" Snooper (who put the "Sssssss!" in "Princess") -- and it's the day we celebrate Lil' Pip's birthday too, since we imagine he was born at roughly this time of year, being only a few months old at the time we took him in. (Squeaky is two today, and he's been running things almost since he joined us.) And in a coincidence unnoticed till now but sweet in the observance, today also happens to be the birthday of their spiritual animator, Ray Harryhausen -- his 86th. (And if Harryhausen's great composer Bernard Herrmann was still around, he'd be celebrating his 95th natal day today.) Many happy returns to them all, and I include Maestro Herrmann in that salutation, though he's not likely to return except in the form of a new Joel McNeely release. I don't know what awaits Mr. Harryhausen at dinnertime, but our cats get real tuna and a song.

Ah, the lovely ladies of the Lucas abode. Notice which one has the comfy chair.

I think I'll wait till Blabber takes his daily nap in the middle of the living room floor, then put on the 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD soundtrack and see what happens...

PS for those who have read THE BOOK OF RENFIELD: You may remember from the dedication page that I mentioned having secreted the names of my past and present pets throughout the novel's text as a gesture of my love and esteem. I honestly don't know if the word "pipsqueak" appears therein, but this lil' pet's given name is Elvis -- which does appear in the penultimate chapter -- but nowadays, we tend to call him that only when he's being reprimanded. Once, when Donna was really driven around the bend by something he did, she used the memorable exclamation, "Elvis PRESLEY!"

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