Friday, June 30, 2006

Happy Birthday Marley!

He's Marley, he's Marley,
He's awesome and he's gnarly!
He's black and white and cute;
He wears a furry birthday suit.
He's Marley!

One year ago, our lovely new foundling, an unwed mother-to-be that Son Three named Maisy, ducked into my closet and gave birth to these precious little wet pom-pons. She'd been so quiet about it, and when my friend Jade and I opened the door, she had just delivered the last and was turning around in circles, completely disoriented. One marmalade kitten was curled behind a flip-flop; others were scattered around the fallen hangers and shoeboxes; a tiny black one had landed in one of my gigantic fuzzy slippers: Marley.

Jade and I promptly searched the area and counted six. We retrieved the cat bed from the boys' closet, in which Maisy had expressed interest the previous day, and placed the incredibly small babies along her abdomen. We checked on her an hour later and were amazed to find a spotlessly clean mother with six fluffy and well-groomed kittens enjoying their first meal.

Robert and I found good homes for five of the offspring. All were gorgeous, and though Marley was not the prettiest by any definition--until recently, his disproportionately big ears made him look like a fruit bat (shhhh!)--we knew almost right away that he would be our Special Boy and then some. A cat who knows when you need a friend; a cat with piercing eyes that look straight into your soul. A cat who thinks nothing of clearing a desk of each and every project and piece of paperwork, leaving footprints on your laptop just to let you know he was there.

Marley has no problem stretching out in (and shedding all over) a basket of warm white towels fresh from the dryer or helping himself to the yogurt you just opened. If I set out a full bowl of chow for Maisy and him because I am going to be out for the day, he considers it an invitation to start pounding every bit of food right then and there; thus, we've recently started giving him Iams Weight Control in a lame human attempt to stave off the middle-age-spread that's already taken hold of his barely-out-of-kittenhood frame.

All our animal companions wind up getting theme songs. The melody of Marley's (lyrics above) is something like that of Rain, Rain, Go Away, in case you felt like singing it.

Cheers to Marley, warm and ever-purring contributor of yet more testosterone to our overflowing Boys' Club.

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