Randall (a.k.a. Stinkybutt)
Ran is my original baby. I used to volunteer at a shelter in central Texas, and right as they were closing one afternoon, a woman came in with a 4 month old Shnauzer-ish mutt. I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving the baby in a big concrete cage in a cavernous room full of barking adult dogs, so I took him home “just for the weekend.” Five years later, he’s still here.
Here he is at South Padre Island. He loves to run off into the dunes and dig his head into the sand, but he won’t go near the water. He practically goes into convulsions at the slightest hint of thunder or fireworks. His favorite toy is a little stuffed Cookie Monster that he stole from my then-infant nephew, and if I don’t play fetch with him when he begs, he’ll pathetically start flipping the toy around on his own and play fetch by himself (hence making me feel like a total bitch).
Rufus (a.k.a. Boogers)
Seasoned cross-country traveler who’s made the round trip drive from NY to TX twice. He just sits himself down at the back of my car and stares out the window most of the way.
When I lived in NY, I volunteered with a shelter. One of their programs was maintaining the cat adoption room at Petsmart, and that’s mostly where I worked. A woman came by one day to surrender her Himalayan Bluepoint, but that’s a no-no since you can’t just leave your animals at Petsmart. I offered to foster him until we could find him a home. That was October ’08, and he’s still here.
Never in my life did I think I’d ever get a long-haired cat, but Boogie had serious booger issues (and still does), and as someone with major sinus issues herself, I totally related and ended up falling in love with him and keeping him. He’s a very proper cat around people; I think he was British in a former life.
He’s named after Rufus Wainwright because when I asked him if I should check whether Rufus had any upcoming shows I could go see, he started purring like crazy, which prompted me to check. I ended up with a front row seat at Carnegie Hall! (Yes, I talk to my pets. A lot.)
My newest boy, though I’ve known him for 2 years, because that was how long he languished at the shelter before getting adopted. He used to have split personalities, being sweet one minute, then trying to kill you the next, but I worked with him a lot and he quickly became one of my favorite shelter cats. When I moved back to Texas from New York, I simply couldn’t leave him behind, especially since he’d been spiraling into a depression during his last few months there.
He now spends his days purring on my chest, or sitting in front of my computer screen when I’m trying to get work done. Total lap cat, and not just with me. He will steal your corn on the cob in a heartbeat if you’re not looking, and will also try to eat your watermelon. But he’s a good guy who’s had a tough life. He just looks crazy in that first picture because I caught him mid-yawn.