Introducing Our Kids

Everyone loves to show off pictures of their kids, and Wifey and I are no different. Of course, what we call our "kids" most people would just call pets. Whatever. This is as close as we are getting to being parents.

We'd like to think we are good parents. They get to eat when they are hungry, but not too much. The dog gets to go outside and go to the bathroom. The cats get their litterboxes cleaned (although they are messy little ones). You know, all the basic minimum stuff.

And in return they do such cute stuff they fill up our hard drives with .jpgs. Seems like a fair exchange to me. When you throw in "keep us warm when we sit on the couch and watch TV" and "stalk each other like lions on the savannah" into the mix, plus "wake us up in the middle of the night with the most amazing yowls you will ever hear" - wait, scratch that last one - it makes it so much better.

On to the pictures!

First up is our dog, Ruby. We got her from a breeder in Los Angeles. How exactly did that happen? It's a long story, but we found her on the internet. You'll get the full story at a later date.

Ruby is an Akita. Did you know there are different kinds of Akitas? The Japanese ones - the originals - are smaller, docile (used as police dogs in Japan), and have more delicate features. The American ones are bigger and bulkier. Ruby is an Akita mutt - Mom was Japanese and Dad was American. Most American breeders will tell you there is only one kind of Akita, but they would be wrong. Put a Japanese one and an American side by side and the differences are obvious. Here is a link to Ruby's parents - scroll down past all the puppy pictures. Mom is of Japanese stock and on the left; Dad is of American stock and on the right.

This picture just cracks me up every time I see it. It reminds me of a surveillance photo, like it was taken at night across a parking lot right after she bought crack from her dealer. Maybe she just sold nuclear secets to the Russians. Or something like that. Not that she would do that, buying crack. We taught her better than that. I think. And if she sold secrets to the Russians, she better have gotten a lot of money so she can share and I don't have to get up at 5:30 in the morning for work anymore. I won't tell, promise. Perhaps we should give her more exercise.

Next, the cats - all three of them are Bengals. And what are those? The short answer is they are the result of many years of breeding various domestic cats with wild Asian Leopard Cats. The result is basically the coolest cat ever. These guys think they are wild animals, sometimes act like wild animals, and will kick a domestic cat's ass. Well, actually they won't because they are pretty laid back. But they could - that's how cool they are.

First up is Lilo.

Lilo was actually a stray brought to our attention by a co-worker. She had been caught in a yard by a couple dogs and ended up spending some time at the Dove Lewis Animal Hospital before being allowed to go home. As a result whenever someone is collecting money for Dove Lewis we are suckers for it. After all, without them we probably wouldn't have this tiny ball of crazy. And yes, I just used crazy as a noun rather than an adjective. In our house, with this menagerie, crazy is a palpable thing you can see - and most definitely experience.

You might think she looks tiny - and she is - sitting here on top of a dry fountain in the early fall sun. Lilo is about six pounds, which is actually about twice as big as she was when we adopted her. We think she's so small because of all the time on the street, since all the other Bengals we know are monsters - like her adopted brother and sister.

The last two are twins - brother and sister we got from the same breeder - SnoPride in Roseburg, OR - Moochie (boy) and Sera (girl - short for Serendipity).

Here's Moochie.

Mooch is a ham - I have never seen a cat make love to a camera like he does. Trust me - if a human acted this way you'd think he did porn for a living.

He also has the largest claws I have ever seen on a domestic cat. Of course, at 19 pounds and lithe - not overweight at all - the use of the word domestic applied to him is debatable. As you can tell from the picture above he's about as tall as I am - and you think I'm kidding but I'm not. The other thing you need to know about Moochie is he apparently speaks about 75 dialects of cat. Seriously, he makes sounds you have never heard before - and he comes up with new ones all the time. Half the time his sisters look at him with a face that says "What the hell did you just say? That's not any language I know!" That in and of itself is damn funny.

Sera isn't as much of a camera lover, but she has her moments.

You know how some cats think of themselves as royalty and everyone else is just the help? If Sera was human she would literally be the Queen of Sheba (I honestly have no idea if that was a real person, but you get the point). Sera believes all pedestals were made for her queenliness and if she deems your lap worthy of her attentions you damn well better appreciate it.

She also is very, very, very proud of her claws and keeps them sharpened like razor blades. Literally. Those things slice through flesh so fast you don't know you have been cut until a few minutes later when you notice blood all over the place. And then it starts to hurt. Just look at that picture. Ten minutes before the Nikon snapped that tennis ball was brand new.

So why introduce the world to our kids? Well, besides the fact they are just as cute as can be and make us laugh with their crazy on a regular basis, it's setting up some future writing. Trust me, it'll be good. I'm thinking about looking into the souls of these fine animals to see what they can tell us about life. Literally, tell us - that's your hint. Not literally looking into their souls - that would be rude, and probably disgusting.

Does that not make any sense? No? Good, it will keep you interested. And you'll see in the coming weeks what I'm planning.

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