On Sunday, we went to pick out a new companion for Elsie. We’d attempted to introduce her to my parents’ cat, Chairman Miao, but he’s so conflicte adverse that the stress of our swatty little girl caused him to get sick. Since he’s an indoor/outdoor cat (not my choice), we were worried that he would decide that another house would be less stressful.
So, Elsie is an upstairs cat. Chairman is a downstairs cat. That’s all fine, but she still gets anxious and lonely when we’re gone.
We talked to the good folks at the Pet Placement Center and they directed us to the Naughty Cat Cafe, where a number of their cats are in residence. Everyone involved in this is looooovely. (Also, the Naughty Cat Cafe has a ton of comfie seating, jazz, good coffee, and 36 cats. It was pretty much heaven.)
When we explained Elsie’s personality, that she needs to be the dominate cat, but also really wants someone to play with and to give baths to, the folks at both places directed us to cats who were possibles.
All told, we probably looked at a dozen cats, ending at PPC.
Kim, who helped us at PPC, brought out our guy after she’d shown us some of the others first. I’d seen him on the website under the shelter name Donnie Darko and had fallen in love with his fangs, but hadn’t asked to see him because I’d told the shelter was that I didn’t care about what they looked like, age, or gender. All I cared about was personality. So, bring out anybody who sounds like they’d be a good fit.
He’s five years old, missing two toes on his back left foot. And he’s a total lapcat love.
He’s also so, so good at deescalating conflict with Elsie. This is the fastest cat integration I’ve ever experienced. We normally take weeks to introduce them, but on his first full day, we had him out and Elsie in the bathroom. The queen of the hurricanes made a break, and HLX-1 didn’t react. I mean, SHE was growly, but he just turned his head and settled down so he didn’t present a threat. Now they’re playing tag.
Mm… You’re wondering about the name.
Look. Fangs. Black cat. Right before Halloween. A vampire themed name seemed necessary. We auditioned a lot of names. Catfuratu and Count von Count made us laugh but weren’t right.
We ran through typewriter names. Our little void just hung out in a puddle of fangy darkness on the floor.
Rob suggested naming him after a black hole. Most of them are things like APM 08279+5255 which is a mouthful. Also, he’s not super-massive. (Side note: there are several with names like Mrk 421 ) Then this conversation happened.
Me: Cygnus 2?
Rob: Not really a Cygnus…
Rob: How would you call him? Aitch?
Me: I dunno. Helix?
Cat: (Lifts head, walks over and jumps in my lap.)
Rob: Really? Helix?
Cat: (Gets out of my lap and walks over to sit down in Rob’s.)
Me: Wow. I mean…his name might be HLX-1, pronounced Helix.
Cat: (transfers laps again, settles down and purrs.)
So. Meet HLX-1. The tiniest, fangiest black hole.