Something is hiding under our bed. It hunts ankles, it squawks when it wants something, it speaks in twitter, and when you are not looking, it will drape its heavy solid self half over you and fall asleep.
It is Albert.
(Or 'Al-behr' if you say it in French which half of us do.)
Albert is a four year old quirky cat-soul who we adopted at the beginning of the month. Romain and I have wanted a furry thing for so long. We both grew up with beloved cats who were parts of our families into healthy old age. But it's hard to jump right back into that saddle once they are gone, especially for me who lost my furry soulmate Molly in only the recent past. And between often traveling and have an entire wall of (thank you Europe) screen-less floor-to-ceiling windows on the 6th floor, we hesitated for a quite a while.
So, when the "I-want-a-cat"-ing frequency continued to increase, and the shelters were having an open doors weekend, we decided to venture out.
Then came Albert.
To be honest, it's not completely easy to have another adult being (even if it is a cat) suddenly take up permanent residence with you when you really don't even know each other. And it's taken us all at least this much time to settle in a bit together and start to understand each other. Neither R. nor I expected that struggle. But we knew in our logical minds that this could only be normal and that time would fit the three of us together.
no peace. not even when taking a bath. poor thing.
So, here's what we've learned but our funny Albert:
1. HE-LOVES-TISSUES. His favorite thing. Seriously. He chases them. Hunts them. Fetches them. And even springboards up in the air to catch them (I have to get a video of that.) Our apartment is now littered with tissue shreds.
2. Pat my head all day please. But rubbing of the belly is granted acceptance on a minute by minute basis.
3. He holds the end of his tail in a very tight curve almost all the time. You can see this a bit in the third photo. But it's pretty funny to see a static curve like that on a wagging tail.
4. This was something the American had to learn. When he first came home, I kept telling Romain, "There's something in his ear. He has this strange dark spot in his ear. It can't be dirty can it?" until the Frenchman got close enough to see and to laugh at me, "That's his tattoo!" You see, animals in France are required to have either a tattoo or a chip with a number all their own. I love the idea. Hate the huge clumsy dark markings in his ear. Why does it have to be in the ear? And so poorly done? Anyway, now I have the impression that our cat had a past life in the Navy. See what I mean in his left ear above?
5. He brings me a tissue in the morning. To throw for him.
6. He loves the hallway of our floor and spends a good chunk of the day squawking at the door to go out there.
7. He does science experiments! "I love this hair elastic! I love chewing it and batting it around! Oh, I shoudl put it into my food dish and see what happens. Interesting, interesting. Oh! What about in the water dish? It floats! A new subject is needed. What else do I love? Tissues! Let's try the tissue in the water dish! Ohhhhh...very interesting. But I better take the tissue back to the couch for Abby to throw." (Water trail.)
8. He is a sweet heart.