News and Tribune


December 19, 2008

STAWAR: A Christmas tale of Claus, paws


Of course, we have a selective memory when it comes to Hobbes. He was not perfect either, if the truth be told. As a kitten, he ran up our Christmas tree and batted at every ornaments he saw.

There was even one Christmas when the great Hobbes totally disgraced himself. Against our better judgment and expressed wishes, our oldest son brought another cat into our house. This new cat, Clawdy, was a female who had shared an essentially feral existence with a bunch of college boys. Clawdy immediately took possession of Hobbes’ favorite place — our bedroom. Hobbes was too much of a gentleman to evict a lady and besides Clawdy had become terribly ferocious, competing with college boys for pizza scraps and having to use a filthy litter box that was hardly ever changed — much like the boys’ apartment bathroom if I remember correctly.

Thus, having both gender and territoriality issues, Hobbes apparently wanted to make certain that everyone in the house knew that the shiny presents under the tree were his property, which caused Diane, an obsessive compulsive wrapper, to almost have a seizure.

Last winter, Claus was outside during an ice storm and managed to get severely injured. We don’t know exactly what happened, but he managed to drag himself up the porch steps and to lay next to the dog. Fortunately our son-in-law, Jeff, is an emergency veterinarian near Cincinnati and managed to patch him back together. We also are lucky that cats have great recuperative powers. Jeff says if you throw two pieces of cat in a room, they will grow together into a cat. Claus was in intensive care at my daughter and Jeff’s house for several months, while my granddaughters nursed him back to health. I am not sure Claus truly appreciated all the attention, such as wearing a baby bonnet or riding in the doll stroller. Except for the indignity of having several inches removed from the tip of his tail, he recovered remarkably given the extent of his injuries. And he can still catch a mouse, he would like you to know.

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