Next up: Rags.
Because Loki was such an aggressive cat, when Kullervo and I started trying to have a baby, we had to decide what we would do. Obviously, you can’t keep a cat around who hates children. And Loki did. He had been aggressive to children in our home before, and we were worried that he would do the same with our own kids. However, we were loathe to give him up because he was a part of our family.
So we decided that when we got pregnant, we would get another cat. We figured that bringing a new addition into the home would be a way for Loki to learn some flexibility and how to get along with other creatures.
It just so happened, totally coincidentally, that Rags came along. Kullervo was at his two week annual training in New York, and I had the flu. Except, on a lark one night on the phone, Kullervo said that I should take a pregnancy test, because… what if? We’d been trying to have a baby for a year and a half at that point, so it seemed a little silly. But the next day I got a test… and found out I was pregnant.
That same day, some of the guys Kullervo was training with found a tiny kitten that had been mauled by some animal. Kullervo fell in love with her. She cuddled up to him, mewed in his ear, and let him take care of her. He sneaked her onto the Army bus home in a box that had been filled with stuff used for cleaning weapons. The inside of the box said “RAGS”.
When Kullervo got home, he showed me our new pet… and I wasn’t impressed. Rags was a skinny piece of fur and bones (some of which we might have actually been able to see). She was the ugliest kitten I had ever seen in my life.
We took her to the vet and got medicine to clean her up and make her better. We also found out that she was actually a boy, but was so little that his testicles hadn’t descended yet.
Rags hung out with me when Loki wouldn’t, through my entire pregnancy. He would steal broccoli off of my plate, and eat all of my mashed potatoes. I swear, we were a match made in heaven. (And who’s ever heard of a cat that eats broccoli and potatoes?!)
Rags also tempered Loki’s awfulness (a bit). Loki took on the role of single dad, and he and Rags became buddies.
Nowadays, Rags doesn’t venture outside. He’s scared of his own shadow and jumps at every noise he hears. He’ll hide for hours at a time. But he loves Hazel to pieces, and lets her pet him and hug him and have her stuffed animals give him kisses. She calls him her little buddy, and he often snuggles up on her bed with her at night.
We’ve always called him our little cat, but really, he’s a giant. Loki is enormous (morbidly obese), and Rags might be slightly overweight, but even without the weight, both are just big cats.
Rags still loves me best and will come when I call him. He’s an absolute sweetheart who charms anyone who gets to see him. And he has turned into a beautiful cat with a handsome face and attractive markings.