11 March 2007

a nice warm bath

B and I decided yesterday afternoon to visit the Roosevelt Baths at Saratoga Springs and have a soak. We've been meaning to since we landed at Pleasant Hill. On our travels between New York and Kentucky, we've made side trips to Warm Springs, Virginia, and Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, to "take the cure." While the Roosevelt Baths don't have the historic charm of the Jefferson Pools in Warm Springs or the spaciousness of the bathing rooms at Berkeley Springs State Park, they have a charm all their own: scented oil in the mineral water followed by a 20-minute snooze on a bed covered with warmed sheets. Most certainly relaxing on a cold and snowy Saturday in March.

08 March 2007

prince wilburforce of titmound

Wilbur was born on Palm Sunday (20 March) 2005. We got him from the Presbyterian minister's family when Wilbur was about 8 weeks old. We wanted a handsome cat, but what we got was a buff-colored piece of fluff with a skinny rat tail. Sweet, but kind of funny looking.

Wilbur is so named because, yes, he was the runt of the litter. The minister's daughters fed him by hand until he could eat solid food on his own. On a Saturday morning in May, B went to West Hebron and brought Wilbur home on a pillow.

Scamp sort of left Wilbur alone for the first few months. Kept his counsel. Played it real cool. Wilbur, on the other hand, harassed poor Scamp at every turn. It's only been in the past few months that the two have reached what seems like a pretty fair arrangement: Wilbur can pounce on Scamp's tail only if Scamp is allowed to eat Wilbur's share of the wet food.

Our vet tells us that Wilbur is not a short-haired cat, and he's not a long-haired cat. He's what they call a medium-haired cat.

that rascal, that scamp

We got Scamp because our veterinarian told us that Bob the cat could use a little exercise, and as luck would have it she had the perfect playmate for him . . . We've had Scamp since 1998. Before we brought him home to meet Bob, we talked to friends, read books, and generally agonized over how to introduce one cat to the other. Didn't want Bob to think we were replacing him; didn't want Scamp to feel like he didn't belong. We ended up keeping them separated for a day or two and then just letting them take care of their own introductions. They got along fine. And Bob got some exercise, though he continued to be a pretty big cat.

bob the cat

Bob the cat came to me about a year after I'd moved to New York City. I found him at Bide-a-Wee, a no-kill shelter in Manhattan, and brought him home on the subway in a cardboard box. He was the gentlest cat and handsome, too. He moved with me from Sunset Park to Park Ditch to, along with B, Cobble Hill (where we acquired another cat, Scamp), then up to Hudson Heights and, finally, to upstate New York. Bob had a habit: He would eat rosemary plants down to the bare branches and then purr himself to sleep. When he died in November 2004, we buried him at the base of a lilac on Pleasant Hill, with a rosemary branch tucked under his arm.