Time Out

Kage Baker had a most admirable and exemplary work ethic. When she had to accomplish something, she just worked at it steadily until it was done. It often required working through meal times, breaks, sleeping … anything else at all. She would talk in her sleep about the project; more than once she sleep walked as well, announcing at 3 AM: “Okay, time to go back to work!”

I don’t believe that it’s true that sleepwalkers will have heart failure if you wake them suddenly. I threw a lot of pillows and shoes at Kage for this kind of thing, and she never skipped a beat.

But even Kage, whose work ethic was as a gate of steel and a tower of adamant, would vouchsafe that some things must be indulged just for sheer aesthetics. Among these things is kittening: introducing a new baby cat to one’s house and household.

We brought home a new kitten today. Her name is Ashby. She is an orange tabby, so she is rather rare: only about 25% of orange tabbies are female. It’s not as rare as a male calico (due to fatal recessives, males calicos are essentially 0% of the feline population) but orange tabby girl kittens are infrequent. But we have one, and the day has been spent in introducing her to the household and laughing helplessly at her antics.

She has tufted lynx ears and show-shoe paws. Her nose and toes are pink; her eyes are  golden, with an emerald green ring round her pupils. As she’s only 4 months old, it’s still uncertain what her eyes will do. Her tail is longer than her body and extraordinarily fluffy – looks like a squirrel’s tail, only orange and with stripes. She is calm, unafraid, cuddly and at present prefers to run sideways wherever she goes.

The Little Black Cat (now advanced to elder, with the recent demise of her own sister) is somewhat horrified. I think the skitter factor is too much for her just yet; when Ashby learns to locomote in a less eccentric fashion, things will doubtless cool down. The Corgi, on the other hand, fell instantly in love with her. He follows her around, bathes her and tries to herd her; she pats at him and ambushes him. It took Ashby about a half hour to discover that even a cat as small as herself can achieve enough altitude to ambush a Corgi … unless he licks her fur off, I think we have a good friendship there.

Harry is watching her for the perfect opportunity to scare the kapok out of her little head. She’s already unnerved by his talking and whistling; it won’t take long to convince her that he is NOT prey, but a more-or-less friendly demon. We’re hoping he’ll teach her to meow – he does it much better than the Little Black Cat.

We pitiful humans are her helpless minions, of course. She’s been here for 6 hours or so, and she hasn’t stopped purring yet. We’re all doomed …

So my work ethic has gone out the window today, knocked off by a paw smaller than my pinky fingertip. Not even Kage could resist kittens.

Now, excuse me, Dear Readers. There’s a kitten to indulge.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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9 Responses to Time Out

  1. Tom B. says:

    Sounds as if Ashby might be part Maine Coon, than which no breed better exists. Yay for you all! Pepper (or Chilito as our friend Ofelia calls him) is sitting here reading of your great fortune.


    • Kate says:

      She could well be part Maine Coon – she has a long torso, despite being so tiny; her paws are definitely snow shows, with tufts between her pads. The tail is very long and very furry; the ears are both very furry and generously tufted. She is unnaturally mellow, too. And if she does partake of that noble ancestry, we will be even more delighted! Kimbery has had a Maine Coon before, and loved them.


      Kathleen kbco.wordpress.com


  2. Medrith says:

    I’m so happy for you!


  3. Miz Kizzle says:

    She certainly sounds like she’s part Maine Coon. They are the Best Cats Ever. A lot of them around the Boston area are polydactyl, just a bizarre genetic twist that makes them even more adorable, IMO.
    A word of warning: Maine Coons have been known to attain prodigious size. I had one that once attacked a bulldog that was careless enough to wander into our yard. She rode his back as he ran, yelping in mortal terror, down the driveway, and then primly jumped off like a lady alighting from a carriage and strolled home, tail held high.
    Then there was the time she chased a plumber out of the basement when he disturbed her napping on top of the water heater.
    Here’s hoping Ashby has many years of terrorizing plumbers and bulldogs, or dragons and what-have-you!


    • Kate says:

      Ashby has already discovered Corgi baiting. And the Corgi is ecstatic, because finally one of the cats will play with him. She has wrestled his nose to a standstill already. She’s also taken over his water dish, which she likes to play in … Ashby is the most amiable, calm kitten I have ever met. She goes crazy when she plays, but is otherwise a very serene, sunshiney sort of person. And last night – while discovering my touchpad Kindle – she trilled!


  4. Lynn says:

    Kathleen, to add to your Silly Time, blue-footed boobies have been found in counties all around Los Angeles in the past few days. Usually one or two show up in a season but 15 separate sitings have been mentioned. One ecologist called it almost an infestation! An infestation of blue-footed boobies!


    • Kate says:

      Yes! Yes! I read about the blue-footed booby infestation – that just cracked me up. I wonder if some of them will be seeking sites, or if they are just sojourning? They’re very decorative. Their feet are the loveliest blue!


  5. Miz Kizzle says:

    Maybe the blue-footed boobies can team up with the legless lizards found around the runways at LAX.


  6. Kate says:

    Yeah, the legless lizards are great. Overall, 4 new species of them were found in California. And I guess at LAX, they’re competing with the burrowing owls that undermine the runways all the time. Life is wild in Los Angeles.


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