Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pushkin Stories

My favorite Pushkin story is the way he met my dad. My dad was adamantly opposed to "having animals in the house." To him, having a pet is such a great responsibility because he was brought up on a farm, and on the farm the animals come first.
And furthermore, cows and chickens are major pains in the ass.
He never realized that cats are vastly easier. You don't have to milk them every day. They're relatively clean. You don't need to "walk" them.
In any case, friends of mine had a spare cat. It was a cat who originally belonged to their neighbor, who had gotten a pit bull which effectively chased the cat of of its own house. So the cat was living with Kevin and Andrea but they already had a couple cats and those cats weren't getting along with the new cat.
So I took the cat on the condition that I'd bring him back if my dad really had such a big conniption that I really couldn't keep him.
The first night, I kept the little fellow in my room. Then I moved him down to what was then my office -- the back porch of the house. I could put his litter box there and keep him closed off from the rest of the house. That wasn't such a bad deal for the cat as the back porch is bigger than most New York apartments. In any case, I had him there for about a week. He hid in the cupboards for about a day. He didn't come out until I was talking on the telephone. Then he immediately jumped on my lap. That's when I learned that he absolutely had no fear of people and loved to hear them talk.
So one day about a week later I'm out at work and my dad, not realizing I'm not there, stops in to check on me in my office and he opens the door to look in.
Sitting on my chair is this cat.
I so wish I had a picture of my dad, standing there slack-jawed at the cat, and the cat looking back at him.

But rather than be scared of the very angry man, the cat jumps down off the chair and trots over to the door where my father is just seething. The cat rubs himself on my dad's shins (as cats are sometimes wont to do.) He's being all purr-y and affectionate when my dad had been very clear that he wouldn't accept any animals in the house.

My dad, for whatever reason, decides that my sister is somehow primarily to blame for the illegal importation of this cat into his home. Which worked out well for me. It did not work for the logical disconnect -- my sister lives hundreds of miles away. And furthermore, the fact was that my stepmom (who hadn't moved in yet at that point) was thrilled that we had a cat.

So my dad talked to me about it and I promised that the cat would only stay on the back porch and my dad wouldn't have to worry about him. We hadn't named him. Some things like "Howard" were suggested. I think Kevin and Andrea were calling him "Ivy" as in "IV" (although I don't remember if that was because they felt he had a greenish look to him or because he was the fourth cat, or because of his markings.) In any case, a couple weeks later I find out that when I was going out to the theater at night my dad was secretly letting the cat out into the rest of the house.


A couple weeks after that my father agreed that the cat could stay downstairs. No animals allowed upstairs (this was actually the rule many years earlier when we had a dog.) But the cat wasn't restricted to the back porch at all, he just isn't allowed upstairs. So what did the cat do just as soon as we let him out of the back porch? He makes a bee-line, up the stairs, for my dad's bedroom, and jumps up on my dad's side of the bed, where he curls up and goes to sleep.

Yes, he was actually as silky soft as he looks. 
A year or so later after my stepmom had moved in my dad was complaining about how the cat was sleeping on his side of the bed. Finally my dad said he managed to solve the situation by getting Pushkin off his side of the bed -- by turning the electric blanket on the other side of the bed. My dad said "I got Pushkin off my side of the bed so now he sleeps on his side of the bed."
Wait. His side of the bed? My stepmom was not amused but it cracked me and my sister up.


booker said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chance Shirley said...

So sorry to hear about Pushkin. Sounds like he was an awesome kitty.

Andrew Bellware said...

Thanks, Chance. Yes, he was an awesome little kitty.