For someone whose parents never wanted animals in the house I sure seem to have had a veritable menagerie over the years. I’ve had fish (like all Asian children, am I right?), rabbits, birds, and turtles. These pets were are well and good, but none of them were very cuddly or particularly interactive which, as a kid, was what I wanted. In college, I toyed with the idea of cat, but was too nervous to take the plunge.
I blame T, my brother (younger), entirely for bringing these furballs into my life. I was doing just fine until he moved in with me to attend the same university (OSU, Go Beavs!) and decided that what the house really needed was a cat. We first began by borrowing his then-girlfriend’s cat since she spent quite a bit of time at our place. She ended up sending him back home to live with her parents (the cat, not T) so that ended that. Then summer came; T and I moved home for the summer which put the kibosh on all the feline talk, at least temporarily, I thought.
I don’t even know how it happened, but one minute we were discussing the possibility of getting our own cat next fall and the next were we at Petco where a local animal rescue, Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals, was holding an adoption event. As we ‘oooh’d and awww’d’ over all the quite frankly adorable little kitties, there was one that caught our eye, a little snowshow siamese housed with a flame point siamese. For 2 half-Thai kids raised on Disney the chance to adopt a kitten with Siamese markings was pretty much irresistible. With strains of “We Are Siamese If You Please” drifting through our heads T and I heading over to investigate. We had just decided to adopt the little snowshoe siamese when the lady who was running the adoption event piped up with “You know, they’re half-siamese and brothers; they’ve just been reunited today after being foster separately. They were feral rescues with their mother…We’re running a 2 for 1 deal: if you adopt 2 cats you pay the fee for only 1…” She didn’t have to tell us twice: SOLD!!!!
Needless to say, my Father was NOT at all pleased with having to share his home with not the aforementioned one cat, but two; especially considering he’s allergic to basically anything with fur. So, being the girl, I was elected to explain to my father how we came to have two kittens instead of one. Luckily, I was able to hinge my entire argument on the fact that they were siblings. My Dad, born and raised in Bangkok, Thailand, moved to the US for graduate school and did not move back, so I was banking on this angle to help me persuade him that we absolutely had to take them both and that it would be cruel to separate them.
It worked like a charm. The cats were named Quentin and Milton, or the Quiltons, collectively. The former name is all my Mother’s influence and the latter…Well, you can’t name a fellow Quentin and then give his brother a name like “Fluffy” can you? It simply wouldn’t do! And, as they were rather standoffish little chaps due to their early days as feral little kittens (something they’re never actually overcome), we felt they needed dignified human names at the very least. It has always been a great pet peeve of mine when people name an animal after another animal (dogs or cats named Tiger or Bear, you know that type of thing) so humans names it is for all my furballs!
One thing that I love about the cats is their independence. I mean, sure they like to snuggle come around for a good petting or brushing, but they don’t have the same need to always know where I am that Luna does. The Quiltons are purrfectly content (I know, I’m terrible!) to find the comfiest spot in the room and laze the day away in a patch of sunshine. I sometimes believe they just keep me on because it’s so difficult to find good help these days and I already know how to feed and clean-up after them so why bother trying to train another human? They simply look judgmentally at me when they feel I’ve made a poor decision…liking getting a dog.
They get along fairly well with Luna, although I do get the feeling that they feel I’ve made a grave error in judgement with her and that I’ve somehow lowered my intelligence in their opinion. For the most part they try to ignore Luna, only hissing at her when puppy exuberance gets the better of her. In fact, I’ve caught each of them laying right next to her at various times and a few times she’s even licked Milton’s head! But overall, the Quiltons seem to have resigned themselves to Luna’s presence and simply watch scornfully as she does typical dog things like fetch or her crazy living room rodeos.
After 10 years of living together, we’re accustomed to each other. They’re the resident Grumpy Old Men (with occasional competition in that area from K) and I am their humble servant who lives to cater to their every whim; Luna is, of course, the jester and K is there to do the heavy lifting :). We’ve made it through university, moving, and health crises (theirs, not mine) together so I think we’re stuck with each other at this point; but you know, I really wouldn’t have it any other way.