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"Goodbye, Jean-Luc, I'm gonna miss you. You had such potential. But then again, all good things must come to an end."
- Q, Star Trek: TNG

Enter Zorro

by Ken Newquist / December 13, 2013
Our new kitten, Zorro.

We got a new kitten and his name is "Zorro". A kitten who thinks he's a fox? Well, more like a kitten who thinks he's a swashbuckler. He's a spastic ball of furry who loves throwing himself off the the sofa, dueling with the Labrador, and taking running leaps at the curtains.

It's been more than a decade since we had a kitten, and I'd forgotten how much fun they can be. I'd also forgotten that yes, cats can be fun to have around. We already had a cat, an orange tabby named Sarah, but she's reclusive and only half-tame. We found her as a feral kitten on the edge of a corn field, and she never got over her wild ways. As a result, she only comes to see us in the evening, usually refuses to let my daughter and I pet her, and really only likes my wife Sue (though she will tolerate our son).

It's not that we never had an affectionate cat. Loki, a small black Burmese, was easily my favorite cat. He loved to hang out with us, often sitting on our laps or perching on the end of the sofa. Like many Burmese, Loki was almost dog-like in his affection, which is why I liked him so much. Unfortunately he died a number of years ago, and we've been a one cat family ever since.

Until Zorro.

I'm a dog person, and I didn't really need another cat, but my son loves kittens. Although we talked about not getting another feline, in our hearts Sue and I knew that eventually we'd do it. Our kids have been petitioning for a kitten for a while, and while NeutronLad (7 years old) has come to love Indiana, our Labrador retriever, he's definitely a cat person.

Thus, the kitten. We made clear to the kids that Zorro was a family Christmas gift -- Santa does not bring live animals -- and that we he belonged to the entire family, not just NeutronLad.

Zorro's a domestic short hair, black and white (aka tuxedo), male kitten. We adopted him from Peaceable Kingdom in Whitehall, Pa. He's an excellent kitten -- while he's as rambunctious as you'd expect -- he's also happy to lay on your lap and snooze for a few hours while you watch TV or play video game.

He's made peace with Indiana, and the two of them have tentatively started to play with each other. Sarah spent the first few days hissing at the kitten, but last night tolerated him sitting next to her. I expect they'll be snuggling in another week or two.

The next big challenge for us will be the Christmas tree. We haven't put it up yet, and we're a little concerned he'll decide to climb it. That said, he hasn't climbed the (admittedly much smaller) geek tree, so maybe we'll be ok.