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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Dante The Cat's Divine Comedy

As stated, I do indeed have a new cat - Dante.

He's a four-year-old spayed male, short hair tabby, and he is very, very friendly. He also doesn't sit still yet, as he is curious about everything we all do.

At the animal shelter, I was actually more interested in his roommate Virgil, who seemed to know how to play the adoption game better.

But both the wife and Hudson liked Dante, who although preferred to hide inside a cubby hole, was a very loud purr-er and very affectionate once he was pulled from his comfort zone.

Both Dante and Virgil had previously been at the animal shelter, so I wonder if Dante was just playing it cagey, wondering if we were only going to be around for a short time. I think the previous owners lost an immigration case and had to leave the country. 

I didn't even touch him until we got home.

I have no problem with animals or kids liking me, so it was kind of a test to see if Dante would or could bond with the others first.

Unlike Daffy, Dante has immediately taken a shine to all of us. I'm not used to that, as I am usually the center of attention. But the bugger is so cool, I don't mind.

He is also a big cat - huge paws… and to me looks a little funny because it seems like he has a small head. But whatever. He's a very, very, very nice cat.

When he arrived home on Saturday, he sniffed around and immediately lost himself in our basement, first under my model train table, and then within the gnarly confines of my comic book mountains in another room. He stayed there for hours, finally coming out and hanging with us for lots of heavy petting.

He came up and slept on the bed for a while until the wife kicked him off after he tried to sleep on her head.

In the morning - no one could find him. After an hour of searching, we found him in the fireplace. We don't use the fireplace. In fact, it hasn't been used since 1974 when my dad tried it out once, and discovered you should open the flue to allow smoke to go up the chimney. Since repainting the living room, the fireplace has never been used again.

Hudson (right) tries to look serious. Dante doesn't seem to mind the flash photography.
For us, I have some teak bookcases in front of the fireplace blocking it off - the cases are filled with jars of LEGO. Anyhow, the TV is of to the side of it, so an enterprising cat could get in behind there and squeeze out when necessary. I saw Daffy do it, but even though Dante is thinner than Daffy, he couldn't get out of the hole he had crawled in.

So I had to pull the book case away from the fireplace and then coax him out of his cubbyhole before he caught the flue. I've now better blocked off the fireplace access with upturned lamps and crap.

Dante loves to come up and sit on people, which is fine by me. He has a loud purr, and he likes to flex his paws and lightly dig in with his nails - always where there is exposed flesh.

He's not a licker or a biter like Daffy - at least not yet - and I think I like that about him.

He did follow me into the bathroom this morning, but he's not as OCD about it - yet - as Daffy was. Again… I think that's good.

Dante has already lifted everyone's spirits after Daffy's passing, our goldfish Creamsicle dying a few days later, and the Blue Jays baseball team going out with a whimper.

He enjoys sitting on my lap, but seems to have reckless abandon when it comes to doing that - always perched on the edge of me… and I don't want to see him fall…

We're still not sold on the Dante name. I've read Dante's Divine Comedy a couple of times, plus a Sci-Fi version by writers Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle called Inferno about 11 times - but we're still thinking about something better - another two-syllable or less name.

I was thinking 'Fred' from Scooby Doo.

By the way... the Japan connection is that I bought Inferno while in Japan at a bookstore in downtown Tokyo back in 1990 on a roadtrip with Matthew.

Andrew Joseph


  1. Cute ... and so is the kitty. I think you should name the infernal cat Blake (in memory of Daphne).Then you can get yourself a Mewgaroo (it's Japanese... but I don't know of a cat who would actually stay in one ...)

    1. Hey FFF IT!
      When you offered 'Blake', rather than think of Daphne Blake, I thought William Blake - and how devilish he drew... it would fit in with Dante and Hell et al.
      Okay - that Mewgaroo is bizarre. Forget about mmme wearing one of those, I do believe that Dante would gladly sit in the pouch! That cat - who doesn't shed, by the way - loves to climb on people, purr loudly and lie down.
      Thanks! The boy IS cute! Cheers!

    2. ;-)
      I added the Daphne reference, since I figured you would think of William Blake first (being a writer and all). Interestingly enough, Blake's last commission was a series of watercolours for Dante's Divine Comedy which he didn't quite finish (according to the Wiki). I offered the name "Blake" instead of "Fred" ... anything but "Fred" (unless your last name in Flintstone, then it's OK). Dante is a fine name though ...
      I have 3 boys 14, 16, and 24 and they are beyond the cute stage, well into the annoying stage, with the oldest being tolerable (mostly because he doesn't live at home). I do remember when they were cute ... kinda miss it.

    3. Hi FFF, I appreciate you taking the time to read and write in. I really do. I often wonder if THIS blog is good enough for you after being a reader of the other one, so I feel anxious. The last thing I want to do is disappoint someone who actually inspired me. So... thank-you.
      Yeah - I knew that about Blake and the Divine Comedy drawings. I have a large hardcover of Blake, plus I saw an exhibition of his stuff at the Art Gallery of Ontario a few years back. The only comparable artist is Dore.
      Hudson is 10. I was a late starter with the whole family thing as my age now matches that re-make TV show set in Hawaii. You're smart, you know what I mean. At least it will match for another week or so.
      I'm not looking forward to the teenaged years. I'm sure I was a dink during those years, and what goes around comes around. I can only hope it skips a generation - but I'm sure I'm no longer that lucky.
      The boy was a lot cuter when he was younger. LOL!

  2. Hello Andrew Last time when we read the bad news about your cat my wife cried and we both where sad for your loss. But today you deserve a Gold Star for giving Dante a new home. Class act my friend.

    1. Hi Al & Di. Thanks! My mourning period isn't over, but Dante looked like he could use a home. It was funny how he craved human touch, he would still go and try and find some hideyhole to crawl into where he couldn't be found or touched. Two days later - there's none of that, and he seems reasonably well-adjusted in the house. Again, Al, thanks!