Still, the situation is not all that unusual this close to the SHOT Show. The weekend before SHOT Robin and I are filming an NFL celebrity sporting clays event in Vegas. Then it's SHOT Shot TV and episodes of SHOOTING GALLERY and COWBOYS from the floor of SHOT. Two days later, we start the three episodes of the SHOOTING GALLERY Challenge at GUNSITE.
The trick is to KEEP ALL THE BALLS IN THE AIR! Drop one or two, and the white tiger grabs you by the head and drags you offstage. Accordingly, yesterday I changed the water in my aquarium. I recently put Nemo, Pooh Ye and Beta on diets, and I can't say they're particularly thrilled. I'm also dealing with the latest member of the zoo — Poke-san, who happens to be A CAT. Yes, put in my nomination for Hypocrite of the Year — after all my cat-dis'sing over the years, I end of with one of my own free will. My Sweetie mentioned several months ago that she was suffering from kitty separation anxiety...she's always had a cat, except for the last year since her old cat, Comanche, died. SIGH.
So I decided to do what I do...research. Specifically, I wondered whether I could find a breed of cat that:
1) would likely get along in a house full of parrotsAfter a few evenings on the internet, I culled the list down to three breeds — Maine Coons, Norwegian Forest Cats and tailless Manxes. Then I got serious. The clincher was when my partner Robin told me he had a friend with a Manx who actually flushed birds and let its owner shoot over him. Now THAT is a cat!
2) act like a dog
Of course, I then discovered that Manxes were surprisingly hard to find. There are phone books full of Maine Coon breeders, but about half-a-dozen Manx breeders. Eventually, we discovered Antelope Manx Cattery, in lovely Antelope, KS. They had a black-and-white Manx kitten available. SOOOOOOOOO...
My Sweetie named him Poke (poke-ee, as in pokey) after her favorite sushi dish, Tuna Taro Poke. Damned if he doesn't act like a dog, too. Alf the Wonder Dog is ambivalent, although she does enjoy a good cat chase. The parrots treat Poke the way they treat everything that isn't a parrot — as a potential toy. As they did with Alf when she was a puppy, the macaws clearly realize that Poke is a baby, and they cut him some slack, i.e., they've kept the big beaks holstered. Ripley, being king of the world, has been playihng with the kitten. We introduced him to the kitty by speaking in parrot-ese. "Ripley...Poke Comanche meow-meow." Which translates into connecting the new cat to the old cat, "meow-meow" being parrot shorthand for "cat." The next day, Ripley looked at me and said, "Poke meow-meow?" Yep, I said, he's a cat.
By the way, there's a lot to be said for tailless cats, such as he'll never get his tail rocked on, stepped on or bitten off by big big green or red birds. Sgill, with those great bit Manx rabbit haunches, Poke-san looks like a bit like a jacked-up Plymouth Road Runner muscle car.
I'll attach a photo when I get up to my office; right now I'm afraid to go up to my office.
KEEP THE BALLS IN THE AIR...