Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Everyone is asking about Sumi-e and where I got that name. I wanted something Thai, you know Siamese, for a Siamese cat. Pretty obvious and I thought simple. Not so simple with the exception of Pad Thai and about 10 baby names I could find nothing much online about the Thai language. So right when I was going to name him something lame like Soot I thought how much he looked like dirty water color water. No, make that the way ink pools around in its little cup. So there you go. Sumi-e

Sumi-e had a rough beginning in a farmer’s market in Utah. When I got him he ranged from a bundle of wild cat to a purring, purring, licking, and nursing bundle of love. It’s nine months later and nothing has changed except his size.

I don’t believe in de-clawing a cat but after 10 weeks I was at the end of my rope. I asked people that had de-clawed their cats and learned the horrors of days spent at the animal hospital and weeks of bandages. It was all so sad and nothing I would do, ever. However, Sumi-e shredded a pair of hiking boots the day he had his last shots. Shredded. And already Joey and I were a mass of itchy scratches. Poor Joey. He was so drugged up from his chemo treatments that all he did was sleep on the couch. Sumi-e would walk up to him and give him a swipe then bound away with his tail a bottle brush and a smile on his face. Joey was a wreck. It’s his home first and he couldn’t even sleep in peace. It wasn’t for me that I asked my vet about de-clawing, it was for my dog and may I say, my shoes. Shredded.

My vet told me all about de-clawing now that they had laser surgery. Only a few hours at the vet, no bandages at all, and he would be better in just a few days instead of a few weeks. I though of my couch, my shower curtain, my bedspread (and that was just the last 3 days) all showing damage. I thought of Joey. I looked at my shoulders and cleavage and the itchy scratches. I told the vet I would do it.

I go to the front counter to pay for the shots and set up the appointment. The receptionist is filling out the date book for the appointment and she asks without looking up “Will that be all four feet?” That surprised me since the vet had only wanted to take the front claws leaving Sumi-e his back. I said as much. The receptionist looked me in the eyes and said “With this cat we will make an exception”.

It turns out that Sumi-e had shown his stuff in the backroom and no less than 3 vet techs bore the signs of his disapproval. In a very short time he had shown his stuff and rolled over on his back and had a go at him with his back feet. They had never seen anything like it. I felt vindicated.

Now when Sumi-e smacks Joey or me and starts kicking we just laugh. Ok, I laugh. Joey, who is no longer on medication, bites him back. But that’s ok Joey lost 16 of his teeth during the cancer treatment. At this point neither are going to do much damage.

or maybe they are...

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