Amica veritas est, sed magis amicus Gimlet est. (Truth is a friend, but Gimlet is a greater friend.)

Getting to Know You

So busy with the start-up of the outdoor tourism season here in Chicago, I have had no time to dedicate to telling the story of the adoption of Little Bepps’ new little brother, Gimlet.  He was adopted in early 2013, after a weeks-long search for a cat who would be 1) fairly passive, 2) affectionate, and 3) playful but not aggressive (and, of course, weeks of wanting to take all the cats I met home with me).  Enter Gimlet (the artist formerly known as “Sanderson”), a petite black and white DSM just a little under a year old.  At Treehouse Animal Shelter in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, where I adopted him, he was incredibly sweet: every time I would come into the room where he was, he wasn’t interested in playing at all.  He just wanted to be by me, and would rub up against me, purring, with his eyes half-closed, just happy to have company.  I took him home, and it was of course a gradual process of familiarizing between him and Little Bepps, but eventually, they turned out to be like two little brothers.  Bepps washes Gimlet, and Gimlet charges him sometimes, but always submits at the last second.  Oh — plus, as Gimlet comes from a hoarding (and thus, inbreeding) situation, his physical frame is very unique:  I don’t think his body will ever get much bigger, and his head is a fairly normal size.  It’s not terribly noticeable, but we did consider renaming him “Lolly,” as in a lollipop head.  “Gimlet” fit as a name, though.  It somehow fits his petite, impish little body and personality.

I can’t upload a video to this blog, so instead, please follow this link to Vimeo to see a video of these two unlikely friends carefully and gradually developing a trusting bond.  Enjoy!

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Fēlēs Incognita (Cat in Disguise)

Perhaps it’s because the palette of my home is fairly earthy and muted–browns, grays, greens, mauves, creams–that Little Bepps is so good at hiding with very little effort.  After all, the stripes and other markings on a cat evolved so that they could disguise themselves while hunting, right?  Every once in a while, Beppsimus feels it necessary to practice these hunting-related skills: after all, just because he is now domesticated doesn’t mean the wild hunter inside him is asleep.  Just because he has someone (okay, okay–it’s his mom) feeding him his “kill” from a can (a mere technicality, really), he knows better than to let such a cushy lifestyle weaken his savage impulses or dull his animal instincts.  Case in point:  can you find Beppsimus Minimus in the following picture?  If not, you might as well consider yourself as vulnerable as this morning’s can of Turkey and Cheese Friskies that is now empty and in the recycling.

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Look more closely, doomed prey!  Never fear, though: apparently, he has lost interest in this one-sided game of fēlēs incognita.  Though modest in nature, Beppsimus cannot help his boredom when met with an unworthy opponent.  Failure is necessary to develop one’s skills and character.  Perhaps a more worthy opponent will rouse him from his ennui.

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Mea nemesis mortālis (My Mortal Enemy)

You know I cannot see you,  IMG_0150

though I don’t need to see.

For I have other senses

that I use happily.

I sniff just like a bloodhound,

I listen like a bat,

I use my whiskers to find things

just like all other cats.

But I am great–I’m Beppsimus!–

–the Noble (though the Small),

and I can track you, sparkly prey,

though I’ve no sight at all.

Nosce te ipsum. (Know thyself.)

Confucius–one of Beppsimus’ favorite philosophers–advises us as to the acquisition, or development, of knowledge.  He delineates three paths to wisdom.

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: first, by reflection, which is noblest…

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“Second, by imitation, which is easiest…

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“And third, by experience, which is bitterest.”

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Inemus (i.e., We Begin)

Bepps was adopted in January of 2011.  He was young, blind, and seemed to stick to himself when I first met him at the shelter.  He warmed my heart not only with his huge, marble-like eyes, but also with his hoarding habit: I noticed that he would take a toy (once he managed to find one) and carry it over to the corner of the room behind one of several litter boxes, where he would carefully play with it.  Sighted cats could have easily taken his toys away if he were to play with them out in the open, so he adapted.  Now, two years later, I have seen him adapt to many of his life’s circumstances and surroundings.  Case in point: frequently lying down in doorways, so as to be aware of where he is, and to listen to the sounds from adjoining rooms.

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