Monthly Archives: November 2013

An Englishman, a Frenchman, and a Guy from Brooklyn (Brooklynman?)

I’m thinking about applying to this directing internship at a local (and widely respected) theatre company. Part of the application includes a 2 minute (max) video. I thought about telling a joke first, so I recorded this to see how long it would be. Since the whole joke is about 2 minutes, I probably won’t use it (and certainly not this take since my hair looks ridiculous and I’m bra-less with a Ubuntu shirt on), but it’s my favorite joke to tell so I thought I’d share.

Beware, thar be f-bombs. Enjoy :)

Alvin Motor Bean Eichhörnchen: The Cat of A Thousand Nicknames

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Alvin Motor Bean Eichhörnchen

“The Baby”

April 1, 2010 – November 13, 2013

Little Baby

The Baby

Squiggle

Brat Cat

Little Brat

Serpent

Wraith

Little Tushie

Pest

Little Squirrel

Alvin

Alvin Bean

Alvin Motor Bean Eichhörnchen

Little Dragon

Dragon Eyes

Fluff

Little Purr

Little Bunny

Shoulder Baby

Halloween Cat

These are but a few of the names that M Fox and I used to refer to one of our kitties.  You’ll notice that “Little” comes before a lot of them.  Although certainly a term of endearment, the fact is that Alvin, most referred to as “the baby,” was always very small.  He always had a kitten face.  He had soft kitten fur.  The smell of his neck fur still had that kitten smell.  I loved to bury my face in his scruff and inhale it, the way some mothers describe craving the intoxicating scent of her newborn.

Squeak on the left, the baby on the right

Squeak on the left, the baby on the right

I was going through an Orson Scott Card kick at the time, hence Alvin (from the Alvin Maker series) and Bean (from Ender’s Shadow).  Motor was both part of his origin story (he was found in a car engine) and because he had a very big purr for such a little body.  Eichhörnchen is German for squirrel.

Sidebar: Neither M Fox nor I speak German, but M Fox had German housemates once and they all bonded over how it was impossible for Americans to pronounce “eichhörnchen” and damn near impossible for Germans to say “squirrel.”

Physically, the baby’s most defining attribute was his tail.  His tail was so long that it almost folded in half when sticking up.  As a kitten, he resembled one of those little black squirrels.  

Well, a weird-looking squirrel

Well, a weird-looking squirrel

When he would “bun” around the house, it was like he had no control over his tail.  He would be in a perfect little cat bun and his long ridiculous tail would stick straight out behind him, like a lollypop stick.  As he got a little older, he figured out how to wrap it around him.  Stretching, he reminded us of the classic Halloween black cat, back arched, bottle brush tail at attention.

We never could decide on a name, so we kept them all and added more — when we got him at 10 weeks, he already had two names from the shelter (Mr. Cheeps, then Gusto, which they pronounced Cousteau for some reason).  It all seems very fitting that he was born on April Fool’s Day.

The baby's baby photo

The baby’s baby photo

When we first got him home and released him into our small Mountain View apartment, he joyfully raced back and forth the length of the apartment, exhilarated.  I remember feeling so filled with love and pride that I got to witness our baby discovering that he could run.

Having already been denied the opportunity to potty train the new kitten, M Fox wanted to teach him to ride on people’s shoulders.  Even though he was a little squink of a thing, the baby’s paws were huge.  We always thought he was going to turn out to be one of those massive cats — he did look a little like a Maine Coon. We used to laugh about how it was cute now, when he was little, but when he became a massive beast of a cat, shoulder-riding would be onerous.  We didn’t know he would pretty much stop growing at a year old.

Shoulder baby

Shoulder baby

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