In October 2009, Mr. Snark said, "Do you still want a Siamese cat? I know where I can get a kitten for free."
Mrs. Snark stared at him with suspicion. "What's wrong with it?" she asked. "Purebred kittens are never free."
"Here's the thing..." Mr. Snark said.
The mother cat in question happened to be a purebred, show quality, papered lilac-point Siamese. Her ancestors had lived in temples and were only owned by royalty. Her owners were friends of Mr. Snark's parents.
Unfortunately, mama kitty had one serious character flaw. When in heat, she swam out to meet troop ships.
Now, as you can see from this photo, the cat we received looks more like a seal-point Siamese.
As mentioned in A Story About Arkansas, Mr. Snark's parents lived in Nowhere, Maryland. Mr. and Mrs. Snark are residents of Northern California, which meant certain transport difficulties arose in obtaining the kitten.
Ultimately, the cheapest method proved to be airlines tickets, so one Friday night Mr. Snark boarded a red-eye flight into D.C. There he spent two hours with his parents, who had brought the kitten to the airport via car. Then, without sleep, Mr. Snark turned around and boarded another coach class flight back to California with the kitten tucked beneath his feet.
Before the cat had even arrived, the Snark men were calling him "Rocket" after Rocky the Flying Squirrel.
Mrs. Snark protested: "It's dumb to name a cat before you've met it."
"According to my parents, Rocket is perfectly appropriate," Mr. Snark said.
For once, Mr. Snark got to be right. The cat has one speed: fast. Squirrel also gets into endless amounts of trouble. He has broken multiple vases and trashed photo frames. His very presence irritates the hell out of our female cat, Clio. He brings Mrs. Snark presents--LIVE rats and mice--carried right into the house and dropped so they can escape and hide.
Rocket and Miss Bear really hit it off. They go on adventures together. Neither child nor cat has a lick of sense or an ounce of self-preservation. I'm submitting photo evidence to show that I'm not making things up.
|Miss Bear and Rocket in the trash|
|Miss Bear and Rocket in the shower|
Rocket patrols our quiet residential neighborhood. He sits on fences and taunts dogs. He strolls along sidewalks and lounges in other people's yards. It has gotten so that he is recognized.
"Is that your cat?" a neighbor asked Mrs. Snark.
"Maybe," Mrs. Snark said. "What has he done now?"
"Oh, nothing," the neighbor said. "We just see him around. We call him the Mayor."
Rocket was the inspiration for Josie, my Siamese werecat heroine, in A Cat's Tale.