I have not written about the cats since they were kittens. I must tell you how Pearl is getting on now that she is almost two. Pearl is still perfect. She is petite and beautiful with delicate features and little tufts of hair at the tips of her large ears that make her look like a pixie. Her coat is slightly curly—wavy really—like an elegant 1920s hairdo. Some would say (actually have said) that she is standoffish and not very friendly, but to me she is perfectly independent. Not like Rex, who most categorize as outgoing and friendly and I categorize as pathologically needy. Pearl does have her odd habits, though. She licks paper. Obsessively licks paper. Rex licks me, which I find annoying, but Pearl prefers paper. I don't know why. And then while Rex will play and retrieve a ball, Pearl carries things. She methodically brings things up from my studio or the laundry closet and deposits them by the front door or on the stairs. It is a real drag to come home and find socks, underwear, and balls of yarn on the doormat. But I guess it beats finding dead and maimed vermin. I have filled many a basket with her nightly haul. At first I thought she was bringing "prey" to show me, but then it occurred to me that maybe it is kittens. Maybe she needs kittens. Maybe she needs something to lick and to carry. She is not fixed and she is very vocal about the fact that something is missing in her life.
And that brings me to her one flaw: her voice. Her attempts at attracting a mate, are, to my ears, repellent. She is like the silent movie actress in Singing in the Rain who is beautiful and elegant, but when the talkies come along, it turns out she has a terrible voice. Pearl, it seems, can only do whiny and loud. There is no persuasion, no finesse, only obnoxious demanding. Rex, the goofy one, has a modulated voice that can sound very charming and almost like he is talking. Pearl has just one horrible sound. Oh well.
A couple of weeks ago I was home working when she just would not let up. She would get right in my face and repeatedly let out her screechy meow. I was getting ready to go out and she redoubled her efforts. What was up? I thought I had just better check downstairs to see if there was some reason for her behavior. I looked, and sure enough, I had left the door to their litter box closed. Ooops. Okay, so I opened that and looked around some more to find that Rex had been shut in my studio the whole time too. So she may be loud and obnoxious, but she was right. I still think she is perfect.