Our Resident Heart of Darkness October 16, 1999
Saturday October 16, 1999 10:55:37 PM

While I was in Paris for work last summer ( a ten day trip that lasted six weeks) a freind of my wife's family had some young kittens in their barn. When I made my nightly (on the company) transatlantic call one evening Ruth told me she had "gotten the cat I had been talking about wanting". I wasn't sure I remembered talking about wanting a cat, but I figured, since she was already going on and on about how cute it was, I might as well resign myself to the role of cat owner.

"What do you want to name him?" she asked. "Nigel," I replied. She wasn't sure Nigel was a great name for a cat, but decided that since she picked him out, I could name him. So Nigel it was.

Nigel it was, however, until his first vet visit when we realized that "he" was not the correct pronoun with which to refer to the cat. Yes, she had a boy cat's name. She had been referred to as Nigel for a few days and had begun to repond to it by the time we discovered a change was in order. As we discussed it, I suggested that perhaps phonetically, she could retain her moniker, but that by changing the spelling we could change it from a male name to a name appropriate for a mysterious and alluring female- Nijal.

As Nijal grew she developed a distinct personality. Not exactly a lap-sitting and purring sort of personality, though. More like a sneaking, hiding, breaking stuff, and getting into food sort of personality. As she has reached adulthood, she has mellowed somewhat and can even be downright friendly sometimes (almost always in the morning before breakfast, however) but she has never fully departed from her adolescent mischeviousness. It was some months ago when I dubbed her "The Heart of Darkness" due to the color of her fur- and her soul. Actually, she isn't all black but sort of tortoiseshell, easy on the shell. She is mostly black with some tawny brown splotches. Her soul isn't really all black either, I suppose I must in all honesty admit. It is evident in the way they play and interact that she and Kroger really do care about each other. I don't think they have ever really fought, but they do get carried away in horsepaly sometimes and get mad at each other from time to time. It's never long, though, until they are grooming each other like best friends again.

Ruth has said that she thinks Isaiah's first word's will probably be "Nijal, get down from the counter!" I certainly wouldn't be surprised. As I said above, although she has mellowed, she has never given up her leanings to the dark side of the Force. A case in point was the crash we heard out of the blue earlier this evening caused by Nijal knocking over something in the utility room (the laundry/junk room). It sounded like she had broken something made of glass, but the only damage I could find was the severed branchlet of a plant that had been sitting close to the window fan she had knocked over.

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