Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I know I have not introduced many aspects of my daily life... so here is the first..

This is my baby boy Hazard.

Right before Matt and I were married, we decided that we wanted a kitty for me. He already had Lil' One, who was devoted to him for life, and while she accepted my existence, she definitely was not a kitty I could call my own.

After much difficulty with the Willamette Humane Society in Salem, we decided to go to the Oregon Humane Society up in Portland, to see what they had. We already decided we probably wanted a kitten. While we are fine adopting older kitties, we wanted someone small to make the adjustment on Lil' One better. We showed up to the very busy Humane Society, as there was a mass adoption of Labradoodles going on. All of their kittens were spoken for, except for one black baby. We asked to visit with him and were escorted to a private viewing room. Soon they brought the kitten to the room, placed him down, and left, giving us a chance to interact with him. However, the little fur ball was not interested in us at all. He was not scared of us, but would not even feign interest in the toys that we dangled, did not want to be petted. No, instead this kitty needed to check out the room. He sniffed every surface, wiggled into all the corners, and got the lay of the room. As soon as he did, he switched into an entirely different kitty. He became playful, loving, and like any other friendly kitten. This personality quirk of fully exploring his surroundings when changed became the first of his many endearing traits.

That very first night, he taught us his name. We were driving him own, on a rain drenched, wind swept, dark night that signals the start of the stormy season in Oregon every late fall. The freeway was covered in water, visibility was bad, and the wind shifted the car like it was a small child's sailboat. Hazard was restless in the car, again showing his need to explore every surface inch of his new surroundings. He climbed out of my reach in the passenger seat, up Matt, the driver's shoulder, and out on his head. Two paws onto Matt's hat bill, chaos broke lose. Suddenly, in slow motion, I watched as the hat fell to cover Matt's face, his glasses tumble into his lap, quickly followed by a black furry streak. I grabbed the wheel with one hand, picked up the cat, popped the hat off of Matt's face, then handed him his glasses with a flair and coordination that I can only exhibit in situations where my livelihood is on the line.

After we were safely piloted by a driver who not only no longer had a hat across his face, but could also see with the aid of his glasses, I turned my attention to the small black cat. Exactly what type of cat would try to kill the people who just saved him? He didn't even let us get home before he tried to kill us! You would think that cats would know that part of being adopted was not to kill the adoptive parents... shouldn't they have a class or something? I held his face firmly in my hands and looked deep into his eyes.....

"Hey little guy, you can't be a road hazard".

As soon as the word hazard left my lips, the cat lunged forward towards my face, head butting me with a force of a big bear hug. I pulled him back and looked at him again...


He responded with another emphatic head butt, and another, and another. We had found his name... and another of his endearing qualities. The number of times that head has butted against mine are numerous. Soon we found that he communicated by varying his meows, able to express exactly what he thought about any situation. Him running in one morning, meowing a blue streak, telling me that Matt dared to feed them pate food was probably one of the funniest moments of my life.

My sweet, fuzzy, wild Hazard. There is no question in my mind how much he loves me... even if he did try to kill me!


Jennifer said...

I like Grass Hazard, but I think Christmas Hazard is my favorite :) He's a handsome little danger!

Froggymama said...

Probably the best name for a cat ever.

Dragonfly said...

He is beautiful.

Droll said...

This makes me intensely miss my kitties (who reside with my ex). Us cystics have special connection to our animals, don't we? I've got two wonderful little pups now, Crusher the Monster Pug and Samael the Destroyer (a Boston terrier). They make my life worth living.

I like your blog.