by Lisa

The week before Rivercon Joe and I came home from Lynn's Paradise Cafe to discover that the scrawny little dark gray cat who had been hanging around the neighborhood was even thinner than he had been the last time we had seen him. I sighed, surrendered, and told Joe to get a cat carrier. We lured our small friend in need into the carrier and took him to an all-night vet. $140 poorer, we had five cats. The vet gave him a rabies shot and tested him for leukemia. Fortunately he was negative, so we could take him home. We installed him in the bathroom. Joe ran out and bought a new food bowl and a water bowl. We filled both and left the new cat to settle into his new quarters. From the way he inhaled his food, we knew we could not name him Bill, so we settled for Gemellus. He spent the next few days in the bathroom.

When we opened the bathroom door, Gemellus, as we had named the cat, refused to leave his safe little den. After two days of this I realized that Gemellus believed food only appeared in the bathroom. I began moving his food bowl slowly toward where the four other bowls were. When his bowl was with the others, Gemellus finally realized he was not going to starve. He went back to our regular vet clinic for a leukemia shot and there the vet determined he was neutered so that we were spared that expense. He was declawed, which is probably why he was starving. He remained thin until we went on vacation, so that I had to explain to the vet assistants that he was fatter than he had been when we took him in. He lost his painful thinness while we were gone and now is a properly sleek cat. There was some hissing while he was being introduced, most of it done by Gemellus. He tried hissing at Elfling, but Elfling only gave him a cool stare in response, as if to say, "Any time you think you're big enough." After a minute, Gemellus realized he was not going to displace Elfling as alpha cat and backed off.