Sunday, May 07, 2006

A tale of two kitties

Our story begins, as most stories do, once upon a time, in a land not so far away (in fact, precisely 2300 kilometres away), in the west end of Winnipeg known as St. James. Winnipeg is, of course, famous for being the inspiration for the name of the little bear known as Winnie-the-Pooh. The west end of Winnipeg, being the fine place that it is, not only hosts the Poohseum and a Hundred Acre Wood playground in Assiniboine Park, but is also the locale of another benevolent establishment, namely a no-kill animal shelter from whence the heroes of our story (to whom you shall shortly be introduced), came.

The heroes of our story, the stately Tobias (black and white kitty) and the regal Raphael (white kitty), were the last two kittens of their litter, clearly special and greatly attached to one another. After not much persuasion at all, the brothers were rescued by, let's call her "She Who Has Great Taste", and they lived together happily in the flat, white land of Winterpeg. For a while. And, like all happy tales, this bucolic existence was interrupted, fortunately briefly, by a traumatic move to Toronto, which involved drugs and hurtling through space in a tin can, only to suffer the indignity of being referred to as a "whole lotta kitty".

Now, it is true that my friends, Toby and Raffy, as they are affectionately known, might be referred to as "generous", "fluffy", or even "big-boned". I would posit that they are cats who are growing into their important names, trying to carry these weighty names with grace and style.

Consider their appellations: Tobias and Raphael. From the Old Testament Apocrypha, Tobias was a little boy who went on a journey to fetch money and medicine for his blind father, Tobit, accompanied by the Archangel Raphael, disguised as a human. Raphael offers to aid and protect Tobias on his journey, from such things as giant fish, demons, and a premature grave. Let's just say that without Raphael, Tobias's journey would have been much shorter, and the ending less cheerful. The full story can be found in the Book of Tobit, or the Book of Tobias, as it is known in older Catholic Bibles. It is often frequently represented in Renaissance and Baroque art, such as Tobias and the Angel, a painting finished around 1470 to 1480 by the Italian Renaissance painter Andrea del Verrocchio.

When you consider that in comparison I was named after a fictional character in a light-weight mystery series (or an artistic ape who was sued for sexual harassment, depending on your reference point), and my buddies were named after a demon-fighter and an angel, is it no wonder that they might be a little larger than life?

All stories must end with a happily ever after: "She Who Has Great Taste" respects my friends for the regal creatures that they are and what they represent, and provides a lavish and sumptuous environment, catering to their every whim. They are large. And beautiful. They are my friends.

1 comment:

Little Knitter said...

I am indeed lucky enough to have been graced by their company once or twice, and their 'weighty' personalities are a pleasure.

Very sweet photos!