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  • Part 2 of this story is titled "We call him Two-Tone." Thanks for reading.


    A crash. A thud. A small scurrying white streak moved from the large dining window to the kitchen door located directly across from it. Many scurrying furry bits, running.

    "Oh. That's Digit. He's the crazy one."

    I was standing in the living room of a Ballard home. A home that had a couple of chickens running in the yard and a big pot-bellied pig running around inside the house. Not a typical Seattle household for 1996. There was a man and two preteen girls who lived there and my soon-to-be husband and I were there to get a kitten. That morning, I had called around to local vets to see if any of them had free kittens who needed a home. I wanted to surprise my fiance with a cat, but many of the clinics surprisingly did not have any available. I finally reached one that had some information. I was told that the kittens were all black and white and polydactyl. At the time, I didn't know what that meant ("polydactyl," that is) so I asked the lady on the other end to elaborate.

    "It means they have extra toes," she informed me.

    I was sold. I had heard about cats like this, but had never met one - never mind three of them. I ended up calling the family who had the kittens and set up a time to come see them - later that day. My fiance was getting ready to get off from work in the Ballard area, so I called him to see if he wanted to go with me. He did. I got ready, grabbed some bus money, and walked to the bus-stop across from our Central District apartment. I was excited. I had lived with cats my whole life and found my cat-less existence in Seattle unacceptable.

    The fiance and I walked up to the kittens' home and the first thing we noticed were chickens in the yard. We laughed it off and continued to the door. Being two punk rockers with crazy hair and studded *everything,* walking up to a yard of chickens, was quite amusing. We were welcomed in by a preteen girl and her father.

    We asked about the kittens and the young girl brought over a sleepy looking tuxedo one. I picked him up and he just fell asleep in my hands. We all discussed the kittens, the mama-cat, and the pot-bellied pig while I cradled the little furry sweetness against my chest. The girl told us their name for him was "P.J."

    "... not for P.J. Harvey, but because he looks like he's wearing pajamas."

    He was a sweet cat, so we decided to take him. There were only three kittens left from the litter. P.J. was one of them. Another was a shy female kitten that was mostly white with black spots. The third was a very scrappy version of his sister cat. This was the wild Digit. When we were deciding to take P.J. and were meeting the pig, a little white streak ran over to the macrame plant holder to our left, pounced up on it and basically swung over to the couch and landed behind the girl's head with so much personality it almost blew us out of the room. Enter, crazy Digit. My fiance fell in love immediately with the sassiest little cat that ever existed. We couldn't leave him, so we decided to take the little wild child as well. Plus, he had seven toes on his front paws! These were oddball cats. Perfect for us. The family assured us that since the little female and the mother cat got along so well that they would keep her. We felt satisfied and packed up our new family members in the cardboard carrier I had picked up earlier that day.

    On the way to the bus-stop, the fiance and I decided to change the names of the mewing little lumps in the box. We went through name after name and he decided on "Rexor" for the the sweet little shy tuxedo. He thought that was hilarious given the reference. Let's just say he was a huge Conan the Barbarian fan. I, on the other hand, was really into ska at the time, so the wild "Digit" became "Two-Tone."

    This moment in a day in Seattle seemed like any other moment. We took the little kittens home to our apartment and two other roommates. We watched over them. Trained them in the litter box. Laughed at their antics, like coming home to both of them tangled up in the floor-length lace curtains (not knowing how long they had been dangling their, crying). I never realized that I had just met my soulmate - the little magical furry partner that would be by my side for the next 15.5 years.
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