My brother and his wife have had two cats, Bonnie and Clyde, for eight years. In addition, they have always put out food for any strays who venture into the yard. One of those had such remarkable coloring that they gave him a name – Pierre, after Pierre Bezukhov (“earless”), a character in “War and Peace.” Pierre the cat, while mostly white, had what looked almost like a black beret over one ear. He stopped by every day for quite a while, and then suddenly disappeared for a few days. Alarmed, my brother scoured the neighborhood, but Pierre was nowhere to be seen. One day, his wife heard someone softly knocking on the door. She opened the door, and there was Pierre, his mouth and the white ear covered in blood, knocking – not scratching, but knocking! – on the door with a bloody paw.
They picked him up and rushed him to a vet. Poor Pierre, denizen of the garbage dumps, has caught an infection so serious, that he had to have major mouth surgery, in addition to treatments on all four paws and the ear. He weighed 3 lbs, and had to have special diet and a medication regimen. He is well now, a respectable 12,5 lbs, and has become a part of the family. Bonnie and Clyde, who at first shied away from a poor sick kitty, finally accepted him. The white ear, though, has somewhat lost its shape, so now, unfortunately, he does justify the name.
Pierre has a loud, demanding voice. My brother claims that the cat actually curses in Russian. A couple of days after hurricane Sandy hit New York, Pierre was taking a nap on the coach, when suddenly he jumped on the window sill and started frantically hitting the window while loudly cursing – in Russian, according to my brother. They looked out the window, and there was a fur ball, so tiny that he could barely be seen in the twilight. Of course, they ran out, picked him up, and rushed him to the vet. The little kitten who must have been no more than four weeks old, was probably lost from his house after the hurricane and spent those two or three days desperately looking for a home. He was starving and barely alive. My brother pasted flyers all over the neighborhood, but no one responded. So the little one, named Kiryusha, joined the happy family.
Now Kiryusha is a gorgeous, lively, rambunctious youngster who would race Uncle Clyde back and forth all day, given a chance. Pierre tries to discipline him, verbally and very loudly, but Auntie Bonnie always takes him under her protective motherly paw.