“Hey hey hey hey!” Fido yelled over his shoulder. “I am really like-like-LIKING this guy!”
Fido got a big goofy grin on his face.
“We’ve been talking! He likes the same things I do!”
“Wow that’s good to hear, Big Boy. You never know how a cat is going to fit in.”
“He’ll be just GREAT!” Fido said. He nuzzled the cat and whispered something in the cat’s ear.
The new creature is a big, orange-and-white tuxedo tabby, and seemed to consider what Fido had murmured, but he did not show much of a reaction. Rather, he pointed his nose in the air and nodded, ever so slightly, and then leaped up onto a high spot.
“He’s so …”
“What’s the word you’re looking for, Fido?”
“Is that a good thing?”
“A little bit of regal goes a long way,” Fido said. “He has this way of kind of sorting things out; like, who gets what, and when, and who gets to sit in the Sunny Spot.”
“You don’t mind?”
“I’m a dog!” Fido effused. “He can have the Sunny Spot all he wants. There are plenty of sunny spots, anyway, and I get too warm over there most of the time.”
I pointed out to Fido that he was being unusually magnanimous.
“Sometimes, either the cat doesn’t like the dog,” I said, “or the dog doesn’t like the cat.
“It just works out that way sometimes. But in this case, it looks like you both are doing fine.”
Fido appeared as if he were sinking into a bit of confusion.
“Suit yourself,” I said to Fido, “but I’m wondering what you mean when you say he likes the same things you do.”
“This morning, we played cards,” Fido said. “We played 52-Pickup.”
“That’s a game where you can make up the rules as you go along,” I said.
“I know! But since he’s a cat, he can make up the rules. I don’t mind a bit.”
“Gosh, Fido, you’re really getting the hang of cats right away.”
“I know one thing for sure,” Fido said. “He likes the sound of a can opener in the morning. And he likes NBA basketball on TV. What are we going to call him?” Fido wanted to know.
“He came with a name, you big, red lug.”
“But so did I! At the Whitmore Shelter, they called me Red. As soon as I got home, though, you called me Fido. I answer to both. It’s cool having two names.”
“What would you suggest?”
Fido scrunched up his face in thought.
“I like the name Commander,” he said. “Or Sagamore. Or Boss. Something like that. Padrone, maybe. Or Liege?”
“What are you getting at? They all kind of more or less mean the same thing.”
“Well,” Fido said, “How about Chief?”
“We’ll think about it, Fido. In the meantime, he can still go with the name he has.”
“I say he can go with whatever he wants. He’s a cat. He makes up the rules.”
“Atta boy, Fido.”