Sidewinder is not quite certain what sort of party he’s been invited to.
He is absolutely certain, however, that you’re invited, too…and it’s gonna be strange.
Think of it this way. One minute you’re eating lobster Florentine and talking about foreign policy like a civilized person. Next thing you know, it’s tomorrow, and you have misty memories of doing The Dougie on live television and pouring out your heart to some guy named Wombat.
Ain’t no party like a sidewinding party.
Circumstances shot this stout little Siameezish cat sideways like a hairdryer on high. In one-or-so short years of life, Sidewinder lost his sight, his home and his bearings.
By the time the sightless semi-meeze soul blew into the care of Animal Control, he was completely confused. And, as confused creatures are apt to do, Sidewinder started walking in circles.
Sidewinder’s strut + the extreme creativity of the Animal Control officer = the name…Sidewinder.
Being blind, befuddled and possibly brain-damaged, this daft little doughnut was clearly “our kind of cat.” And so, Sidewinder’s winding way took its happiest turn, Tabby’s Place-ward.
That’s about the time we all got sidewindered.
Despite the honest accounts of Animal Control otherwise, Sidewinder did not appear to be circling. Even better, he did not in any way seem to be circling the drain. What had initially sounded like nefarious neurological issues seemed to be nothing more than blindness plus a little understandable anxiety. His oceanic eyes would be blue — and if you look closely enough, they are, around the edges — if not for the planetary pupils that eat them entirely.
It didn’t take long before Sidewinder’s existential anxiety gave way to a more urgent issue: the need to be loved and hugged and kissed on every side of his short little self, simultaneously.
As we attempted to meet Sidewinder’s devotional demands, we wrestled with where to put him. Blind as a bagel, the little cat wouldn’t see the crazy coming at him in, say, Suite B. It’s bad enough to get drop-kicked by Smitten when you have some visual preparation for your doom. Sidewinder would be blindsided by bat-guano-crazy behavior without even knowing what hit him — and we couldn’t do that.
So we did the obvious thing.
We put Sidewinder in the Kitten Room.
Although we immediately began referring to our little maybe-meeze as Uncle Sidewinder, he hasn’t lived into the title. Honesty compels me to confess that Uncle Sidewinder has less than zero interest in the niece and nephew we’ve foisted upon him. But, then, neither do little Carrie and Harrison clamor for Uncle Sidewinder to pull quarters from behind their ears or teach them how to play chess.
Still, the setup works. He may not be the best of babysitters, but Sidewinder is as gentle as a gosling with his juniors. Best of all, the Kitten Room, by virtue of being the Kitten Room, gets a disproportionate volume of visitors, and Sidewinder is passionately interested in visitors.
Specifically, in sidewindering them.
So, kittens, prepare to be blindsided by Siameezish sweetness the next time you arrive at Tabby’s Place. You will be bathed in brownish hair. You will delightedly drown in the biggest eyes this side of the moon. You will join the party hosted by your Uncle Sidewinder.
And you will never, ever be the same.