In this month’s steamy episode, we get the inside scoop on the real lives of Ripley and Stevie, a pair of mix-matched half-siblings that live with Circulation Assistant Kasey. Will Ripley continue to be the reliable one or will jealousy cloud his judgement? Will Stevie’s adventurous spirit put her at risk – again? Here’s Kasey’s tell-all about the pampered lives of these two felines.
Truth be told, I was never a cat person.
All through my childhood, my family assembled a ragamuffin pack of dogs; a curmudgeonly poodle my parents had to re-home after he became increasingly aggressive at my improving mobility as a toddler, a wily golden retriever who enjoyed escaping the house to go hang out at the local elementary school during recess, and the constant cavalcade of tiny terriers my sister adopted and mothered over the years. Yes, I say, “mothered” because she literally put them into strollers.
My favorite dog was a mutt of indecipherable lineage I found in a shelter when I was in high school; his proportions didn’t match his head which didn’t match his fur type which didn’t match his disposition. He never learned to howl so much as he learned to scream. When he died young, maybe that was just it for me with dogs. Maybe.
In any case, I turned to cats.
First, I found Ripley.
You have to understand, originally, I was in the market for a female cat. I’d already picked out the name and everything. Ripley, after Sigourney Weaver’s character in the Alien movies; Ellen Ripley, slayer of villains and hero of my heart! But then on petfinder, I found this picture of a pudgy, male, 4-month-old, black and white kitten at a shelter nearly an hour away. His little eyes burned into me through the screen.
A few days later, I held a tomcat named Ripley in my arms.
He’s a sweet boy, if occasionally disdainful. He loves attention, but only on his own terms. Insists upon regular mealtimes at my peril. Very often, he sleeps on his back with all four paws in the air. And he’s huge. Like, he’s 16 pounds of boy. And yes, some of that does make him overweight. The vet tells me that’s why he seems to always have some dandruff on his back; he’s too fat to reach back to get it off. But mostly, he’s just big. Regular big. Strong bone structure. Perfect for slaying villains.
Ripley, if I forced him to have opinions, would recommend the films in the Alien series, naturally, but most especially the second film, Aliens. Sci-fi, in general, seems to be his thing. His favorite Star Wars movie is The Last Jedi and no one can get mad at him about because he is only a simple cat, a simple cat who loves Admiral Holdo.
After a few years, with only one cat, I did start to feel a new Yearning. And quite frankly, Ripley seemed lonely. Or at least too set in his ways. It’d just been the two of us for five years. Sure, he’d seen me through multiple life hurdles, maybe we hadn’t been all alone the whole time, but here at the end, it was just me and Ripley.
So… I found Stevie.
At long last, I finally got my baby girl! Tiny, three months old, and with bright blue eyes… she was trouble immediately, the kind of trouble that only a second-born child gets into, and the kind of trouble that slow, benevolent Ripley never dared to get into.
One afternoon after I got off work, I couldn’t find her anywhere, and this was early, maybe a week after I’d adopted her.
Manically, I tore the house apart. I searched the outside. I searched the inside. I looked in the refrigerator. I gave Ripley an earful about being a terrible big brother.
And then… I began to hear tiny, muffled, mews. I found her wedged up between my bedroom wall and my wardrobe, little eyes just glinting back at me. Who knows how long she’d been stuck back there, possibly hours. But she seemed oddly content with herself and her predicament. What trouble.
Though named after the legendary rock star Stevie Nicks, I’m not entirely sure that my Stevie is bright enough to appreciate that. (She does have an odd habit of opening doors by running into them skull first.)
At the end of the day, I think she would recommend any works that feature her name. Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks by Stephen Davis would thrill her through mere number of mentions alone. The concert video The Dance by Fleetwood Mac would surely be a highlight.
And she may yet enjoy music by Stevie Wonder, who knows, I doubt her tastes are discerning enough to discriminate.
More About These Recommendations:
The Last Jedi – Luke Skywalker’s peaceful and solitary existence gets upended when he encounters Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of the Force.
Her desire to learn the ways of the Jedi forces Luke to make a decision that changes their lives forever. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren and General Hux lead the First Order in an all-out assault against Leia and the Resistance for supremacy of the galaxy.
Alien – In deep space, the crew of the commercial starship Nostromo is awakened from their cryo-sleep capsules halfway through their journey home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship. An organism from inside an egg leaps out and attaches itself to one of the crew, causing him to fall into a coma.