Charlie got to name one, and I got to name the other. He picked "Boggs," for the male cat, after the robot in Logan's Run, while I picked the sedate, yet tasteful, "Otoko no Hito no Ichiban Ii Tomodachi" for the female. (For those who may be wondering what the HELL I was thinking, it's sort of poorly constructed pidgin Japanese for "Man's Best Friend" or, more literally, "The Number One Friend of an Adult Human Male." Kind of - Japanese is a language very different from English in many ways.)
The kittens were so small, you could fit one in the palm of your hand. Who would have thought that tiny little Boggs would grow up to be a 30-pound monster of a cat while Tomo (as we called her - hey, I may be eccentric, but I'm not stupid) would get to about half the size of an adult cat and just hover there in perpetual adolescence?
Yes, this could definitely be a tactical emergency, but not quite in the way you might think. You see, while it was true that Boggs sounded like a name that would fit just fine on a Rottweiler, and while it was also true that Boggs had grown up to be the size of a small cougar, there was one thing that really worried us about introducing Boggs to the new puppy: Boggs, despite his massive size and intimidating name, was -- well, there's no delicate way to put this -- a fraidy cat.
Whenever anyone came to the door, Boggs would run away and hide under the bed, shivering until they went away. Actually, he would sometimes try to hide under the couch, but due to his sheer mass, he never really managed to get more than part of his back leg and his tail underneath it. Other times, he would make a stealthy dash for the cover of the coffee table, waiting until he could make a break to the closet. An unfamiliar voice would result in poor (not-so-)little Boggs puffing up to half-again his size and streaking off in the opposite direction. Sometimes, his haste was such that he would carom off one of the walls, stagger back a bit, then continue his mad escape.
Boggs was, shall we say, a bit timid. His nerves were obviously on edge. Had he been a human, the docs would have likely dosed him to the gills on Xanax, but, since he was a cat, he just had to live with his obvious anxiety disorder, while we tried very hard not to surprise him with loud noises or sudden movements. (Especially if he happened to be sitting near us at the time -- Boggs also had claws to match his stature, and as it turns out, your leg makes a mighty good jumping off point on the road to freedom when those bad boys dig in a bit. Can you say "OW?" To this day I bear the scars.)
Chewie, while a medium-sized dog, was still bigger than Boggs. Worse than that, he was … well … a dog. He had no idea about cat etiquette. He would be likely to decide that Boggs' running away was some kind of new, fun game, and happily give chase. He might even, heaven forbid, bark at poor Boggs, potentially traumatizing the cat for life.
Charlie and I looked at each other gravely for a moment, considering the implications of this introduction.
"Maybe it won't be that big a deal," I offered tentatively and with a significant lack of confidence. "I mean, Boggs came within ten feet of Mom when she was over the other day. Maybe he's getting braver."
Charlie raised an eyebrow at my optimism. "I don't know," he said, unconvinced.
"Well, we have to do it eventually," I pointed out. "We can't just take Chewie back because we're afraid that the sight of him will scare the cat."
"True," he responded. I could see him making up his mind. "Aw, he'll be fine," Charlie decided.
He opened the door a big wider, and Chewie ran right inside. I said a quick prayer, and followed.