William and Ernest, rescue cats from Austin Pets Alive, came to live with us in 2009. Nine years later, David and I live with them.
Ernest came first. David named him Earl Gray, which morphed into Mr. E., which morphed into Ernest. It takes time to find the right name. A gray tabby, he was six months old and had had a traumatic experience. First, the veterinarian prepared to spay him and then realized he was a neutered male. Then he escaped from his foster mom’s apartment and was out for several days before they managed to trap him. He showed no signs of trauma, however, the day we met him: when the APA volunteer put him in David’s lap, he turned belly up. There was no doubt he was ours.
We got William about a month later. He’d been traumatized, too–he escaped the shelter and was found under a trailer on the property three days later. David named him William of Orange, but since he’s a cream tabby, I changed it to William of Orange Cream Soda. With two darters, we had to double up on door watch duty. We’d had William a week when Ernest came down with a digestive malady. Our vet couldn’t identify the cause, so we left him for observation. The next day, William became lethargic and refused to eat. I held him all morning, but saw no improvement, so I hauled him to the vet. He had a high fever, she said, but she didn’t have a diagnosis. I left him for observation.
The next afternoon I called to check on my children. Both were doing well, she said. She had put William in the cage with Ernest and his temperature returned to normal and he was gobbling up food. I agreed to leave them over the weekend to be sure they were okay.
On Monday I went to get them. The tech brought Ernest out, then started to add up the bill: Ernest–one male, intact.
Wait a minute, I said. He’s been neutered. APA had it done.
She pulled him out of the cage and turned him belly up. He was indeed a male, intact.
Okayyyyyyy. Poor thing–first he was a female about to be spayed, then he was a neutered male, then he was a male, intact.
A couple of weeks later, he went back to the vet and, for the second time, came home a neutered male.
William’s life hasn’t been nearly so eventful. He began as a neutered male and continues to be one. He’s developed diabetes, so David gives him an injection of insulin twice a day. Since the injection is accompanied by food, he appears in the kitchen promptly at five o’clock every evening.
Although they were rescue cats, William and Ernest have thrived in our home. At social events, I am popularly known as “the one with cat hair all over her black slacks.”
They’ve also starred in David’s video “Invisible Men Invade Earth,” (see below), which was screened at film festivals in Beaumont, Houston, Fort Worth, and Dallas (twice). The highlight was their appearance at Fantastic Fest in Austin. Audiences love them–we’ve noticed that the older the audience, the louder they laugh.
One critic at Fantastic Fest called their film “weird.” They applied the same adjective to David.
We’re proud of William and Ernest’s accomplishments, but we would be just as proud if all they did was lie around and sleep.
Invisible Men Invade Earth–David Davis, writer, producer, director, sound effects, and everything else