Cat Two: Xena
For this examination, I was assisted by graduate literature student Lauren Cerretti. When we showed up at Leah Graysmith's place, Lauren started the review immediately:
"Point One," she announced. "Xena did not greet us at the door."
Hospitality: very low, or 0%
Leah offered us hot chocolate, which I accepted, and tea, which Lauren accepted. Although I can not comment on the tea, I can say this: the hot chocolate was incredible.
We found Xena lying on the floor in Leah's bedroom. Apparently, the bed is situated so that the cat can lie beneath it and next to the heat register, and all the warm air is trapped by overhanging sheets and comforters.
Ingenuity, or Clever Use of Natural Resources: high, or 98%
Xena is a ten year-old cat, but looks to be in surprisingly good phsyical condition. She sports a lithe profile and slender hips. Also, she is the color of melted Milky Way bars (which I happen to find delicious).
Comparability of Fur Color to Color of Popular Snack Foods: moderate-high, or 77%
In the basement, Leah turned on some exotic instrumental music, and the cat quickly began to slink about in a way that, in all seriousness, made me wonder if the cat thought it was a belly dancer/odalisque/whatever. The cat approached me, then walked away, rubbing against the leg of a coffee table. The cat crawled beneath the table and did a little dance. I tried to capture this on video and, shortly after, the cat scampered up the stairs, into the kitchen.
"Points for independence," Lauren said. "She doesn't need the guests."
Up in the kitchen, I experimented again with the whole nose-touching cat greeting. Readers of the Review may remember that this technique met with disastrous results during my review of Rufus, and this time it didn't work much better. Xena deigned to approach me, then to poke her nose in my direction, but she quickly slid away, preferring to rub her neck against the bottom of the kitchen cabinets.
Willingness to Indulge Me in the Whole Nose-Touching Greeting Thing: low-moderate, or 41%
Back down in the basement, before Lauren and I left, I was able to determine the following:
Impudence: low-moderate, or drank out of my hot chocolate mug
Quality of Meow: harsh, sharp, and quick
Frequency of Meows: very infrequent (two total)
Ability to Imitate a Sea Shrimp: high, or 92%; Also, Ability to Blend Into a Couch: high, or 92%
Lauren attempted to test the cat for squishiness, but wussed out. I dove in, pinching, pinching, pinching (delicately), and the cat immediately began to lick my knuckles. "Four," I said. "Five, six, seven." The cat went on to lick my knuckles 35 times before I cut her off. She then began to lick her own fur.
Although Lauren and I were told that Xena sometimes exhibits an otherworldly gaze, we only witnessed one; therefore:
Otherworldly Gazes: low, or 17%; I wasn't creeped out in the slightest, nor did the cat convince me of the existence of ghosts, time travel, or secret cat wisdom
Although Xena hid from us at first, she went on to display an elegant, refined (if aloof) attitude. She enjoyed but was not dependent on our affection, she danced beneath a table, and she licked my hand. She is shapely and covered in soft fur. If I were a male cat, I would totally ask this cat out on a date, hoping that it would lead to lots of scratching, pawing, and caterwauling.
Therefore, of a possible 7, I award Xena 6 cute little kitty cat faces.