Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cat and Mouse

Let’s face it; just a quick trip around the corner to see the vet is pretty stressful for most cats. They’re the territorial, stay-at-home types. Don’t travel well. So a ride up from the gravity well is pretty much a non-starter unless they’re doped to the eyeballs. And once topside, cats don’t mesh well with station life.

The odds of a dog getting sucked into the air recycler and hashing up the works are pretty long. Most cats, on the other hand, will get their noses into the wrong place at the wrong time sooner or later. It’s just a matter of time. Most stations in empire ban cats outright.

Yoshi's a white and tabby I picked up in the Amarr home system. Some guy had smuggled him onto station from the downbelow. There was a buyer in nullsec who’d backed out at the last minute and now the trader was stuck with a freaked-out tomcat that, on top of the usual behaviors on can expect from a cat in such an agitated state, was triggering the station’s contraband bioscans.

Let’s just say the guy was a motivated seller. 

Happily for Yoshi, once you get out of highsec, the whole “no cats” on station law becomes more a loose guideline, especially when a cat is accompanied by a substantial “pet deposit”.

Mind, you do want to keep your cat close and out of trouble. Said deposit is not going to keep your neighbors from venting your ass into vacuum if they end up breathing shredded cat fur for a week. And not all the risks come from station mechanics. There are a lot of spacers (especially among the Minmatar – go figure) for whom anything on four paws is eligible for the title of tonight’s special entrée. Cats included.

Sometimes I think of sending Yoshi back planet-side. But by now he’s spent more of his life as a spacer than he ever did as a ground-pounder. I don’t know how he’d take the change. He’s gotten to be a veteran feline capsuleer. Even catches rodents in null-G, which is the sort of thing you’ve got to see to believe.  So, I expect Yoshi’s in for the duration.

Speaking of cats and mice, Paxton’s holding their own down in Providence for the moment. They’re outnumbered by the coalition of Providence sov-holders that AAA put in place after evicting CVA. However the coalition forces are still learning to fight together. Meanwhile, Paxton is showing they come by their pvp reputation honestly. They’re a seasoned team with established lines of command and tactical communication.

Round one took place in Providence MH9C. With Ushra'Khan in the lead, the coalition forces took a bloody nose from Paxton acting with back-up from CVA. Credit to U’K, they’re having a hard look at what went wrong at MH9C and know they’ve got to step up their game before starting the next round. Expect better showings from coalition in the future. 

If I were Paxton, I’d be using the current breathing room to find a diplomatic conclusion to the scrap CVA’s gotten them into. In the game of cat and mouse, it’s important for the mouse to avoid overconfidence. Old mouse has to win every hand in the game.

The cat only has to win big once.

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