Well, it’s not easy to talk about it but I’ll try. Growing up our family had one that lasted 14 years. “Midnight” was her name and living across from a gully, she had plenty to feast upon. No de-clawing for this cat, she had the best of all worlds: critters during the day and a warm basement at night. The cue for her re-entry into our house was a small ladder against a window next to our television set. “Midnight wants to come in,” a lazy relative would yell. The door would open and mother would fry fresh ground beef for this vagabond we possessively called our pet. She’d sleep in the basement and was never allowed in the living room although her espionage visits inevitably led to a loud, “Get out of here.”
After years of this mother drove her twelve miles away, in spite of the laments of five children. The five of us went through our obligatory stages of grief but never seemed to reach number five: acceptance. We were right because two months later Midnight shows up waiting for fresh ground beef and her basement apartment. Her death is not suitable for printing but suffice it to say, Midnight remained with me. A totally black colored cat that a family captured or was captured?
Fast forward to Sam & Sylvia, not named by me but inherited because of a niece who wanted cats and then didn’t. I bring them into my home and hope that they adjust. Soon I learn that I am the one adjusting. (But am I not paying the monthly rent?) What once was mine is now theirs. Doors? None is to be left closed because every door is another adventure full of risk, new discoveries of smell and scents and, of course, danger.) Attention? Try typing and Sam needs to proof read the contents and stand on the keys while wanting to be petted. Sleep? I don’t think any other living creature sleeps as much and enjoys it as much as these two things do. Ten minutes of walking around their estate leads to a quiet nap, prior to the self-bath.
One night I happen to offer a treat at 8:40 p.m. to these two things who own the place and don’t pay rent. Big mistake. Since then, 8:40 p.m. give or take an hour or two and these things are waiting breathlessly for a meager treat while their full food supply ages in another room. Watching TV or sleeping, a constant companion is above, inside or along side of me. Their need for affection is endless. (Aren’t we the same way?!)
I’m told cats live longer than dogs. There’s no dog spit as cats don’t breath that way. They clean themselves more than I ought to. There’s no winter walks since I have litter boxes that contain their treats. They softly munch throughout the day (hint for us?) and drink plenty of water (second health hint?)
Two tumors removals for Sam and teeth cleaning for both of them and on the eve of their tenth anniversary with me, I’m happy to tell Midnight that I’ve finally got it down with these things. Now, if they’d only pay rent in “their” home!
(counselor: “Take two aspirins and don’t call me again.”)