Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cat Tales

Missed writing my blog on Friday as I was in the bay area attending to "matters of consequence" as St. Exupery says. While there I had dinner with friends Beth and Barb and got to meet their two new kitties, which are already half-grown. Jennie is quiet and a tad shy, but Jazzy steals every scene anyway.  This cat thinks he is a dog, for he retrieves his cloth mousie when thrown and returns in a second or two, dropping it sometimes right into Beth or Barb's hand for another throw. He also poses like a paid model, often in a sit position, one leg splayed out. How adorable is this!
Once upon a time, maybe twenty five years ago, Lee and I found ourselves out of kitties, that is to say we usually had both cats and dogs as pets, and even once had a rabbit and a big turtle and a little frog.  On this occasion we adopted two yellow females from a friend's litter. They looked identical, except one was thin and one was fat. Seen in silhouette, I could tell them apart, but otherwise not. We named them Fat Cat and Thin Kit. We had them spayed, etc. and they became one with our family. One hot summer night as the cats slept right outside our bedroom door on a raised platform, we heard a giant blood curdling scream of an animal. I rose and walked to the patio. Nothing was stirring. It seemed like the three dogs were conked out. There was no wind or other sign of disturbance. How puzzling?
But the next morning we could not find Fat Cat. This was unlike her; her habits were calm, lazy and predictable. But nothing else was amiss. One, two, three days went by. Fat Cat had disappeared. After a couple of weeks we gave up hunting for her. No trace could be found.
About two years later as I was coming home from work in my '64 VW bug, I stopped at the mailbox at the top of the driveway to get the mail.  And there in the bushes, about four feet to my right, was a bedraggled yellow cat. He or she was skin and bones, with puss oozing from many open wounds. The hair was matted, and eyes almost closed. The cat appeared wild and would not let me any closer. I went on down the driveway but later that evening walked up with a bowl of water and a bowl of dry kibble, which I placed by the mailbox. I repeated this pattern for about a week. The cat was always waiting for me.

But what of the wounds? The cat came a little closer, maybe two and a half feet. Eventually I got some antibiotic ointment, put it in a turkey baster, and daily squirted it at his wounds. sometimes hitting the target, sometimes not. After about three weeks of this the cat was looking healthier and he or she came even closer. On impulse one afternoon I reached down quickly and grabbed the cat, clutching it to my chest, expecting to be mauled to death. Instead he/she went limp, and I heard this giant deep purring.  So that is the first chapter of the story, but certainly not the best. Stay tuned for next week.
Meanwhile, the pictures above are of Jazzy stealing the show.

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