Saturday, November 5, 2011

cat tales

Once, a few years ago, I walked into a professor's office and he asked me, "What happened to your face?"

"Oh, my cat attacked me."

"That's funny," he said, "I wouldn't keep a pet who attacks me."

Well, Kitsy, as we so often call him, is still here. While I get what Dr Chair was saying, I also love my cat. He's a member of the family, and we accept him despite his occasional testiness.

He (the cat, not the professor) came into our lives in 2004. Cardo decided he wanted to get me a cat (a decision I think he still regrets sometimes) for Valentine's Day. In true us fashion, we didn't get a cat until March. We adopted Snuggles from the SPCA. He was already named and I had this weird notion that it wouldn't be right to change his name. He was absolutely tiny, and he was rather snuggly then.

Shortly after we adopted Snuggles, I got pregnant with Pic. I was sick almost all of the time during months two through four (into my second trimester, which I didn't think was the way it was supposed to go), so I wasn't up and around a lot. Snuggles would sit on my chest and tuck his head under my chin when I was sitting down. Eventually, I also napped a lot during my pregnancy. Snuggles was only too happy to join me for a nap. He still looks at me when the day has gone on long enough expecting me to go take a nap so he can settle in too.

For a while, he had a brother. This was 2007 to 2009. We had Lucky (also adopted and also already named) for a little less than two years. Snuggles, being a spry four years old, loved playing with his brother. Lucky, who had been found in a field with crates full of kittens, was probably older than the ten years the Human Society employees guessed him to be, and he wasn't always as enthusiastic about Snuggles's playfulness. However, Lucky tolerated it well.

Snuggles himself has shown great patience with the young 'uns. When Pic was but a wee bairn, she would grab his fur, delighting in how soft he was. Snuggles waited until she had been up and running for several months before he started defending himself from Pic's often overzealous advances. He's the same way with our dearly beloved friends' little one now.

With the rest of us, though? Well, he gets in his moods. He'll lure you in as he sprawls out, tempting us to pet him or rub his tummy. And, I still fall for it, even though I know he seems to detest having his tummy rubbed. It's a trick. He only wants to grab your hand and latch on with his claws and teeth.

My dad still laughs when I mention Snuggles by name because he, too, knows the dangers of trusting the cat too easily.

Although I'm wary of being too attached to animals because I know they'll inevitably die (as will we all), Snuggles is firmly tucked away in my heart.* I love that he still awaits a daily nap, as if those still happen on a regular basis (we both wish). I love that he plays fetch. I love that he purrs loudly to himself as he's getting ready to go to bed, even though no one is petting him. I love that he looks black in most light, but when the sun shines on him, he's the color of some fabulous deep dark chocolate. I love that he snores.

When we were deciding on a new pet recently, I was so hoping to adopt another cat. I was overruled, two to one, though, and we got a dog. More on her next week.


* Aren't you glad I didn't say "literally"? Because that would be gross.


Kat said...

Love the kitty tales. What happened to Lucky? Is he in kitty heaven?

Oh, and I have been attacked by my cats and that is fine, but if a dog ever attacked me he'd be gone.

v said...

Yeah, Lucky was older than the Human Society employees thought and who knows what the first decade-plus of his life had been like. His kidneys started to fail. He lived the end of his life in the hospital and we finally decided he shouldn't live in so much pain as nothing was helping. (I hate the term "put to sleep" but "we decided to end his life" didn't sound right either, but that's what we decided).

I know what you mean about cat attacking. Because, if the dog attacked us, we'd have to find another home for her. I'm really glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. (And, I have no idea if I'd still be able to say this so easily if I had to prove my words true.)