Friday, August 22, 2014
Oh Foolish Human! So you think you own a cat...by Jude Pittman
Honestly, after raising four kids and the assortment of strays, foundling, adoptees and whatever they managed to fill our various households with, I firmly resolved that I’d admire other people’s pets and let them do the caretaking.
My daughter Tami had a dog named Peppers. All of us adored Peppy. Such a sweetheart. Of course they got her when the grandkids were little and it wasn’t until John and I moved to Calgary eight years ago that we became well-acquainted with Peppy. But boy did she have us wrapped around her little paws in a short time. Sadly, she died two years ago. We still miss her.
Last year, my mom who was 94 and slowing down a lot was going to spend her first winter here in Calgary where winters are long and cold. For the past 8 years she had spent winters at my brother’s place in Phoenix and summers with John and I here in Calgary. Last year, however, the travel was becoming too much for her and her health was failing so we decided to get her a cat for companionship. My daughter had recently purchased a Rag Doll named Annie. Gorgeous, docile, sweet tempered Annie. So we thought, why don’t we get a Rag Doll, they seem so sweet.
There was an advertisement for a neutered male, just one and a half, not pure bred, but they assured us he was mostly all Rag Doll. They loved the cat but the husband had developed an allergy and his doctor told them they’d have to get rid of the cat. I was working so sent John to check him out and pick him up if he was suitable.
John fell in love. He must have because “Bailey” howled all the way from the other side of the city until they got home. He was indeed a handsome kitty, but he was definitely not to turn out to be the “quiet, docile little rag doll” that we had envisioned.
My mom looked at him, and said, you know Judy, I’m pretty sure he’s a Siamese. Look at his blue eyes and listen to him. He sure sounds more Siamese than rag doll. Well, as usual mom turned out to be right, but Bailey didn’t let that bother him. He had her doing his bidding within a couple of hour. As a matter of fact that very day he established what our purposes were. Filling his bowls, seeing that he had the prime seat in the house, making sure our laps were ready for leaps (mom didn’t weigh more than 100 pounds, but he’d jump right up there, settle his head against her chin and she’d have to stay where she knew better than to get up and leave – the scolding she’d get was enough to discourage that behavior.
Sadly mom passed away in February and looking back now I understand why Bailey spent almost all of his time either curled up on her bed or beside her in her chair (she’d become weak and he seemed to understand when she’d slide him down beside her so that he didn’t hurt her bones).
There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t remember things we talked about or things we did, just having her there. She’s the one person in my life who always listened to me. Bailey, I think feels the same. He’s now taken over her room. He sleeps on her bed (when he’s not taking up the biggest part of the middle of our bed), and it’s clear he considers her room to be his own private domain. Mom was always a complete neatnik, and I now keep my clothes in her closet, but you should hear the scolding I get if I’m careless enough to toss anything down on the bed.
Actually he also considers himself in charge of the other bedroom which is what I use for my office. I’m a book publisher so you can imagine how much time I spend on the computer. If he thinks I’ve been on there too long he’ll march into the room, leap into my lap and flatten himself out on my keyboard. Message received. Time to take a break.
What a cat. How in the world did we ever manage our household without him?
Find Jude's BWL titles here: http://bookswelove.net/judepittman.php
and watch for her next release, Sisters of Prophecy, co-authored with Gail Roughton, coming soon from BWL!