One of the earliest pictures ever made of me shows me in a baby carriage with a cat beside me. Since that day I have never been without a cat, and sometimes two or three cats, and sometimes cats and dogs both. House pets were common, but even more common were inside/outside pets that could come and go as they wished.
This situation came to an end a couple of years ago when our great-granddaughter, Marilyn, returned to live with her mother, taking her cat, Pumpkin, with her. I mourned the loss of this orange personality so much I didn't want to replace him with another cat. Since we had no other young ones at home and two strays that had occupied our outbuildings while being well fed and protected by us for over 10 years were still coming around for some petting I decided to go indoor catless. It was lonely at first and I kept thinking I saw Pumpkin coming to greet us or taking a stroll around the pond. But I adjusted.
Flash forward another two years. Marilyn is married, expecting a baby and received a yellow kitten as a gift to keep her company. But this week while her husband was undergoing some health problems up in Kansas City, guess who received the opportunity to take care of six months old Tiger? We are reliving the joys of kittenhood in our midst.
One difference with this than our many other kittens is, he was raised and trained by Dennis and Marilyn, not by us. So some things our own cats would never have done, Tiger is very comfortable doing. One example of this is his expectations at bedtime. He is quite sure he will be welcome in our bed, and not just curled at the foot of the bed, but up on the pillows by our heads.
Sure, we could shut him up in our guest room where he had spent one night with Marilyn before she went to be with her husband at the hospital. But we had promised that we would enjoy his company so we felt we should pamper him by letting him follow his usual custom. So, during the night if either of us rose for bathroom needs, we would be greeted by a loudly purring kitten who escorted us back to the bed by twisting between our feet as we walked slowly in the dim rooms. He jumped to the pillows and happily awaited our heads.
I tried pulling the covers over my head, but that made it even more comfortable for him as he snuggled into the warmth. As he became happier he kneaded his paws in my hair just above my ear while purring loudly into it. I was beginning to lose my love for his species, but then Lester turned over and Tiger saw another opportunity and walked across my face to reach this new field of action. I didn't stay awake to know the results, but I have a feeling Tiger wasn't allowed the freedom on that side of the bed that he had expected on mine.
This morning everyone was back on good terms with each other and Tiger enjoyed pawing water out of his water dish onto the floor in between knocking the remote off the end table, and greeting everyone who came to the front door.
He has an unusual appearance today because he has discovered passageways that probably have not been dusted since we established our home here. I really like the rakish look the cobwebs gives to his eyebrow whiskers because I can know that one more untouched spot has come clean.
Right now he is watching me typing this column and I can tell by the excited look in his eyes that he enjoys seeing the finger movements. I hope he doesn't jump on the ;jkf iuj fjadk.