My Cat

26 11 2009

Geez, I could probably write an entire book on my cat. Or just use all the photographs to make LOLcat-pictures with. He really has a face fit for captions.

My cat is turning 14 in December. Pretty long life, for a cat, although some cats are known to live for up to 18 or 20 years. He was born round about 11 December 1995, and we adopted him on 15 January 1996. ‘Adopt’ isn’t really the suitable word here. Saved His Life would be more appropriate. Apparently, the people who owned the kittens wanted to drown Mewsy (not his real name, but it’ll do here, as purely English people won’t be able to pronounce the Afrikaans name) because he was the ‘ugliest’ kitten of the litter. Such a truly teeny tiny little kitten with bright blue eyes, fur soft to the touch, only wanting to be loved – ugly? That’s what they thought. They even called him Gremlin.

I wonder what they would think, if they saw him now.

Mewsy is probably like any other ordinary cat. But not completely. He’ll come in through the front door, dash down the corridor, then stand by the back door in the kitchen, wanting to go out. Or, if he’s at the back door and I open my bedroom window for him (my window looks out over our backyard), he refuses to come up, and instead repeats his meowing / patient sitting until I do get up, walk all the way down the corridor into the kitchen, and then open the door for him. Many times, he sits pondering whether he wants to come in or not. It’s the same when he’s at the front door. ‘Do I want to come in?’ ‘Don’t I?’ ‘Should I go out in the cold, rainy weather?’ ‘Is it better to stay inside?’

Now I don’t want to go anthropomorphizing my cat, but it’s obvious that cats do think and debate / reason about things, although most certainly not in the same way as we humans – the dominant, ‘higher’ species – do…

When it’s time to feed the cat, he won’t eat until you’ve scratched his hid or at least given his smooth furry body a sleek rubbing down his back. If you don’t, he’ll just sit around looking forlorn, or continue meowing, or maybe hover around his food, looking at it in an odd, truly cat-like way, and then commence to lick himself.

He likes looking into kitchen cabinets, if they’re open. He also walks right into them, making me feel as if it were my fault. He sits by me while I do the ironing or washing up. Sometimes he even comes into the bathroom with you (or at least outside it), licking himself, or just sitting about pleasantly. He always chooses the most inconvenient times to come sit on you – like most cats, I’m sure. But he doesn’t merely try to worm his way onto your lap when you’re busy reading or writing or studying or being creative or typing on your laptop, even. No, he likes to come sit on the back of my legs (my calves, that is) when I am on my knees, usually because my sister is sitting on my bed and I am leaning over to look at what she is showing me.

My cat gets away with a lot. He’s a cat, after all. My white duvet covers have been covered with black cat hair numerous times, yet I don’t reprimand him. I even let him sleep on my pillow. And I move things out of the way so that they don’t bother him… and he lays smack bang in front of the heater, relishing in its warmth.

Plus he’s funny. Tremendously funny, like only cats can be. He has jumped onto my windowsill and bumped his head, much like he has bumped it against many a kitchen cabinet door. Or he’ll jump onto my bed, over onto my second bed, leaping the short distance into the windowsill, skid a bit, look outside, then make a mad dash to get back onto the floor again, and streak out of my room as if his tail were on fire. He also has a tendency to sit about quietly, and then for no good, apparent reason to jump up – a mini leap, like you would see a deer or gazelle make. And then he just walks on further or sits down, as if it were the most normal thing.

I worry about him many times. He looks very scrawny to me. He’ll gain some weight, then just drop it straight off again (wish I knew the secret to that!) He doesn’t have worms, and we’ve used flea powder and tablets and you name it, but I think – without being overly dramatic and pessimistic – that he might have cancer. He has a bump on his left side, which causes him to walk funny sometimes. He doesn’t seem to be suffering, and yet, what if he is? It’s an awful thought, having to put down your beloved furry four-legged feline companion, one who has been with you since you were eight (almost nine) and who was there while you were growing up… So he won’t go. Not yet… not yet…

Oh, and did I mention he licked all the caramel off my younger sister’s birthday cake once?

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