It’s time we addressed the cat in the room…
There is a cat slithering all over my lap. First he head-butts my hand, then artlessly transitions to an acrobatic flop alongside the length of my leg. The most practiced yoga instructor cannot hope to imitate the fluid, boneless movements of the average feline. Needle-sharp talons gently waving in the air, he stretches towards my unprotected toes, one paw tentatively hooking around my ankle.
–and his claws retract. Still, he uses that newfound purchase to pull his feline form down, down, until he is as elongated as an exclamation mark with a twitching tail for punctuation.
I eye him nervously; Gatsby has a penchant for feet, particularly the soft inner arches.
“Cats do not have to be shown how to have a good time, for they are unfailing ingenious in that respect.” –James Mason
In 2014, I had zero cats.
In 2017, I have two. Not just cats but Bengals, the domestic equivalent of having a leopard high on LSD loose within four walls and a roof.
Lover also has two Bengals. His are a more mature six years old, whereas mine are both fairly young. Really, one is just a mammoth-sized baby, weighing in at eleven pounds but with only six months served of his life sentence on Planet Earth.
“The smallest feline is a masterpiece.”–Leonardo da Vinci
I sometimes fear what may happen should we ever decide to combine households.
But that future is far, far away, and for today my only true concern is to slip free of Gatsby’s grappling embrace, hopefully without injury. Or at least one that can be patched with a minimal application of Bactine and a bandaid.
“What greater gift than the love of a cat?”–Charles Dickens
When I began assembling these vignettes into a novel, I realized that I couldn’t omit the cats from our story. True, they play no practical part and contribute nothing to the plot, but the whole premise of our adventures is that they are true to life, despite my plans to publish under the fiction category.
“Maybe just one,” I mused to myself. “A Frankenstein-type cat that incorporates all their characteristics into a single volatile being.” Voilà! Kilter was created.
Then came last summer when a local breeder called me about a marble-colored kitten who had contracted an eye infection within the first week. Because his eyes weren’t open yet, the virus went undetected, resulting in the loss of one blue eye.
“He has a great personality,” Robyn told me.
Note: When searching for a house, the word “cozy” translates to “small” or even “cramped”. When adding a deluxe hurricane to your household, “great personality” translates to “feisty fur ball of mass destruction.”
I was already in love with the name Kilter, and it fit the little kitty perfectly.
Should there be a sequel to the novel-in-progress, I will have to resort to calling him Pirate Cat within the pages of fiction. Until then, I am simply happy to be at peace with all creatures great and small.