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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

A Cat's Tale

This is the true story of a cat.

Trent and I have never really been cat people. I think that a big part of this for me is the experiences I had with Alice. During the hellish couple of years that I lived under her care, it was evident that cats were more important to her than human children. Especially more important than the orphan children of her husband's Hungarian relatives. As a result, I went through a period during which I actively disliked cats; this phase ended many years ago. 

Trent has been a dog person for many years, as have I. We both take issue with the type of cat that will walk all over the kitchen counters and things of that nature. It kind of disgusts us. But we have had cordial interactions with cats who own humans of our acquaintance.

Many changes have occurred recently in the land of The Lunatic and company. Perhaps these will be discussed in a future blog post. One of the results of these changes is that Liz, my sister, has become a member of our household. Along with her comes a well-behaved and shy (reclusive?) cat named Brutus.

Brutus is a substantial (chunky monkey) grey cat that Liz adopted as a kitten. He was a motherless feral cat, and has some issues as a result. It takes him a while to warm up to people, and when he sleeps, as some cats seem to do for about 20-odd hours per day, he cries because of his bad dreams. It's sad and very touching, and frankly a bit heartbreaking.

So here's a brief rundown of Brutus' first week at the home of The Lunatic.

On Wednesday evening Brutus arrives in a pet carrier lined with his mother's bedsheets. The carrier door is opened, and Liz and I adjourn to the living room. Within less than an hour, this shy and frightened cat comes into the living room and gets on the pullout bed with Liz. He gives me a look, jumps off the bed, and hops up on the loveseat next to me. He allows me to pet and admire him and then goes back to his mommy. Brutus quickly discovers that the furniture here really suits him - both the pullout bed and the recliner provide hiding places that are perfect for a shy, fat cat.

Each evening, Brutus comes out from his nesting areas and cuddles with Liz. He also comes to see me, asking for some treats from the package I keep nearby. By Monday evening, he walks over my lap to visit Trent for treats, and allows him to pet and admire him until the treats are eaten. He then hisses something sassy about no treats, no touching, and goes back to his mother.

On Tuesday evening, Brutus is surprised to find himself more interested in the actions and behaviors of the other humans than he expected. He hears me place his bowl on the counter and get him some canned food which I bring to the living room. He eats some with gusto, and does more of his customary exploring. He becomes frustrated when his desire to follow Trent conflicts with his desire to stay with Liz. He deals with this by going to one of his hiding places. When Trent sprays some air freshener from a loud spray can, Brutus gets startled and runs for cover. In his aunt and uncle's bedroom! Liz comes in a short while later to lay on the end of the bed. Brutus joins the family and places himself between mom and aunt and allows both to pet him, AKA worship the cat.

When The Lunatic moves around during the night, she discovers that a big fat cat has moved so that he can lay next to her leg. She later feels him jump on the bed (after spending some time with Liz) but doesn't feel him lay down. That must be when he was with Trent. One cat, two new humans, and seven nights - I think we have been accepted as not only residents of his new home, but members of his family. Welcome to the family, Brutus. And don't ever start jumping on the counters!

And now his tale is told.


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