Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Pet Appreciation Day

My schedule has been a little skewed lately. As a creature of habit, my cat is understandably confused. This "throwaway cat" has been with me for 17 years, and I thought today was a good day to appreciate her.

"Poo-pooh" is still pretty spry for an old lady, with a few exceptions. She's hard of hearing. Have you ever been able to sneak up on a cat? While she's looking for you one direction, if you sneak up behind her to announce yourself, she doesn't hear you... until you create a vibration. Then she turns and jumps two feet in the air because you've startled her. She doesn't have all of her teeth anymore, and she has a hard time grooming herself.

She was rescued from a dumpster and "someone" brought her to me insisting I needed another cat. The resident cat (K.C.) was not amused. However, K.C. assumed the Alpha cat role and took it upon himself to train her, which was mostly good--for us. For Poo-Pooh, not so much. He taught her to be afraid of her own shadow. She hid from visitors and was shy about sitting on family laps if there were more than two people in the room. If you were alone in the room, she was all over you. K.C. was a mischievous big brother, chasing her and then back tracking when she wasn't paying attention. He also had a habit of hiding around corners and then jumping out at her. Such a prankster! And, of course, poor Poo would be so traumatized that she would hide for days. She rarely made a sound, except for her exceptionally loud purring. You could hear her coming from long distances.

When K.C. crossed the rainbow bridge, Poo wasn't quite sure how to handle being an only child, but she adapted quickly. She found her voice and lost a lot of her panic-induced fears. Now she's vocal, calling out for you whenever she doesn't see you. AND she likes company. Whereas she used to run when she heard the doorbell, now she goes to see who's there with me.

Cats are creatures of habit. She follows me most everywhere when I'm home, and when I'm away, she lets me know she's missed me by telling me and sitting right beside me and touching me with her paws. She hasn't lost her "three's a crowd" mentality. We're more likely to have a kitty on our lap if we're home alone, but as an old lady, she isn't as comfortable on laps as she used to be, so she doesn't stay long. Whereas most animals are nervous around small children, Poo is curious. She's cautious, but she wants to see these tiny humans. The first time she saw a baby, she was dumbfounded. "What the heck is that?" Fortunately for us, the tiny humans in our lives are animal friendly. They've grown up with critters, so they don't go running at her and shrieking with glee. They approach her in much the same way as she approaches them.

I never expected this poor, sickly cat rescued from a dumpster to survive, much less for 17 years. She's been a source of entertainment, of affection, and companionship. As I spend the next several weeks recuperating, I know she'll be right beside me cheering me on.