Saturday, May 1, 2010

To Catch a Bird ... or a Snake ... or a Vole ... Doesn't Matter, Really: Where's the Food?

C came home recently from a nearly weeklong hospital stay, and he's not doing very well. With seventeen years under his belt (Tom and I met when C and Ada were about a year old) I have taken a stroll down memory lane with him this week. What a lovely stroll it was.

I learned early in my relationship with Tom that the way to Tom's heart was through C's stomach. At nearly 20 pounds when I met him, C rarely met a treat he didn't like. On my way to Tom's I'd stop at the deli counter at the Purity Supreme and buy C one slice from the cold cuts section ... bologna one day, roast beef the next. The deli guy knew it was for my new boyfriend's cat, and never begrudged me his time, even though we both knew it was his smallest sale of the day. C, whom we considered a dog trapped in a cat's body, greeted me with enthusiam. Evil grin ... my plan is working! The only time he turned up his nose at my Friday night special was the one time I brought him a single jumbo shrimp. He wouldn't have anything to do with it. Neither would Ada, for that matter, or Mr. Gibbs. Tom had trained his minions well: Don't. Eat. The Fish.

C also liked to supervise household projects. Tom installed the box windows in the sunroom, and they were - are - lovely. Don't look too closely at the window seat, however, lest you notice the pawprints left in the wet polyurethane. They're still there, still visible, and not going anywhere anytime soon. Also in the house repair department was the time that C was so interested in house trim painting (we had a black-and-white cat for a while after that). Not satisfied with climbing the ladder to join Tom, he proceeded to climb up and over Tom on the ladder, positioning himself in the gutter - where he didn't quite fit but thought he had found the best seat in the house. It took an hour to get him down.

Even on his best days now, he never brings home a snake anymore: Ada was into chipmunk and bird inventory control, but C could never resist a garter snake; and I can't say I miss that particular aspect of sharing a house with a pet, or two, or six, but I hope that C continues to enjoy his daily constitutional, a few minutes of sunshine and fresh air, for a long time to come. Then, at the end of the day, that he'll climb the stairs to the second floor, and then climb the stairs up into the bed, so his still-bellowing purr can keep me awake. Enough with the peeing on the cellar floor, though, 'kay?

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