My humble beginningsMy siblings and I were born under an old deserted house in La Grange in the early spring of 2016. We were only a couple of weeks old when Mother, bless her heart, went away and never came back. Did she meet with foul play? We wild-eyed kittens were hungry and dirty and had ear mites. It’s no wonder we succumbed when we were fed. Lulled into complacency by our full bellies, we were trapped and transported to the Gardenia Janssen Animal Shelter. Having all these people around was nerve-wracking. Some wanted to pick me up. Talk about needing my space! However, I was born cunning. It didn’t take me long to figure out there was only one way out of that big pen at the shelter. A kitten had to look sweet and catch the eye of a cat lover to get adopted They’d cuddle in their new human’s arms and purr for heaven’s sake! When they exited the cat room for their new home, they’d look back at those of us left behind and wink. I despised every one of them.
Opportunity presents itselfThen Elaine strolled in looking for an orange kitten. I was at my best, standing at the front of the pen to distinguish myself from my siblings who weren’t orange tabbies, anyway. I made good eye contact, although it made me slightly nauseous to do so. First, Elaine picked up an orange tabby kitten from another pen. We hadn’t had the same upbringing. Its fur wasn’t matted and its eyes weren’t running. When Elaine stroked that kitten, he looked up at her with hero worship in his eyes. That made me sick, too. Then Elaine turned to my pen and I steeled myself. The touch of her hand might have been gentle, but it made my skin crawl. I could tell that it would not be wise to draw blood the first time Elaine held me, even though I am a serial biter. (That’s how I earned my middle name of Jaws.) However, I bluffed my way through the ordeal, exhaling after she finally returned me to my pen. The next morning, Elaine was back to collect her orange kitten. My chances were slim, but I got lucky. The staff member picked me instead of the calm, sweet little guy who’d never gone without a meal. That fool was off romping with his siblings in the far corner of his pen. Riding in the palm of the woman’s hand, I made it to the front counter. My heart was beating wildly. I might not have been Elaine’s first choice, but she’s such a softy that she didn’t have the heart to send me back. I was adopted!
Let the fun begin
Life is good!So time went by and all was well. When I didn’t get what I wanted when I wanted it, I would sink my teeth in and my humans bled. I also liked to launch myself off Emil’s lap while he watched TV. To get that little extra spring in my step, I would dig my claws in his legs. After I brutally clawed the nose of the old dog, Kally, she, too, gave me a wide berth. I bit my way into having life pretty much my way. I guess it was about that time that Elaine started to become more distant. She still treated me kindly but gave me fewer opportunities to bite or scratch her. (It’s just too bad that she’s so thin-skinned.) But I wasn’t completely uncooperative. When I went to be fixed, I took the injustice in stride after Elaine explained that both the animal shelter and the vet had La Grange addresses on Svoboda Lane.
On the heels of a hurricaneHurricane Harvey not only caused a great deal of damage and grief to La Grange in August 2017, my life irrevocably changed, too. Before the floodwaters in town had even begun to recede, Elaine made a surprising discovery. ‘There’s a little cat on the patio,’ she told Emil. He advised her not to feed it so it would go home. Now keep in mind that we live in the middle of nowhere. Where that cat came from, we’ll never know. Rags, who quickly became my nemesis, won’t tell.
Let me give this more thoughtHowever, it galls me to see how Elaine dotes on Bow. From my vantage point on the back of the sofa, I see her sometimes visit Bow in the middle of the night. Sprawled on his big, luxurious bed that fills up the mudroom, that dog doesn’t seem to mind being affectionately stroked in the dark. The two of them go on long walks several times a day and he sleeps in Elaine’s office while she works. What galls me most though is the cover Elaine chose for her new book. (You’ll see it for yourself in this space later this month.)
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If you’ve missed some of my other cat and dog stories, check out these blog posts: