(This post was supposed to be about our great adventures in New York this past weekend. That will come another day.)
We didn’t even want a cat. Not at that moment. We were newly married, living in a rented house, and more importantly –cat sitting for Michelle. The resident cat at our home was Miss Bugly. She was not—um, well (no offense, Michelle)—lets just say old age didn’t mellow her. She was a grumpy old lady.
So, we didn’t want a cat.
But when someone tells you a tale, of how when driving home in the icy, wet night, he spots a dead kitten on the side of the road, and goes home, upset, and then gets back in his car and out into the night to go back to find the kitten, and when he does, he is not dead, but so sadly abused, and he asks if you would take him as he already is over his limit at 15 cats (23? 38?)…how do you say NO?
Joe brought us this little scared, long-haired, scared, bushy-tailed, orange, scared, copper-penny eyed, scared abused boy.
For a good number of weeks we didn’t know if there had been amateurish attempt at de-clawing or if he had simply dug himself out of whatever he was locked in. His paws were scabbed and he had no claws when he came.
He took to Timmy immediately and it soon became apparent he was Timmy’s cat, although he bonded with me. Beyond that, he came out after much prodding for approximately 6 people. Everyone else was sure we were delusional when we stated we had an orange cat.
In that first home he loved to sleep on the bar in the closet that held hangers (Yes, the skinny round one…quite hysterical to watch him aim for it)
Quickly however, he was banned from the bedroom because he did not come in to lie at the foot of the bed, nor did he even simply want to sleep on your head.
He felt himself on duty, as Skimbleshank was in the TS Elliot poems. He spent the entire night on a routine patrol of the bedroom. Up, over and across every surface, continually. There was no sleep in our household.
We moved into our new home, and Miss Bugly moved back to Michelle’s, and our new bedroom door was thought to be a battering ram that he must destroy, in order to rescue and be with us.
From the earliest light (4 or 5 am on), he would begin by hollering at us, a crescendo of wails and pitiful song; then his paws would appear, pulling on the bottom edge of the door, rattling it loose. When that didn’t work (and it didn’t) he would begin with a running leap and attempt to use the door knob. Repeatedly. He KNEW that was the way in to rescue us. See?
(You may need to click on these to see the determination with which he applied himself to rescuing us from the closed door.)
There were nights I can recall Timmy sitting on the floor in the hallway with the boy, holding him, trying to calm him.
Eventually, we decided that what he needed was a pet. So we found a beautiful black little lady and brought her home to be his companion, so we could sleep nights.
(She couldn’t be bothered with him… and he didn’t get the message. It made for entertaining evenings.)
For the most part, it did stop the attempts at breaking down the door. But when you opened the door in the morning, you were sure to find him, sitting, waiting; determined to anticipate where you would head next, he would run forward and back, checking on your progress.
He was loud—he didn’t meow, but instead he chirped. The number of tales that could be told, have been told, will be told,… well, he was a funny boy. Timmy has many funny thoughts over on his blog. And there are other little stories and pictures here on this blog, if you look in the tags for KITTIES.
But we called him Hamish the Red, or Hamish the Bad, or Hamish the Scared (or Fuzz Butt….)
He’ll rest just outside this window— his favorite spot to watch the world, dream about being brave enough to go out there and chase the squirrels, and to wait for his people to return. He’ll have his sock with him. (Timmy posted some of his own thoughts on his blog here ….)