This is Tiger and I have something to say as 2016 is coming to a close and I am in a reflective mood. One human year is quite long for cats and this one was not easy for me. When it started out I was still missing my big brother Shadow and at the end of the year I’m still adjusting to my new ‘shadow’, Benji. (Believe me, that boy is hard to shake!)
Still I am hopeful. The cat life consists of many closings and new beginnings and I am ready to bid farewell to life number three and embrace number four. We cats are lucky that way.
Now I don’t want to bore you too much but before moving on I’d like to take a look back at lives one, two and three. See the handsome boy below? Yep, that’s me near the beginning! (You see Benji? I was young once too! Whatever you are doing I have already done! Whatever you think you know, I have known already!!)
And here’s me and Shadow (still life number one), our “indoor” period, long before Bob and Sue brought us home. It wasn’t perfect but we didn’t know it and we had each other and that was enough.
That life was longer than most and consisted mainly of playing in our small apartment, chittering out the window at the birds and squirrels that taunted us (all the time wishing we could join them) and sleeping a lot.
Until it came to a screeching halt when for reasons known only to her, our mistress evicted us from the premises and sent us off to jail! For what offense we did not know. (Really, who can understand humans?) They called the place a cat hotel (yes, really), with no in and out privileges you might say. We lived there with Keeper longer than the other cats who came and went. No, it wasn’t the greatest but it was certainly better than living under a bridge or something. In retrospect (and ONLY in retrospect) I see it was a blessing in disguise (very heavily disguised, granted.) For after all, if we hadn’t gone there, we never would have found Bob and Sue, who brought us to our best home ever and into life number three! (Oh, how ready we were to bid number two goodbye!)
It was here that Shadow and I learned the thrill of the hunt and the great outdoors. How to hide in the bush and listen for the small ones. How to spring into action at the best time. How to drink from the bird baths and flowing fountains. How to taunt the squirrels as they once taunted us. And how to sprint through the woods and then rest contented among the dampness of the leaves and ferns. Paradise, really.
And when it was clear that Shadow’s time was up, it was in those woods that he made his final resting place. Goodbye my brother.
And now there is Benji. The boy who will drive me to new heights of ingenuity for I will certainly need all my strength and wisdom to deal with him, to train him to become a proper adult feline and not a shame to our species. I must lead by example and at the time of my choosing initiate him into all the secrets of the outdoor kingdom. There is time for he is still young.
So now it is time to move on and into the new year and life number four.
I am ready. And hopeful.
~ From the Tiger