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
It was a nice day for a drive in the country to get some fresh air and to enjoy the winter landscape before the rain was scheduled to appear. We found the Snoqualmie River moody and reflective of the cloudy skies…
But the trees did all the talking…
We just listened.
I first heard this word as a child when we ‘said grace’ before meals.
“Bless us O Lord and these thy gifts which we are about to receive through thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.’ Granted it was spoken hurriedly by us kids, the words all run together so we could move on and dig into the delicious dishes on the table (for it was mostly said before holiday meals.) Few of the words were contemplated or understood by me at the time. But it is never too late.
Through Thy Bounty
Bounty speaks of generosity and liberality. Of abundance and beauty, like a garden overflowing with life. Bounty realized, understood and appreciated elicits thankfulness to the Giver.
~ thoughts on Bounty, Susanne
ENTHUSIASM lives in a cat named Benji .
It starts before dawn when the morning is heavy and I am twisted and sleepy and he touches his nose to mine. I stir and stroke his head and that is all.
Undeterred he touches my cheek with his paw and meows quietly.
“Ah, go away Benji.”
I roll over and hide my head under the covers.
He jumps to where my face is hidden to try to poke his way into my little cave. I turn over again but he follows and begs me to rise.
His patience is gone.
“Wake up Sue!” he chirps in frantic cat tongue. “The world is stirring! I feel it! I can’t wait to get started!”
But I am half asleep and settled in.
No matter, it’s time to race! Around the room as fast as he can, onto the bed, across the shelf, down again, faster and faster he goes, knocking things to the floor to be played with later. (So that’s where the watch went. And the pen. And the chapstick. And the glasses.)
I look at the clock and it is 5:45 am.
‘Benji, no!’ I say. ‘Calm down!’
He slows down, collapsing onto my golden slipper, seeming to know it won’t be long until morning rays reach through the tightly closed blinds and I will be willing to play. He will give me thirty more minutes to sleep.
This is Benji and Sue asked me to tell you about my good fortune.
When my mama delivered me and my brothers and sisters it was into a home where forty other cats already lived with human Cat Mama. From the start I knew it wasn’t normal. It was too dirty and crowded, food distribution was not fair and I was hungry. When I couId talk, I discussed it with some of the older ones there including One-Eye, NoTail and Sheba. They told me it was better than living under the house which they used to do and they frightened me with their before stories. I wondered at my fate.
After a few months human Cat Mama disappeared and soon after that some other humans came to rescue us. I don’t remember much from that time, other than when I woke up I was in a new place. I felt strange and my ear was bleeding. Just when I was ready to despair, my fortune turned to the very best it could be! Three humans came into my room and started petting me and loving me. Even though I was afraid, I was on my best behavior so I would be chosen. And that is how I came to live with Bob and Sue and Grandma and Tiger. Now I sleep on a big bed (or wherever else I want to), and it’s all you can eat!
This is my picture when I first arrived home. I was little then.
I’m so happy in my new home. My chopped ear reminds me where I came from. That is the meaning of Fortune to me.
~ from Benji