Still Brothers

This is Tiger and today is human Father’s Day.  Even though I don’t know where my father is, and I am not a father, still I am a big brother to Benji.  I think it is important to remember what we have instead of being sad about what we don’t have. Sometimes I complain about Benji but he is playful and full of vigor and reminds me how wonderful youth is. I am doing my best to mentor the little boy and I think he is coming along. I am pleased.

This is Benji and someday I want to be just like Tiger.  He is very smart and patient with me and even though he is bigger he doesn’t beat me up when I sometimes jump on him.  Also he has two good ears.

We are brothers.

~Tiger and Benji

Still the Handsome Tiger

This is Tiger and I gotta tell you it’s not easy being the oldest cat in the family.  They let that boy run wild and do things I would never have gotten away with.  Times change I guess.

Flying around the house.  Howling at the top of the stairs. Climbing on the roof for Pete’s sake!

‘O isn’t he cute?’  Sue gushes to Bob as she runs to fetch her camera.

Benji on the printer.  Benji watching TV.  Benji  this and Benji that.

Benji. Benji. Benji.

Spoiled.  Completely spoiled.

Now do not think I am jealous.  No, no, I would never go back if I could.  I continue to maintain my dignity. So what if I put on a few pounds. They will sustain me in the lean years to come.  Maybe I can’t move as fast as I used to, but what’s the big hurry after all?  Speed must be tempered by wisdom.  It is wisdom to contemplate, to reflect.  To stop and smell the roses, if you will. (And the lavender. And the catmint.  But I digress.)

These eyes have seen many things that Benji cannot even imagine for he is still young.  And they are still the only green eyes in this house (and most handsome I am told.)

I know Sue still loves me and she is doing the best she can with the boy. He was a rescue cat after all and has a chopped ear.  It will take him time to overcome.

Still handsome after all these years and with both ears intact,

~ Tiger

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Gee, I didn’t know he was so sensitive.

~  Benji

The mouse had no chance

This is Benji and let me just say it up front, right out loud: I am not a vegetarian.  No, not from my youth.  Neither were my ancestors.  Nor my big brother Tiger.  We are all hunters. If this bothers you then read no further.  I understand. For those who wish to continue, be assured that no blood was actually shed today. Here’s how it went down.

It was a beautiful day with mild temperatures and no rain. Tiger and I were out sporting around, all in good fun. Sue happened upon us just as I found the catch of the day.  Bad timing to say the least. And wouldn’t you know it she accidentally let him escape by picking me up to cuddle at the most inopportune moment. Oh well.  I’m always up for a cuddle.  And I knew I could catch him later. He was not that bright and he was awfully slow.  (Just begging to be caught in fact. No challenge at all.  But I digress.)

When Sue tired of the outdoors, Tiger and I were left to ourselves. As was the mouse. We played in the garden awhile.  Nibbled on the grass.  Chased one another and a few squirrels.  But it wasn’t long until that slow mouse wandered back into the grass and lost all cover.  I pursued for a while. Gently for play.  When Tiger took note and I perceived he wanted a go at him, I said to myself, why not?  What are brothers for?

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And so we had some brotherly bonding time today over that mouser until we both tired of him and let him go.  (Honest Sue we did.)

Anyway this kind is not good for eating.

And so I remain,

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~ Benji

Grandma the Cat Whisperer

Don’t tell Benji but I am not as brave as he thinks I am. Oh, I hiss at him all right and swipe at him when I must. (Part of the training.  He must learn after all.)  But it’s all for appearances. I won’t hurt the little one for I am a dignified and gentle soul.

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I am also what humans call skittish. I don’t like the label but I admit it’s true. Inside I carry secret things from previous lives lived in shadows and confinement.  It is because of this I don’t like strangers or small spaces or closed doors or sudden noises.

Sue loves me and I know she understands.  But she is more and more preoccupied with the young one.  He does need the extra attention to get him safely through his first few lives so I don’t hold this against her. We are all still adjusting.

In the meantime I enjoy visiting grandma in her nice big room.  I even learned from her that the closed door can be good;  it is not to keep me in, but to keep us in peace when Benji  has the fire in his eyes. (He can’t help it. He is young and carries secrets too.)

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Grandma explains things to me in her normal voice and I appreciate it. She tells me when it’s time for bed and when I can go outside.  When to ignore the boy and when to stand up for myself.  I have even taken to sleeping on her lap and she does not move or disturb my rest.

I think I have the best of everything here.

I call her Grandma the Cat Whisperer.

~  Tiger

Cat Overtures

The room was cozy and warm and Tiger was sleeping on the bed alone.  I’m tired too and decide to join for a nap.

A few minutes later here comes Benji.

“Still room,” he thought to himself.  “Perhaps if I’m really quiet he won’t notice.”

Tiger’s ears betray his annoyance but Benji settles in nearby anyway.

“Surely he’s ready to be my friend,” he thought to himself.

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I watch the little drama unfold, a smile in my heart.  I am rooting for both of them.

“Good boy, Tiger,” I say. “It’s okay.”

Benji keeps his head down in submission while Tiger signals acceptance.

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And then?   Well, this lovely scene lasts maybe five minutes until Benji looks up at Tiger, which is apparently forbidden.  And this seems to remind Tiger that he was there first and why does that boy persist in following him everywhere?  A short growl, some batting of the air and he’s gone.

“I want outside,”  Tiger says.

Sigh.

I praise Benji for trying.

“He can’t help it, Benji,” I say.  “He’s an old grouch.”

I love these 2 boys and can’t wait till they love each other.

Tiger

~  Still waiting,  Susanne, Tiger and Benji.

Hopeful: Reflections from Tiger on my lives so far…

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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So now it is time to move on and into the new year and life number four.

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I am ready.  And hopeful.

 ~ From the Tiger

via Daily Prompt: Hopeful