Thursday, September 29, 2011


Ten years ago next month, hub and I were having dinner with my sister Ginger, her hub, and my brother and SIL. Ginge had two cats, Miss Doofus and Mimi, and I had none. We had to put my Maine coon down a year earlier, and my heart broke so I couldn't even think of having another. Not forever, just for a while. I always called Murphy my soul-cat.

In the middle of dinner that night, Ginge let Miss Doofus out, and then we heard a bunch of caterwauling. (Did you know that caterwaul means "of a cat"?) Ginger went out to make sure Miss Doofus was okay (All right, I know Miss Doofus was a heckuva name for a cat, but she was loved so--what the heck?) Ginge came back in to tell me Miss Doofus was fighting with a yellow stray. Long story short, I took a scrawny flea-ridden Max home with us.

It didn't take long before he ruled the house. We lived on the lake back then and moved to this house a few years later. Originally our back doors were french, which we replaced with sliders. Max quickly learned to open them. To keep him in the house, we either have to lock it or remember to close the screen. Thankfully, he hasn't learned how to open that.

He's not allowed out by himself. We're surrounded by pasture on two sides, a golf course on a third and a street on the last, none of which are good places for a cat alone. So I corral him with a water gun. I don't spray on him, just around him, but it works--usually.

He's used to being mostly with the hub and me and doesn't take kindly to strangers. I had a cleaning lady who was terrified of him, and one day we came home to learn she'd hidden in a bathroom for half an hour before venturing out to find Max had totally forgotten about her. She didn't stay my cleaning lady long after that. (Her choice.)

Later, I learned how scary he could be. One night, the middle of the night, I couldn't sleep and decided to work in my studio for a while. On the way out, I managed to navigate the backyard with the light from the kitchen window, but returning a few hours later the night seemed darker, and I couldn't see a thing. When I got to the back, I reached for the screen door, and Max went wild. He'd opened the slider about four or five inches, and he was guarding it like Cerberus. I tried talking to him, tried letting him smell of me so he'd know who I was, but there was no getting past him. Luckily we have a key pad on the garage door so I could get in the house 'cause there was no other way. Butter wouldn't melt in Max's mouth when I came in the front.

All of that I've told you in explanation of the following poem. My sis, same one as above, wrote it for me for my birthday. I've read it over and over and still cry and laugh in the same places. I hope you like it.


As darkness fell
I knew that I must
Try to find some food.
I crossed the road and down I went
Into the neighborhood.

First house was dark, 
As was the next
One sitting right next door
So on I trudged with hopeful heart.
Oh, my, how many more?

I finally caught a glimpse of light.
It was just down the way.
So off I went to see if it
Would serve me food today.

It was October, long ago,
When I ventured out
One lonely night to find some food.
Who knew how it'd turn out!

They sat behind their dinner plates
O'er at the sister's house.
I heard the laughter from inside,
Stayed quiet as a mouse.
Then all at once, I saw the thing
Its hair was long, and then
She ran for me, and I was scared;
Around the house, I went.

We hissed and spewed
And meowed and pffffft,
Made lots of noise, and then
I heard the door;
It opened wide,
And then it shut again.

Oh, yes, it closed...most right away,
I heard the whisperin',
"This door, I will not open 'til
You promise to take him."

How could she know,
My person, then,
That I would be just right
To change her world and curl right up
Within her bed each night.

She'd lost her love of many years.
He was her soul-mate fellow.
Imagine her surprise to see...
Came in yellow.

Well, it was tough to get to go
Home with my chosen one.
Her family begged and pleaded with
That grumpy, big ol' one.

He finally let her take me home.
I tried so to stay calm.
I later learned to love him, though.
You know, his name is Tom.

Well it was tough to get them trained
To do just as I bade.
But now it's sweet and happy times.
Oh, meow, I've got it made.

We've moved just once,
But that's okay.
I really love it here.
Although they tick me off sometimes
By sitting in my chair.

It didn't take me long to get
That door to slide my way.
And now when they're not looking
I'll slip outside to play.

They do their best to keep me close.
You oughta see that gun.
That water squirts at least a mile.
Oh, my, oh, my, it's fun.

I run inside to get away.
I hope that I can make
It to my chair before they do
Cuz then I'm finally safe.

They think it scares me, but oh, no.
No better time have I.
Water stream is closing in.
Oh, me, oh, my, I'm sly.

And even when they let me out
I have to stay real close.
I wave my tail high in the air
and sniff with my pink nose.

The morning is my favorite time.
The land is cool and still.
I'll slip away if there's a chance.
I know I'm such a pill.

She just won't let me go out far.
Imagine her dismay
When I sneak off
All by myself;
It really makes my day.

Don't think it's always easy, though,
That I live without a care.
Sometimes I have to get real tough
When there are strangers there.

There was a little lady that
used to come to clean.
She came into my person's room
I had to act real mean.

Geez, I wouldn't really hurt her,
But she sure got really sore.
It took her thirty minutes to
Come out that bathroom door.

She's no longer with us,
Killed two birds with one stone.
Maria comes and shines our place
I'm never left alone.

One time I thought my person
Was a booger bear that night.
I saw her walking to the back.
She gave me such a fright.

I growled and hissed and scared her off.
Imagine my surprise
To see her coming through the front.
Could not believe my eyes.

I felt a little bad for that.
Was I wrong? Oh, I suppose.
But when I think back on that night
I get to laughing so darn hard
That milk comes out my nose.

Oh, yes, I love my persons,
My mom and big ol' dad.
I am the luckiest yellow cat
This world has ever had.

I'll be sitting right here forever.
Nowhere I'd rather be
Than sitting at my window sill
Just him - and her - and me

1 comment:

Tricia ~~ Handmade Whimzy said...

I LOVED it. It made me smile and it made me cry.
What a sweet boy.