Monday, June 25, 2012

Bedtime Tails

I was reading in bed yesterday morning and wanted a visit from Possum. I called his name — he has many nicknames that he responds to, so I recited several of them. He came leaping onto the bed, racing in from the living room, fluffed-up and wild-eyed. He stood on me, let me pet him for about 5 seconds, made I sure I wasn't in trouble, and took off again, flying away as dramatically as he'd arrived. Clearly I'd interrupted his morning plans, to watch birds from the window, splash all the water out of the communal bowl, or tease his sister. I called him again later on and he arrived with similar alacrity, lingering longer than before.

I'm not suggesting that it's a great thing when cats appear to be as obedient as dogs. That's nothing I'd want or expect from a cat. Possum wasn't obeying me, he was just being thoughtful. He has good manners with his people, if not always with other cats. I appreciate that.

Wendy frequently curls up on the bed with my husband at night, before I get there. I rarely see them together; she's usually gone by the time I arrive and, if I happen to surprise her, she races off the bed and disappears in her melodramatic feral way. But I hear smug reports about how she lies on her back, legs in the air, just within petting reach. It's still a delight whenever Wendy decides to hang out with one of us although she and my husband have regular routines now. She curls up, purring loudly, beside him as he reads in our leather armchair several times each night, but never for very long. Her feral instincts eventually overcome her desire for affection, but she'll return again for more belly rubs. If I sit in his chair, she might visit me for a few seconds but I'm clearly not her favorite. I'm still "Evil Mommy" to Wendy, no matter how I try to ingratiate myself with compliments, treats, and fishing her favorite toys out from under the bookcases. No matter how often I remind her that I was the one who insisted on adopting her, ignoring protests from a certain quarter that she was too wild and skittish and might never become friendly.

So it was a wonder this morning when she jumped on my side of the bed and sat beside me, blinking and wearing her demanding, "Pet me!" look. We can pet Wendy all over when she's in this mood — feet, head, chin, belly, tail. She never got the memo about how feral cats shouldn't tolerate more than an occasional backstroke or head pat. I had the glory of her presence for a couple of minutes before she took off. This probably won't happen again for weeks or months but it was nice to have my existence acknowledged. I'm happy for whatever crumbs* of her attention I am given.

Possum and Wendy

* Crumbs? That reminds me: I need to visit Crumbs Bake Shop to stock up on that banana-caramel flavor of the month before they disappear. They freeze well, or so I've heard.

1 comment:

  1. Lovely tail and darling heart shot of them together.

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