Many of you, my dear readers, have commented on the stories of my two cats over the past few years. When I’m out and about town, I’ll often run into someone who invariably asks about the cats. I’m happy to oblige them with a story or two; it’s nice to know people are reading the column! Today I will give you an update – as I’ve not mentioned them here in these lines of late.
Cheyenne, the older cat, is the somewhat dignified one. She refuses to beg for food, declines most meals I fix that are not to her specific taste, and avoids most cat and human interaction unless, of course, it entails going out and coming in. She’s a brave one, she is, and she knows it.
Out in the night – especially on full moon nights, and in when it’s cold or rainy – Cheyenne, an illustrious cat, is the epitome of making use of her time. If she lounges for a day, now and then, it will be in the most unexpected place in the house. Cheyenne curls in her basket only occasionally; generally she chooses a corner behind a plant that she’ll use as a screen to be as inconspicuous as possible.
When she’s outside, Cheyenne is either frequenting the edges of the pond for insects, frogs, and the wayward salamander, or stalking the errant rodent along the field edge. Interestingly enough, she ignores the songbirds, which makes me very happy.
On the other hand, Sage, our younger, more inquisitive cat, pounces and rolls and tosses everything that is small enough to be thrown in the air by our eight- or nine-pound feline. Sage has a fierce desire to play most of the time.
When Sage does catch a mouse, for example, she can grow determined to bring it into the house – alive – so she can demonstrate her prowess, I suppose. Since this has happened several times, I have become more adept at closing the door quickly if she is packing a very-much-alive mouse over the threshold.
Sage came into my life as a 3-week-old stray kitten. She tends to sleep next to the bed in her basket, the place where she’s slept since she was tiny. I bottle fed her back then, and once her tummy was full, she’d curl in my hand and fall asleep. Then I’d place her ever so carefully into her basket and she’d nestle herself there. When she awoke, she’d mew for me, her newfound mother, and we began the process all over again. Needless to say, we developed a strong bond.
Sage has several small stuffed toys that I added to her basket to keep her company as she grew. Sometimes, now that she’s fully grown, she drags the toys around the house in a determined fashion, as if she’s trying to exert some influence over them. We can’t all be No. 1, I tell her. After all, Cheyenne is the oldest and therefore in charge. Cheyenne lets her know this with a simple bat of her paw now and then.
Both cats are curious to a fault. There isn’t an open door, for example – whether cupboard or closet or the car door for that matter – that my cats don’t intend to investigate. They have trained me to be aware of this fact, and if I cannot locate one of them, it’s generally because one has crawled into what looks to them like an interesting place.
The cats are both fond of checking out the inside of the car. One night, I looked everywhere inside and out – after dark – because Cheyenne hadn’t returned for the night. I finally found her reclining on the dashboard of our car, inside the car as nice as pie. “I have my hands full with keeping track of you,” I told her, as I went to free her from the car. She did not remain long to hear me out, mind you; rather, she was off on an evening jaunt. After that, I promised myself then and there to not leave the car door open for any length of time, if I could help it.
Sage gets into scrapes quite often; if I’m putting away things in the closets, she’s generally right there slipping into them to see what might have changed. Sometimes she won’t come back out and I have to leave the door open for a while until she’s made up her mind to come back to the real world.
I like to consider what my cats are up to, that’s certain. I interpret their behaviors through human eyes, and as long as I’m aware of doing so, I suppose that’s fine. They are, for me, the finest cats in the whole world – or so I tell myself – and so when Cheyenne decides to curl up on the couch with me on a rainy day or when Sage brushes her face against mine, I know for these moments in time I am blessed with two wonderful cats. Their lives and mine are intertwined and because of them I am content.