She was a “rescue cat”‘ when we got her from a shelter a few years ago…tiny as could be, and she has remained so…has remained a rescue cat and has remained tiny. I wasn’t at the shelter with my wife and son to adopt her, but I’m told that she climbed up into my son’s lap and would then have nothing to do with anybody else…and that is a condition that has remained, as well. Unless I’m doing something in the kitchen with turkey or ham, she won’t have a thing to do with me…I’m lucky if she lets me touch her with a finger tip. Whenever family members come over to the house, the cat is gone and hiding under a bed or in a closet somewhere.
This image was made from nearly 20 feet away with a little bit of zoom action….
My son originally named her something like “Gray Stripe,” or “Bat Cat,” or some other such thing, but the name was changed to “Puff” after a few days. The cat hid under the bed anytime my wife or I entered my son’s room and would not come out for any kind of coaxing, gentle talking, or offering of treats, etc. The only thing that brought her out was when my wife started singing “Puff the Magic Dragon.” Whether it was a familiar tune or simply my wife’s melodic voice, the little feline slowly walked out from under the bed and hopped up on top of it and approached my wife. When she stopped singing, the cat disappeared under the bed again…when she started singing, out came the cat again…stopped singing, there she went again.
There is a green house on the corner between here and somewhere else that appears to be a remnant from an earlier time; it is not alone, though, as its neighbors are similarly styled and worn. This house is of a faded green and has golden frames around the windows and doors and bears the same color along the roof trim and on its decorative and side-ways awning. The colors, faded and stark as they are, remind me of certain football uniforms from a high-school in my past. The boys who wore them were fast and young and full of new life and the house seems staid and tired, like a left-over, as I said, from an earlier time.
Around the front and side of the green house is a green and slatted fence, vertical boards of like hue and wear that hold a gate in their center grasp, a gate that is often left open to swing with the breeze or storm of a particular afternoon. I have passed this house and yard and fence innumerable times over the past year and then, and have only seen as occupant of the property, an oldish-looking gray tabby cat. I have seen this cat some several times, but have only seen him resting in the deep grass near a grated basement window. It was long grass, and green, too, with a richness that might shame the green of the house if an old coat of paint could feel such a thing. Anyway, the tabby usually lay there in the late morning or early afternoon sun with his eyes closed and his ears pivoting or twitching at the sounds of my passing on the nearby sidewalk.
It has been some while since I’ve seen the cat, though I walk or pass by the green house still frequently. I have not seen him there by the basement window with the gold and faded window arch of squared or molded brick; I’ve not seen him walking past the opened gate or curled up on the welcoming door mat as cats sometimes do, nor have I seen him sitting on the inside windowsill licking a paw or rubbing his ears as cats I have known have done.
When I passed that old green house today, on the corner between here and somewhere else, there was an old man with gray hair and green pants standing in the yard watering a skinny tree, a bush, or some other such living thing on this sometimey summer morning. He was a tall old man with long and wirey arms that were covered to a moderate degree with thinning old-man gray hair. As the tall old man stood there with the gray hair on his head and long arms, with a green hose in his hand, he was facing the sun with his eyes closed. I noticed that he didn’t open them as I passed, but slightly turned his head so he could better hear me in my passing.
I wonder if the tall old man used to be the oldish-looking gray tabby cat that I haven’t seen for so long…I do wonder so.
The frightened kittens’ whiskers flicked and then their ears laid back against their heads as the leaves on the trees overhead held more still than one thought possible in the angered wind and the shadow was heard to pass and nearer it came with its untold talons poised to grasp what no-one knew was waiting and it only passed and left undone the things that made its doing so terrible because it was alone and the mama cat moved against the shadow’s passing and fought the enigmatic thing that wrestled between them still and she was calm and the babies’ ears stood upright again for they were as they should be and safe when she found them again and they were not alone – and their whiskers flicked again and they were not afraid –