“Yeah, right!” I snickered when I heard the DJ announce that it was “Hug Your Cat Day”.  Why is it that radio stations think that to entertain their audience in the morning they must have two guys and a girl giggling maniacally at nothing as if they had been up all night eating magic mushrooms?  ‘’Just shut up and play some music!”  Sorry, I digress. 

My initial response to Hug Your Cat Day was a quick run through my peanut brain of the many felines that have “owned” me.  Timmy was 15 when I was born, so he was already a grumpy old tomcat.  My parents had Timmy, and his brother Tommy, for many years before I came along.  We moved to a new house, when I was four, which was about fifteen miles away from our old apartment.  Tommy was quite insistent in repeatedly making the pilgrimage back to our old place.  Several times, to the point that the new residents agreed to look after him.  Timmy did “The Incredible Journey” gig once.  I think Timmy finally took to the forest around our new abode, as he was a hunter.  I quickly learned how to respect his space when he slashed my face with his claws (which I remember to this day).

Timmy was too old and grumpy to be hugged.  He was so old he might have been a grimalkin.

After Timmy did his final lay down in our forest at the incredible age of 21 we were given Ginger, a quasi-friendly feline, and orange which is my favourite colour.  I recall, as a young lad, getting rather anxious, when I couldn’t find her.  My mother, very calmly, showed me where Ginger had made her incubation room in a little used closet of ours.  I was in awe of what was happening as my mother walked me through the stages of creating progeny.

Ginger would rub up against your leg and would enjoy a pet but she did not like being picked up and cuddled.

As a child, I had a plethora of animals, consisting of cats, dogs, guinea pigs and rabbits. I aspired to be a veterinarian but my allergies continued to worsen.  I came home from summer camp to find that my mother (bless her soul, I know how painful it was for her, too, to part with all those critters) had found homes for my menagerie.

In visiting a university chum in B.C., we decided to become business partners as forestry consultants.  He had a most interesting puss in Zeke.  His daily routine was to wake up and roll in the catnip patch, then become Speed Kitty dashing around the property until we would find him draped over a fence post as he came down from his catnip trip.

The place was overrun with mice but Zeke was too stoned to do anything about them.  One memorable moment was when I was entertaining friends and Zeke strutted into the house with his proud head held high and carrying a mouse.  Except, that the mouse was quite dead and in a mouse trap.

Zeke was too stoned or unconscious to be picked up and hugged.

Thumper had to be the most interesting creature I have ever had the pleasure to meet.  His strangest trait was his love for water.  If he caught you washing dishes he would jump into the sink and frolic around.  If you were swimming, “splash” and he was right there beside you.  Walking in the rain seemed to be an ecstatic pleasure for him.

A most efficient hunter was Thumper.  He would stealthily climb a tree and return with a dead bird to be dropped at my feet awaiting my adulation.  It was difficult to chastise him for this when I knew it was in his genes.  At least he did eat his kills and not play with them for days. 

And, yes, he had to be the most affectionate feline.  He would love to drape his long lithe body around your neck, as you went around your duties, and he would occasionally lick your neck and face.  I wish Thumper were here right now to hug him. 

 

Will Perry - Canada

You can read about Zeke here:

Here’s another great story from Will: Sir Richard

And here's a lovely one about an old boy called Nort

  

A Cats Prayer

Lead me down all the right paths,
Keep me from fleas, bees, and baths.
Let me in should it storm,
Keep me safe, fed, and warm.

Read more...

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