My two cats can’t be more different.
This is Other Brother Coon Cat (OBCC) in his usual haunt.
He’s twice the size of my Halloween cat.
This is the Tiny Terror.
Sometimes I wonder if he was possessed.
I don’t know how to do Photoshop, and the only thing I did was crop the picture. I’m not very good at photography, so I’m the first to admit “operator error” might be at play here.
He was so cute as a kitten. He showed up at our door on Halloween, meowing for food. It took weeks to turn a skinny cat with matter fur into a sleek and shiny black cat with silver undercoat.
He’d sleep on my chair when I was doing other things, or if I was at work, but the moment he saw me he wanted to be held.
He’d lie in my lap for hours, peacefully sleeping.
As soon as he hit the cat equivalent of a teenager, he started exploring the neighborhood.
There were times he disappeared for a day, sometimes two. Then, he’d come through the door demanding food as if I weren’t half crazy over the thought of losing him. I’d try to pet him and he’d pull away as if to say, “Leave me alone, I’m eating!”
When it comes to the Tiny Terror, no errant piece of meat is safe. Not even the food we make for our doggies.
Once, to my horror, he was chowing down on the piece of key lime pie I’d left on my desk – and I was only gone for a few minutes.
After the first time he disappeared for two days, I did the one thing to him I swore I’d never do; have one of my 4-footed companions chipped – due to problems that can occur, such as cancer developing near the site of the microchip. But I couldn’t go through another sleepless night wondering if I’d ever see him again.
A few months after I had him chipped, he disappeared for 3 days. There are local lost and found sites on social media where you can post pictures of 4-footed companion. Hubby was preparing meat for the dog food and I was in the middle of writing a post on the lost-and-found site, while wiping away tears, when the Tiny Terror sauntered in, jumped next to the meat, and took what he wanted of it. After that, Hubby brought him into the office/bedroom.
He jumped on my desk to stare at me, his way of saying, “Open a can of tuna, human.”
From the looks of it, he was probably stuck in someone’s house until he could slip through the door. He was hungry but his coat glowed nicely. That’s not what a cat looks like if he was stuck under a car, or hiding in a tree from a predator.
He hasn’t disappeared for more than a day since that time. I suppose the food is better here, he isn’t treated as well at other places, and the dog door is much too convenient.
He’ll stay in my office for an entire hour after sharing a can of tuna with OBCC, and then when I’m busy on the computer, he’ll slither out the door to become hobo cat again.
Either that, or he’ll steal my chair and refuse to give it back.
My dogs have two acres to run around in, and other dogs to play with. They love going on car rides more than anything else. People in this area see 5 heads sticking out the windows taking in the sights and scents. They often match our speed in the next lane to enjoy our family’s happiness.
But Tiny Terror is a do-it-yourself adventure seeker. It might have been better to name him “Roamer.”
I often ask the question, “Which would I rather have, a miserable 20-year life in prison, or a few years living life my way?”
We have this unrealistic idea that there is such a thing as “safe.” We love our pets and don’t want them to experience the dangers of the outside world. We want them to live as long as possible — and in some cases, we deny them a quality life on their terms.
Once, when he was sick, he was confined to my room while I nursed him back to health. When he felt better, he ran like hell out the door and didn’t return for two days. As we always do, when he doesn’t come for dinner, we walk around the area calling to him. He arrived back home at the time of his choosing, thinner and with a matted coat.
Yes, I understand that cats can’t roam around in cat-unfriendly places where predators like coyotes and mountain lions roam, or large cities in an apartment on the 20th floor.
The Tiny Terror may be in our lives for 2 – maybe 3 – years. If we’re fortunate, he’ll settle into a life inside by the time he’s 4.
I treasure every day he comes back to us.
UPDATE: I started writing this post a month ago. He’ll be two years old in a few weeks and I think he’s finally growing out of his teenage years. First, he stopped roaming in the woods and stayed closer to home, and then he started spending most of his time on my bed, or on the desk near OBCC. He leaves around 2 in the morning and he’s back inside before I awaken. He will often be lying next to me.
What a great way to wake up in the morning!