Sunday, February 27, 2011

Focus on Felines

"Of all God's creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the lash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat."
- Mark Twain

I've been living with cats for over 25 years. I've written about some of them in the past, but I thought while I had a spare moment I'd introduce you to some others that I've been privileged to know , including one recent addition:

Meet Huxley


Evan had been looking for a kitten for a while, ever since Smokey left us. When a co-worker offered him one who had already been neutered and vaccinated, he jumped at the opportunity, and the brown tabby above has been residing with us for about a month now.

Huxley is pleasant and well-behaved for the most part. He and Bandit have had their moments, but nothing that we didn't expect. He is a kitten, right down to adventures with a laser pointer.

Huxley meets Bandit.

Huxley's favorite activity with me is to climb on top of the computer monitor when I'm working, then reach over and try to catch the cursor. I think that he represents my conscience when I'm on the computer too long. Lately he's discovered that my old CRT monitor gives off heat, and so he sleeps on top of it sometimes. He seems to want to be close to one of us most of his waking hours.

I like Huxley, but I will likely miss watching him grow up. Those priceless kitten videos need to be made..now.

In Memory: Miss Tilley


Tilley belonged to Leslie. She passed away on January 30 at roughly 15 years of age. Leslie had her from when she went to Vet school in Alabama. Tilley was small for an adult cat, with larger than usual ears and a very short, more demure and dignified stride.

Tilley and I got along, but it's Leslie's dog Lilah that seems to be missing her the most. Tilley would allow Lilah to play with her, and sit or lay next to her on the couch. The other cats are largely not of the disposition to be picking up that role, at least for now.

Surin


Surin belongs to one of my neighbors - I don't know which one. I don't even know his/her gender, just the name from the tag. Surin is some kind of Siamese mix, with a faint cream color and the signature blue eyes.

Surin is curious and friendly, and came into the house when invited once. Bandit sometimes chases Surin off, but he/she returns fairly often. We'll see how he/she reacts to Huxley.

Elle


Elle is another of Leslie's cats, is only about 2 or 3 years old, and while somewhat reminiscent of Huxley in appearance, can be friendly but is independent and mischievous. Lately Elle has grown quite a bit, which seems to have mellowed her out somewhat. This is a picture of Elle with Michaela a couple of years ago. Lilah is lonely without Tilley around, but Elle will have nothing to do with her.

Tommie


Tommie has been with Leslie for several years. He came to the clinic she was working at, and needed surgery for a blocked urethra. He's survived longer than most cats who have had that procedure, and seems to crave affection when he's not asserting his alpha male self with Elle or Lilah. He's a big boy, but not overweight. He can be a bit temperamental, but what guy wouldn't be in a houseful of girls? Just kidding...


"I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul."
- Jean Cocteau


One constant in my travels has been the presence of a cat. The only time that I haven't lived with one since 1984 was my first 5 months in Grand Junction. In this context I feel what Cocteau was feeling - a cat lends an elegantly sentient quality to what would otherwise be a lifeless space.

The Home Depot store in Grand Junction has a cat. Since I saw him, I don't think about the store the same way. His presence adds a unique quality to the corporate sameness of these kinds of places. It probably helps with the occasional bird or two that flies in as well.

Today begins a week of deliberation, sorting, discarding, cleaning, packing, and donating. I think about what I brought with me to Colorado nearly 16 years ago, and this time what will return east with me and what will remain behind until some undetermined time.

To go with the collection of inanimate objects on each end of the journey, there will be cats (and a dog or two) alongside the people that populate a space and give it life, meaning, and relevance.

Have a good week ahead.

4 comments:

Jenny said...

I knew from the title you were gonna make me cry!
"If I tried to tell you how much I love my cats, you wouldn't believe me - unless your heart is also meow-shaped and covered in stray fur."
by Lexie Saige

Chip Ferron said...

"Dogs have owners, cats have staff..."

I don't know who wrote that quote, but I've always liked it.

The True Value hardware store at 12th & Orchard also has (had?) a cat named Smudge. I liked the store better for that.

radar564 said...

John,
sorry to hear that your are leaving the valley. Make sure you go to Mt. Garfield and put some of the dirt in a jar to take with you.

It was a pleasure working with you and I wish you all the best with your move.

John Casteel

radar564 said...

Good luck on your move there John. Make sure you take a jar or can of dirt from the base of Mt. Garfiels with you, or you will be back.

It was a pleasure working with your for all those years.

John Casteel