We are cat people. I was not always a cat person. Oh, I had pets growing up but they were always outside pets, mostly dogs, and the attachment fell far short of what I know today. I suspect that had to do with several things: We were a farming community and my mother was raised on a farm; Animals served a practical role and were somewhat transitory so we were not encouraged to get too attached; If I had any real attachment to animals growing up it was to horses on my grand parents farm and to the iconic TV animals like Flicka, Lassie and Trigger. I out-grew all that when boys became more than someone to just climb trees with, but that is another subject.
I became a cat person when I married. My husband is a true cat whisperer and could give Jackson Galaxy some serious competition. He has an amazing way of bringing out the unique personality of any cat, of restoring cats who are damaged and to actually get them to mind! Well, mind in that “I’m a cat” sort of way. We have a lot of fun with our kitty tribe. No, we are not crazy cat people, but I have learned to truly love, appreciate and even train these furry soul-mates.
The oldest of our tribe right now is Flaps. Yes, Flaps, like the control surface on an airplane. He is the fo
urth in a series of aviation named cats. The first three were Pitch, Roll, and Yaw. There were also Stick and Rudder. These are gone now, but Flaps, now four-teen years old, remains. We started the series when we acquired an airplane hangar with an apartment. The cat’s job, besides keeping us company and entertained, were to keep rodents under control in the hangar. Rodents can be very damaging to aircraft and this was our way of dealing with them. Our version of barn cats, I guess.
Flaps is an odd cat. His black and white coloration is more like a cow than a cat. He was born to a feral mom who lived in a rock pile behind our house. He wandered away one day and my husband heard him mewing at the top of his little four week old voice, snatched him up, gave him some tiger’s milk and a warm place to sleep. He slept for 10 hours, woke up and decided this was his new home. It did not take any time at all for Flaps to adjust to civilized life.
If I were to describe him is a word, it would be “curmudgeonly‘. He grumbles and grips about almost everything, except meal time. Even then he is quite animated if meals are not exactly on time or served with the swiftness his tummy says it should be. Yet he is lovable; he makes us laugh out loud – a lot.
- Meows backwards.
- Has an imaginary friend that he plays with. We will hear him cooing and galloping in the upstairs hall at odd times.
- Has very specific times for scratches and ONLY on his head an neck.
- If Flaps wants to be scratched, he comes up, puts his paw on your arm or butts his head against your hand. (sooooo cute)
- Values his sleep. At least 16 hours a day and he does not like to be disturbed, by anything or anyone. I have seen him pop one of the other cats for coming around while he is napping!
- Knows his name. When you say his name anytime, even while he is sleeping his stub* of a tail wiggles.
- He knows “nite nite’ and “no” and always gets the last kitty sass in response to the latter, while reluctantly obeying.
- Sometimes retaliates to a “no” by opening drawers and doors and pulling all of the contents out onto the floor. He also does this when meals are not in his timing!
- Is known to slam cabinet doors when frustrated.
*We had to have most of his tail amputated after he broke it in fight with a neighbor cat. He is also missing one of his toes as the result of another skirmish. Flaps does not like to fight and obviously is not very good at it.
Flaps is very attached to us. He leans and cuddles, but only when he is ready. He greets us when we come home. He hates it when we are gone and is very clingy for days upon our return.
Cats are a part of my Stonebridge. Perhaps not essential, but one of those extra decorative fun stones. God created the soul-ish animals on the morning of the sixth day just before creating mankind in Adam. Even though none of this soul-ish order of creation was found to be a satisfying companion for man, the value of these creatures was not diminished. We are meant for spirit union, which is a dimension deeper than the soul. However, our God doesn’t just supply us with basic essentials but also with the extras. The furry creatures that purr, bark and wag tails, those are important too!
Do you have a fur baby that has added value to your life? Let me know in the comments below.