I can still remember the first time I saw you. I was stationed in Hawaii at Fort Shafter and had gone by the vet clinic on base to see if they knew where I could find a cat to adopt. One of the vet techs said they had a 9-month-old cat they were looking to re-home. She told me that you didn’t get along with their other cat and she had to put you on the porch. She invited me over to meet you.
That evening, I arrived and found you scared and alone on that porch. Your litter box hadn’t been changed in a long time and it didn’t smell so great. It took a while to coax you out from under the chair, but when I asked if you wanted to come home with me, you crawled over and got into my lap.
That night, at our house, I couldn’t find you. I figured you were hiding somewhere, so I just kept searching. I found you behind the toilet in the downstairs bathroom. You were shaking and terrified. I coaxed you out and you got into my lap again. We sat like that for a very long time. I whispered to you that everything was okay and you were safe. You were mine. And you were home.
And, girl, you took that to heart! Within a week, you had taken over! The house was yours. You turned over plants, you let me know that you liked to sleep on the bed across my legs, and greeted me every evening when I came home. You loved catnip and warm clothes fresh out of the dryer. You were feisty and hated my friend who would take care of you when I had to travel. Let me tell you a secret … she wasn’t fond of you either! But you always acted like you missed me and was glad I was home. So was I.
When I left Hawaii, you came with me. The airline let me take you on board with me and we traveled back to the mainland. We ended up back in Florida in September 2011 and lived with your grandparents until I found that job in Tallahassee two months later. I also adopted your baby brother, Max–and you were not happy! But he was such a cute kitten. I don’t think he’s ever won over your heart, but at least you now tolerate him… to an extent.
It’s been just over 13 years since I held you for the first time. We’ve been through a lot, you and me. We moved a couple more times and I’ve changed jobs. The two of us now have a complete family… a dad for you (and a husband for me), two canine sisters, as well as Max and three other felines that share your domain.
Trust me… we are all aware that you run the house with an iron paw. You’re still feisty and just as grouchy as ever. You barely tolerate the other kitties and you’ll slap a dog in a heartbeat. You are still fearless. You still love catnip. You still like to sit in my lap and I’ve learned that petting you may earn me a nip or two. These days I have to give you medicine for the arthritis in your paws.
You’ve just turned 14. The vet says aside from the arthritis, you’re in great shape. And that makes me happy. I hope I can continue to hold you in my lap for many years to come. You’re cantankerous… frequently in a foul mood… and I never know if I’ll get bit or not, but just know that I shall love you for always. You’re home. You’re safe. And you’re mine.
Posted by Karen