Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Don't Forget About Me!

Like I could. This is Betty. Betty will not be ignored, unless she wants to be.

While Emerson stole my heart at first site, Betty had to try a little harder. She came home because the tiger kitten in the bin with Emerson was already sold. We brought her home so Emerson would have a friend. She was supposed to be hubby's cat, since Emerson was obviously mine. Betty had other plans.

Two weeks after coming home with us, the kittens had been given the run of the house. I was comfortably ensconced on the couch crocheting. This meant entirely wrapped up in my oversized red bathrobe with only my head and hands showing.

Betty bounced into the room. Sort of like Tigger, that's how she arrived, bouncing. She walked over to me and meowed. It's not the sweet little "I love you" meh that Emerson excels at. It's a "Hey! I think you left me alone and I don't like that" yowl. I would say, "Hi, Betty." And she would yell again. It became a game. At length she tired of the conversation and climbed onto the couch (yes using all available claws). Her motor was on full throttle. She purred in my ear, then put a paw ever so lightly on my arm. Her head moved under my throat. The next paw encroached. Eventually she wormed her way into the bathrobe and fell asleep in the sleeve (I did say it was oversized).

To this day, if the red bathrobe does not have me in it, it usually has a cat on it. Getting all the cat fur out is a lost battle. However, Betty won hers. We still have a lengthy conversation upon my return from work. Now it includes tricks; waving of paws, standing on hind feet, head butting my knees and standing on any box or stool to give her better eye contact. But she knows, I haven't forgot my Betty.

Comfort and friendship

Emerson. That's his name. Actually, sometimes he's referred to as "Smudge". You can see why.

We met at the pet store across the road. He walked up to the edge of the bin, put his tiny paws on the side, looked at me and quite clearly said, "Meh!" I smiled, picked him up and he immediately collapsed into my arms, purring like a sewing machine. I couldn't budge him. What else could I do besides bring him home?

That was, by the way, one of the loudest meows ever extracted from him. (Except by the vet. He yowled then!)

His name was decided because he never had that kittenish, gangly, clutzy look about him. He has always sat perfectly upright, his fluffy tail wrapped tightly around his feet, his fur never in a tangle and viewed the world with an air of wisdom and decorum. I had to find a name befitting such an obviously with it cat. So I turned to my mentors in life and named him after the great writer and orator, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Eight years later, he still maintains an impeccable coat, a sleek fit body and comes to purr on my lap. I will forgive him the "let's hide in the shadows! Mom'll trip on us!" games. The "I'll sleep in Mom's bathrobe" ploys and the thoroughly irritating, "I can't touch the cat litter" deal.

Mostly because when I come home, he walks right up to me and says quite clearly, "Meh!" Which interpreted is, "It's my friend! And I'm so glad she's home."