The Best Christmas Gift

Thirteen years ago today, my parents took me to PetSmart after speech therapy to look at the cats. We had gotten a cat earlier in the year who turned out to be kind of a dud. She was sweet but full of nerves (still is).

Little did I know, my parents had been to PetSmart while I was at my speech therapy, looking at the cats that were up for adoption from our local animal shelter. They had their eyes on an orange cat that sort of resembled the neighborhood cat that came around when we lived in Tucson.

Then a four year old tabby cat named Mikey caught their attention. His friendly personality won them over almost instantly. When I met him, he rolled over his cage and began purring. I told my mom I liked him and she said he’s ours. I was shocked.

I was thirteen at the time and thirteen years later, Mikey’s still around. He’s a people cat and only likes our dog. Other dogs, he’s less excited about. He fell out a second story window because of a dog who wasn’t cat-friendly.

He lost one of his nine lives that day. We found him a few hours latter, meowing on our fence. We think he developed wonky front legs because of the fall along with arthritis due to his old age. He purrs through any pain he may have.

Mikey loves the sound of his own voice. He will go into a room and meow just so he can hear the sound bounce off the walls. It’s probably soothing to him. He’s still a lovable cat who will bat your hand if you stop petting him too soon.

For the last few years, my family and I have seen Mikey slow down. He’s had his moments but he’s somehow always made it through. He’s certainly no spring chicken. We love him anyway.

Happy adoption birthday, Mikey.

Surface Thoughts

I watch my cat watch the tv, every time a dog comes on the screen, his pupils get big, I wonder what goes through his mind, what must he be thinking, is the time he fell out the window from the second floor playing in his head, what is a cat’s memory, does he remember the season where he could go outside, can he tell when the night arrives sooner in the day, I try to read his mind, my thoughts come up with options but no conclusions, he will always be a mystery to me, the night is slowly beginning to be pushed back in the day, the new year has flipped forward once more, these thoughts have no home in my head, they come and go in one moment to the next, the ones I captured in this post are ones that come back from long ago, they only appear when I’m grasping for inspiration to write anything, what to write when I have no prompt, nothing to say, avoiding writing something that I’ll give into eventually, I have these thoughts to share with you, the lingering surface thoughts that mask the layered ones, my cat is on the couch beside me, sleeping, afraid of the dog who is staying with us, the dog who encouraged him to fall out the window, with only a small tree to ease his fall, the dog is calm but my cat shakes like a leaf in my arms and hisses at her like he’s facing his worst nightmare when she’s near, he’s purring now, the tv is paused, exhaustion crashes into me like a wave, but I know if I swim now, I will just end up floating on the surface, lost in my thoughts, staring up at the sky that’s fading into the night.