Happy FRIDAY, friends!
I am so happy for today, and everything that this weekend holds!
I thought I’d share one of my furbabies’ stories with you all today–perhaps the one least featured on my social media, Basie. As you may have gathered, animals rock my world! I’ve always been really fascinated with animals since childhood, and as an adult, I find their presence extremely soothing.
Growing up, I had little exposure to cats because both of my parents are severely allergic to them, and well….not the most fond of them either. So naturally, given the universe’s amazing sense of humor, the first animal I took in as a young adult was, you guessed it, a cat!
I was home the summer before my sophomore year of college. While spending time at my sister’s house one evening, she mentioned that in the morning her dog had been barking like crazy at the backdoor. When she had investigated the area, she discovered a small kitten beneath her back steps. She decided to keep the dog inside and leave it alone in case its mother would return to get it.
Upon my asking if the mother ever turned up, my sister gave me an anxious look and told me no…..and that she was hoping I’d take a look.
She was totally freaked out!
I teased her for being jaded by our parents’ disapproving opinion of felines, and I ventured out to backyard. And there he was: the most scrawny, flea-ridden kitten with disproportionately large ears. Of course I fell in love with the scraggle muffin.
I took him to the vet the next day, while my sister asked around her neighborhood if anyone was missing a kitten. Her neighborhood had a lot of stray cats at the time, so chances are that he was born to a feral. The vet estimated that he was a few weeks old based on his teeth, and he said he’d be okay to eat dry food; however, he was concerned that due to his young age and us finding him alone, he might have been separated from his litter too soon. He appeared healthy, but he warned that I might stumble upon strange behavioral habits.
Was that the understatement of the century.
Count Basie, the jazz musician, inspired a name for the kitten. It only seemed fitting as well because even with tiny lungs, the cat could PUR. He really was the most precious little kitten. Even now he can be so stinkin’ cute.
Basie is a peculiar being, to say the least. This fact has been confirmed by even the most cat-ladyest of cat lovers. He’s weird. A little off-kilter. Much of his weirdness can be attributed to normal weird cat behavior, such as him being nocturnal, his frequent spontaneous mad dashing across the house, his love of nail files, and his general spitefulness. There’s just a certain level of obnoxiousness no one can ever quite place when it comes to this kitty though.
He’s calmed down a lot as he’s matured (he’s five years old this summer…only what? 27 more to go?), but he’s still quirky. For a cat, he’s rather clumsy, and his hunting instincts are not quite up to par. When it comes to playtime, his favorite activity is to jump up to catch things. When he was younger and leaner he had mad ups! He also loves darting through his crinkly tunnel, preferably at 3:00 a.m. For this reason, Basie sleeps in the guest bedroom every night! He also really enjoys lounging in the tub after someone takes a shower; if the shower is not freshly damp, he will lounge in the dog’s water bowl instead.
His biggest fear in life is starvation. He needs for his bowl to be full at all times, even if he is not hungry and won’t be for a few more hours. Bowl. Full. Or will die. Basie dominates our dogs. He is king. They know it, even if they do not like it. Honestly, Basie has always gotten on better with dogs than with cats. He plays more like a dog, and even fetches if he’s feeling spunky.
Recently, Basie had an epiphany (probably relating to the FIVE he’s celebrating this year…existential crisis most likely) that maybe he is not living life to the fullest. In many a movie he’s seen mechanical bulls, and he had the thought….”I’m going to ride that bull. Or the closest thing to it I can come up with in this house and destroy in the process.”
So as my sleepy bum is about to leave at 5 in the morning on Wednesday to go teach my Pure Barre class, I turn on my headlights and won world record for earliest WTF moment in a day. There is Basie. Riding the bull. In the form of my blinds. He has torn down half of the blinds from their installment to the window sill and as they swing, his little paws are gripping to the individual blinds. His ears are flattened back, a gritty look of determination on his little cat face. He looked a little rabid honestly.
If he can conquer this fifth year of life with as much boundless energy and determination as he had conquering my blinds, I think he will thrive.
Anyone else have a character of a kitty?