It came to me that I never told you about my cats. Well, since they all passed away a number of years ago, I don't think about them much. Every so often, though, I trip over them in my mind just as I often did when they were sauntering about the house.
I was a not a cat person. I was not even a dog person. Frankly, I am not a pet person. Too much trouble. Oh, we had a family dog when I was young but she wasn't my dog. I didn't take care of her, I wasn't charged with feeding her, training her, or cleaning up after her as any primary duty. She was just there, an often ignored member of the family. And we had a dog when my son was young. But he (the dog, that is) was a hand me down from my wife's parents when they moved into a mobile home park where they had no yard. And they got the dog from my then-wife's sister who couldn't keep the dog after moving to an apartment.
So my experiences as a pet owner weren't remarkable except in their lack of bonding. And, of course, there was that incident with the German Shepherd...
Faye had a lot more of an affinity for pets. She picked up a cat, a kitten, while I was away in West Palm Beach for a year (I'll write about that year sometime) and she still lived in San Diego. She named him Smaug.
Smaug did not like me much. I suppose he saw me as an interloper. I didn't think much of him either, to be fair, so maybe he picked up on that. Eventually, on a trip to the vet, he successfully ran away. It was understandable. He was no longer the only cat in the house. And I was to blame for that.
I was living in Pacific Beach, in one side of a duplex a few blocks from Mission Bay on a busy street. One day this fluffy white cat met me at the sidewalk as I was coming home from work. She did the usual cat thing when one wants attention... She walked in and out between my legs in that random manner surely intended to cause you to fall. She meowed, that plaintive sound that says "feed me, feed me, feed me now!" which I vainly tried to ignore.
I knew if I fed her, she'd keep coming back. I had no idea where she had come from, she had no collar, no tag. I had no cat food either, of course. I had no milk either. I ate out... a lot. So I tried to ignore her, hoping she'd give up and wander off to wherever she came from.
She didn't. Instead, she parked herself outside my door and continued to demand attention. Eventually, of course, I gave up. Rummaging through my cupboards, I found a can of tuna.
We shared it. I dumped half on a small plate and ate the rest myself as I sat on the front step and got acquainted with my new friend. She would eat then snuggle up against me, then eat again until she was done. She then rubbed against me; purred and rubbed, purred and rubbed. I petted.
I was hooked. She stopped by every morning after that. I could not take her in since the duplex I rented had a "no pets" rule. Faye began to bring cat food with her when she stayed over or dropped by. Finally, fearing the busy street in front of my place was going to be the eventual doom for this stray, I encouraged Faye to take the kitty (who had no name that I knew) to her home in El Cajon.
It was then that I gave her a name. She was thereafter known as Bimbo. It was the obvious name. She had been found walking the streets, would cuddle up to anyone who would pet her or give her a little attention, even go home with them if they wanted to take her.
Even though she lived with Faye, she was always my cat. When I would come over, she would jump up and settle in my lap as soon as I sat down. She greeted me, come running if she was outside or in as walked from my car to the door. She walked with me to the door when I left.
Bimbo stayed with us through moves to Manassas, Jacksonville, and West Palm Beach. She would get a couple of roommates over the years. She tolerated them as a dog tolerates fleas, she was queen of the house and no one successfully challenged her for that status.
Like all monarchs, she petulantly demanded royal treatment and tolerated no usurpers. And got pretty much whatever she wished.
More about her and the others at some other time.
A Night Unremembered
2 years ago