I love this image of Cat’s bravest moment. It was only the second time I saw her climb a tree, and the first time to make it this far up into the branches. She appears to be scouting for her next meal, or perusing the horizon for predators. But in reality, she is just a few feet from a bedroom window where she can be pulled to safety by a willing human.
She never was an adventurous cat on her own. The last time she was in a tree was in 2004. I had had her only a few weeks and we were still working out the details of our pet owner/pet relationship. She had rebelliously run away one morning and a wandering coyote forced her to find safety in the tree outside of my condominium while I was at work. As soon as I got home and she heard me walking up the sidewalk she started scolding me for leaving her in such a predicament. Meow, meow, meow, meow….”How could you?”
That was the first incident in a string of many over our eleven years together that she communicated her disappointment in me. Cats are like that. No matter what you do right for them, there’s always more that you could have done, better.
Dogs on the other hand go with the flow. They are more than willing to give you more credit than you deserve at all times, hoping that their affections will result in a bit more food, or a few more minutes of play time.
I had been only a dog owner. I was raised with pet dogs, not pet cats. So when Cat came into my life I knew I would have to deal with catitude. And I also knew that she would be infused with dog-a-tude.
Completely unaware of the unnaturalness of it Cat learned how to come to me when I called her. She learned how to comfortably travel in a car and in an airplane. And she knew how to interact with people who hated cats in ways that would make them love her.
She was a loyal and entertaining companion whose absence has left a far greater void in my everyday routines than I could have ever imagined. I miss her more than I thought possible. I know with time that the emptiness will dissipate. And I’m grateful for the memories and images she has left in my heart and my mind forever.