I wrote this piece 15 years ago. I offer it to you now as a memorial to my feline companions. Death is a part of life and we must celebrate both.
Oh What A Time It Was
Whoever said cats are detached has not been introduced to my pint sized Godzillas, my furry miscreants, my raucous reprobates. Meet Quinn and Ally. A brother and sister tag team disguised as tabby kittens.
The evening of the 14th of May in the year of our lord 1998 I took on the role of guardian over two new companions. I named them Quinn (the male) and Ally (the female). Quinn was eager and affectionate. Ally was frightened and wary. They have grown in size, temperament, and inquisitiveness and I have grown to love them both.
Myth one – cats hate water
Quinn feels that it is his personal duty to inspect my bath water each night. He will scrutinize the bath tub prior to the addition of the water and then the actual water once added. He also has a habit of a more intimate perusal, which usually ends with a hearty towel rub. I’m not sure which he enjoys more, the shock of the water around his body or the towel across his buttocks. Ally too takes an interest in the water, but she just tastes it, she doesn’t try to wear it.
Myth two – cats are detached
When I come home after work, I am greeted by two balls of fur, yowling to get into my lap. It is not as if I am giving them bribes, to be affectionate, this is just their way. Whatever room I am in, Quinn and Ally are close by. If I am watching TV, they are often perched on the couch at my shoulders. I have to be careful if I move because they are usually resting against me. If I go to the washroom, I have an escort. (Even if they fall asleep once they get there) as I am writing this, Quinn is checking out his paw and my bulletin board in front of me. (Excuse me; he just located the push pins.)
[‘p; [‘; p;; Ally has just discovered the key board. QAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Quinn’s turn.
When I am home we are all together. I have been accepted as part of their clan, their clowder. I get a wash every now and then; they play with me and cuddle. I have given them a birthday of 10 February 1998 because the vet figured that would put them at about the right age. They know their names and the word no, and they choose which to acknowledge. Excuse me, someone has requested my attention: time for a belly rub.
Quinn has discovered that I have chains hanging on a hook near my jewelry box. I had thought to keep them out of the way. One of them has a large crystal pendant that makes a very satisfy “clunk” when it hits the wall. Quinn’s discovery. My discovery is that it is enough to wake me in the middle of the night. When I scold my male baby Godzilla, he promptly jumps onto the bed and presents me with a silky tabby colored belly. Now who has trained whom?
Ally, on the other hand, prefers to play before I go to sleep at night. We have a game that we play each night. I run my hand under the blankets and she pounces. Fortunately she usually resists the temptation to sink her claws into my oh so sensitive flesh. I said usually. When she gets excited (and she does) she forgets. I bare my combat wounds bravely and with pride. (Of course I do yelp a lot).
The time is just past their first birthday. They have grown in size and their personalities are quite different from when they first arrived. Every time I leave the apartment I have an escort. Quinn insists on leaving the apartment with me to check out the corridor. I open the door and he runs to the elevator. I follow on the scooter. I tap the side of the scooter, he boards and we go home. Ally is waiting on the other side of the door. He pops inside and I continue on my way. If there are any people in the corridor, Quinn waits for me to come up behind him. He may want to check out the corridor but only if it is empty!
Quinn has become a very big cat. He is gentle when he uses me for a launching post or a place to rest his very formidable self. If I am leaning over, I am fair game. Ally on the other hand has retained her timidity but only with other people. If anyone comes to the apartment she may take a look at them but she often just disappears. Quinn wades right in and makes himself familiar.
I look at these two and I wonder what is going through their minds. They are both asleep: Ally on the chair I put in the bedroom for me!!! And Quinn is on the end of the bed, head on an extra pillow. They sleep so soundly, their small bellies the only movement. They trust so sincerely. When I move to touch them they will only stretch to allow for more contact, they don’t even open their eyes. Trust. We humans equate that trust with love. An ear twitches. I reach out my hand and gently stroke a black and tan head. A tiny little motor revs and two front paws stretch and turn. A little belly is at hand. An invitation.
There are people who do not believe that I have two cats. It is rare for others to actually see two together. I do talk about them but then there are those people who think I am a little . . . . . . Well. . ..whimsical. If I were wealthy it would be eccentric. If they are lucky enough to see the pair when they come into the apartment that is often the only time Ally is present, for a fraction of a second. I know where she hides but I respect her wish for privacy. She is trying to get to know people. There have been occasions when she wanders nearby when certain people visit. Of course I should probably mention that the only times she has actually attempted to approach people they have always been men.
Quinn died 22 July 2009
Ally died 5 May 2014