Saturday, December 03, 2005

In Praise of Older Cats

Brendan is our beloved senior. Peaceful and benevolent, he rules the teenagers with his gentle, but forceful paw. From him, the two youngsters have learned some manners. They greet him respectfully, with a nose touch, and they steer around him carefully when he is lying on a bed or sofa. Fergus learned to respect the wrath of Brendan when he was tiny, Silas came with respect programmed in somehow.

Sixteen years ago Brendan selected my husband for his personal life partner at a shabby ( at the time) animal shelter in Maine. I had immediately chosen his brother, a lively tuxedo model I called Finnegan. A one cat family was the plan. But left in the sad little cage was this miniature tiger who tilted his head, aimed those huge loving eyes straight for O and beamed a message directly into his cat loving brain. " No one is ever going to take me," O heard and he was a goner.

Brendan rode home on O's shoulder. Purring all the way. Finnegan spun around the car like an out of control top.

That pretty much describes our cat family for the next fourteen and a half years.

Now Brendan is minus his brother, who honestly was a thorn in his side after the kitten play year. He is lord of the manor. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He goes to work with us and is a master at sending out calming vibes when we are editing a video or wrestling with code. He can send a request for a meal with having to make a sound. He likes his food wet and his bed peaceful and warm and that is exactly how he gets it. If you mention we will be leaving for Portland at 4PM, at 4PM he will descend from his private room (off limits to youngsters). He likes an occasional warm bath, he pads around in the water and has a drink. He sings us to sleep every evening and commands a lap at TV time.

He had a bad bout with Upper Respiratory Infection (brought to him by Fergus, I believe) and after careful nursing (including turning the bathroom into a steam bath), he recovered and told us of his joy at being well again and still with us.

Fergus just got wapped again for being rude. Brendan still rules this animal family.

No comments: