Friday, September 24, 2010

Meeting and Greating

My first encounter with Mrs Gato, Fuzz Face, Princess Kitty, was not actually in person, but rather over the phone. " You are the cat person. What do I do for a kitten that just jumped in my lap?" asked her new owner, my new boyfriend.
"Well, No tuna, kitty crunchies, and cat canned food are good. How did you get a cat?"
He told me Mrs Gato's sad start to life. She was left with an older man at an elderly apartment complex. Shortly after she was there, the gentleman had to go to the hospital. With no one to take care of her, Gato started roaming the complex accepting whatever kind offerings people left out for her. She scanned the rooftops and doorways to find out the routines of the inhabitants. One day as my boyfriend wheeled in toward his apartment on his wheelchair, a grey fuzz ball took a flying leap and landed in his lap to secure her new owner. After the initial shock wore off, my boyfriend and Uno Gato became inseparable. Gato would ride on his lap down to the laundry and back. He would feed her and talk to her like a little lady. He would hold the phone up for Gato to say "hi" to me.
It was about a month later that I got to meet Gato in person. It was instant jealousy, not on my part of course. Gato would stare me down while I hugged her human. She sat on his chest if I lied down next to him. She sighed and pined away whenever my boyfriend would leave for a moment. I love cats and just chuckled at her devotion.
Lets move 10 years down the road. My boyfriend has moved to a place that doesn't allow pets. He passes Gato off to a friend named Dania. Gato stays with Dania for 2 years. Then I get on my own and get an unusual phone call asking if I could take Dania's cat.  "oh Gato Yes of course!" I agree.
Gato comes by way of car in a small milk crate on the front seat. Gato hides. Gato hides at the foot of my bed for a whole week and it was a strange event that coaxed her out. A previous knee injury plagued me on and off. This time I twisted it while setting the table. It hurt enough for me to need to sit down. I sat down on the bed and massaged it for a minute. Then I saw a fuzzy grey face look at me with concern. She blinked and hopped on the bed. Then she did the kindest thing. She wrapped her body around my knee and purred, and purred. The intensity of the pain decreased and Gato found her place in my home as nurse and friend.
One day shortly after our bonding, Gato looked up at me from under the dining table and formed the word "an-yah?"
"Oh Mrs Gato, I said. I'm not Dania. I'm Andrea. Dania had to go. I'm Andrea"
Gato blinked.
A week later in the same position from under the table I heard "Amm ree aaa?"
Gato and I are friends to the end.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Aloha Rain

My first random memory is during a spring time rain. Hawaii has intermittent rains that can come and go at a moments notice. It was one of these moments while Mrs Gato and I were enjoying our morning devotion time together on the love seat; me with my Bible in my lap and Mrs Gato drifting off in revere beside me. I looked up as a cool wind brought a heavier rain through the louvered windows. Two fledgling doves darted onto the sill of our second story window to take cover from the sudden deluge. Gato sprang off the seat and crouched down in front of the open window ready to pounce. I closed my book and crawled down slowly to the floor to be eye level with the birds and Gato. Then I whispered "Wait Mrs Gato. They are just babies. They cant fly. They are coming out of the rain. Wait till they are gone. Then you can pounce on the annoying male doves all you want." She listened. Her ears pivoting in my direction but never taking her eyes off  the birds. Then Gato did the sweetest thing. She curled up in a little ball and watched as if she were watching her own little ones. The rain vanished quickly as it had come. Seeing the sun peak out again; the mother bird chirped and urged her little babies to try again. The babies flapped their downy wings and whooshed away carried by a soft breeze. Mrs Gato knew the importance of that first flight and blinked in contentment when they took off safely. The next day however she is was in full cat patrol chasing the cocky male doves with their incessant hoo-ooing off our landing. That's my Mrs Gato.