Chester and Frosti, are happy, much-loved kitties, who most people say have won the cat lottery by having me as their owner/daddy. I am realistic enough to admit that they own me, rather than the other way around. We are now in a constant battle for the top cat position of the household. I still have to keep my feet elevated, so I spend a lot of time in the recliner. Every time I get up to go to the kitchen or the bathroom, I usually have two furbies in tow. Frosti is convinced that every time I am in the kitchen, it is to give her treats. The reality of the situation is they get Temptations Cat Treats twice a day, at 7am and 6pm. They have Taste of the Wild Venison and Salmon dry food available 24/7, but the way Frosti acts, you would think that I never feed her. She is still relatively slim under all that lovely long fur, and Chester is getting a little wide in the caboose. I think it is mainly because Chester believes in uninterrupted beauty sleep, versus Frosti’s active lifestyle of going everywhere I go. Usually she is weaving in and out of my feet as I walk, doing her best to trip me. Which isn’t much of a challenge, since I have balance problems to begin with.
Chester has a fetish for plush toys. My collection of Beanie Babies, is now his. I often see him trotting though the apartment with one in his mouth. God forbid that it happens to drag the floor, and interrupt his trot. That requires a swift retribution of being shaken vigorously from side to side. Many of my Ty creatures are coming apart at the seams or missing a limb or two. He leaves them strewn everywhere. Frosti’s favorite thing to do is go fishing. I have a scale that is made of clear glass. Three of the sides are closed, but the front is open, and about two inches high. She will deliberately push things into the open end, so she can see them and then try to fish them back out with her paw. Sometimes she is reaching in so hard, I think she’ll do herself damage. Chester will play along with the glass scale sometimes, but his variation of the game is to push things under the stove, and go fishing.
Now we come to the guilt part of this blog entry. When Chester was a tiny kitten, and I had just brought him home, I think I permanently maimed him. I have neuropathy in both of my legs, so I can’t feel any pressure on the bottom of my feet. I think it was within the first few days that I owned him, and his pseudo-sister Frosti, that I stepped on his little tail. I didn’t even realize it until he grabbed hold of my leg, and dug in his small, but very sharp claws. I’m not sure if it was his wiggling or the squishing of my blood soaked socks that first tipped me off. For those of you who don’t already know Chester, he doesn’t meow. Not even when his tail was stepped on. That was the moment, I knew it wasn’t a matter of him just not having anything to say.
I immediately dropped to my knees to pet and reassure him, that I wasn’t angry. After only seconds he was rubbing against me and purring. Our feline companion’s capacity for forgiveness is nothing, if not an example for humanity. I gently petted Chester’s tail, and he didn’t give any indication of sensitivity there. Frankly, the event quickly faded, far faster than the scratches healed. I don’t know how many months later it was, but I happened to be petting Chester, and as I reached the end of his tail, I noticed there was a distinct crook in the end of it. The sharp angle of maybe 50 to 70 degrees in the last half-inch to an inch of his tail. There is zero pain or sensitivity, and my strange little boy doesn’t mind having his tail stroked. In fact, he likes it, and starts purring immediately when I do it. But, I am convinced that it was me who broke his tail, when I stepped on it. The thought that I could have maimed the perfect little creature, I love so very much, floods me with guilt feelings. Every time I touch his tail, those feeling flood back. I know that it was an accident, and I know that there was no serious damage done, but I still feel guilty.
For the closing of this entry, we come to a variation of the kids fishing game, that I don’t know if I should feel guilty or not. The twice a day Temptations Treat ritual has gone on ever since they were eight weeks old. I drop them from a high enough level that they bounce in every direction on the hard kitchen floor. That gives the kids enough room to go for them without fighting over the same space. A couple of days ago, the idea struck me to bounce the treats in such a way, that a few go under the clear scale, from the beginning of this story. Frosti can see them in her favorite “fishing” hole, and some are easy to reach, and others are pretty much impossible to reach. My quandary is whether or not it is mean, or am I just catering to her favorite game with her favorite pay off, food? I added a toothbrush to the mix, and Frosti discovered that by knocking it around, it would free some of the treats from their glassy prison. I was so proud of her reasoning I could bust, but my pride was quickly dashed. I always move the scale, so she and Chester can get to the remaining treats. Frosti continued to focus on the toothbrush, while her brother noticed that the remaining treats were now accessible, and started to chow down. Frosti upon seeing this, immediately dropped the toothbrush and rushed in to get her share of the treats, not knowing when or if she would ever be fed again.