The other day I posted to Facebook an imagined thought from old, quirky girl Mimi, with a picture of her sitting at my hip, as she often sits, on the Shoes chair, asking me to maybe write at my blog something about cats.
“Mimi says I should write something at my blog about cats. I told her that’s just crazy talk.”
It was a simple and funny two sentence post as, well, if you know me that’s one of things that I do. I’m a cat guy, I’m a these cats guy, and a former cat’s guy for those remembered. They are a current sanity or a teary fondness.
So Memes … move just a little girlfriend, your head is blocking my arm … can’t write this imagined thing without it … I could but it would take so much longer … not much of a one handed typer … better … so Memes, I take a picture and write of cats.
When it comes to my fur over the years I’ve, obviously, always been the adopter, I’ve never had the tables turned like some of those video’s that pop up after your original watch intention that you make the mistake of clicking on, just a one you say, oh, the too cute story of the kitten or dog who just showed up at someone’s door or foot looking for help and home till hours later you’re too far down a rabbit hole of furry “awwwww” to escape.
Well, hold on, let me amend. My sister and my brother and I were adopted by a stray orange tabby when we shared a house together for 5 years, starting in 2000, who we soon discovered was in the kitten way and needed a place to crash on the cat couch after her apparent bender with some surely disreputable Tomcat. That was Mia who produced, among her 5 little squirmy meowy things in a toweled warm human hovered cardboard box world in the closet between Nick’s room and mine, Shoes. My beloved Shoey and whose chair Mimi and I share now. But other than that I’ve never been the adoptee until Mimi, Mimi the Quirky, or simply, Memes.
I call her Mimi the Quirky because she is just that, quirky, timid, fragile, has some so straight legs that seem like sticks stuck out of a bad grade school art project of what’s supposed to be a cat. She walks this straight legged, no bend to the knee always and she shies from a pet, trying to back away, arching her back low, backing up, giving you the impression that she’d rather be any place other than this petting attempt. And she does a nervous lick at the air thing at every stroke of her back. No matter how softly you pet she lick licks at the air. It’s been a goal of mine to see if I can get to a pet without it.
I first came across her downstairs in my well chronicled tales, or tails, of numerous fur and one single, loudly insistent feather here at the stead. When I’d go into the kitchen after a come home to say Hi to Celie I would see the Memes, hear her first actually, a smoking cats rasp, if cats smoked, walking at me with those sticks, no bends of cat knees, in as much of a rush as a Mimi could muster.
“Hey Mimi” followed with reticent receiving of a pet and a pickup and a grabbing, untrusting claws clutching a shirt.
“It’s Ok kid … no grabs”
As Celie and I talked, a Mimi in my arms, she would relax and even, on occasion, fall asleep. I hated to put her back down before I made my upstairs to a Steve.
Before this world’s pandemic upside down when a small percentage, as we’re told to try and make us feel better, brought such a great percentage of sadness and loss and so much fear I did high School Football games for Spectrum Sports walking the sidelines along with the game’s action. There are two things I’ve missed in all of this. The normalcy of baseball (this past asterisk season not included), the schedule, the readings of my Bucco’s happenings, the current but still genuine connection to the past that only baseball can bring and those sidelines. Who could ask for more than your world, my world taking a break, if for only a few hours in crisp, sometimes biting Fall air? Walking sidelines and feeling oh so cool with a headset, doing important looking stuff for a live broadcast?
Text: You have a new girl.
Me response: ??
Text: Mimi, she snuck up the stairs behind me and seems to be liking the quiet of Uncle Steve’s apartment.
Me: Well, ok then.
I got this text from Celie as she gave me a hand and fed my fur during one of the High School football games a couple of hours away in and around Albany wondering now of what awaited me and if Bella would want to kick my ass.
Bella is just Bella by the way, sorry, not in a “just” way mind you, or a taking for granted, though maybe a little bit I admit, but she’s just my always Bella, the head of the household, the first I acknowledge on my step back into my normal after a day. She’d already taken some shocks to her cat system over the last few years, so how was she dealing with this old interloper while kids looked for glory in helmets and plastic armor hours away?
The first shock was a move from the only place she’d ever known and from a broken relationship of mine that I can only blame on my solitude’s needs, but at least she had her Shoes to keep her company under bed covers for two weeks after the move was done. But then Shoes passed.
The second time, another move, she had her/our stray friend, Grayson, who took so much well earned time to bring into the fold and proved to be quite a pal but after only a couple of years together he also passed, and suddenly.
There was the early addition of Cricket the Blind in this second move, and current Attic spot, but she didn’t count for company as Bella didn’t/doesn’t like her.
And there have been other tries as I’ve continuingly attempted to give Bella some new friend after Grayson’s sudden and Shoe’s slow sad passings. None went well. The incredibly vocal Gibson (which at least ended up on a positive with a good friend who found his new catmate), the large and extra furry Duke, the product of tragedy and loss I thought to see if I could find a light in, the numerous curious from downstairs who I allowed to venture, often leaving the door at the bottom of the stairs “accidentally” open just to see.
Bella was a Bella and me was a me and she was a mine, we were an ours and if something didn’t click we both knew it and it was done (though there was a “Blink”, a little flurry of kitty humor and annoyance and joy that did work but that one just breaks my heart as it was so perfect but so fleeting and has me wonder at the Universe and the why’s. Still).
So the Memes sitting somewhere in my apartment while I cool look headsetted it almost two hours away had me a bit concerned.
I didn’t need to be as Bella couldn’t have cared less. The Memes wasn’t intimidating. Gibson and Duke and some of the allowed momentary waywards were. Mimi? She was just an old girl Bella sniffed/sniffs at just like Cricket the Blind (that’s another tail as to the how).
I found Mimi in my bathroom maybe suddenly realizing, hours earlier, that this sneak up the stairs might not have been the best of moves … or not. She was comfortably asleep in my little bathroom cabinet empty except for two rolls of toilet paper and the one hand towel I don’t use, a good bed it seems. I said Hi and she stretched, climbed out and did a tappy tap thing on the bathroom floor with her front paws, comfortably, as if to say “where have you been?”
I had been adopted.
Though downstairs can be a wondrous thing of many fur, an often halfway house, it can be easy to get lost in the shuffle, attention divided.
Mimi tappy tapped with a sigh of relief that I didn’t just pick her up and bring her back downstairs. I think she knew I wouldn’t. That tappy tap was a comfort for her, an escape from the din as she already knew she owned me.
And even though Bella doesn’t seem to care, I kind of feel like she’s happy to at least have Mimi’s presence in the place, even along with Cricket.
“C’mon Bell, which chair do you want tonight? Memes?” Cricket will follow eventually and climb my leg into whichever chair Bella decided against.
Bella sleeps next to me in whichever of my two PC chairs I’m not in, Cricket has eventually gotten bored and left my lap to the bed waiting (she is the best of sleep partner cats) …
… and Mimi? She sleeps on my desk on the old bar towels my English cousin gave me so many years ago that I have layed out for her or grabs my left hip on the Shoes chair staring into cat nothing or everything knowing she has a human to call all to her own.
Breaths coming with a timed hic.
“Memes? You Ok?”
She was just to my left, on the Shoes chair as she often is, when I realized that that timed hic was actually hiccups. Yes, fur get them too it seems. I petted, her tongue lapped at the air until it didn’t. No more tongues, no more hics. She soon breathed easy and fell asleep while I keyboard scribbled.
There ya go Memes. A post about cats. Now that’s just some crazy talk right?