pets, part 3

The following post is by MYRLN, a non-blogger who is Kalilily Time’s guest writer every Monday.
PETS (3)
Finally, after Biscuit 1 and Biscuit 2, there came Saffron. “Saffron?” you say. “What kinda name is that for a dog?” And you’d be right. It’s lousy for a dog, but it perfectly fit a yellow-furred cat. And that’s what Saffron was.
For someone whose only pets had been of the canine variety, the sudden presence of this spice-named feline (long before the Spice Girls came along) was disconcerting and puzzling. How do you relate to a cat? “Here Saffron,” got no response, not even a fleeting glance. Whistling got even less than nothing (oh, maybe an occasional minor ear perk). He had no interest in anything its human family wanted of him. His was a wholly imperious manner. But when it wanted, then a yowling, meowing, or scratching made clear the “King” wanted what he wanted. No canine give and take at all. You had to wonder who was the dependent pet. This distant yellow entity certainly wasn’t.
Until…some time later, after a kind of mutual disregard was established. Then the Saffron King changed his tune. Say you’re lying on the floor, maybe watching t.v., or better yet, taking a snooze. There then comes a light poking at the side of your chest, and at first you ignore it, thinking it’s one of the kids having fun. But the touch persists, so light as to be almost tentative, like an uncertain inquiry. So you peek and discover the imperious one standing there, one paw softly on you. His gaze fixes on yours, and when you raise a hand, scratch between his ears, he blinks and climbs fully onto your chest, settles himself there — face to face — kneads your chest lightly with both paws and begins to purr. And you feel it over your heart, the barest vibration, and you watch as his eyes slowly, slowly close and you feel yours follow suit until all becomes a grey ease directed by the steady purring. And you know a wholly new relationship has been created. And you find y ou like it. You’ve been made a cat-lover.
So it becomes a kind of ritual. Lie on the floor and Saffron is there: a gentle poke always used by him. He never just climbs aboard. He has acknowledged the territory is yours and requires permission to enter. And every occurence becomes a period of total and peaceful relaxation. As if cat has become an entity of quietude.
It doesn’t always occur at ritual time. It erupts at any time. With no forewarning, the cat becomes a furry flurry of mad action. Up he leaps, stretching upward on tip-toes, then off he goes — racing wildly and without objective in any and all directions. He races living room to kitchen to dining room, back to the starting point, then wildly up the six stairs to the bedroom hall at breakneck speed and abandon, spinning back with a yowl and leaping down the stairs. He repeats the pointless journey 2 or 3 more times then stops abruptly and sits quietly at ease near the fireplace, preening himself before settling and curling into a long nap.
In their most extreme moments, neither pet of old — the 2 Biscuits — ever produced any such display. It’s as if cat — this Saffron — sends out a message with his mad romp: I can get crazy, too.
No kidding.
Good Saffron.


Saffron and friend, circa 1975

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