Joined: 29 May 2012
Total posts: 14
Location: Western PA
|Posted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:47 am
Post subject: Breakfast Tails
|This is the story of a cat namd Waffles. To tell her story we must first set the scenario by telling that we already had a cat named Blackie, who was a year old at the time that this tale begins.
Blackie, at that time, was a sleek, ebon furred creature with a single white spot on his neck. He had been adopted when a local shelter set up shop in our mall, and my sister had broken down in tears demanding that she desprately needed a kitty in her life. I was six, my sister was two, and my brother was eight at the time.
The origins of Waffles were much different than the cat we already had. It was September, the unpredictable weather of western Pennsylvania was proving to be rainy and cold, a telling sign of a harsh oncoming winter. Two of three children boarded the bus for school as their mother watched them from the porch of their house down the street. Suddenly, there was a loud, youthful mew, and down from a tree in the neighbors yard came scurrying, or rather hobbling, a kitten, tabby coated but obviously a stray, mixed breed, cat. There was something wrong with the kitten's hind leg, it was clear from the way she limped towards my mother that morning. Mom expected this to make her skitish, but she wobbled her way up our porch stairs, crying out in a demand to be loved.
Later that day as my brother and I disembarked from the bus and raced down toward our house at the end of a cul de sac, my mother met us on the porch, sushing our shouts of excitement about the day at school, we were young enough at that time to still think our education would be fun, and telling us to call out, instead, with a gentle "Here, kitty kitty kitty~"
This we did, and to our suprise a small kitten shimmied down the neighbor's tree and cavorted up to us as well as she could with an obvious injury. Winding about our legs she purred happily, and noticing that this cat was a tabby, much like the feline on a cartoon series at the time (called Goof Troupe,) I dubbed her Waffles, after the cat on the show.
The kitten instantly clawed her way into our hearts. She would, despite her apparantly rough past, curl up in our laps as we sat on the porch, purring loudly as we pet her. Mother pleaded with my father to let us keep her, but dad was dead set against her joining our family.
"We have enough with on cat." He would say stubbornly.
But in a few hours Waffles seemed to have somehow, and we never did learn what transpired in that brief time, won my father over. He came into the house through the garage. "Do we have anything we can use as a litterbox? We need one for the new cat while she stays in the garage!"
He wasn't stupid enough to bring a possibly disease ridden cat into our lives and risk losing Blackie to illness. A short while later, Waffles was crying as we loaded her into the car to take her to the vet. I don't know what she thought was about to happen, but she obviously didn't like the idea.
Aside from a case of worms, and a broken leg that had begun to heal (albeit incorrectly,) she got a clean bill of health. So, while we fed her medication to treat her one ailment, we kept her in the garage. Eventually, however, this garage cat was allowed to join our family. She and Blackie became fast friends.
And while Blackie grew into a 27 pound bruiser who was afraid of his own shadow and was considered my baby, Waffles proved to be a sleek huntress, constantly trying to slay our feet and hands with her ferocious bites. She was more my sister's cat.
The story would take a sad turn fourteen years later. Blackie, who had lost control of his bodily funtions by that point, was fifteen and rapidly fading in health. I pleaded with my mother to take him to the vet. Meaning well, and frightened of losing the cat, she refused, fearful that he would be put to sleep.
From somewhere, be it the ducklings at the pond near our house, which I had tempted into my lap with bread crumb bribes, or my brother's fiance's father's dogs and cats, fleas invaded our house. It was more than Blackie could take in his weakened state, and he passed away in my arms one Wednesday, at four in the morning in mid October. I was devestated. He had, after all been my baby, and at times my best and only friend. He was the one to nuzzle away my tears when my diagnosed depression got the better of me. He was a source of strength and survival.
But as hard as I took it, Waffles was even more distraught. Even when the flea infestation had been taken care of, and she was allowed to roam the house freely (we had confined the cats downstairs while we treated the infestation on the second floor,) she lingered by the laudry room door. Blackie had been put in an old girl scout cookie box lined with a plastic garbage back, which would serve as his coffin, and teken out that way. He was buried in our back yard near the woods, cover with a cement block so that wild animals wouldn't escavate his grave.
Watching Waffles sit near the door that she had last seen Blackie leave through, I realized just how close the cats had really been. She would cry, and refused to eat even after we had moved the food and water downstairs for her. Her loyalty to her companion of fourteen years was touching, and frightening as well. Because as we watched her mourn, watched her depression grow, we became worried for her health. It seemed we would lose both cats that year.
Eventually, however, the tabby moved on with her life. It's been five years, going on six in October, since Blackie died in my arms. Waffles is nineteen, she'll be twenty in September, or rather she'll have been living with us for twenty years come then. We've had a few health scares, such as a urinary tract infection that had us convinced she was suffering kidney failure until the vet assured us otherwise, but overall, she's remarkably healthy for her age. Her leg still troubles her from the mysterious break she had suffered when we found her, which never did heal quite right.
My sister went off to college, and got her own apartment, into which her boyfriend brought a cat of his own. Two months ago, she and her boyfriend also welcomed a son into this world.
Since my sister's departure from her daily life, Waffles has become more my cat than anyone elses. She's begun fretting over my grandmother, who moved in with us when I graduated high school and is currently 94, though she'll be 95 on June 9, 2012. But then, Waffles always has been the nurturing sort, earning her the teasing title of "Mamma Cat" around our house.
There are some doubts about how sound her mind is. We think she might be senile, because she constantly cries if we aren't where she thinks we should be. But then again, it might just be that a warm lap on the couch soothes her aching bones.
All in all, it's been a wonderful nineteen, going on twenty, years. And I wouldn't trade my cat for anything, even the dog I so desprately want right now (my reason for joining this site.) My niece, my brother's daughter, who is ten is apparantly quite allergic to cats, but even that won't sway our devotion to Waffles. It just means that my niece won't be able to visit our house until the sad day when our cat passes.