AM I TOO OLD?
Woof was brought to see us the other day. He is growing fast but still playful. Just a few months ago he was a tiny bundle of fur; now that his fur is longer and his face is taking a more mature shape I want to keep stroking him. He’s very cute and extremely placid. When I nuzzle his neck he doesn’t back off like some cats do. The only foreign cat I know these days is Smokey and he isn’t a patch on Woof. Yes, the Persian is something else.
I took him down to the lily pond to watch the frogs sunbathing. It was peaceful. The only sounds being an odd spaced out croak or two combined with a woodpecker’s distant drumming. One of the frogs was trying to catch the insects hovering on the water and most of the time he was successful. The speed of his tongue was amazing. I tried shooting my tongue out but it was disgustingly slow. Imagine all the disappointments if I had to catch mice that way.
Woof was mesmerised by the frogs but he soon relaxed and tried to play. Every time he extended a paw to touch one, the frog jumped; and so did Woof. Not literally, of course, just an automatic reaction. He must have thought it was great fun because he kept doing it until the frogs decided they’d had enough and hopped to the opposite side of the pond. I was totally taken by surprise when Woof tried to go after them. He leapt like a gazelle, tried to land on the lily pad, and promptly toppled into the murky water.
He got out all right but you should have seen the mess on his white fur. It was like he was wearing a green weed coat. It was just my luck that my mom and his mom chose to come down the garden at the very moment Woof emerged. I have to say that his mom’s screams are very similar to my mom’s anguished cries.
Naturally as an older and wiser cat I had to take the blame. My mom thoroughly berated me, not letting up even when I rubbed against her legs. She relaxed eventually but not before warning me to take better care of the precious kitten. After all that I felt duty bound to keep Woof out of further trouble. Next time, I decided, I’d let him chase mice instead. Surely nothing untoward could happen then.
When he’d had a bath and been dried off we settled down for a nap in my bed. I’d been ordered to go there and stay there but Woof went voluntarily. It was the first time I’d ever shared and I quite liked the feeling. Being so close made me feel quite maternal. I lay with one leg across him so he was held close. Yes, I was in a strange mood, calm and philosophical. If I wasn’t the age I am you might think I’d fallen in love with the little chap.
By tea time Woof’s mom was ready to go so it looked as if the mouse hunting expedition would have to wait. I did hear some good news though: Woof was coming to stay when his folks went on vacation. He was just as delighted as me when I told him. I vowed to spend my time planning what we could do when he arrived.
When mom and dad are in bed I usually slip through the cat flap to do a bit of night hunting, but after saying goodbye to Woof I didn’t feel up to it. Instead I lay on my bed, listening to the barn owl while I went over the day’s adventures, and realised I missed the little chap. I thought about him, remembering how warm he felt lying next to me. Did Tom ever feel that way when Sukie sneaked in? Not that he’d ever said, but my imagination was running amok. I suppose I could ask him next time we meet.
Decision made, I snuggled up to giraffe and started to think about frogs and mice and those little beetles that crunch under my paw, and wondered how long it would be until Woof’s folks brought him back. Was I too old to fall in love, and worse was Woof too young to love me back?
See you soon. Meow!