Junior Cat's one year anniversary of Life With Us came and went without a lot of hoopla. My Youngest and I saw the date approaching and marvelled at the conflicting thoughts "It has already been a year?!!" verses "It feels like he has been with us forever".
It took the better part of the year to cure his chronic diarrhea and the eternal and unreachable itch in his ears. My son said "I will never believe someone when they tell you that everything will show up within the first two weeks of owning a cat!" He did come with a 'money back guarantee' and we could have returned him within that two week time period. But to us, he was a keeper. Right from the start.
He has gone to the vet and come back home with us two times. The first time, I could have sworn that I almost heard him sigh an audible sigh of relief when we didn't leave him behind. He came back home. There was a slight change in his personality when he started to really trust that we were not going to pass him along to someone else (oh, the saga of a street-cat).
For his (almost) one-year check up and vaccination, we doubled up our appointment with Senior Cat and packed the two of them in the cat carrier. And once again, we brought him home! There was an extra layer of trust added to what he already couldn't seem to believe.
Since we brought him home from the vet that second time, it is as if he is seeing his world in a whole new light.
He has discovered new Bird Watching Posts in the living room (atop the toy-cupboard and on the computer desk hutch). He found a new resting spot (in the 'forest' in our living room - aka: under the table that holds our umbrella plant).
He has been facing his fear of my Second Son and His Girlfriend and (almost) comes to meet them halfway at this 'friendship' thing. He has one simple rule: "Let me make all of the moves". If he feels in control of his environment, he is a wary participant in this thing called family.
It is sad and a little bit happy all at the same time. Sad, that he appears to never have had this long lasting bond with people before. Happy, that he is growing trustful (though still very wary) that the people we let into our home will treat him well.
He is loved.
Has Senior Cat been whispering in his ear, telling him little things that he needs to know? There is a symbiotic relationship developing between the two of them.
When Senior Cat gets his twice-a-day medication, Junior sits on the mat by the back door waiting for his treat (Senior gets a little treat after each pill, thus Junior gets one too).
One day, Senior got locked inside of the spare bedroom and Junior was acting very antsy and was meowing outside the bedroom door. I opened the door ... and Senior wandered out (he seems to have lost his ability to meow, so Junior did the talking for him).
Senior still loves to sneak out the front door and one day it seemed that the two of them conspired a way for Senior to make a break for it when parents came to pick up their children. Senior snuggled up in a fake-sleep near the exit. Junior hovered at the doorway, so that when the parents walked in and saw one cat run for cover (Junior is terrified of the outdoors), they would not think to watch for the second cat that was running out the front door, coming from the opposite direction. Ingenious!
I think Senior is whispering little cat-truths into Junior's ears (when he is not nipping at his heels). He disguises this by deciding to wash Junior's head with great vigor and concentration. But we know better. He is instilling great knowledge into Junior's mind.
It is a cat's world in this house.
And we wouldn't have it any other way...
... though I do believe that these guys would have a rebuttal for that statement!
**Note: the dogs belong to My Son and His Girlfriend - they are the dog people in the family and the dogs are loved (by people who belong to them)**