Thursday, June 7, 2012

Orange Cat

Since I was knee high to a ladybug, dogs and cats have figured prominently in my existence. When I was little, cats and kittens would follow me home from school. My first pet was a tabby tom kitten I named Tiger. I must have been 5 or 6 years old. I can still recall the day my Dad took me and my best friend to look at a litter of kittens, advertised for free in the newspaper. I can remember the drive home in the 55' green Chevy, Bonnie and I in the back seat with the tiny Tiger sinking his sharp little claws into the seat climbing around. Tiger would stick around for several years until the wandering lust overcame him. Back in those days cats were rarely altered, thus Tiger kept his bits and made frequent use of them. One day he left and never returned. My next pet was a beautiful black cat I named Black Magic. Of course, in short time she presented us with a litter of kittens. My Mom used to remark at her embarrassment of walking out to the clothesline to hang freshly washed clothes and having 6 cats yowling and rubbing against her legs. Back in those days my parents were too busy trying to feed us kids to consider spaying and neutering cats and dogs. As I grew older and learned about the facts of life, I educated my folks about the need for spaying and neutering. I have three dogs currently and one orange marmalade cat, who is getting up in age. He was thrown out of a car when he was tiny like he was a piece of garbage. Luckily I saw him running away from the road and swooped him up. That was 11 years ago. These days I am seeing him slow down quite a bit from the frisky boy he was when he was younger. It is sad when our pets begin to show signs of aging. But I'm grateful to have had him in my life. It's going to be tough when he goes. Orange cats have always been my favorite. There is something special about them. What got me to thinking about orange cats this morning is the true story of a homeless young man who befriended an orange cat and how their symbiotic relationship has helped both. That is my Hobbes in his younger days sitting on a rocking chair. The story of the young guy in London and his orange cat named Bob is at this link My orange boy has not inspired a book or movie, but he has surely given me a lot of laughs over the years. And these days in his golden years, he makes me smile at the memories we share. The only regret I have is that I sold the painting I did of him as a kitten. When he was little, he would sit on my desk as I painted, so one day I painted him into the painting I was doing and called it The Artist's Apprentice, which he remains today.