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Meow-Meow came out of a box in a parking lot near the shores of Gray’s Harbor Washington. The lady holding the box said that she’d had her shots and was of Siamese and Calico descent. Pastel Calico at that. We didn’t know about the other part yet.

She had this cute little pinkish patch on one side and a smudge a smidge darker, and larger, over her back. Her not-quite-black tipped tail looked as if she’d gotten too close to a campfire. Of the four choice kittens in the bunch it was agreed that she was the most adorable.

The lady had said that the litter was weened and had suffered their kitten shots and but for a weepy little squint in her left eye she was perfect. She came home with us. She complained the whole fifteen minutes in the car ride home.

Meow-Meow enjoyed her first birthday in soggy Aberdeen, a harbor town that literally floats on the engineered tidal sands built up way back when. There she had seen her first snow. I had fashioned a small platform in an east window for her to languish in the sun; On those rare occasions when the sun actually burned through the harbor fog that is.

The lady of the house was just not happy with the atmospheric situation of the times. One chilly winter morning, outside the two picture windows in the living room, the snow was falling gently in wet gobs of wonder. At least it seemed to the cat. She didn’t much care for it on her paws though. The out-of-doors frightened her.

While I was at the mouth of the wood stove taking care of business, Fuzzy (her new nickname) was on her perch in the window sill swatting and pawing at the snowflakes falling just beyond her reach outside. She was adorable—I had to grab my camera. Now that she’s gone I’m extra glad for that camera.

As Meow-Meow grew into our lives the climate wore heavy on the lady of the house. The times reminded me of that old saw “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” The cat was almost a full year old when the decision was made to escape the harbor’s gloom for cheerier skies down south. We celebrated her first birthday in sunny Arizona.

The Fur (one of several developing nom-de-retard) HATES road trips and she made the point very, very adamantly. She was quite satisfied to be anywhere but on the road. That was no surprise, but we were in for a few there in Arizona.

It turns out that Meow-Meow wasn’t such a chicken after all. In Sun City we had wild wabbits. Lot’s and lots of wabbits too. I enjoyed the quiet early morning hours watching here watching outside the sliding glass door to the patio as the sun rose: Her eyes darting and tail tip flicking excitedly just wanting to play with whatever that was out there.

Our area was on the outskirts of town along the “New River” bed—coyote country. We weren’t keen on letting her out and the Home Owners Association weren’t either. Meow-Meow had a different view on the subject however.

The lady of the house wasn’t as light on her feet as the cat and there were two exterior doors between the living area and the laundry room. It didn’t take long for Fur-Fur to figure this one out. Once the seal was broken I never could fix it. She devised strategies involving hideouts and deceptions that I thought much too tactically sound for an ordinary cat.

There was more to her. Like for instance—she sometimes would just not shut up. I’m told that Siamese are a little mouthy by nature and I had come to think that perhaps her Calico part was also half Siamese. Now that she was a year old her pink spot had developed an orange spot in it and the dark spots on her side and tail were getting darker. She was really a good-looking cat: everyone said so.

Meow-Meow never quit loving to run around under the bed covers, hide under anything that wasn’t nailed down or crawl into a box, bag, or bucket. The only thing she liked better was escaping to the great outdoors. I wasn’t happy about that and neither was the lady of the house.

The first time The Fuzz (there’s “the lady of the house”, I, and the cat) didn’t come home after escaping we agreed that she was probably in process of becoming coyote dung. The baying often came from a nearby golf course and the dogs had been reported to run around behind the houses that I woke up to every day.

Well lo-and-behold the next morning she was found on the roof. That critter was a fine example of feline fur. She was quick and she was strong. She made up for her diminutive stature with the weight of her wits.

After a couple of complaints from the old codgers in the area it was deemed improper for Meow-Meow to go outside. She had started using a neighbor’s horseshoe pits as a litter box. She didn’t get the memo. We offered to clean the pits twice a week but unfortunately it turned out to be un-necessary.

Like the unsinkable Molly Brown, she floated to and fro as she saw fit and if you don’t like it try to catch me – Ha! Her time in Arizona wasn’t to be long. The lady of the house was beginning to come out of a funk that began a couple of years past. Her husband died then her mother passed on shortly after.

I had seen her to Aberdeen and made repairs to the home and grounds. Meow-Meow and I had seen her to Arizona and made repairs to the home and grounds. It was time to move on so the lady of the house could find her happiness.

Once again we found ourselves on the road. “Gattita” was her nom-de-retard for this evolution. Well, that is, along with all of the others. She didn’t seem to care what I called her. I could call her monkey and if she felt like coming over for a yank on the tail she would. If not….

The sunny north San Diego county foothills are where we set up house keeping when it was all said and done. A cat’s paradise–where it rarely rains and the summer time is hard to beat; anywhere in the world.

(End of Part 1) copyright 2012 Mike Shurtleff


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