Monday, April 4, 2011
Cats & Me
My attitude to the feline population has always been pragmatic. I blame my upbringing on a farm. There, every animal had a job specification. Cattle were bred to produce milk and meat. Dogs were burglar alarms. Cats kept rats and mice away.
Having lived in an urban area since leaving home, I've regarded cats as something to be tolerated. The approach of one in my vicinity brought on an automatic "Shoo."
Life has, however, conspired to change my attitude.
The sudden, tragic loss in recent years of a dear family member, left our home in mourning. My then eight year old son was in a state of perpetual, glumfaced gloom. Until the arrival of a stray cat at our back door, with whom he made immediate friends. Despite my reservations about her presence, their friendship flourished. She would arrive under his bedroom window each morning, miaowing feverishly until he threw on his clothes and ran down to let her in. He would kneel beside her, rubbing her luxuriant coat, while she nuzzled his face and purred like an engine, his mother buzzing around in silent dissention in the background.
I had no option but to concede to a greater power. She had put a smile back on his little face at a very difficult time.
So, the word that now forms in my head when she approaches is "Respect"
Except, of course, when she sleeps on my favourite chair, but then I can't have it every way.