There’s this noise that becomes a scratching, then a weight against my back; my cats are up before I am again this morning and are unobtrusively demanding that I rise to greet the day with them. What does it mean when Emerald sits on top of me, batting my nose at 6 am? Is it a ‘get up already and feed me!’ or a ‘good morning, I clicked the button and the coffee is on.’ You can almost hear the sing-song in her meow, almost.
I’m up. Sassy wants outside, Molly wants to be left alone, Emerald is demanding her treat and laid back Winston is just waiting for something to happen; another typical day in the Stewart household. All four have completely different personalities that clash, rather loudly and dramatically at times. Molly is my drama queen, Emerald is a very moody princess; if there was a cat click, she’d be the one dominating it! Sassy is the ever practical wise mother/matron and Winston, my schoolboy, just seems confused most of the time about what the big deal is between these three girls. So that’s our warm and fuzzy family.
I will introduce Molly first. Merrill surprised me with this little bundle of delight just after we lost one of our beloved males one night to a car on the dirt road outside our trailer in Alberta. She was a tiny black and white kitten that grew up with Boo, our remaining male. Boo looked over his whiskers at an over- enthusiastic, bouncy kitten who had moved in just when he’d just lost his brother Greymalk but by the time she was half grown they were inseparable; buddies to the end! Molly turned out to be rather too clever for her own good at times, even as a baby she’d get herself into trouble with her escapades. Oh the tribulations!
She was originally raised to be an indoor cat; safety, longer life, health issues and all that. But she would jealously watch whenever Boo was let outside then she’d send up a pitiful wail all full of ‘Life’s just not fair!’ and hammer at the door until it was showing signs of being shredded, after that she dashed from window to window trying to see where Boo was outside. I remember her silently and resolutely plotting my downfall as she sat and scornfully glared at me; seeing I was unmoved by this expression of harrumph she adopted another scheme and would follow me from room to room as I opened the windows early on hot days to cool the trailer. Somewhere in her mind’s eye a strategy was forming.
Maybe, just maybe if she pushed hard enough on the mesh that covered the open window, she could tear a hole in it and get outside. I became suspicious of her designs on my window screens too late when I realized she was suddenly and unusually too quiet, I went to check on her. Yep, that’s exactly what she did. Now a lovely cool breeze was coming through the flapping mesh along with every flying bug in the neighborhood to take up residence in my spare room. Arrrg!
One Saturday morning when Merrill was working on adjusting the pipes from the hot water heater to the underground tubing under the trailer, Molly found this a fascinating occupation to watch. She also found that she could just squeeze her little body through the opening and the great outdoors awaited. Unfortunately, it was later in the evening while I was wondering where she’d gotten herself to that I realized she might have gotten outside again. That sent hubby out the door, at my express command to crawl under the trailer with a flash light to find her, sitting rather uncertainly, on the end of the pipe at 10 o’clock at night and mount a rescue operation.
Eventually I just gave up and let her go out on supervised excursions when I was working in the garden. She quickly improved her techniques for avoiding capture when it was time to come in but Boo usually knew where she was and kept an eye on her. How she loved being outdoors exploring every nook and cranny of her environment.
Thus started many an adventure with our new companion and family member that would eventually take us all on a cross Canada road trip from Penhold, AB to Prince Edward Island and to new, more bizarre adventures.