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Old 09-01-2017, 06:33 PM   #1
Elspode
When Do I Get Virtual Unreality?
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Raytown, Missouri
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A Cat

Most days, as soon as I pull up and park, upon arriving home from work, our cat Domino dashes from wherever he has been lurking - observing squirrels and birds and such - to greet me as I exit the vehicle. If my hands are empty, he will, upon being prompted by a tap on the chest with my hand, jump/scramble up the front of my body from the ground, careful not to claw me, wrap his entire front legs around my neck, and immediately nuzzle and groom me with his sandpaper tongue. If my hands are full, he follows me to the door, waits to come inside with me, then jumps up on the buffet immediately inside the door to await the freeing of my hands so that he can stretch up and embrace me from that elevated position.

Most mornings, I can find him perched upon my closed laptop - which sits on my rolling hospital bed style table that is my bedroom command center - waiting for me to sit up and begin the day. What he *really* wants is to go outside. He has, after all, been indoors for some seven or eight hours at that point, and is ready to once again challenge the wide world. If you have read my not infrequent posts about truncated sleep due to animal activity, you'll know that he can be *very* explicit in communicating this desire...although, of late, he has moderated the constant tramping back and forth across my ostensibly somnolent form.

Sometimes, perhaps sensing my groggy and irritated state (I hate mornings), he will simply sit quietly, grooming himself, but other times, he reaches up for me from the computer, giving me a good morning hug. Some days, it is all that allows me to proceed with the drudgery and routine. The fresh morning energy that a freshly rested cat shares is both enervating and calming. Pretty good trick, that.

Domino is, by a large margin, the most extraordinarily affectionate and bonded cat I've ever had. He literally *hugs* with the entirety of his catness. Most human hugs one receives are far more superficial by comparison. I could do without the excessive grooming of my beard, but I usually allow it at least for a bit, reminding him that I am aware that this activity is more for his self assurance than mine.

We older folk joke about "fur children", and that our animals are surrogates for our grown progeny, but in the case of this little tuxedo cat, he is essentially a literal child of ours. Ruairi plucked him out of the litter borne by a captured feral mother, a rejected runt, and brought him home at one day of age. He required six weeks of bottle feeding at all hours of the day and night. His strident efforts to suck dry the contents of the bottle were so energetic that we took to wearing leather gloves to protect our hands from his kicking and clawing. Because of his nutritional needs, he traveled with Ruairi everywhere she went in the course of her work day so that he could be regularly fed and closely tended.

In his most formative early days, Domino spent time in doctors' office waiting rooms, shopping malls, fast food outlets and every place in between. As they traveled, he would lay on the dashboard of Ruairi's car and happily ride along wherever she went. If imprinting is a thing, Domino thinks of himself as either a human, or a dog (we had four dogs when he came to us), or possibly some unholy hybrid of both. If and when he thinks of himself as a cat, he thinks he is the biggest and baddest cat in the household of six, staring down a select couple of the others, and being almost queerly bonded to Rocky, his half brother.

I'm writing this mostly to make sure that there is something put out there that can be remembered when either he or I are no longer spending time on this plane. My day to day life with Domino is unique in my 60 years of life...60 years of sharing with one or more pets, never a period of time lacking a fuzzy housemate that exceeded a few weeks. I have never had a relationship with a pet this deep...this intensely personal.

The relationship between humans and domestic pets is complex and rewarding. The dynamics between we...the allegedly superior species, and our supposed property...is ever evolving; the personality of each animal we live with is as unique as a fingerprint, as individual as any human with whom we interact. With the advent of ubiquitous Internet video, we can easily access undeniable examples of altruism, love, sacrifice and devotion on the part of supposed lesser creatures. Often, they treat each other better than we treat each other, and we could probably learn something from this.

I've done some really stupid things in my life. I've spent my years unwisely in some cases, and wisely in others. One thing I will never have to second guess is the decision to accept the tiny black and white orphan into our lives...because we would have missed out on a singular, important experience.
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:11 PM   #2
fargon
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I am the giver of food, and Keryx scoops the boxes. Rite now Chloe is waiting outside the bedroom door for it to be opened so she can go in and take Bootsy's food. Not happening. Sometimes I wonder if we are just slaves to 2 cats.
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Old 09-02-2017, 01:06 PM   #3
Pico and ME
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Such a sweet kitty!

Kinda reminds me of this guy.
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Old 09-02-2017, 03:25 PM   #4
Gravdigr
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Elspode, excellent write-up. A fine tribute.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fargon View Post
Sometimes I wonder if we are just slaves to 2 cats.
Don't ever doubt it.
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