When we talk about what makes a home, we sometimes forget the pets that are there to greet us when we come home at the end of the day.
We had two pets before Cedric. Sasha, a sweet tempered, gentle English Setter and, Princess, a three pound black ball of nasty feline attitude. Sasha didn’t particularly like cats. So when someone asked us to adopt an abandoned kitten we said, yes, if Sasha could learn to accept it. That little ball of attitude eventually cowed the poor dog. When Princess tiptoed up, Sasha jumped knowing her paws might get nipped if she was in the preferred place in front of the woodstove. I was Princess’s primary caregiver. But that didn’t endear me to her even in the slightest. She was quick to take offence and slow to forgive. Once she held a grudge against me for two weeks after she decided to slip and slide across some freshly varnished floor and the task of cleaning her fell to me. She was harness trained to go outside on a line but would bite you before you could get the harness on. Since she was equally unpleasant it she had to stay inside, I eventually sewed the harness on while my someone held her with leather work gloves. But it was nice to have a pet to come home to after Sasha died so we put up with her because in her own nasty way she was an interesting cat. We also gave her some extra grace because of the abandonment she had experienced. But one night she got loose and was hit by a car.
I wasn’t raised to say frivolous prayers but a few months before Princess died…probably because I was exasperated by her behavior…. I said, “God, if we ever have another cat, can we have one that likes me.” That was probably about the same time that Cedric was born. Cedric is about as different from Princess as you could imagine. Although he is harness trained as well, he patiently lets me put on his harness when he
wants to go out. He outweighs her by almost 10 lbs…the full 10 before he went on a diet. If Cedric shows annoyance at me, all I have to do is wiggle my fingers near the floor and say, “Come here and say sorry.” He trots right over and nudges me with his head. He was brought to the Humane Society with his sibs as a kitten and still hadn’t been adopted at 5 months when we found him. It is my theory that all those months in “the pound” shaped him into the cat he is. He hardly pays attention to barking dogs but runs for cover from the noises of garbage trucks and grandchildren. He is satisfied with the simplest of dry food and thinks a little dab of low fat margerine with olive oil is fine cuisine. Best of all, he can never get enough cuddles probably because he slept with a cageful of cats for all those months.
It is ten years this week that Cedric has been part of our family. We brought him home on a Saturday movie and pizza night. The noise of the television put him into a panic so I took him to our bedroom far away and we got acquainted. Even though he is very democratic with his affections, I think we formed a special bond that night. Until he got too big, he regularly took naps zipped into my sweat shirt. He still comes and pats my shirt when he sits beside me on the sofa; he cannot understand that he no longer fits. He is there to greet me when I get home. He cheers me on when I do exercises. He waits in the hall when I take my shower. It doesn’t matter what project I am working on, Cedric is usually watching in the background. When I renovated our kitchen, he inspected every new detail and never showed annoyance that his world was topsy-turvy.