Monday, 15 October 2012

Of An Age

When Sigred was young with a young family, friends of hers picked up a stray cat on the street. They were going to keep him themselves but already had 2 cats that didn't take well to the new intruder. They asked Sigred if she wanted him. He was a teenage cat, discombobulated by living on the street followed by a home where he was constantly attacked and finally taken to a new home with a small child in it. It didn't take him long however, to settle in and become an important part of Sigred's family.

Sigred's oldest child named the cat, "HiCat". It was a simple process: after work and daycare Sigred and her daughter would walk home, trudge up the stairs to their apartment, open the door and the cat would be standing there waiting for them. Instantly Sigred's daughter would exclaim "Hi! Cat!".

HiCat lived with Sigred for something like 16 years until one day, he crawled under her bed, gave a strange sort of "Gack!" noise and then ceased to exist. Sigred & Fred were a couple by that time and stricken they proceeded to wrap HiCat in a towel (don't panic) and took him into the woods near their townhouse. There they buried him in a deep grave, cried a tear or two and walked home hand in hand. Sigred's youngest daughter, who had never known life without HiCat, never quite forgave Sigred & Fred for burying HiCat without her. They'd thought they were doing the child a favour but they were instructed quite vehemently that they hadn't. That child was then dutifully (as instructed) taken to the grave. She stared at it for a moment, then looked up at Sigred and said they could go home now.

Towards the end of HiCat's life he taught himself to go to the bathroom on the toilet. One day the kids shouted to Sigred that this was in fact what HiCat was doing. Sigred laughed and advised the kids they weren't fooling her that day.

"No, no Mom!" they tried to convince her. "He really is!"

A couple of days later Sigred also saw the phenomenon and HiCat's fastidiousness continued on until his death.

HiCat seemed to get smarter and somewhat pensive in his old age. He'd stand or sit wherever the family was and intensely watch everyone's actions, his head twisting back & forth so as not to miss a thing. After going to the bathroom on the toilet, he'd stare at the toilet's handle but... in the end... gave up on mastering that particular part of the ritual. He eventually developed some sort of neurological inconvenience, in that from time to time he'd be walking across the floor and simply freeze with a thousand yard stare. One front paw up, the opposite back paw also up, he'd stand there in balance for a second or two, then give a small hop and continue on his way.

In any case, the reason for this story is as follows:

Fred was standing in the bedroom the other day and Sigred walked in on him. Now Fred & Sigred are getting to be of an age too. There was Fred, head tipped to one side, staring at the bedroom wall. Sigred stopped and look at him for a second and then commented:

"You're doing a HiCat."

Fred shook his head and explained what he was thinking about but agreed, that yes indeed, he had had all the appearance of a classic HiCat.