Saturday, February 9, 2013

Nigel, King of the Forest

Nigel, the black cat, rounds out our cast of characters in the house. He’s the third cat we’ve had, and like every cat, he believes he is the center of the universe, ruler of all he sees, and that I am his humble servant and valet.

I’m OK with that.

We got our first cat not long after we got married.  Chan (which soon evolved into Channers) was a blue point Siamese, and was a muscular, gregarious, male who loved to be thrown up in the air and onto the bed.  Bad thing about Chan was that he was bored and lonely, which quickly became apparent. Night time howls, plants torn out of pots, toilet paper shredded and strung through house, you name it.  He got into anything he could.  I was ignorant, Chan was the first cat I had ever lived with.  But Rose had had cats most all of her life, and we concluded that Chan needed a buddy.  So, as a surprise, I went out and found a seal point Siamese, and brought him home.  Koko, which evolved into Kokomo, which evolved into Mo, which evolved into Moey, was the ugliest, most scraggly, kitten you could imagine.  Rose was none too happy with me for going out to find him on my own, but I felt sorry for the runt, and she got over it.  Anyway, Channers and Moey hit it off, and, of course, Moey grew up into one of the most beautiful, striking seal points that I have ever seen. But boy was he mouthy.

Things chugged along pretty well for about ten years.  Our life evolved, like names, and we added Meg, our first dog, a basenji, and had moved a few times.  Life happened.  Then one day while Rose was away, at conference, I think, with no way to get ahold of her (back in the day before cell phones), Channers got sick, and I ultimately had to make the decision to put him down.  It was one of the hardest days of my life.  I loved that cat.  He was my buddy, really the first cat I ever loved. 

Moey, of course, was grief-stricken, but he lived, as the only cat in the house, for another eight years. At 18, Moey finally succumbed, almost at the same as Meg, the basenji, who lived to be 16.  We went almost a year before bringing Brodi into the house.  Here’s the link to Brodi’sstory if you missed it.

When Brodi was about 4, we were at the vet’s office, and they had a stray office cat, who upon seeing Rose, jumped up on the counter and immediately made up to her.  This was much to the surprise of the staff, because Nigel, who came already equipped with his name, which has not evolved into anything but Your Highness, never made up to anyone.  After talking it over for a few days, we decided to adopt Nigel.

He came to house, touched noses with Brodi, and made himself at home.  Brodi could have cared less, and Nigel was not concerned with Brodi at all.  When we brought Sunny home, that was another story—Brodi didn’t speak to me for a year.  Anyway, Nigel turned out to be a biter and had a mean streak, but I was determined to have just one cat.  He would attack Rose’s leg without provocation, and we seriously considered taking him back, but in the end I petitioned for his stay, and we decided we would learn to live him.  He’s still unpredictable, but has mellowed in the seven years he’s been with us. I still warn people about him, though.  Oddly, he will only sit with me in my chair.   I don’t think it’s because he likes me more than Rose, I just think he likes the chair.  It’s one of his sleeping spots during the day. 

Like in the beginning, we have three animals.  We’ve had them all a while.  Brodi is 11, Sunny is 6, and Nigel is at least 7.  I guess we like that kind of balance in the house.  Life is good for them here.  And they're good for us.

Long live the King.


David Cranmer said...

Nice post, Larry. Love to read blogs about fellow animal lovers.

Larry D. Sweazy said...

Thanks, David.