by Roger Laute
Oscar at my window, looking his home...
The best cat is the cat who chooses you.
Twice it happens that the new cat of our neighbours after a few weeks chose us to stay with.
It became Minoes and Miss Puchkine (last one was named Puchkine, but at that time we had a Puchkine, and the 'deserter' was a female).
The neighbour has now a new angora Oscar, who visit us daily...
by John Orr
Most cats I encounter have no memory of their birth, but I can never forget mine, although I was very little and I could not see. I remember being hungry and pushing aside my litter mates to get to the ninny.
We were warm and snug in a pile together. As I pushed Isaiah away, the queen lapped at me with her rough tongue. I felt her love suffuse me as the tongue stroked my head. “Ah, yes,” she purred. “There is always one in every litter brought into this world to do great things.”
“What great things?” I asked as I suckled at her breast.
“Oh, very great things, princess, it is hard to know.”
I was happy as I filled my tummy tangled with my litter mates there in the bush feeling the queen’s love.
But then I smelled a horrid stink, and heard a stealthy pad not silent, but whisking on the grass. The queen shrieked as the coyote shoved its snarling head into the bush and sank its teeth into the queen’s shoulders and tore her head and chest from her torso, gulping her down in a single swallow. I felt his mouth muscle curl around me and his slobber engulf me as he drew me into his fetid maw.
Just then the Great Master appeared and with his long finger he gently rolled me from the jaws.
“Not this little one,” he told coyote. “This one has great work to do for me.” But the dog, quick as a kitten blink, inhaled Isaiah, Matthew, Paul and Judas. And I was alone as the sated beast loped away, followed by his stink.
I cried for a very long time.
I was still crying and very hungry when the Great Master called to the woman. “Come to the bush,” he told her. “Oh, my,” she said. “Coyote has slain the queen and what have we here?” She gently closed a warm hand around me and lifted me from the pool of sticky blood in which I lay.
“This one has been spared, and I think I will care for her.” Before long I lapped at something that almost tasted like milk and filled my tummy. I was so lonely for my litter mates I wanted to die. But the Great Master whispered, “Sweet kitten, I need you to do a very great thing for me, so open your eyes and see and open your mouth and eat your fill.”
“Great Master, what must I do?” I asked.
“Something very special no other cat can do, but you must be very strong. I know this milk is not like the queen’s but you must eat as much as you can and grow.”
Presently the woman placed me in a cardboard box and I went inside a moving machine. When the flaps opened a funny-looking human who was not a woman gazed down on me, his eyes bright.
“Well, you are a cat and I am your dad,” he said. I liked his voice, gentle and kind. He lifted me from the cardboard box and I felt love as his finger stroked my coat. I showed him how strong I was by standing on his open palm. Soon I was swallowing the almost milk from a bowl dad placed before me on his lap. He stroked me tenderly and spoke in that gentle and kind voice. The Great Master was present and said. “Little one, this ridiculous human is your dad and you will love him with all your might when I cannot be here.”
“Great Master, where will you be? Please stay with the cat and her dad.”
“Little one, I am very busy and I am needed in a great many places all at once, but this dad needs love at all times. I am counting on you to love him when I am otherwise occupied.”
“I will do my best, although I am but a very little cat,” I promised. “I like this dad. I am happy filling my tummy as he strokes me with his finger. He could easily swallow me in a single gulp.”
“He will do no such thing,” The Great Master assured me. Then I was no longer afraid and for the first time since the queen died, I no longer felt like crying.