Annie as a kitten
Casts a fine shadow. Likes to curl up.
Has to put up with that scrawny new pup.
At her most regal when perched up on leather,
she suns on the wall in the sunniest weather.
Not very scary like Halloween cats.
Doesn’t quite go with pumpkins and bats.
But everyday kitty has her own way,
and she’s a great kitty for just every day.
I wrote the above poem some time ago. I think I probably published it on my blog, but I don’t remember and I must say I’m too tired to check. Morrie has a skin infection, the kittens are darling but take up a surprising amount of time and now I have another patient to care for. After being away for weeks, everyday kitty has reinserted herself into my life. Here is the present-day story of Annie, the everyday kitty of the poem.
Poor Annie has had a hard time of it since the four kittens moved in. First of all, they drove her away from her morning meal on the wall. Then they usurped the attention and affection of her handmaiden of 15 years. They moved into the house that admittedly she’d had no desire to enter since the third dog entered the home that she herself had reigned in for a short while after Lulu, the headcat, had moved out after the second dog moved in. It had been a protest of sorts that they thought their handmaiden would pay attention to, but no. She had merely divided the lawn in two, designating the cats to the front and dogs to the back, but this wasn’t sufficient. They wanted those dogs GONE! The final result was that Lulu had moved in with the neighbors and she, Annie, had refused to venture any further onto the property than the front wall by the garage, demanding that her handmaiden deliver her meals twice a day. This she did, but an extended hand met with a rebuff. Annie would take her votive offerings, but no more. She was permanently miffed in only the way a queenly cat can be miffed. The world would suffer from now on. She was not amused.
Imagine her chagrin when the new cat in the neighborhood had first deigned to scarf down her leavings and then to challenge her for firsties. Her handmaiden had shooed the cat away, but she knew she had now and then put out fresh food for that cat at midnight when she though Annie was asleep in the field across the street. Then. Those kittens! She had tried to show the needed amount of chagrin by not coming home for meals for a few days, but then when she decided to stay her fast, when she did come home, she found her wall guarded by THAT CAT! A terrific fight ensued and sorely wounded, she had dragged herself into the walled lot across the street where she lay for two weeks, living off the reserves of rich cat foot she had been served for years. She had caught a few small rodents as well as insects, but barely enough to keep her cat soul in her body. Her eyes swelled up, infected from the scratches of the demon cat. Her right hip sored her and she could barely walk at the end, dragging the right front paw which turned under, limp and unhelpful.
How she got herself up on top of the wall she can’t remember. It was a triumph of will, but once there, she lay entangled in the dense bougainvillea vines, too tired to struggle, unable to go frontwards or backwards. She barely had the strength to meow when she heard the engine of the car. But her handmaiden heard her. She, not being as agile as she had been 16 years ago when she had crawled under the car on the streets of Ajijic to rescue Annie, had been unable to hoist herself up onto the high wall, even with the aid of a small ladder. She had clipped away at the sharp-needled bougainvillea, but to no avail. It was such a dense tangle that she made little headway, even on the outer vines, and she could not reach far enough in to free any of the vines Annie was tangled within.
When she heard the car out in the street outside the wall, her handmaiden had immediately opened the garage door and run outside for help. With the aid of the stranger in the car, who had climbed up onto the wall and started clipping away from one side while the handmaiden stood outside the wall clipping away at the other, they finally succeeded in moving her away from the stranger and into the arms of her human, who paid Annie’s savior with a new bottle of very good Tequila. He was delighted, Annie was saved, and thus began a few days of trying to save her poor emaciated self.
Annie speaks: Trips to the vet for an exam and two shots, three kinds of meds to be administered daily, bi-daily and tri-daily, setting up an emergency room in the only bathroom left in the house, the other having been usurped by the kittens, then the hours of coaxing me to eat even a small amount of food. She tried fish oil capsules broken open and dribbled over the food, the rich beefy aroma of the vitamins spread on her finger. I licked them off and then bit her, drawing blood. When cats suffer, everyone suffers! Now, after the second day, my formerly horribly swollen and infected eyes seem back to normal. I am deigning to eat small spoons full of a very expensive special cat food. They must be mixed with another special brand of wet kitten food, dribbled with fish oil and soaked in the beefy vitamin liquid. Then, offered in small bits by my handmaiden’s hand. Then much kissing and scratching and petting and coddling must occur, me wrapped in a soft towel on her lap. Then I might deign to take another bite. Such it is that everyday kitties attain the rank of royalty––just as it should always have been.
Click on first photo to enlarge all and see captions.