Mother told me I was born on an auspicious evening, (as were my siblings) the full moon shone through the window into the comfortable box we were soon to share, and I was the first to enter this world. The first human to touch me was Ryan. He knew right away that I was the most awesome wonderful cat to come his way in a long time. He visited often and could hardly wait to take me home. Mother kissed me goodbye that day and told me to go on into life and make something of myself.
“Always remember,” she said, “flowing in your veins is the blood from a long line of true royalty. Your ancestors guarded the Temples of Egypt. They even rose in status to be considered sacred to the people. Our great ancestress, Bastet, was honored as divine. Bastet was loved so much that she became a household goddess, protector of women, children and all domestic cats. She was also the goddess of sunrise, music, dance, pleasure, as well as family, fertility and birth. Wherever you go in life, my darling son, remember to keep your chin up and be proud of who you are. Yet, be humble, too.”
I didn't give much thought to what Mother said at the time. I was so pleased to be in Ryan’s arms as he carried me away, content to begin my new life. With maturity I gained much greater respect and appreciation for all she tried to impart to me. I have never forgotten her wise words, as they have guided me all these years.
My years with Ryan were idyllic. He loved me best of all his kitties even though, as I grew, he began to see that I was not “show cat” material. He said it was because I was “knock-kneed”. I recall that Mother (and my siblings) held that it gave me a distinctive and debonair comportment. Not to mention my slightly striped tail.
I don't think I would have much liked being a show cat. The others were always being prepared hour after hour, and sent off to their shows under a great deal of stress. I could hear them yeowling as they rode away. However, they often came back with an snooty, stuck-up attitude, as if those fancy ribbons gave them permission to act like they were superior. Didn't they know that ALL Abyssinians are superior? There was no need for them to lord it over one another. This often caused a lot of jealousy and I tried my best to make peace among them. After all, as Ryan’s favorite, it was my duty to protect them from themselves and teach them some manners. Apparently their mothers forgot to tell them of their noble forebears.
Before I knew it, one by one, the show cats all disappeared and did not return. Soon I was the only one left. I had survived almost seven years residing with Ryan and the show cats. I missed my kitty friends, but still, I had my Ryan and Serena to keep me company. It wasn't long, however, until I learned that I was soon to make my departure, too. Ryan explained to me that he would always love me, but he loved Serena, too. Unfortunately, she was “allergic” to me and that was why I would have to go live elsewhere. I hoped it would be someone with an appreciation of my unique personality, didn't have a bunch of show cats, nor allergies. Ryan promised me he would find a suitable match. Though I felt a little bothered by the circumstances, I began to reconcile myself and began to reflect upon my retirement years. Plus, who knows what new experiences I might have?
Isn't it odd, how life brings you down one corridor that seems to terminate in a dead-end? Then right there a new door opens, and suddenly you are out into the sunshine! That is exactly how I felt. I was encountering my destiny! I couldn't believe my good fortune. Farewell Ryan!
I wrapped myself around Jim letting him know that I would be very happy to own him, and I could tell I would have him trained in no time, as the first thing he did was to understand every nuance of my communications. He fed me whenever I wanted, and whatever I wanted. Oh, I really grew so fat and sassy. I had little to do but bask in the warmth and attention, and give back my love and purrs in return. It was a little odd, though to be the only cat in the household. Yet, I learned I had been missing so much. More time to meditate upon the bugs crawling the screen, the flowers bouncing outside in the pots, the leaves swinging with the breeze. I had no idea how much I had missed ‘til I had this time to myself.
Then Jim and Gennie moved to another apartment where their son and daughter could visit more regularly. Often their grandchildren and great grandchildren visited too, always leaving me uneasy and exhausted. I was always polite to the little ones, and they petted me nice, but I would often retire to my sunlight to snooze while they visited. Sometimes I got a bit nostalgic during those visits, as I would think of my long lost siblings, and felt lonesome for the company of my show cats. It was an odd coincidence that Gennie, too, pined away for a kitty of her own. Though I was nice to her, she was well aware I was partial to Jim. She wanted a kitty of her own.
As time went by we moved into a smaller apartment closer to the grand-daughter. We saw our lovely people having a harder time managing things. Gennie had lost her eyesight, and had a hard time walking but she had spirit. Jim took care of us all, even though he was tired and needed oxygen. I always thought what a gallant soul he was, to watch after his Gennie. Still, she was able to sit in her chair and enjoy the antics of my dear sweet Boo Boo, who entertained us all with her acrobatics. She was remarkable to say the least. The way she would use her tail to help her fly from the back of Gennie’s chair across to the sofa was astonishing, and delighted us all. I always gave her a little kiss when she was finished. I was a little more sedate than BooBoo, and took pleasure following Jim around overseeing all his activities. If he went to retrieve something out of the cupboard I was there to peer inside to evaluate every object, analyzing if all was in it’s place. If he began to fix something on the counter, I stood on my hind legs, and stretched myself out full-length to see what Jim was doing. Well, you know what they say about a Cat’s curiosity. That is how I got the nickname, “The Inspector”. But I was still a gentleman and never jumped up on counters or tables.
Then came the sad day when Jim informed me that he and Gennie were moving away to a nursing home. This time my sweet Boo Boo and I were not going to be able to move with them. We all had tears in our eyes. I became uneasy, and Boo Boo was in low spirits. But, their granddaughter Varsha, who was visiting from Indiana, put us in her air-conditioned SUV and drove us 480 miles north. My poor Boo became a little car sick on the way. I did everything I could to console her. I sang songs, romantic songs to her which she liked. But, Varsha apparently didn't like my singing. Just the same we enjoyed all the interesting sights, sounds and smells along the way.
From that point on we decided that Elizabeth would be our Auntie EM, even though, theoretically, she could be considered our sister. As fanciful as this new life was to be, still we missed our beloved Jim and Gennie. Anytime Auntie EM called them on the telephone, we could hear their voices. Often we would meaow our hellos, and tell them how much we loved them, and missed them. But, truly, it is complicated to translate our language over such a device. We knew Jim and Gennie immensely missed us, too. We grew concerned that our separation from them might be detrimental. After all they were attempting to adjust to their new environment in the nursing home, and missing us was hard on them. So, too ease the tragedy of our separation, we decided we would do the uncharacteristic, and reveal the knowledge we had of the human language by writing them cards and letters to bring some cheerfulness into their changing lives. Within about a year we had mastered the art of computer letter writing, which was much easier on our de-clawed digits.
They say that Cats have nine lives and this was definitely a new incarnation for us. We had only viewed this outer world all our lives through windows, and here we were out in it. We soon learned to enjoy it to the max. BooBoo liked to play chase with the lizards, hang out with Keli in the sun, chat with the hummingbirds who came to visit, and during damp weather, she liked to lay out in the round bed inside the garden shed. I, on the other hand, had more sense, and stayed inside where it was less damp.
After living with our dear Auntie EM and her wicked cat Keli (only kidding) about two and a half years, the phone calls with Jim and Gennie were less relaxed. We could tell something was terribly wrong. We seldom got to hear the voice of our Dear Jim, anymore, though we meowed messages to him when Auntie EM was on the phone with them. We knew that Jim was seriously ill. All these years he had been the one in good health and taking loving care of Gennie, and now he could do nothing but lay there, sad and frustrated. Then, Auntie EM went away for several weeks. No more phone calls to sing to Gennie and Jim. We could hear Kats and Auntie EM talking in hushed tones. Then Auntie EM came home with many of Jim’s clothes. She set them on the floor and we were soon sniffing them. BooBoo was sad and went to lie down with Keli. I was so glad to smell my Darling Jim in those clothes that I rolled all over them for days. As I mentioned before, Auntie EM has a great understanding of Kitties, and she knew it was important for me to say goodbye to my Jim this way. It took a while for my grief to heal. Auntie let me have some of his shirts until I let her know that I was no longer interested in them.
Life must go on. Now we were in the delicate position of making a decision whether to continue our cards and letters to our Dear Gennie. But, we knew it was too stressful for her to try to read anything we wrote as she cannot see well, or for her to get any staff people to take the time to read to her. Because Jim had always been the one to read our messages to her, it was painful for her to have anyone else read them. So, from that time on, BooBoo kept up her loyal communications whenever Auntie EM was on the telephone talking to Gennie.
We learned that her sister, was going to come and take us to Texas to live, and we discussed this for a while. We tried to get Xavier to take us, but his wife apparently had something to say about that. We thought maybe the neighbor would take us, but that didn't happen. We knew that we had to find a new place to live, soon. We knew we would miss our Auntie EM, her little “witch cat” (only kidding) and our wonderful Kats, but we are not in our first lifetime. So, we have enough experience under our fur to understand that life is full of changes, nothing remains the same, and there are new adventures to be enjoyed.
With that I bid you all farewell.
Love and Purrs,