A Cat’s Tale

My first night in my new house

Hi. My name is Orange Kitty. It wasn’t always that. I can’t remember what it was once. I just know that it wasn’t that.

My new people call me Orange Kitty or OK or sometimes Mr. Fuzzy Pants. I don’t really know why they call me Mr. Fuzzy Pants. I don’t wear pants.

I sort of remember the time before I got my new people. But it seems like every day that memory gets a little less clear.

I’m pretty sure I had people before the new people. I mean, I knew what the litter box was for and how to use it the first time I laid my eyes on it in the new house. So I had to have had one before. Right? And I know it’s not good to put my claws in the furniture. Although, sometimes I just can’t seem to help myself. It just feels so good, you know.

I can’t remember anything much about the old people. I don’t know how I came to be living on my own outside all the time. I do know that I didn’t like it much.

I remember there was a time I was doing fairly well. The weather was nice. The new people put kibble in a bowl in their front yard for me along with some water. I could have been happy if it had all stayed that way.

But the weather got colder and colder. They built a shelter for me, but they couldn’t make it really warm. They still put out the kibble and water and I was grateful for that.

Then one day it happened. I don’t remember much about it. All I know is that I hurt a lot afterward. Walking was kind of hard and the side of my face had been ripped off. Suddenly the nights seemed even colder than they had before. Then I was really thankful for the kibble and the water.

There was a flap of skin hanging down below my chin and my face hurt a lot but I couldn’t let the pain show. All sorts of things hurt a lot. My eye was swollen so shut that I couldn’t see out that side and I felt very vulnerable. It scared me a lot. Every sound made me twitch.

Then one of my new people started trying to get close to me. She, it was the female, would call to me saying “Orange Kitty, I’ve got food” like always. She’d put the food down but would not leave like she used to. So if I wanted it, which I really, really did, I had to get near to her. Had to let her be near to me.

That went okay for a while, but then one day she tried to touch me. I almost didn’t let her, but then I decided it might be okay. And there was the food, you know. And you know what, it felt pretty good. Her hand stroked down my back. She was gentle over my ribs. It was nice.

Time went by and next thing I knew, she was brushing me and fluffing my very long fur and then I realized I was warmer when my fur was fluffed. I decided I liked her.

Then he came along. The male. Turned out he was pretty nice too. Knew just how to pat me and where it was nicest and not to touch my belly even if I rolled over.

But still, I just didn’t know.

They have a dog. The dog was nice enough, but you just never know about dogs. Still, this one seemed like it wanted to make it work. Even chased off a couple of rival cats that came into the new people’s front yard. I thought that was pretty good.

Then one night, they offered me some canned food. It smelled really good. But I had to go inside the house to get it. Man, I wasn’t sure about that. But my face was hurting and wasn’t healing very well and the thought of that food was overwhelming.

I went inside the front door and keeping my hind feet outside, I ate some of that canned food. It was really good.

The next night, they offered canned food again. But it was further inside the house and I had to get all of me inside in order to eat it. I ate as much as I could as fast as I could and then dashed back outside. I felt so smart. But I wanted more of that canned food.

Then there was the time that they offered the canned food and she patted me while I ate it. That felt pretty nice. Then she sat on a step inside the house and I walked further into the house after I ate just to get a couple more pats. You know how it is. One good pat deserves another.

After a few days, I found myself walking all the way up the stairs and investigating the house. They let me do whatever I wanted. And when I needed back outside, they opened the door and let me out.

They had started closing the see through door while I ate. It helped to keep all that cold air out and it was really cold air. The first time they did that, I freaked out. Couldn’t help myself. I didn’t really know these people. I had to cry and paw at the door. They opened it right up.

So anyway, pretty soon I realized they would let me in and out as I wanted. It really helped me to know that I could get out if I needed.

Over time, I wandered through every corner of the house both upstairs and downstairs. The weather had gotten really, really cold, but I was still sleeping outside in my little shelter. It was so cold that my water froze every night and she would have to bring out boiling water in the morning to unfreeze it so I would have something to drink. I was always very thirsty. The water was really good.

So one night when they invited me in, I walked in calmly and ate some food. Then I wandered upstairs and spent a long, long time poking around.

When I went back to the front door, she was standing there, ready to open the storm door if I asked. But I didn’t ask. She looked at me and said, “Well, then. I’m going to shut the front door too.” And she did. I had a brief moment of panic, but then I thought it would be alright.

I walked back up the stairs, went down the hall and into the people’s bedroom. I hopped up on the bed and they didn’t shoo me off.

I’ve been living with these people ever since.

My face finally healed and my fur has grown back. She took care of the painful fur mats behind my ears and that fur has grown back too. I’m still a bit gimpy and I can’t jump as well as I once did. But I don’t have to worry about any of that because I’ve got these new people and they seem to be pretty nice. So, I’m going to keep them. And it seems like they would like to keep me also.

Life is good.

Getting comfortable in the new house

Published by Dianne Lehmann

I'm a writer. But I'm also a wife and a mom to a couple of fur babies. You could call me a cook (but never a chef, I'm not that good) and provisioner as well. Laundress? Yeah. Probably. I design jewelry and I crochet. But mostly I love to write. I love words and how they sound. I love their meanings and origins. I love stringing them together. And of course, I love to read. Thinking about it just now, I realize that what I love most is life and the people around me with a special place set aside for my wonderful husband, our adorable dog and our inscrutable cat. It's the world and the people in it that fuels my writing. So thanks to you all for being the amazing beings that you are.

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