A Tribute To Taffy
by Catherine Craig
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“Time to get up Dad.” I mewed. My rear legs ached as I jumped off the chair and onto the bed to wake up my Dad. But, it’s my job. It’s been what I do for almost eighteen years now.
“Meow.” I’ll turn my meow into a yowl. He’s ignoring me again. He’s turning over. That’s a good sign. It’s time to jump on his stomach. That always makes him get up.
“Meoow! Meoow! Meoww!” I’ll pace in the hallway. That’s what I’ll do. This is making me tired....
Finally. He’s up. C’mon Dad. It’s time to eat. I’ll bounce down the hallway to the kitchen. He’ll follow me. He always does. Because I’m his cat and he’s my human.
Gotta get up on the chair by the bar. That’s it. Oh Darn! I missed. I'm going to crouch and try again. Things aren't the same...my legs aren't working right. One more time....
I look at my Dad, he's watching me with that funny look again. I hear the sound of him opening my food.
"Meow." Dad, pick me up. He doesn't understand so I'll try again. Here....goes. I made it. Oooh! It smells so good. Gotta let him know how much I like it.
“Mew…mew…meow!” I’m so excited that I can barely contain myself. Don’t know why but I’m always hungry…and the food never quite fills me up…like before. Better stay off the counter. If Mom comes in, she’ll point and I know what that means.
Daddy, put it down here. Please. Hurry. I’m so hungry and it’s taking you forever to give it to me.
Uh-oh. Here comes Mom. She's holding me upside down and talking funny. I know what that means!... Sure enough....He’s holding my mouth and sticking his finger in the side of it. That awful tasting thing he’s putting in…and I can’t spit it out. He’ll just find it and stick it back in and it’ll taste worse than now. I try to glare at him but it’s hard because he’s talking so nice…and here comes the food.
It tastes so good. But Dad I want more….
I’ll wind my way around his leg and wrap my tail around him. He always reaches down and talks people talk at me. Wish he was a cat so I could understand what he says. Maybe he’ll give me more food. It doesn’t always work but sometimes it does.
I know. I’ll bug Mom.
“Meow…meow….” Here she comes. I’ll just stop and curl my legs under me on this chair…and watch her. She likes my eyes. So does Dad. I'll just act like I don't have a care in the world....
I can't do this. I'm SO hungry.
"Meow...meow..." Mom, pay attention to me. I'm hungry. She's giving me that look...that funny look again. Sure enough. She’s reaching over to my food Dad left on the counter.
“Meow!” She looks happy when I smile at her and Dad is laughing to. “Meow! Meow!” I’m so excited. It worked. She’s filling my dish again.
I wonder if they understand how hungry I am all the time now. No matter how much food they give me, it isn’t enough.
Then there’s the pain. One day not too long ago I couldn’t even get up. My rear legs wouldn’t work and I felt so stupid and clumsy. Mom had to lift me onto my chair all day and ugh, put my food on the floor like I was a dog. It was so embarrassing.
I’m just so tired.
Something is changing in me. There’s something in the air. My Dad and Mom are looking at me different all the time. I try to tell them it’s okay but they shake their heads and look all sad.
I know. I’ll show them things are the same. I’ll run behind the door and meow. Dad, I want to play door…and Dad….get the string out…please? I want to play with the string. Dad….Mom, let’s play chase…. I’ll run down the hallway and you chase me. I'll swish my tail and Mom will giggle...Dad will laugh out loud.
See? I’m the same…everything will be okay. It always is. My Dad will make it okay….
“Meow. Meow. Meow.” Thank you Dad for my life. I love it when you hold me upside down and cradle me in your arms.
And Dad? Please know how much I love you. I always will. You'll always be my human and Dad...I'll always be your cat.
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I smiled through much of this story, but there seemed to be something moist hanging around the corners of my eyes, too. Cats are obviously precious to both of us.