Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: CAT (11/08/18)
TITLE: A Perfect Fit
By Linda Berg
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A few months ago, I opened the blinds in the dining room and saw that there was a cat on our front porch. He looked scrawny and sickly – his rib cage was most visible.
I opened the door to take a closer look and he didn’t even bother to get up and come. He didn’t meow.
I needed to get ready to leave for the day. I didn’t think he’d be there when I returned.
When I returned, he had moved from the middle of the carpet on the front porch to under a rocking chair. He looked worse than when I had left him earlier in the day.
I didn’t have any cat food for him but gave him a couple of thin pieces of chicken lunch meat. I know. I know. That adage, ‘don’t feed an animal or they’ll become yours’. I wasn’t much in favor of a cat dying on my care and he certainly looked like that was the kind of shape he was in – so I fed him.
The next morning, he was still under the rocking chair. I had to run to the grocery store, so I decided I would get some cat food. I had no idea what to get. I didn’t know how old he was, and found myself thinking, how strange I am in the cat food section of the store.
I put a bowl of cat food out for him when I got home. He didn’t even arise from his laying spot to feed himself.
Day three I was leaving the state to visit a daughter who had recently had a baby in a state 10 hours away. I asked our 19-year-old daughter to try and tend to him while I was gone. I didn’t have much hope that he was going to live, but I thought we would give it our best shot.
Ten days later I returned. I had completely forgotten about the cat in the time I was away sharing life with my daughter and her family – husband, six older children and new baby.
Ascending the stairs on the porch on my arrival home, standing at the top of the stairs, looking at me and welcoming me home was our grey, green eyed stray cat.
“Lazarus,” I said. He was half dead when I left him and now ten days later, he looked bright eyed, fluffy, shiny and strong. The name fit.
Lazarus has some interesting behaviors that work well with my allergy. He is a mouser. He often brings dead ones to us laying them right before the porch to show us he is attempting to earn his keep. Okay. That’s not so unusual. After all he is a cat.
I feed him every morning right after I open the blinds on the window that looks out on the porch. He will not eat initially. He stands by his bowl and watches me pour his food in it, but then he waits. He doesn’t eat right away.
I didn’t understand it at first, but he won’t eat until I have scratched his head and neck. That was initially a challenge for me because any physical contact with a cat causes me to break out, but I thought, I’ll just give him a brief rubbing every morning when I feed him and maybe he’ll be content being our cat with that bit of attention.
After rubbing him I come in and immediately wash my hands. So far, I have had no trouble.
One day my husband and I were eating lunch. Lazarus came out of no where and jumped up onto the porch love seat that sits right against the dining room window. He perched himself there on the back skinny willow seat and watched us. I reached up to pet him, me inside the window, him outside. His reaction was hysterical and had my husband and I laughing as he moved his body like any cat would that was receiving an actual petting of his head and neck.
That is now a daily occurrence between Lazarus and me. We are a perfect fit!
Did I tell you I don’t really care for cats? That’s just not the case anymore.
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