May 7, 2011 by wcobserver
The growling woke me up, one of those deep in the throat “leave me alone or die” messages to the other cats. The pitch of her growl rose and fell for emphasis, vibrating through the top of her skull.
The inflections of the growling probably meant something I will never know, perhaps the higher pitches translating roughly as invective, whereas the lower pitches might have described the actual horrors about to be inflicted upon anyone who did not heed the threat. The growling came closer.
I turned on the lamp and adjusted my eyes to the clock. Just past three am. I squinted against the light and looked over to the side of the bed where Bitten squatted, continuing her warning tirade. There in front of her, guarded by her threats and hovering presence, lay a bedraggled spit-wetted mole, tonight’s gift to me a long line of such nocturnal offerings.
“OK, it’s OK, thanks,” I muttered before flopping back down against the pillows. “Shut up and eat it.”
I could have been more courteous. No doubt she had ways of knowing what I meant just by the inflections of my voice. I hope not. I really didn’t mean to be ungrateful.
But, as I mentioned, this was one in long line of such late night disturbances. Of all the cats I’ve ever had, Bitten was by far the most diligent in her effort to hold up her end of the human/cat partnership. I provided crunchies and fresh water and brushed her and let her sleep within a fingertip’s distance at night. In return, she complained in a raucous tone if I failed to notice her beautiful long black and white coat of fur, if I neglected to scratch just the right places on her throat and head, if I didn’t mention the perfection of her flat Persian profile compared to all the others cats who have those degenerate pointed faces.
She was also a dutiful companion wherever I might have been working outside. She would come to oversee my efforts, finding a comfortable spot in the shade nearby where she could supervise things in case I failed to accomplish my task correctly. If my labors brought me near her resting place, she reminded me with a quick half-voiced “meow” that I forgot to pet her in the last fifteen minutes.It is truly a curiosity to me how anyone could accomplish anything properly without adequate supervision from one or more cats. This is a lesson that Bitten taught me well in her sixteen-year effort to keep me in line. Even in her earliest days, she had a lot of instruction to give and so little time to fit it all in. (To be continued)
Denele Pitts Campbell is a writer, restauranteur, and businesswoman. She lives in the Mineral Springs community near West Fork.