By name and by the month when my life started. When it really started.
I don’t remember much from the first 9 months of my life. I just remember seeing them for the first time. The people who took me to my new home.
When they came into the brightly lit white room, I jumped out of my open cage immediately. I sprawled languidly on the floor in front of them, stomach spread to the ceiling, showing off my fluffy white fur and silently screaming to be scooped up and taken out of my prison. The young woman was in love with me. I could tell when she bent down and ran her fingers through my belly fur. Not all of my kind allow humans to do that.
The man who came in with her didn’t like my kind very much. I could tell by the way he stood back, reserved, watching the woman do her thing. We will just have to change that, I thought to myself.
With all of my heart, I wanted to be free and go with them. But I had no idea just how free I could be.
When I arrived at my new home, I was caught off guard by a boisterous 2 year old boy who grinned at me with wild mischief in his eyes. This wasn’t part of the deal! Terrified, I wondered if this place was really the haven I had predicted — no one said anything about heathen children. He poked me, and when I ran, he chased me, flailing with sticky fingers and squealing. Good thing I was faster.
What happened to that tough guy that came with Mama to discover me?
He may not like my kind, but I’m pretty sure he’s got a heart in there somewhere— he could make this kid stop!
Quickly, I found refuse in a tiny secret nook — and stayed there for 2 days. I heard my Mama calling me by my new name with desperation rattling in her voice. I heard her talking to her friends — Did he get out somehow? Is he dead somewhere in a corner? I couldnt take it any longer. And my belly was growling. So, when the terrorizer was finally sleeping, I ventured out of my hiding spot (she still hasn’t figured out where to this day), and carefully tiptoed to her lap on the couch.
Mama was sitting alone, watching TV, brows furrowed and fingernails in mouth. When I hesitantly tiptoed into the room, she jumped, and then immediately smiled with relief. That smile told reminded me that I was safe. That smile and soothing voice were all the reassurance I needed. For the rest of the evening, I laid on her lap, and purred my heart out under her safe caresses.
She murmured “Thank you for being good to my baby. What a good kitty. Good boy, Libra.” What a silly, yet soothing voice. It felt like she was singing!
I guess we didn’t have to worry about that tough guy after all. We could manage, just the three of us. After the initial toddler shock wore off, we learned how to get along. He learned not to pull my tail, and I learned to let him rest his head on my belly. He wasn’t so bad either. I could tell that he loved me.
Sometimes, the tough guy came over. He stole my Mama’s affection from me. One day, Mama told him that she wanted to let me outside.
“No way! He will be hit by a car!” was his reply.
“Look, I knew when we brought Libra home that he would be an outdoor cat. I can’t stand keeping kitties cooped up inside. Can we please just let him stretch his legs and enjoy life? If he does get hit by a car, at least he got to live a full life!”
Please, please, please, let me go out! I longed.
Mama won. She opened the sliding porch door for me, and out I darted. How free! I never knew how fast I could run — never had the space. And SO many critters to chase! I sprinted for the woods and slipped through a hole.
In the background, I heard Mama yelling, “Libra! Where did you go? Come back! Liiiiibra!”
While I hated making her suffer so, I couldn’t help but breathe in the fresh air and keep sprinting. Hours later, after a few fun kills and lounging in a shady flowery spot, I decided to trek home. I was hungry again! And those little game catches didn’t do anything for my belly!
It was dark now. I walked back to my new home — how could I forget it? I slinked over the sandbox and rubbed up against the glass door. I could see Mama inside with Tough Guy, sitting on the couch with the glow of the TV on their worried faces.
I’m here! I’m home! I meowed, and Mama’s eyes instantly caught me. She ran to the door and opened it wide. “Liiiibra! You’re back! We missed you. We were so worried. But I knew you’d be back.”
I stalked in through the door, making sure to rub my lanky body across her naked calf, to let her know that I had missed her too. Mama’s tough guy companion rushed into the kitchen quickly. Man, I thought, disappointed, I guess he isn’t happy to see me after all.
But the next thing I heard was a clink, clink, clink and a running faucet. Out from the kitchen he emerged, with a bowl full of tasty kitty kibble and anther full of fresh water. He set them on the floor and I was at his feet in an instant. I braved a rub against his arm as he pulled it away from the bowls. To my surprise, his thick fingers reached down and scratched the back of my neck.
I hate to say it, but that little pet was even better than the ones from Mama.
The two humans retreated back to the couch (the sticky boy was fast asleep) while I finished my homecoming feast. When I finished, my paws padded over the soft carpet as I wandered back over to my new family. Much to Mama’s surprise, I leapt into the lap of Tough Guy. Would he allow this? I didn’t know, but I wanted to try. His eyes widened a bit, but his body relaxed. I could hear his heart beating, slowly and strongly. I was pleasantly shocked when his strong hands began stroking my back.
“Hey buddy. How’s it going?” he asked, as Mama watched in bewilderment. I responded with a deep purr and a strong head butt. He let me stay on his comfy lap. I knew in that moment, that he was mine now, too.