A few years back, I was living alone in an efficiency apartment in downtown Des Moines. One day, the apartment manager approached me. She explained that an elderly veteran had passed on without leaving a provider for his cat. She said she heard I liked cats and asked if I wanted to take in this one. I didn’t have to think much about it; I said, “Yes.”
The next morning I heard a rap at my door and opened it up. There he was, in the manager’s arms. The first thing I noticed was his hair: He was a Persian. His hair was a vanilla color, rather long and fluffy. He was a giant powder puff with a face! (I bet my girlfriend would go for him.) His eyes were black and watery; he had a homely, pink little nose. The previous owner had called him Old Soldier; but I renamed him Harry.
Harry’s pedigree papers said he was up-to-date on his shots: that his front claws had been removed, and that he had been neutered. He was a very mellow fellow and shy, too. Except for coming out for food and water and to use the litter box, he stayed under my bed the first two weeks he was there. I was still happy to have his company.
After that, Harry started hanging out in the bathtub. I felt sorry for him, because he was all alone while I went out for the day. I had forgotten about the bag of toys that came with him, so I went to the closet to get him something. The first thing I grabbed was a stuffed octopus that had Harry’s hair all over it. I then set it beside him in the tub and left for the day. When I got back, Harry was lying on the bed on his side, with all four legs and paws stretched out. And yes, the stuffed octopus was right beside him!
The next morning I put the octopus on the bathroom floor, instead of in the tub with him. Again when I got home, Harry was stretched out with the octopus. The next day I decided to make it even harder and put his little monster back in the closet with him watching. But sure enough, when I got home, Harry was on the bed with you-know-what!
Harry got comfortable quickly after that. He would climb on the dresser, the table, and the windowsill. He would watch cartoons on the TV set. He would have spurts where he would run back and forth from one end of the apartment to the other. Harry and I became best friends.
Very unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to give Harry up. However, the good news is that my niece took him in and says he has adjusted quite well. I haven’t seen Harry for a long time now. My New Year’s resolution is to pay him a visit. I wonder if he will remember me as well as he did the octopus!