Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Jaxon

We always told him he was the pick of the litter. He was a singleton. His mother was a purebred, very petite Siamese. His father, obviously, was not. I brought him home telling a skeptical Mike, "He just followed me home. What could I do?" That night, he jumped up on our bed and slept on Mike's feet. He was Mike's cat form that moment on.

Notice in the picture he is rolling around next to Mike's (and trust me on this) very stinky sandal. Obviously some kind of chemical/olfactory bond took place that first night.

Mike could hold that cat in his lap for hours. If I tried to pick him up or pet him for any length of time he would stalk off in a huff. His preference was so distinct and so well communicated that any cat person could immediately "read" his nonverbal communication--"I LOVE him, but her job is to feed us so I tolerate her presence in our house."

Because it was my job to feed him (even though Mike often did), he would only wake me up in the pre-dawn hour should he get hungry before the alarm sounded. He would tap on my side of the bed (tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, tap, TAP, TAP, TAP). If that didn't do the trick, he would bat my arm a couple of times. If I still showed a disinclination towards making my way to the kitchen, he would jump onto the bed by my head and start pulling my hair with his teeth. He pretty much always got his way one way or another.

He may have also thought of me as a sibling that he never had. He played with me--tag. I would be walking through the house and he'd run up to me and take a swing with his paw or nip at my ankle with his teeth, then run like thunder in the opposite direction. I would run after him. He'd turn around and jump at me and I would run back down the hall with him chasing. Then I would turn and chase after him. He's hide under the couch, but his tail would be sticking out so I could give it a gentle tug, and we were off again.

Sometimes we would play our game of tag outside in the back yard. The little boy next door would watch from his yard and I'm not sure if it was curious fascination with a cat playing tag or an old woman playing tag.

Jaxon got slower and crankier in his old age (go figure). He could no longer jump up to the window to watch the birds at the feeder in the crab apple tree in the front yard. He no longer slept on the bed or woke me by pulling my hair. Mike had to lift him onto the couch. He started to "Meow!" to get our attention. (We had thought he was mute for the longest time so that was a surprise).

One morning Mike had let Jaxon out to use the litter box in my flower garden. I was still asleep, but I was startled awake by a god-awful screeching and I had the distinct vision of Jackson swirling in furry commotion. Mike found him right there by the garden shed--killed by a fisher that managed to escape, but without its intended meal.

We buried Jaxon out near the lilac tree. I take some strange comfort in believing it was a natural death--in the way that nature can be overwhelmingly cruel. Neither Mike nor I could have handled the end-of-life decision. We still miss that cat.

2 comments:

  1. Olga, I loved your story! I have only had one cat in my life and she was a Siamese. I had her for 16 years and what a personality! Your story was so sweetly told.......:)

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  2. That one was a beauty. I enjoyed reading that. I have always had cats, but only one that jumped out at me and bit my ankles. He meant business, though - he wasn't playing at all.

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