This morning, Peep was the one who bounced out of bed happy to be alive and LT was the one who didn’t think it was worth it to wake up. When he didn’t appear for breakfast, Jay went outside looking for LT. He found him just inside the trees near his winter house, just lying there. He didn’t look up when Jay said his name, and barely moved an ear. If Jay hadn’t seen him breathing, he would have wondered if LT had died.
Jay knelt down next to LT and stroked his side and head. “Cheer up old man. You can go see Ginger any time you want, and it shouldn’t be long for the kittens to be old enough to come outside. I’ll bet that Ginger will be asking Lettie to let them come outside to see you. In the meanwhile, come in and have some breakfast with me. You need to keep up your strength to protect us all.”
LT levered himself up and plodded toward the house. He followed Jay through the door that was held open for him and then was lifted onto the table. Jay sat down with a second cup of coffee to keep LT company. Lt surely looked like he needed friends today. “I think you should go see Ginger today, LT. I’m sure she’ll be outside looking for you at some point, and she can tell you how the kittens are doing.” Jay hated to see his cat so sad, although it was a relief to have a kitten-free house.
LT slowly finished his food. He was barely hungry enough to eat it all, but knew that the Daddy would worry if he left some on the dish. He nuzzled the Daddy’s hand to show how much he loved him and appreciated his care. “Thank you Daddy. I’m just not myself today. I miss them so much – now I know how you feel when the Mommy left.”
Jay leaned down and kissed the top of LT’s head. “You’ll be okay, LT. Don’t forget that we all love you too.” Jay cleaned up his dishes and headed off for the day.
LT sighed and jumped down onto the floor. He made it as far as the living room, where he flopped on the throw rug and lay there staring at nothing. Peep and Rudy both came in, but faced with such sadness, neither knew what to say, and both left without saying anything. Eventually LT fell asleep, and woke at mid-afternoon.
“Time to go see Ginger, I suppose. It’s great to see her, but it’s really the kittens I miss. And look at me, talking to myself. Next they’ll be showing up with nets to take me to the cat version of the rooms with rubber walls.” LT left the house and headed across the yard.
When he got to Ginger’s house he checked all the windows to see if Ginger was sitting in any of them, keeping an eye out for him. It was doubtful, since she’d told him last night that she’d try to get out around supper time and it was long before that. As he neared the back door, the screen door opened and Lettie stood in the doorway. “Come on in, LT! Don’t you want to see the kittens?”
See the kittens? Of course he wanted to see the kittens, but had never imagined that he’d be invited into Ginger’s house. He scampered up the steps and in the door, suddenly able to move quickly again.
“After all the hospitality you and your family showed Ginger, how could I do any less, LT? I have a handyman coming tomorrow to install a cat door, and you are welcome to use it any time.” She showed him the door, leaning up against the wall where it would be installed. LT smiled at her and meowed his thanks.
The sound of excited kitten voices, all shouting “Monster daddy!” came from the next room, and LT bounded into it. He was ambushed by three of the kittens who had been waiting just inside the doorway to catch him. LT collapsed to the floor, allowing them to pile on top of him. He looked for the other two, and saw one of the black and whites apparently trying to groom himself. He started out well, but then appeared to by trying to eat his paw instead of licking it. “Ginger – you might want to check on that one.” LT offered to Ginger, who sat in splendor on a fluffy cat bed. She walked over and started cleaning him herself, telling him how it should be done, and that cats never eat their own paws.
The cat pile on him was becoming rowdy, as they began to play King of the Hill, knocking each other off in their quest to be the sole cat on Daddy’s back. LT shrugged all three of them off and carried one back to Ginger, the other two following. LT settled down with Ginger, next to her soft bed, and the kittens climbed the bed to get at their mother. After an early dinner, the kittens settled down for a snooze and LT and Ginger decided that it was a good idea to join them, as there would be few quiet moments like this when all were asleep.
First photo courtesy of Maccio Capatonda - http://www.flickr.com/photos/gattomimmo/416691723/
Second photo courtesy of mismisimos - http://www.flickr.com/photos/mismisimos/256247244