Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Buddy, remaking his image

Buddy had been working hard the last few days to repair his image with the yarn lady.  The first time she’d written about all of them in the blog she had portrayed him as an evil cat, who terrorized poor, poor Kid.  When the others had told him about that, he hadn’t believed it.  She’d seen him for just moments, sitting below the deck, watching as Ziggy and Bella ran into the house with Kid.  He wasn’t evil – he was just protecting his territory.  Cats are supposed to do that. 

It wasn’t even right that Val considered Kid to be part of their family.  He spent most of his time either in the next door neighbor’s yard or at Bart’s farm at the back of the property.  He only came in at mealtime, and then claimed more than his fair share of the squishy food.  But Val was convinced that she was the only one who fed him, so she made sure that twice a day he got his double ration of squishy food.  Buddy only chased him to make his point that it was really his place, and Kid was just a visitor with kitchen privileges. 

When Buddy realized that the yarn lady was going to stay with them, he was delighted.  Now that Val was working almost every day, there was no one around to open the door for him when he wanted to come in for a smackeral of crunchies or for a nap on a soft place.  If he was lucky, she’d be around during the day and could act as doorman and even provide on-demand rubs. 

He’d watched her for a day or two to make sure she really was a human who truly appreciated cats.  He noticed that she’d stop and rub Emma’s head and tell her how much she looked like Puddin’ Cat.  Buddy didn’t know who that was, but was happy to see that she had proper head scratching and belly rubbing skills.  When Kid came in she made a fuss over him, telling him what a beautiful calico he was, and carefully scratching the places he couldn’t reach at the back of his ears. 

The yarn lady had also approached him, but up until today he’d allowed only the briefest contact before retreating to observe.  She didn’t seem offended, and when he moved away she talked to him about how she’d like to scratch behind his ears and rub his belly if he’d let her.  He really liked that she didn’t talk baby talk – the voice she used for the cats was the same as the voice she used to talk to Val.  Smart human.  She recognized how intelligent they were.  He also noticed she did use a ‘pet’ voice to the dogs sometimes, and figured that she realized that their intelligence wasn’t up to the level of the cats, and adjusted how she spoke accordingly.

So this morning when Buddy saw her on the deck he jumped up on the rail and walked straight over to the yarn lady.  He butted her hand with his head, and allowed her to provide a lengthy scratch to his ears and the sides of his jaw.  He then carefully flopped onto his side, presenting his belly for her attention.  She not only gave a belly rub, but used her other hand to make sure he didn’t fall off the rail onto the deck.  He appreciated her care, especially since he was enjoying it so much that he wasn’t exactly paying attention to his balance.  Eventually he sat up and she gently scratched the area at the back of his neck and told him how happy she was that he’d accepted her.  Buddy thought to himself that her opinion of him had probably changed considerably, and he liked that and sat there and let her scratch him some more. 

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