Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rain is tough on old bones

LT truly hated rain.   Most cats don’t like water in general and rain in particular because it got in their coats and made them heavy and uncomfortable, but LT just hated it.  Maybe it was because he was primarily an outdoor cat who went inside for food and a bit of love and companionship from the Daddy.  Maybe it was because he was getting older.  Whatever the reason – he hated rain.  If he went inside he’d have to put up with Rudy’s nattering on about something he didn’t care about (like her soap opera), or Great Cat forbid, people other than Daddy. 

His bones hurt, and even when he wasn’t downright wet he was damp.  He couldn’t groom the dampness out, or even roll on something to get it absorbed.  The air was so full of moisture that it beaded on his fur.  He finally decided he was a feline substitute for the yard, and instead of the dew forming on the roses, it formed on him. 

He sat in the garage, but it smelled like oil and truck parts, so he’d left.  He sat in his little house, but the wood was damp and smelled like, well, wet wood.  He sat under Daddy’s truck, and the water seeped in after him, wetting his paws.  He sat under the deck up close against the house, and it dripped through the cracks onto his fur.  Finally he gave up and went in the house.  Even Rudy was better than this constant wet. 

The cat door closed with a thump that mirrored LT’s mood.  If anyone crossed him, he’d take a swipe at them, claws out, and the hell with the consequences.  Peep saw him come in, judged his mood to be bad and ignored him, covertly watching him with slitted eyes.  When he’d stomped into the office, she quietly got up and went looking for Rudy who happened to be asleep on the china cabinet and hadn’t noticed LT go by. 

“Rudy,” Peep whispered, so that hopefully LT wouldn’t hear her. “LT just came in and I think he’s having a bad day with all this rain.  His tail was lashing like crazy and he was walking really stiff.”  She giggled a bit. “I know it’s not funny, but there was so much water beaded on his fur he would have thrown rainbows if the sun was out.  Don’t bug him or talk to him about stuff, okay?”

“I’m not as insensitive as you think, Peep.  My back legs are hurting me today, so I know how LT feels, at least a little.  I’ll leave him be, unless you think maybe he might like some company.”  Rudy was offended, but not seriously so.

Peep let LT sit in the office for a bit, and went quietly in, trying to judge his mood.  LT was grooming the moisture off his paws, and Peep could see from how stiff he was that he’d have trouble getting to his back.  She settled down next to him and silently began to groom his hindquarters.  Eventually they met in the middle of his belly and LT quietly said, “Thanks, Peep.  This gets harder every year.  Most of the time I don’t mind getting old, but the stiffness in the rain is a bit tough.  Now if I could only get warm….” 

Peep looked at him and gently asked if he would mind some quiet company.  LT replied, “So long as that Rudy keeps her mouth shut about that soap opera of hers, I would really appreciate it.” 

LT padded into the bedroom and jumped up on the bed.  Peep got Rudy, telling her that she needed to keep her lips zipped and the two of them settled on the bed, one on each side of LT.  Their combined body heat warmed LT, all of them for that matter, and within half an hour they were asleep.  When the Daddy came home that was how he found them.  Three cats, who were now all curled into each other on the bed.  Daddy backed out silently and decided that he’d sit in the living room and read quietly, as he didn’t want to disturb such a peaceful pile of cats.  

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