How does one show proper reverence for the fuzzy Lil Man who gave me utter joy for SEVENTEEN years? Simple. I don’t. But I’ve found (more than) 17 ways to say I love him.
He was a gift from a long-ago love. Delivered in a cardboard box he was quite icky: flea-ridden, with crusty eyes, malnourished and wasn’t all that handsome. “Why THIS cat?” “I knew you could fix him,” he offered. In truth Harley fixed me. It would be two weeks until he was entirely settled and earned his name: Harley. My orange kitty, with bad attitude, and quite a motor.
17. From the beginning he loved cotton socks. Carried rolled-up human-sized socks entirely bigger than he, until I found a suitable feline-sized offering filled with catnip (that’s the 3rd incarnation under his jaw). With sock in mouth, he’d howl like mad, often at all hours. Sometimes he’d just nestle them.
16. I could stare at him for hours. Sometimes he was all the entertainment I hoped for. He’d yawn. He’d sleep. He’d eat. He’d groom himself. I’d watch, falling deeper in love with him with each and every day. It bothers me none that a perception may exist that I’m a crazy cat lady. I was indeed crazy about This Pooh.
15. Early on he earned a snarly reputation at the Vet*. In all our 17 and a half years, there were only 3 who could properly handle him. When I had him declawed (I’ve since learned that’s not so nice), he chewed the glue that kept his perfectly pink pads together. Once healed, they were given innumerable kisses for his whole entire life. He kind of hated that. Later on the wooden floor the ticking of his gnarly back claws announced his every move.
*He actually was quite snarly most of the time, except around me. He was a Mama’s Boy.