Follow-up to Comfort And Torture

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Squeaky in my chair.

The next day, I came up with a solution to stop Squeaky from stealing my deckchair. Simple really, just put out a chair for her. Sounds good in theory, but it didn’t exactly work.

As soon as I put out another chair for her, she leapt onto it and began rolling around, later leaning her chin on the armrest. Clearly chuffed, she stayed there for ages. I left to go for a walk and when I returned, she was still there, lounging and enjoying the sun.

Canvas doesn’t easily stretch, and with the material supporting her back she started to groom herself, placing a hind leg about her head. Immediately she began to slide forward. With claws out, she flipped over on all paws, but couldn’t grip the material.

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Sneaking across to my chair.

I went inside for a coffee and came back to find her in my chair again. What’s the attraction?

The other night Squeaky graced me with her presence sleeping on the bed, (she stopped as I snore), and early morning as per usual, she stomped on me and bounced on the mattress.

The Human.

Comfort and Torture

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Squeaky in my chair.

It was an unusually warm and sunny day in Autumn. I moved a deckchair onto the lawn and proceeded to eat my gourmet pie while reading a magazine. Suddenly, Squeaky jumped onto my lap. I made an ‘Erff’ sound, just managing to hold onto my pie. My solitude had been interrupted and my magazine was now under her behind. It wasn’t long before the furball started to slide off my lap as the ground sloped downwards. Digging her claws into my leg, she then leapt and perched on the armrest before jumping off. Relieved to be finally left alone, I finished my pie.

Later, I went inside to make a cup of coffee and came back to find someone lounging in my chair. ‘Hey, get off,’ but she didn’t move and just closed her eyes.

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Squeaky lounging on my bed.

The furball also causes my grief every morning. Between 6.30am and 6.45am, I am tortured to get-up and feed her. At 6.30am she will jump on the bed and try the ‘nice’ card, purring around my head, but if no reaction, she’ll make me suffer.

She starts by scratching the side of my new mattress, jumps back on the bed, either walking across my chest or starts bouncing using the mattress like it’s a trampoline. If ignored she’ll jump off, run down the hallway and then return doing the sequence all over again. It’s relentless. Usually, I get up after two times and after finishing her breakfast, she’ll snuggle up on the bed with me.

The Human

Strange Happenings, Brushes & Connections

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Small mounds of sugarcane mulch have been appearing in my backyard for a couple of years. Initially I though it was a paranormal activity, but no, it’s courtesy of Squeaky, my kitty.

As a gardener I have diligently spread sugarcane mulch around the back garden. When Squeaky does her business, instead of digging up soil, she pushes away a section of mulch, does her thing and covers it forming a mound of mulch.

After her breakfast she hangs out on the window-box seat waiting for a brush. She sits close as I start brushing her and then lifts her head. As I groom the sides of her chin, she leans against the brush, her mouth slightly open exposing upper and lower fangs. Her throat rumbles. I’m always cleaning-up fine strands of her fur which sticks to the seat, and lands on the leaves and flowers of my pot plants.

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Squeaky On My Lap.

When Squeaky realises that I’m awake in the morning, she’ll saunter over, plonk herself against my head and start purring. I sit-up and find her looking at me, her eyes slightly open. It’s the same look when she’s curled-up in my lap while I’m watching telly. That’s when I realise that my rescue moggie who was abused and didn’t trust humans easily is now a contented kitty and considers me her mum.

The Human

Fashion And The Right Thing

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Squeaky Wearing Her New Accessory.

Squeaky isn’t a fashion follower, and wasn’t a fan of wearing a funnel-type collar when she developed flea dermatitis on her skin. The vet shaved off fur 16cm long and 10cm wide along her back down to her tail. Being a rescue cat who was abused, you can imagine it was fun catching, bathing and putting cream on her wounds.

Wearing the hard, plastic collar made her sit upright and she wasn’t eating, so I purchased a soft collar. It was much wider than the other one, making it difficult for her to walk. I then pushed it downward. Initially, she looked like a kitty flower and a clown, which clashed with her new punk-style shaved back.

She adapted moving around, and then became obsessed with grooming—not much except the end of her tail and the collar. At night on the bed I’d hear a continuous rasping sound—her licking went on for ages.

She wore her new accessory for three weeks. I felt guilty because she would stare out of the window into the garden for hours, eat a lot and nap. Normally, she’d do her business outside, but now had to use litter. I wasn’t a fan of cleaning out her tray after she used it, and sprayed air freshener around.

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Happy Kitty!

Finally cured, Squeaky was allowed out. I opened the door and she dashed outside only to suddenly stop. As it was winter, it was pretty chilly and within five minutes she came back inside.

The Human.

Instinct

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Squeaky in  the garden.

Each bird from a family of magpies can chase Squeaky away. Unlike her predecessor, she is not a skilful hunter. Now when I feed the magpies, Squeaky lounges on the deck.

However, recently she surprised me—her instincts awoken—bringing in skinks, (tiny lizards), from the front garden. They are pretty cute and I’ll immediately try to rescue her prey from splayed claws, returning it outside. I’ve found a skink on the slimline venetian blind and even one in my bedroom.

The other day Squeaky released one in the lounge room, minus its tail—a survival mechanism in which skinks shed their tail, while scurrying away from their predator. After a few bats with her paw, and a glint in her eye, she bit off and swallowed its head. Grossed out, I disposed of the body. Squeaky pressed her nose to the spot and searched for her prey. Suddenly, she pounced on one of her small knitted toys. Dropping to her side, she clutched the toy between front paws and then chewed its head and kicked the body with her hind legs. My angel had finally evolved into a predator.

A few days later I was walking barefoot across the rug when I felt something cold and rubbery. I screamed. After gaining composure I looked down to see what I had stepped on. Ewhhh! It was the skink’s shrivelled tail.

I’ m grateful that Squeaky still can’t catch birds and was shocked while curled-up in my lap, she scratched me.

The Human.

Transition

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On my bed.

It’s been 15 months since I adopted Squeaky from an animal shelter. It saddened me because at one year and nine months old, she didn’t know how to play. When I tried to play chasey, her eyes widened and she ran away and hid.

Often, she now expects me to chase her down the garden path and within seconds, clamours-up trees and scales fences, or will suddenly sprint down the hallway. I find her sitting on my bed looking smug, ‘Hey, what took you so long?’

She spends time perched on the deck’s balustrade, basking in the back garden and relaxing on my bed. Every morning, she lounges next to me on the window-box seat and rolls over. Oops, she fell off—too comfy.

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Lounging on the window-box seat.

After stomping on me at dawn, Squeaky then scratches the bed-side rug. I get-up slowly, feed and let her out. She’ll return 30 minutes later finding me back in bed. As I stretch, she saddles up to me, rests her chin on the pillow and purrs, her green eyes focussed  on mine.

Squeaky is annoying too. The other it was raining. I got up to find muddy paw prints stamped across the kitchen tiles. In the garden, her favourite spot is under an echium bush. The dried, curled-up leaves stick to her hindquarters. However, she doesn’t appreciate me removing them, and I’m forever picking them up off the floor after she grooms herself. Also, her fur is hard to vacuum off the rugs.

The Human.

 

Similar, But Different

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Nine months, almost there… No more hiding.

Squeaky, my rescue cat, zooms down the garden path as I chase her. She leaps onto the teak bench, turns and faces me—I’m still running—or diverts to the left, clambering up the three metre, weeping pear tree. Sometimes she scales the side fence, bounces off, landing in the fork of the giant lilly pilly and scurries higher up. Perched amongst the branches, I spot her bright eyes.

She is similar to my former moggie, but different. There’s no biting or pouncing. I can actually touch her front paws without being injured. She’ll sit on my lap forever. When I ask her to move, grudgingly she jumps down—usually I have to nudge her off.

Absorbing the sunlight, she lounges on the deck’s balustrade with eyes closed. The tips of her fur are ruffled by a light breeze.

Version 2

Sometimes in the morning, I’ll scratch her chin and she’ll lightly chew my finger. To get me out of bed, the former would whack or slash me. She has stomped on my belly twice.

When I went away for 12 days, she wasn’t happy to have a house sitter. Squeaky would sit next to the sitter on the couch. With her head down, but slightly tilted to the right, she would give the stranger ‘the evil eye’.

Upon my return, the furball was even more affectionate. Gone is her scowling, and like the former, she hates her flea treatment and the vet.

The Human.

Starting Over

 

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Squeaky.

Mostly she hid. For a long-time I didn’t hear her voice except when relaxed, there were soft rumblings.

During the first week, my new chunky, grey and white moggie would often runaway as I approached, even hesitant to step forward at mealtimes, her green eyes focused on my movements. She resided behind the TV table or on the bottom shelf of the hall cupboard, body close to the wall. If I moved my hand quickly, she would cower and spring away. I didn’t appreciate her hisses.

I tried to calm her… She had been at a shelter for four months. My previous, old moggie was the opposite to her—dog-like, naughty, with heaps of attitude.

The fluffball allowed me to pat her on her terms, then progress—something small each day—appearing when called, snuggling and not hiding as often.

Stretched out on my lap, she was due for a flea treatment. I squirted the liquid onto her neck. Immediately, she leapt onto the rug and raced off. She didn’t sit long after that, and it took time to gain her trust again.

Currently, she grooms herself several times a day and forms small mounds with her litter covering-up her business.

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Squeaky Relaxing.

Her purr, accompanied with some dribble has a bass tone then changes pitch to soprano. For two months, I hadn’t heard her miaow, and was surprised to her her squeak, and nicknamed her ‘Squeaky’. It’s weird, as she is a deep snorer, (like me). We’ve bonded.

The Human (CD)

 

The Delinquent

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Hanging about in a favourite spot.

At first, I didn’t see the signs. You’ll get better, it’s just a runny eye.You’re in your twilight years, that’s why you aren’t eating as much. We always checked your teeth—surprise, extractions, and then cancer. Tumors formed in your gums, and the cancer also affected your eye.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It’s so quiet. No longer can I hear the thump, thump as you tramp on the floorboards, and I miss being woken by a bushy tail, flicked across my nose. I stare at my bed imagining you there, eyes closed, chin resting on paws, your body curled forming a circle. Your belly rises and falls… Gently I lay my cheek against your head. Lost… I cannot believe that you are gone.
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The last day.

Your were so brave, hanging on for me… I’m so grateful. Fifteen and a half years we shared together:  your leaping under clean sheets as I made-up the bed, jumping out suddenly with an arched back, reminding me that it was time to play hide and seek; stealing the prime position on the couch when I’d get up to make a cup of tea, using my belly as a cushion, scratching the woollen rug before rolling over like a dog when I came home from work, just some of your antics; plus your unconditional love. The essence of your life was comfort, food, playing and having fun at my expense. I miss you! Rest in peace my delinquent moggie, Pookie, (alias Smudge). Love always, your Human.