Happy Friday everyone (Happy Thanksgiving Weekend, Canadian Readers!)! Today’s chapter is dedicated to the memory of my favourite “cat hater”. Never was there such a self proclaimed ‘big meanie’ who had such wonderful heart for all animals. The character “Adrian”, introduced in today’s chapter, is inspired by this ‘big meanie’…
Chapter Thirty Seven—Friends Old and New
I am not sure if it was the special birthday breakfast in my tummy, the sunshine, or all the excitement of the day, but I slept through to past lunch time. Lolly came outside after she finished eating her lunch and we enjoyed some special bouncy time on the trampoline. Bailey, determined to make sure her head pet had the best birthday—ever—made sure to carefully supervise Grandma Brown as she worked on preparing all the food for my party.
As Lolly and I were bouncing, a familiar car pulled into the yard—it was Pops and Sadie! They had come to celebrate my big birthday. I was so excited I meowed out loud (and I quickly squirmed out of Lolly’s arms just in time before Bailey realized who had arrived.) From the house, came a loud, almost fog-horn, sound. It was Bailey. As soon as she heard Pops’s voice outside, she started howling a hero’s welcome. If Grandma Brown hadn’t rushed to open the door for her, Bailey would have charged straight through it! Bailey’s greeting for Pops was so loud that no one could talk over it. Pops, having fully recovered from his tumble, reached down and scooped Bailey up into his arms. This surprised and elated Bailey so much that she stopped barking and instantly started smothering Pops’s face with slurpy puppy kisses.
Lolly and I watched quietly as Grandma Brown, Sadie, Pops and Bailey headed into the house. Even though technically, they were here for my birthday, I was perfectly content to let my pup have some alone time with her former family. Former family. I am not sure why, but in that moment I thought of Brown Grandma and Grandpa. No matter how wonderful my life was, I still remembered them, and my life with them, fondly. I thought about how nice it would be if I could enjoy a visit with my former family.
It was as if the universe was reading my mind that very moment because you are not going to believe who arrived next for my birthday party: Brown Grandma and Grandpa AND my two little boys with red hair! I couldn’t believe my eyes! My boys with red hair! They weren’t boys any more—they were grown men, but there they were giggling and grinning just like I remembered. Brown Grandma and Grandpa hadn’t changed and they looked exactly like I remembered them. I was so happy I thought I was going to burst!
I chirped, purred, and chittered. I leaped down off the trampoline, and ran straight to my boys. I rubbed up against their legs, and each in turn they picked me up and gave me a special birthday cuddle. Then, they passed me to Grandpa. His sparkly blue eyes seemed almost teary, “There’s my old pal! Come here—I gotta give those ears a scrub!” I couldn’t believe all my most favorite people in the whole wide world were here to celebrate my birthday with me!
Grandma Brown made a great big dinner for everyone who came to celebrate my birthday. Bailey and I hung out under the dinner table and went from person to person as they “accidently” dropped bits of their dinner on the floor. It was the best party game ever—it had everything, yummy smells, friendly pats, and treats-treats-treats! Grandma Brown and Brown Grandma chatted easily, and my boys with red hair listened happily as Lolly told them about all the wonderful games we play together. Grandpa talked easily with Pops and Sadie about Bailey, tractors, and shiny cars.
After dinner, but before my birthday cake and presents, another person came over. Grandma Brown, for the first time since I’ve known her, invited over a gentleman friend. This friend didn’t really look like anyone I met before. He wasn’t much taller than Grandma Brown, and he had no fur on his head at all. His head was completely shiny. Grandma Brown told us his name was Adrian, and that they had been friends many years ago. It turns out that Grandma Brown ran into Adrian when she was shopping for my birthday present. In fact, as a favour to Grandma Brown, Adrian kept my present at his house so that neither Bailey nor I would find it beforehand.
After all the wonderful surprises today, I hardly expected anymore presents—let alone something as amazing as what Adrian hauled in from his truck. It was so amazing that Bailey and I both kind of forgot for a few seconds that there was a yummy spam-tuna-bacon birthday cake waiting for us. Everyone at my birthday party chipped in and helped Grandma Brown buy me the biggest and bestest gift a cat could ever dream of: a five tier—floor-to-ceiling kitty condo! This condo had everything. It had a hammock, two hidey-holes (one for me and the other for my toys!), a scratching pad, and a lofty, way up high, perch. If that wasn’t awesome enough, the whole thing smelled of glorious cat nip, and it had dangly bits of honeysuckle pucks. It looked, felt, and smelled like the best thing ever! I kept going up and down, from tier to tier, whisker kissing every single inch of this most glorious birthday present.
And do you know what the best part was? My boys with red hair, helped lift Lolly up to the way up high perch so that she could serve me my very own piece of birthday cake (I didn’t have to blow out candles because they let Bailey do it for me). My tenth birthday was the best day ever. I was so ecstatic that I couldn’t stop purring (as if I would even want to!), and I couldn’t sit still. I went from my condo to Lolly, to Bailey, to Grandma Brown, to Brown Grandma and Grandpa, to my boys with red hair, to Pops, to Sadie, to Adrian, and back to my condo. I was purring so loud and proud that Pops gave me the first compliment he ever gave to a cat. He said, “Well, you sure got one heck of a motor there you fat old cat!” It was one of the nicest things he ever said to me.