Chapter Thirty Eight—Seeing Right Through Grandma Brown’s Gentleman Friend
Although Grandma Brown and Adrian were friends when they were younger, they had lost touch over the years. However, since that day in the pet supply store when they ran into each other, they fast made up for lost time. Both Adrian and Grandma Brown were “widowed”, and both had grandchildren. Similar to Grandma Brown, Adrian also lived in a house with a huge yard, and garden to play in. Although I think Adrian’s garden was a little different because he kept calling it a “grain crop”. Another difference between Adrian, and Grandma Brown is that Adrian had a type of cat I hadn’t really heard of before: he had “barn cats”.
From what I could gather, “barn cats” never came in the house, and they never purred their humans to sleep. They sounded a lot like those feral cats I remembered from the shelter, except they actually weren’t homeless. “Barn cats” lived in large buildings called “barns” and they shared these barns with something called “livestock”. Now, Adrian’s most favorite type of “livestock” was something called “horses”. Adrian loved his horses almost as much as Pops loved Bailey. It was hard to imagine a horse—based on Adrian’s description they sounded almost as big as Grandma Brown’s little red truck.
Adrian went on and on about his horses. Brown Grandma and Grandpa listened intently. Apparently they both grew up on farms that had horses and Adrian’s stories reminded them of happy childhood memories. Adrian was a kind and funny man. It seemed as if everyone took an instant liking to Adrian. Since he was the one who actually delivered my most awesome birthday present, I have to say I took a liking to him as well. I think, however, if hadn’t been the one to deliver my condo, my liking may not have been as instant as others’.
Adrian kept laughing at Grandma Brown and saying things like, “You haven’t changed a bit—crazy girl, throwing a full scale birthday party for some stupid ol’cat!” and “Cats belong in a barn catching mice—not sitting atop some crazy contraption eating spam pate!” At first, I was very surprised by those words. They sounded harsh, but, somehow, they didn’t feel as harsh as they sounded. Moreover, when no one was looking, Adrian would scratch my ears and say things like “so, you sure like that condo they gotcha don’t you….eh? Heh heh heh.” Also, when no one was looking, Adrian slipped me a little bit of whipped cream from his slice of pumpkin pie.
Adrian acted like he might have been a cat hater—but that guy was no Mrs Hasserin! I could see right through him. He only acted like he didn’t like cats to tease Grandma Brown, and so she could tease him. The truth was that Adrian was an all-round animal person. He was a farmer, and he had all kinds of animals on his farm: everything from chickens, geese, and turkeys, to goats, cows and horses. He also had a dog to help him herd his livestock, and protect his fowl, and a cat to help him control the rat, skunk, and mouse population in the barn. Adrian wasn’t a cat person: he was an animal person! To him, it was best if one lived in an animal community.
There was something else about Adrian that I could see—he cared a lot about Grandma Brown, and he thought she was kind of pretty. He looked at Grandma Brown the same way Grandpa looked at Brown Grandma. It was true that Adrian wouldn’t normally attend a cat’s birthday party, but he did it because it gave him a chance to spend time with Grandma Brown. Grandma Brown, I think, was equally fond of Adrian. In fact, she kinda looked at him the way Brown Grandma looked at Grandpa—only with less frustration.
Another redeeming quality about Adrian, is how well he treated both Bailey and my Lolly. He spoke to Lolly like she was one of the grown-ups. He asked her opinions on things, and carefully listened to her answers. He even helped her fix the chain on her bicycle. I could tell that Adrian was the kind of guy who honoured children and made them feel safe. I think Bailey noticed that about him too because, once Pops and Sadie went home, Bailey went and laid right on top of Adrian’s feet. This didn’t bother Adrian the slightest. In fact, he chuckled, reached down and scrubbed Bailey’s head and said, “How did you know my feet needed some warming? Oh…I can see why they are so crazy about you!” Then, almost as if she and Lolly rehearsed it, Bailey performed her “show me your tummy” trick. Everyone was so impressed that they asked Lolly and Bailey to show them more Bailey tricks. They put on a little show for me and my party guests, and I, the cat of honour, enjoyed the whole show from the best seat in the house: my kitty condo.