Forty—Onyx the Barn Kitten.
My day alone seemed to go by in a flash. I napped on the couch, on each tier of my condo, on Grandma Brown’s bed, on Lolly’s bed, on Bailey’s bed, on the kitchen matt, on every single dining room chair, on Grandma Brown’s recliner, on Lolly’s desk chair, and her foamy chair—honestly, the list would be shorter if I named the places I didn’t sleep: outside.
It was dark and quite late when I heard Grandma Brown’s little red truck pull into the yard. Since I was feeling pretty well rested, I jumped off my kitty-condo-hammock, and ran straight to the door. As I was running a smell entered my nose that made me puff up a little. I wasn’t all that surprised, because I know that a farm is filled with so many animals, it would only stand to reason Lolly, Grandma Brown and especially Bailey would come home carrying some strange smells.
“There there Onyx—no need to cry—this is your new home. You are going to love Oscar—he is even nicer than Bailey!”
Hearing those wonderful words of praise made my heart sing a little, but I was wondering who this Onyx was. Did Adrian have a grandchild Lolly’s age? Wouldn’t that be lovely to have another child to play with. Although, I did wonder if “Onyx” wasn’t an odd name for a human child. I was not left wondering for long. Lolly walked up to me carrying a laundry basket with an oven rack strapped to the top. Inside the basket was a black, fuzzy, growling, and hissing ball of fur.
“Oscar, you have a little brother! Meet Onyx, Onyx this is Oscar!” Lolly beamed with pride.
“Oscar, mmmmsnifff, great day, ate goose poop, chased chickens, helped herd cattle, played with goats, and got new kitty snnnifffff, you smell good! Hello!” Bailey seemed unaffected by this radical change to our pet community. I hissed the word “Traitor!!!!!” at Bailey as she tried to sniff my nose. I could not help myself. I am not a cat who deals well with surprises.
“Oscar? Did you just hiss at Bailey? What the devil’s gotten into you?” Grandma Brown’s stern words of surprise brought me back to myself. Indeed, what was I thinking? I was caught off guard, and to be fair, that little scruff of fur hissed at me first!
Gently, Lolly took the oven rack off the laundry basket. It had been tied there with something Grandma Brown called “bailer twine”. As Lolly untied, I saw a little black paw reaching through the slats poking at the string. Lolly giggled and assured Grandma Brown that the little paw was not using any claws. Listening carefully I heard the oddest sound. It was like a purr, but only not a smooth or deep as my own purr. It had been a while since I heard a sound like that. Then I remembered when I last heard it—when I was a kitten!
That little scruff of fur went from hissing to purring in record time! I couldn’t believe my ears. I sat back in amazement as my Lolly reached into the laundry basket, and lifted out the scruffiest, tiniest, noisiest little being I ever recall seeing up close. So this was “Onyx”? He didn’t seem so bad. Why was I puffed up so? Bailey, somewhat innocently, offered a viable hypothesis.
“See….snifff…KITTY! He smells like barn…barn smells like cows, horses, dogs, goats, chickens, turkeys, and goooooooooose (poop)!!! I like KITTY!!!!! Sniffffffffffff….snufffffffffff…” and then Bailey commenced to licking the kitten all over like he was some kind of a cross between a popsicle and puppy. Oddly enough, Onyx did not seem to mind. In fact he seemed to lean into Bailey’s grooming as if it was something he had been doing his whole life. Deep down a part of me wondered if perhaps I was still sleeping and this was all just some kind of weird dream.
Grandma Brown, ever the voice of reason, and excellent ideas, said, “Come now, I think it is time for a snack!” Bailey half jumped with joy. Onyx, still unused to the fleeting attention span of a dog seemed a little jarred. Lolly scooped him up and then reached down to scrub me behind the ears. “I know you two will be good friends! Come now, let’s have some peanut butter and spam!” I am such a sucker for an ear scrub and talk of peanut butter and spam. I couldn’t help myself, and I ran after them!