Forty Five—Oscar the Wise
Onyx looked at me with an odd kind of reverence. He thanked me for taking the time to teach him the ways of the house. I looked down at this tiny little scruff, and I wondered to myself if I ever was this tiny. Surely, I was. I don’t remember being tiny, but I do remember when the world seemed so huge. It was many lifetimes ago. This little scruff had most of his nine lives still ahead of him. What life was I at? Seven? Eight? Nine?
Cleo was right, our lives do come by us quickly. I looked down at Onyx, and began to tell him a bit about my many lives thus far. He needed to understand that his lives could take him to many places beyond this one. He also needed to discover whether his true nature was to be a kids cat or furry child. I suspected he was going to grow up to be more of a furry kid than a kids cat, but every cat really needs to purr on it and understand if for themselves.
Onyx asked if dogs had lives like cats do. In truth, I never thought about it. It was a good question. I never really talked about these things with my doggy friends. It never even occurred to me. Onyx felt quite strongly that someone needed to talk to Bailey about this. Even though I was head pet, I really didn’t feel obliged to be the one to ask Bailey. I encouraged Onyx to ask Bailey—gently—about whether or not dogs have lives like cats do. It was in Onyx’s nature to be curious: cats are notorious for their curiosity—it is part of our free will, and I was loathe to interfere with another cat’s curiosity.
Grandma Brown and Bailey returned from their walk to find a wiser, and better behaved Onyx. He was curled up in a perfect little fuzzy ball on Grandma Brown’s favorite chair purring louder than rolling thunder. Grandma Brown seemed to melt a little when she saw him. Gently, she picked up and placed him on her lap as she sat in her favorite chair. Onyx got up and started kneading on Grandma Brown’s tummy. It was his way of apologizing to her. Grandma Brown looked over at me and winked. I think that was her way of saying “good job!”
Grandma Brown chuckled softly as she scrubbed Onyx’s little ears. “Yes Onyx, you are lucky to have such a wise elder cat as Oscar—he is such a wise orange boy!” Onyx looked over at me and blinked a sleepy blink. My heart swelled a little. For everyone knows that the sleepy blink is universal cat-code for “kisses”. My girl had superb taste in pets. Onyx was a wonderful addition to our household. He added all kinds of purrs and laughter for both Grandma Brown and Lolly—most importantly, he loved his fellow pets without exception.
While Grandma was cuddling with Onyx, Bailey snuffled her way over to where I was sitting, “Grandma said she was going to give me a snack—maybe I should go to the litterbox instead?” I sighed, a head pet’s work is never done. When it came to issues of food, there was no reasoning with Bailey—one had to rely on distraction instead, so I asked Bailey, “Smell anything interesting on your walk?”
This launched Bailey onto a long discourse about every single smell she encountered on her walk. Personally, I am not the smelly kind of cat. Smells aren’t my thing. However, sitting and listening to Bailey go on and on about smells was far easier than trying to deter a peckish Bailey from my litterbox. Apparently this walk was epic for smells. There was everything from gum wrappers, to bird scat. Bailey’s little tail wagged frenetically as she described each and every single smell.
Eventually Grandma heard the swishing sounds of Bailey’s tail, and remembered that a snack had been promised. “Oh by jeeves, Onyx and I nearly forgotten that it is snack time. Come now my pets, let’s have some tuna…” Bailey stopped mid syllable in her description of grass smells and made a complete 360. She moved to the kitchen faster than anyone would believe possible. Onyx followed closely behind. Even though I loved tuna snacks dearly, I sauntered behind at a more casual canter. I was head pet after all, I had to at least offer the impression of confidence and only moderate interest.