Forty Six—Life With Onyx
Having little Onyx around the house got me to thinking about my kitten days. My kitten lives were amazing. How many cats get to say they lived at Santa’s? I had many adventures and was always so fortunate to encounter so many good people along the way. I have lived a life well loved, and I felt so blessed. I have had the privilege of knowing some fine cats and dogs, and the honour of learning from some of the best cats.
Then there were the people in my life. My little boys with red hair, and their amazing giggles. Brown Grandma, Grandpa, and even Auntie—they gave me so much love and understanding. Now Grandma Brown and Lolly, and my amazing life here. When I was Onyx’s age, I didn’t have the slightest clue of how amazing life could be. Onyx seems different from what I was. He seems to be taking more in, and understanding things quicker. Grandma Brown calls him “an old soul”.
He seems to understand exactly what his people, and fellow pets need before even they do. He just knows exactly when Lolly is about to get home from school, and he also seems to know when to expect Adrian’s visits. He also seems to know exactly when Grandma Brown is ready to put down her knitting and give him a cuddle. He makes our girl smile and laugh like no one else can.
I like to watch him play with Lolly. They play different games than she and I do. When I play with Lolly, we play all kinds of games she likes to play. When Onyx and Lolly play, they play kitten games. Sometimes they use strings and yet other times they used marbles, toy mice, and even some squeaky toys. Onyx was too young for catnip, and that was probably a good thing—he was crazy enough. That little scruff poked at anything that moved. Sometimes he would forget himself and lunge at Grandma Brown’s feet, or even Lolly’s pigtails. Nothing and no one was immune. Poor Bailey’s skinny little tail attracted Onyx’s crazy kitten swipe more than once.
He never really hurt Bailey’s tail, but he always managed to startle her. She would be sitting in the kitchen watching Grandma Brown cook and bake. Bailey would get lost in all the glorious smells, and without thinking, her little tail would start wagging. Onyx would hear the swishing sounds and start his stealthy stalk toward the sound. He hunched down low, and fixed his stare at Bailey’s tail, and then before you know it, Onyx’s back feet would start moving like fuzzy little pistons, and his little bottom would start wiggling. Then—BAM—he’d pounce on Bailey’s skinny little tail, and run off. He moved so quickly, I bet Bailey didn’t even know it was him.
I know some pets would be irritated by such a crazy kitten, but Bailey and I just couldn’t stay mad at Onyx. Sure Bailey would get a little frustrated, but she would just sigh and head off to her bed for a nap. Then, Onyx would follow her, climb into her bed, knead on Bailey’s tummy, curl up into a purring ball of fuzz and fall asleep. Often Bailey would shrug and sigh such a sigh that her lips would flap a little. It was part resignation, and part affection for little Onyx.
As for me, I always saw Onyx coming, and despite this, I would string him along. I would twitch my tail to entice him and all the while I would look away as if totally oblivious to his stealthy stalk. He was so funny scrunching down low to the floor and his twitching his little bum before the launch. Sometimes he would get so absorbed in his task he actually chittered! He was such a funny little guy. I always heard his approach, and just as he launched into the air, I would pull up my tail and tuck it tight around me—every time. Onyx would land with a mighty ‘thud’. Then, he would start licking himself. Sometimes he would say things like “Totally planned to do that—yup….” Oh! He was a funny scruff.
One day, Bailey and I were outside and she asked me about Onyx. “Is there something wrong with Onyx that he curls up and sleeps with me? I thought cats didn’t like snuggling with dogs all the time. Did I do something wrong?” When I reminded her that she would get scolded if she did something wrong, Bailey seemed to relax a little. We went on to discuss Onyx’s ways. Bailey never really lived with a kitten as young as Onyx. She didn’t realize that when Onyx snuggled up to her, he was just needing a little extra tender love and care. Once she realized this she seemed to glow with a certain pride and affection. She was honoured that Onyx turned to her as a second ‘mom’.
It did not last long though. Ever the dog—a being who worries about pleasing others—then turned to me and asked, “Are you mad at me because Onyx snuggles with me more than you?” Ahh dogs, so different from cats. Dogs always worry about pleasing others whereas cats have long since evolved past the genetic predilection to please. It was sweet that Bailey was worried about my feelings, but I assured her that I was perfectly fine with how things were. Bailey very nearly gave me a slobbery kiss, but I held up a paw, which she sniffed and slobbered on instead.