Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Morris and Holly, a tale of two cats

A couple of nights ago, Holly Berry came into the bedroom in the night and slept on my chest, with - GASP! - Fred on the bed right beside us. She didn't stay long, but it seemed like a step in the right direction. Then she disappeared for two days. While they poured concrete, I had shut off the automatic dog door so the dogs couldn't mess up the project. But that meant Holly couldn't get in, so I shut off the basement stairs to keep the dogs out of the basement, then turned on the switch for the door so that Holly Berry could get in. I figure a lightweight cat isn't going to ruin the concrete. But this morning, still no Holly Berry, I was getting very worried!

Part of the reason I was more worried than usual was that she had been so friendly a couple of nights ago, and it reminded me of Morris (a cat with about the same attitude as Holly) and our last night together.

More about Morris.  My husband and I were returning home from visiting my sister and were traveling on I-80. We stopped at the rest stop near Morris, Illinois to take a break. There was a cat hanging out there, no collar, very friendly, but apparently abandoned. A worker at the rest stop told us he had been there for several days. No one had come back for him. Of course, what would Susan do? I took him home with us. He was a yellow tiger, and we found him near Morris, Illinois, so of course we named him Morris.

Morris was a good cat, but like Holly Berry, he disappeared from time to time, always to return. Dave and I had a blended family, with four kids between us. In the summer, we were often empty nesters, and Morris took to sleeping in one of the kids' beds through the day, usually with us at night. But when they were home, he got displaced. And he didn't like it. He displayed his displeasure by defecating somewhere other than the litter box or the garden. When he was REALLY pissed off, he would leave a pile at the bottom of the steps into the garage. I truly believe he knew exactly what he was doing!

In the fall, two of the kids were with us all the time, and every other weekend there were four, using up all of the beds in the house. Morris began to stay away longer and longer, sometimes for as long as a week. One night, I remember there was a full moon because I could see him quite well in the yard. I opened the door to let him in for food and water. He came into our bedroom, something that had become quite rare. He walked across both of our chests, and he talked to us, was quite friendly. That morning, we let him out, never to see him again. I truly believe he had come back to tell us good-bye. His frequent and ever lengthening disappearances bespoke of him having found another home. At some point, he decided the other family was a better deal, but was nice enough to come back and thank us for everything - or whatever he was doing that night.

Back to Holly Berry. This morning, she was still nowhere to be found. Had she pulled a Morris and found another home? But good news, her food and water were gone. I went outside and called her, then I called inside the basement. I heard the bell on her collar ring, but couldn't see her  Finally, she sauntered into the laundry room. Where is she hiding now? Weird cat! I do so love her. I hope she is not cultivating a new home, one without an annoying dog in residence!

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