In lieu of the apocalypse, here, have a cat!
Meet Halo. His hobbies include attempting to eat curling ribbon and brightly-coloured candy wrappers, rolling all over my shoes, forgetting his own name (for several months, actually, he would only ever answer to my name, leaving me voice such fascinating exclamations as “Jacey stop eating the curtains!”), and waiting piteously by the door for me to come home — only to forget I’ve returned roughly two seconds after I do, commence the crying for me at the door all over again, and continue to do so until I go retrieve him and repeat the greeting process all over again.
Perhaps needless to say, out of all my babies (I currently have three!), he is certainly the most reminiscent of a baby. And god knows that in his world, I Am Mom.
As with most everything else, there’s a story behind that — and if I’m a sucker for stories in general, I’m even moreso when it comes to stories about the human-animal bond.
And so, if you happen to feel the same… :)
Halo, along with his kitty-mama and brother, showed up as strays on the front porch of my parents’ house one winter. Being me, I befriended the lot almost instantly, and became particularly attached to Halo and his brother, whom I dubbed Bentley. (And much later on came another litter of kittens I dubbed The Them in turn — anyone care to take a stab as to what my very favourite book might be?) Had it been my own house, I would have scooped them all inside without a second thought, but my love of animals is more due to a lucky streak of nature than the way that I was raised.
As it was, my parents finally consented to let me take in and keep one — but only the one. The cats themselves then more or less made that choice for me; mama kitty was just this side of feral and Halo had a stupidly wild preference for falling out of trees rather than being cooped up inside, but Bentley adored the house. Out of all of them, I knew Bentley would most enjoy being a proper housecat.
But before my parents allowed me to permanently move him inside, Bentley was hit by a car, and died.
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still miss him, or that I didn’t spend that whole night crying. He was a beautiful, beautiful boy. I knew, though, that if I was devastated, then Halo’s world would be shattered — he was so incredibly dependant upon his kitty-family (to the point of being very under-developed in that regard) that I didn’t have the heart to let him stay outside and realise that something was wrong, let alone risk allowing the same thing to happen to him as well.
So I grabbed up Halo, and he sat in my room with me while I cried.
And after that, all of his dependance on his kitty-family was naturally transferred to me. I became Mama, and sibling, and while I’m still not entirely sure if he thinks that I’m a cat or that he’s a human, I figure it’s about the same end result either way. Halo is my shadow, and admittedly probably half the reason I get out of bed. (Never mind the fact that he is always ridiculously grouchy when I do get out of bed.)
I’m a proud mama, and rather unashamed.
But the real point of this post, beyond my using the apocalypse-not-now as an excuse to show off my baby?
There is at least one children’s book in the works about him, here, so I figured I might as well go ahead and introduce him now. :)
And even when eating curling ribbon, he sure beats the apocalypse, anyway.