by Uncle Bear
It was the night in some households when gifts were traditionally given,
and in others where children and some adults hear sounds not normally
heard. Even the night of a magical kiss....
Considering the day and the date, I decided it might be a wonderful idea
to give her a gift I had been saving for her. After what took place in the
middle of the night and that morning I find myself wondering what in the
dickens got into me?
She's small, covered with golden fur and has the loudest "meow" I've ever
heard from a domestic cat. In addition, while she's only one and one half
human years in age, she has managed to wrap me around her tiny paw.
In naming her I chose the human name, "Eleanor." There are three
reasons why I did this. First, when she sits in a regal manner, she reminds
of an Eleanor who once resided in a White House on Pennsylvania Avenue,
Washington, D.C. Next, is when my little kitten is being rambunctious and
grinning from ear to ear with the joy of simply being alive, I'm reminded of
a young woman I know and how she radiates her love of life.
There is a third reason that I must bring to light. Normally I do not call
my kitten Eleanor. (I've never stopped considering her a kitten - perhaps
when she's 14-15 human years old I will.) The name I use is "Ell." The
shameful part of this is what I'll sometimes add. For example because of my
unhappiness with Eleanor's conduct, I might say something like, "Ell, if you
don't stop that you're going to ...." Or "Ell, what the _ _ _ _ has gotten into
Watching Ell wait quietly for her treat, I decided it would be the
opportune time for gift giving. At the same moment I'm relatively sure a
great deal of my sanity went out the window. What in the world ever
possessed me to give a pint-size feline a brand new toy mouse that
contained catnip no less, late in the evening is totally beyond me. My only
excuses are the season, folks giving gifts, and the look in her eyes as they
became big with sparkle and radiated the joy I loved to see.
All went well for some time. Ell grabbed her new toy, shook it forcefully,
and disappeared into one of her secret spots to become better acquainted
with it, and I retired for the night. Much later Ell decided it would be a
great time to get some physical exercise. Having securely stashed the toy
mouse where no one but she could ever find it, she began racing around the
house. My problem was not with the physical training, but the sounds it
produced. I could have turned on a light and stopped the action; however, I
chose not to do so. Rather I lay in the darkness, with my eyes closed; trying
to visualize what was taking place.
What a loud metallic sound a cat's claws can generate when they land on
a steel folding chair. Or the jarring noise produced by aluminum can as it
hits an uncarpeted floor. Still, nothing restores the peace and tranquility in
the human soul as realizing nothing had shattered and no liquid had been
splashed or spilled.
Later, as it became quiet and still, I began to drift back into slumber. My
last recollection was of a tiny sandpapery tongue bestowing an "I love you"
kiss on the tip of my nose.
All Quiet Now
Uncle Bear is a writer and researcher in North Carolina. He can be reached through: