Monday, June 28, 2010

Taz the cat

One day a long time ago, Gina heard a pitiful sound outside. She went to investigate where it was coming from and what it may be. There on a pile of wood logs near the small shed attached to the barn, she found a very small kitten. She took great pity on this poor ragged animal with a crocked tail. She held this kitten and I'm sure she told "it" that all would be well. She told me about her find when I got home from work. Of course she and Ellen and Greta wanted to keep it. I knew their Dad would not be so inclined. He wasn't. I asked them to go to the neighbors to see if it belonged to one of them. They did that, although I wasn't here to be sure they did ; ) It was not a lost pet to anyone that we knew of. We (that would be the kids and I) were concerned for this little kitten's well being. Have you ever heard a hungry kitten beg? It's heart rendering.....we started with a saucer of milk and water. The children held it and grew more in love with it with each passing moment. Oh, no!

Milk didn't seem like enough for a starving kitten so I bought some kitten food at the store, I did! We put it in a small dish on the porch. It didn't take but a day for all the neighborhood cats to find it. They ate it all, not saving even a little bit for the poor starving kitten. That got me a bit perturbed. I was not going to feed the neighborhood. AND, if our children were going to befriend this animal, I didn't want them to see their pet dead on the road as I saw many of our cats when I was young. After all, this is the same house, along the same road with a lot more cars and trucks, as I grew up in. I made an executive decision. I went to Weis to purchase a litter box, some litter and a proper dish for food and water. We officially welcomed this little kitten, yet to be named, into our home.

 I remember how as I read the newspaper in the morning he would climb up to lay on my shoulder and tuck his head under my chin. At first we were not sure of the gender so we named it Tessie. Opps, it soon became apparent this was a male change!! We thought it would be nice to think of a name that was close to Tessie. Kim suggested the name Taz. It fit this growing kitten to the T. He would race from one end of the house to the other countless times a day! We all fell in love with this new pet....even the male members of the household. Taz especially liked Dale! This rambunctious kitten grew into a stout (a nicer term for fat!), lazy cat. He would sleep all day. Once in a great while you might have seen him play with a shoe string. We could get him interested in a circle refection from the sun shining on a watch. He would lay very quietly with his tail twitching and then jump to catch it....except it would move. Fun!

He never liked the vacuum. It scared him terribly. He would know when it was Saturday, I'm guessing because everybody was home. Even before I would start cleaning, Taz would sit at the stair door, begging to pleeeeze be allowed to go hide upstairs. There were times he would hide under a sofa or behind a toilet. I didn't know that was where he was until a fur ball from down under would fly past me as I vacuumed near that spot! Crazy cat! He also hated thunderstorms. Last Thursday when I was reading a story to Aidan before his nap, it thundered a few times. He came slinking into the living room to hide in a corner but I didn't want him in there while Aidan slept. Ellen had to carry him out several times till the door was shut. Only then did he choose a different safe spot.

There are many cat stories I could tell. Some are funny, some are sweet, some would make any housekeeper cringe. There were many times I needed to brush myself off after sitting on my own furniture because a very hairy cat preceded me to that location.Ugg! When he was naughty I would tell him how lucky he was that we took pity on him and gave him a home. I guess he got it...... he always seemed to assume he was king of this house. He had to try out each new chair, blanket or pillow. He always thought that if you got up out of the place you were seated, that meant he could now claim it. And claim it, he did. If you were covered in a snugglie blanket, that meant that he was welcome to snuggle in it too.....make room, here he comes!

What a cat. We will deeply miss him. RIP, Taz!

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